With the right commitment, consistency, and time management, it is possible for anyone to learn Spanish within 6 months. To break this down, 6 months comes out to 50 hours a month, 12.5 hours a week, and two hours a day. This sounds like a great deal of time. However, it is possible to dedicate two hours a day to this task if you plan and organize properly.
Here are some tips on how to go about it:
1. Find your motivation
If you want to learn Spanish, it is likely that you have some specific purpose in mind. This is your motivation. And holding to this mission or purpose will encourage you.
The human brain is highly efficient in the retention of anything that is important. If the learning of Spanish is important to your future professional or personal life, it will help you become proficient in the language.
You can also motivate yourself through others. Rather than keeping the fact that you are learning Spanish to yourself share this mission with others on social media. If your Facebook friends are waiting for your language update, it can help you feel more obliged to meet your goals.
2. Set your goals and organize your calendar
It is best to be realistic about the demands on your day, and how you can fit your daily Spanish lesson in it. You should also be honest about when your mind works best. Some people cannot function mentally in the morning. If you know you are one of them, then it may be futile to do your Spanish lesson in the mornings. For others, their day is so packed with tasks and activities, they are spent by the time the evening rolls around. If you are in this latter category, then it may be better to do your lesson in the early morning.
3. Choose your resources
The best way to learn Spanish is with the help of a native speaker with experience and expertise as a language instructor. Fortunately, it is easy to find such tutors online. In fact, this is becoming the medium of choice for many aspiring Spanish speakers.
To bolster your language skills, you can also download Spanish language apps for adults and listen regularly to a Spanish-language podcast. These can be done while you are standing in line at the store or while you are commuting to and from work.
You should also enlist the larger Spanish culture. There are a great many Spanish-language films and television series on Netflix. Try watching them without subtitles and see how much you can comprehend. You can also listen to Spanish music and read along with the lyrics.
4. Train your ear
One of the hardest parts of learning a new language is opening your ears to new sounds. This is especially difficult if you have not lived around Spanish speaking people or in an area in which Spanish is widely spoken.
Each language has its own phonological system in which letters and words are pronounced in a certain way. To master Spanish, you must not only learn vocabulary and grammar, you must also train your ear to distinguish new sounds.
Here is where Spanish culture can help. Saturating yourself in Spanish through film and television will make your ear familiar with the language. This method should not be underestimated. The proliferation of American movies and television programs around the world have helped millions of non-native English speakers learn the language. English speakers can similarly learn to comprehend Spanish through this media.
5. Train Your Mouth
Another challenge for English speakers is pronunciation. English and Spanish share the Latin alphabet. This gives native English speakers an advantage. They need not learn an entirely new set of letters and characters.
However, as an English speaker, your tongue and mouth have not been trained to articulate Spanish words. You will need to activate new words in your brain. The only way to do so is through the practice of pronunciation, intonation, and rhythm.
This one of the great advantages of working with a one-on-one Spanish tutor. It will compel you to repeat Spanish words and mix them to create new sentences. This is the most efficient way to train your mouth and tongue.
6. Befriend a Native Speaker
Hiring a tutor will help you make progress in the language quickly. You will learn even faster if you engage with a native speaker regularly and informally. It can be a colleague at work, a friend from school, or someone who you have come to know in your neighborhood. Most such individuals will find it a pleasure to hold conversation with you with the aim of improving your proficiency.
7. Learn About the Spanish-Speaking Country You Plan to Visit
While this can be done through textbooks and documentaries, you may be better off reading more solid historical and literary works about the place. If you are planning to move to Spain, for example, the novels and essays that Ernest Hemingway wrote about the country are still relevant. You should also read books by Giles Tremlett and Hugh Thomas.