7 Little Changes That’ll Make a Big Difference With Your Spanish Learning
In this post: Learn 7 little changes from a Spanish teacher that’ll make a big difference with your Spanish learning. Post contains affiliate links.
So many people worry that it will be too late for them to learn another language, and I always remind them that I didn’t start learning Spanish until I was 21! I’ve always love learning languages, starting with German in school and then Portuguese during my time living abroad. I didn’t start learning Spanish until I was dating my husband.
The point is – it’s never too late! I fully committed myself to learning Spanish as an adult and became a Spanish teacher after getting my Master’s Degree en español.
How can I help you learn Spanish?!
Now you might be thinking, okay that’s great Naomi but how can you help me learn Spanish or teach my kids Spanish?
I’m going to share 7 little changes that you can make that will have huge payoffs for your Spanish learning at home, either as an adult or with your kids. I’ve seen it first hand and tested it all out on my husband who has been learning Spanish alongside our children for the last four years!
Tips for Learning Spanish
These work if you’re learning Spanish as an adult, or if you’re teaching your kids Spanish at home. Remember you don’t need to do all these things, they are just tips to help you effectively learn the language!
1. Start with Pronunciation & Phonics
If I could go back in time to all the high school Spanish classes I taught, I would make this my first lesson. Learning the letter sounds in Spanish is so incredibly important to not only help you speak it better, but also to help you read it! As a phonetic language, once you learn the letter sounds in Spanish, and the few accent rules, you can read and say any word without hearing it!
I have free Spanish alphabet flashcards and a special Spanish alphabet song that can help you learn! Use it with kids, teens, and adults of any age to help you learn letter sounds and pronunciation in Spanish.
2. Be Consistent
Imagine I’m a cheerleader chanting Be consistent, be be consistent! It is key to learning a language my friends. Find a way to practice your Spanish lessons on your own or with your kids every day. Whether you’re using Spanish apps, podcasts, Spanish learning books, or practicing with a friend – having a Spanish learning routine will make or break you.
If you’re teaching your kids Spanish at home, definitely grab my Free Spanish Resource Guide! There is a free weekly planner to help you build a bilingual routine.
3. Set your TV audio to Spanish
Now that you’re ready to stick to a consistent plan with your Spanish learning at home, this is an easy tip to help increase your exposure! Watching TV and Movies in Spanish will not only help your comprehension, but it can help you gain new vocabulary and learn sentence structures in an immersive way. Better yet? Set your subtitles to Spanish too so you can read while you watch!
If you’re learning Spanish at home with your kids, check out my favorite nature based shows and movies to watch in Spanish!
4. Create your own personal Spanish dictionary
Did you know that in order to learn and remember a new word, you need to hear it over 10 times?! I always find that reading, writing, and saying a new word helps people remember it even more. Better yet, write the word and then try to draw a picture to represent it. This multifaceted approach to learning vocabulary provides repetition, while breaking up the mundane work of simply memorizing. It also engages BOTH sides of your brain which will really help it stick.
Grab the free Spanish Wordreference App for your phone to always have a handy Spanish dictionary!
5. Read Books in Spanish, even as a beginner
Next, you have to read books in Spanish if you’re learning at home or teaching your kids Spanish at home! Books are key to language learning. Now, even as a complete beginner, you can read simple books in Spanish, even if they are kids books.
Head to your library and grab the easiest Spanish books you can read, start there. Then slowly increase the number of words on a page. This is a great way to build endurance with reading in Spanish. Better yet? Read your Spanish books out loud and make sure you’re paying attention to your letter sounds!
6. Stop obsessing over grammar
Look, as a Spanish teacher I absolutely love grammar. BUT it can really get in the way for people who are trying to learn how to speak the language. I learned Portuguese in a completely immersive way, meaning I took zero grammar lessons, and I was able to speak it in a few months.
Do yourself a favor and skip the grammar lessons unless they are serving you. Instead, focus on immersing yourself with books, TV, music, and more to help you naturally pick up the language. Remember that babies never take grammar lessons but they become fluent speakers in a few years…you can too!
If you want to teach your children Spanish in a fun and hands-on way that doesn’t rely on grammar – check out my Spanish courses for families!
7. Find someone to practice with
You can practice your Spanish as much as you want on your own, but the world changes when you try to speak with someone else. Finding an online Spanish tutor or someone in your community who you can practice with. Getting in person or virtual Spanish help can really make a big difference in your language skills.
If you’re raising bilingual kids, make sure you get them to practice their Spanish with you! Find ways to intentionally create Spanish conversations so that your children can build their fluency and fluidity.
Sites like Italki are an awesome way to find people online to practice with!
Did these Spanish tips help? These are some of the best ways to learn Spanish but if you’re wanting even more help, don’t worry I’ve got you.
If you’re learning Spanish as an adult, check out my post with lots of resources you can use to help you learn at home.
If you’re teaching your kids Spanish at home, get my FREE 19 page Spanish Resource Guide! This will help you take the guess work out of raising bilingual kids and will give you lots of resources to have on hand.
Don't give up - Keep learning Spanish!
If you find yourself feeling frustrated or impatient as you Learn Spanish at home or as you raise bilingual kids, remember that learning Spanish takes time! I always encourage my students to focus on connection over perfection, and trust that fluency with come if you keep putting in the effort.