Learn Spanish

Learning Spanish can be an enjoyable experience, as it can expand your personal and professional horizons, while unlocking new opportunities for growth and development. In this article, we will explore why you should learn Spanish, the benefits of learning the language, how to learn Spanish, how to stay motivated while learning, how to measure your Spanish level, how to pick a good Spanish course, and why going abroad is the best way to learn Spanish.

Learn Spanish with EF

Article overview

Want to learn Spanish?

Here's why you should choose EF for your Spanish course abroad.

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Learn Spanish abroad

Why learn Spanish

Learning Spanish can give you access to a rich and diverse range of literature, music, and art from Spanish-speaking countries. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, with over 500 million speakers across the globe. It is also the official language in over 20 countries, including Spain, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and Chile, which have a rich cultural heritage and artistic traditions. By learning Spanish, you can broaden your cultural horizons and gain a deeper appreciation of Spanish-speaking cultures, from the vibrant energy of Mexican telenovelas to the elegant prose of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's novels. In short, learning Spanish can provide a window into a world of art, literature, and culture that would otherwise be inaccessible.

5 benefits of learning Spanish

If you're not totally sold on the idea of learning Spanish, let me give you a few more reasons to consider:

  1. Open the door to all other romance languages: Learning Spanish is a gateway to other romance languages, such as French, Italian, and Portuguese. Once you have a foundation in Spanish, it will be easier to learn other languages in the same family.
  2. Enjoy your favorite songs and movies in their original language: Knowing Spanish can help you understand the lyrics of your favorite Spanish-language songs and enjoy movies and TV shows without relying on subtitles. You'll be able to appreciate the nuances of the language and the culture behind it.
  3. Immerse yourself in Spanish literature and culture: Learning Spanish can give you access to a rich and diverse literary tradition, as well as a vibrant and dynamic culture. From Cervantes to García Márquez, there are countless books and authors to discover and enjoy.
  4. Make new friends and connections: Speaking Spanish can help you connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and make new friends in a different language. Whether you're traveling, studying abroad, or meeting new people in your community, knowing Spanish can help you bridge cultural divides and build new relationships.
  5. Boost your career prospects and personal growth: Bilingualism in Spanish and another language can be a valuable asset in many industries, including healthcare, education, business, and government. It can open doors to new job opportunities and higher salaries. Learning Spanish can also provide opportunities for personal growth, cultural awareness, and empathy.

How to learn Spanish

There are many ways to learn Spanish, including taking courses at a language school, hiring a private tutor, or using online resources such as language learning apps. It's essential to choose a learning method that suits your learning style and goals, whether it's through immersion, self-study, or a combination of both.

To learn Spanish quickly, one of the most effective methods is to immerse yourself in the language. Ideally, you would be surrounded by Spanish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the most practical way to achieve this is to travel to a Spanish-speaking country. But even if you can't travel, you can still create a Spanish immersion environment at home. At first, this may seem overwhelming, but you can take it one step at a time:

  1. Surround yourself with Spanish language materials and make them part of your daily life, such as Spanish books, movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts. You can also change the language settings on your phone and computer to Spanish, and use Spanish-language apps and websites.
  2. Try to speak Spanish as much as possible, even if you're just practicing with yourself or a language-learning app. You can also find a language exchange partner or tutor to practice speaking with. You can set aside some time each day to practice speaking, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  3. Learning about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries can help you better understand the language and make it more interesting. You can try cooking Spanish cuisine, learning about the history and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries, or even attending cultural events in your area. Social media is also a great resource for connecting with Spanish-speaking communities and staying up-to-date on current events in Spanish-speaking countries.

Repeat this process and try incorporating Spanish into different parts of your day. Read Spanish literature, watch Spanish-language movies or TV shows, listen to Spanish podcasts, practice Spanish with a language-learning app, or learn to play Spanish songs on a musical instrument. The key is to make Spanish a part of your daily routine and find ways to integrate it into the activities you already enjoy.

Challenges of learning Spanish

Learning Spanish can be an enjoyable and stimulating experience, but it comes with unique challenges that learners may face. Some of the primary obstacles for Spanish learners include:

  1. Pronunciation: Spanish has a distinct sound that can be challenging for non-native speakers to replicate. Spanish features rolled "r's," unique vowel sounds, and syllable stress patterns that can take time to master.
  2. Grammar: Spanish grammar is known for being complex, and there are many verb tenses, noun declensions, and grammatical structures to learn. Spanish has several irregular verbs that do not follow a specific pattern, making it challenging for learners to memorize.
  3. Vocabulary: Spanish has an extensive vocabulary, and some words can have multiple meanings, making it difficult for learners to determine the appropriate context. Learners may also encounter colloquial expressions and idioms that can be challenging to understand.
  4. Regional dialects: Spain and Latin America have many regional dialects, and these can differ significantly from standard Spanish. This can be confusing for learners who are not familiar with the variations.
  5. Listening and speaking skills: Spanish spoken at a native pace can be challenging for learners to understand. Learners may struggle with comprehension when encountering regional dialects or fast-paced conversations.

Learning Spanish may come with some obstacles, but it's also an experience that can be incredibly satisfying. With practice and dedication, you can overcome these obstacles and gain proficiency in the language. Resources such as textbooks, language learning apps, and language exchange programs can be beneficial in supplementing classroom instruction and improving your language skills. By immersing yourself in the Spanish language and culture, you can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Spanish and the people who speak it.

Stay motivated while learning Spanish

Learning Spanish can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to stay motivated! Here are a few tips:

  1. Set realistic goals: Break your Spanish learning journey into smaller, more manageable pieces, and set attainable objectives for each step. For example, you could aim to learn ten new Spanish words each day, or try to master a particular grammar rule within a week. Remember to celebrate each small victory and keep pushing towards your bigger goals.
  2. Practice regularly: Consistency is essential when learning Spanish. Incorporate regular practice of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Spanish. You could establish a particular time each day to study Spanish or integrate Spanish into your everyday routine, like listening to Spanish music or podcasts during your commute.
  3. Immerse yourself in Spanish: The more you immerse yourself in the Spanish language, the more inspired you'll be to continue learning. Consider changing the language settings on your phone, computer, or social media accounts to Spanish, or watch Spanish movies or TV shows with subtitles. Seek out Spanish language groups or events in your community and practice speaking with native speakers.
  4. Find a language partner: Learning Spanish with a partner or group can help you stay motivated and on track. Seek out a language exchange program in your local area or find a language partner online. Practice speaking Spanish together and offer each other feedback and support.
  5. Take breaks and enjoy yourself: Learning Spanish can be difficult, so it's important to take breaks and have fun along the way. Give yourself a reward for accomplishing your goals, or take a break from studying to engage in something you enjoy in Spanish, like cooking a Spanish dish or reading a Spanish novel. Remember, learning Spanish is a journey, not a destination, so be sure to relish the process!

How to measure your Spanish level

There are various language proficiency exams you can take to measure your Spanish level, such as the DELE exam, the SIELE exam, or the ACTFL exam. These exams can help you determine your language level and set realistic goals for your language learning journey.

If you're learning Spanish, taking a standardized Spanish test can be a useful way to assess your current level and track your progress over time. Our Spanish test assesses reading and listening comprehension skills and is built to the same standards as other Spanish proficiency exams such as the DELE or SIELE. The test takes 30 minutes to complete and the best part is, it's free!

Our Spanish test provides you with a score between 0 and 100 for both listening and reading skills, as well as an overall score. The scores are aligned with the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) from A1 to C2. This means that you can use your score to compare your Spanish language proficiency with other language learners around the world, and set goals to improve your skills. Whether you're learning Spanish for personal or professional reasons, our Spanish test is a useful tool for assessing your progress and achieving your language goals.

Test your Spanish

How to pick a good Spanish course

When choosing a Spanish course, it's important to consider factors such as the course structure, the qualifications of the teachers, and the teaching methodology. It's also essential to choose a course that aligns with your learning goals and interests. Here are some popular methods to consider:

  1. Language courses: One of the most effective ways to learn Spanish is by taking courses abroad. These courses offer a comprehensive and immersive language learning experience, with qualified instructors and a variety of resources and materials. Language courses in general provide well-structured approaches to learning Spanish, and options include intensive courses, part-time classes, and online programs.
  2. Private tutors: Private tutors can offer personalized attention and customized lessons that cater to your specific needs and goals. Whether you prefer one-on-one lessons in person or online, a private tutor can help you focus on your areas of weakness and accelerate your learning progress.
  3. Language learning apps: There are many language learning apps available that provide interactive and engaging ways to learn Spanish on the go. These apps offer gamified lessons, quizzes, and audio exercises to help you improve your Spanish skills and track your progress.
  4. Immersion: Immersion is one of the most effective ways to learn a language, as it provides an opportunity to use the language in real-life situations and develop your conversational skills. You can immerse yourself in Spanish by traveling to a Spanish-speaking country, living with a host family, or participating in a language exchange program.
  5. Self-study: Self-study is a flexible and low-cost way to learn Spanish that allows you to set your own pace and focus on the areas that interest you the most. You can use Spanish language textbooks, online resources, and Spanish-language media such as TV shows, films, and podcasts to improve your listening, reading, writing, and speaking skills.
  6. Group classes: Learning Spanish with a group can provide a fun and social way to practice your language skills and make new friends. You can join a local Spanish conversation group, sign up for a group class at a language school, or participate in a language exchange program to practice speaking with native speakers and other language learners.

No matter which method you choose, it's important to set realistic goals, practice regularly, and seek feedback and support from teachers, tutors, or language exchange partners. By incorporating a variety of learning methods and strategies, you can develop your Spanish skills and achieve your language learning goals.

Studying Spanish with EF was an amazing experience that boosted my confidence. As a beginner, I was intimidated by the language, but EF's comprehensive approach made it easy to understand and practice. Now, I feel more confident speaking Spanish and have even used my language skills professionally.

Anna, EF Barcelona

Learn Spanish with EF

At EF, we have over 50 years of experience teaching Spanish to students from all corners of the world. Our own Spanish curriculum is available exclusively at EF schools globally, and we offer a range of courses suitable for learners at every level.

 If you're thinking about enrolling in a Spanish course, our team of education consultants is available to help you choose a program that matches your goals and budget. Contact an EF office in your area to learn more about our Spanish language courses and how we can help you achieve your language learning objectives.

Learn Spanish abroad

Explore our Spanish courses abroad, offering a range of destinations, course types, and duration options to suit your learning needs.

Learn Spanish in Spain

Immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture while studying at our centrally located schools in Barcelona and Malaga.

Learn Spanish in Costa Rica

Enhance your Spanish language skills while studying at our school in Costa Rica, located in a coastal city surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.

Frequently asked questions about learning Spanish

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