If you want to know how to learn Spanish in 6 months (or maybe even faster) – you are in the right place! Learning Spanish can be a lot of fun and you can make a lot of progress in quite a short time if you do it right.
I asked 10 teachers to share their advice on how to learn Spanish fast, according to their experience with learners.
There are a lot of different tips, but all of them are definitely useful.
You’ll be able to find what fits you, and if you follow these tips you will make fast progress in learning Spanish.
You can probably find loads of articles with similar ideas on the Internet written by one person, but in this article, you will find great tips from 10 different experts.
As a bonus, the teachers also recommended great movies and series to watch, which will help you to immerse yourself in Spanish.
All the teachers that shared their advice in this article are qualified professionals from Italki platform.
I am a devoted user of Italki, and that is why I decided to become an affiliate and link to their platform.
Italki is a great language learning platform where you can find professional teachers for 1-on-1 Skype lessons, starting from $4 per hour.
Now let’s see the advice from 10 Spanish teachers on how to learn Spanish in 6 months.
1. Learn Spanish in these 6 actions…
Advice from Rocio, a Spanish teacher from Vigo, Spain.
6 Actions to learn Spanish in 6 months
The times suggested for every action depends on your motivation and time available. The more time you dedicate and expose yourself to the language, the more progress you will notice. Your ability to progress fast in Spanish will also be determined by the language(s) you already know and speak. Consistency is the key!
Action 1: Soak yourself and listen a lot (30min-1hr/day)
Allot time every day to listening to the Spanish language without bothering too much if you understand it or not. Expose yourself as much as possible to original content for native speakers so that you start picking up the patterns and rhythms of the language. Make Spanish a part of your daily life!
Chose materials that are relevant to you. If you practice yoga, find a native Spanish-speaking yoga instructor and follow her/his routines. Listen and listen again to the same content until it sticks to you naturally. Subtitles can be useful at the beginning, but progressively don’t rely on them since the aim of the immersion is to practice listening and not reading (that’s what we mostly do with subtitles).
Action 2: Take a self-study course (20min-30min/day)
Figure out the basic grammar structure of the language and the pronunciation to understand how the basic language structure work. Take a self-study course to go through the basic structure. There are some online curriculums good for self-study like www.portal-español.es.
Action 3: Focus on high-frequency language (20min-30min/day)
Start with the 100 most common words and start building a vocabulary arsenal. You can then start composing, mixing and creating your first sentences. As you progress through to the most frequent 1000 words you will have already covered most of the spoken language used in daily conversation.
Action 4: Find a one-to-one tutor or language partner (1 or 2 times/week)
A one-to-one tutor or language partner can help you make significant progress and boost your communication skills. He/she will give you the confidence to interact and communicate in your target language in a safe environment.
A tutor is willing to make efforts to understand what you are saying and will confirm understanding by using the correct language and work on the pronunciation.
You can use italki or Live lingua websites to find a Skype teacher.
Action 5: Read as much as possible (20min/day)
At first, you will struggle because you don’t have enough vocabulary. As soon as you start building vocabulary you will be able to start reading short texts or short stories online.
Action 6: Integrate what you learn through writing (20min/day or every other day)
On the journey to language fluency, writing is often overlooked. However, writing can help you boost your communication skills as well. As you learn new vocabulary and new language patterns, apply and use it relating to your own life situations.
Write scripts about situations, write a diary, write fake conversations, write your favorite words, write about your progression in Spanish…It does not have to be complicated sentences, keep it simple and it will help you consolidate what you learn.
What to watch:
- Mar Adentro
- La lengua de las mariposas.
- La casa de papel
El ministerio del tiempo.
2. Live the language…
Advice from Naharror, Professional Spanish teacher from Barcelona
Learning a language to communicate and enjoy an experience in a country that speaks that language is possible! The best way is to believe in oneself, to have an iron spirit and… to have fun!
In those 25 weeks you have to “live” in Spanish: listening to music, podcasts, TV, study grammar – everything is valid but the best way is to visit a Spanish-speaking country.
That, combined with some techniques (for example, grammar rules) will make you able to communicate in Spanish. If you want to learn to cook you have to cook, right? The same is true about Spanish: look at a grammar book as if it were a recipe book and look for people to talk to as if you were in front of the stove and “cook” your words and expressions.
Study 30/45 minutes every day (better than just one day per week for 4 hours) and talk. If you cannot travel to a country that speaks Spanish, look for a conversation group on Facebook, Meetup, etc.
There is no podcast, TV series, or YouTube channel better than all others. Each person is differentand has different preferences. Look for yours! Find the topic you like most and that will make you unstoppable.
What to watch:
Without a doubt, the audiovisual contents are excellent.
I prefer series more than a movie because if you “get hooked” and connect with the characters, it is an extra motivation. I think it also should be a series that show the culture of the country. The best series in my opinion? “Cuéntame” from RTVE .
About the teacher:
Naharror is a Spanish language professor, native to Barcelona, with more than 4 years of living and working abroad. He has been to more than 80 countries and has taught classes in South Africa, India, Australia, New Zealand and Canada both in schools as well as to private students.
He has more than 8000 hours of experience with students from all over the world and of all ages. He has also written short stories as well as articles about learning, speech, and cultural programs.
To view Naharror’s full profile click here.
3. Independent practice and teacher’s guidance…
Advice from Pablo Ruiz, a Spanish teacher from Madrid
I like to assess my students and get to know their background, tastes and learning preferences in order to tailor the program individually. Giving general advice is hairy: each student has their own goals, pace, and path.
The deeper the immersion, the better.
If you want to learn fast you should switch your devices’ language to Spanish, listen to Spanish songs (and go thoroughly through the lyrics), watch movies and TV shows in Spanish (not necessarily Spanish ones, Disney movies are a wonderful resource for beginners, for instance), listen to the radio, podcasts…
Read articles, poems, short tales, comics, tweets or whatever you find interesting and enjoyable. Get in touch with Spanish speakers around you, do tandem meetings… Just practice as much as you can.
The advantage of having a teacher at hand
All of the previous are tasks that anybody can do on their own. But there are certain issues where the help of a teacher is determining: when it comes to lessons, the program that proved more efficient according to my experience is a 3-sessions-per-week combination of writing, grammar, and conversation. However, there are many possible variations, a good teacher should always be flexible.
Combining these 3 sessions every week we achieve a holistic approach to the main linguistic competences, so the student develops all of them equally, thereby compensating the ever-present bias where language students tend to develop way more their understanding skills than their expression ability.
What to watch:
For beginners, any movie of their liking dubbed in Spanish would work, even watching well-known movies is very useful: when we already know the story we can focus more on vocabulary and expressions.
As for advanced learners, I recommend:
- Airbag (1997),
- Los Olvidados (1950)
- Martín (Hache) (1997)
- La isla mínima (2014)
- María, llena eres de gracia (2004)
- Amores Perros (2000)
About the teacher:
You can contact Pablo Ruiz on italki, Instagram, Facebook or YouTube for more information: @pablessons
4. Get used to the language from day one…
Advice from Marina, Professional teacher from Barcelona
Immersion is essential. So whether you are in a Spanish-speaking country or not, I recommend you diving into music, podcasts, series, movies in Spanish – even when you don’t understand it yet. Get used to the language – this is how to learn Spanish in 6 months!
Also, speak the language from day one. It is important to know the rules and see the things written before integrating them, but do not forget to use it immediately, every little thing you learn. Even if it is a simple two-sentence conversation. Use it without fear! It is a mistake pretending to “know more” or “master it more” before you actually use it and say it out loud.
The necessity to see everything written first and to practice it on paper first will depend on the learning style of each person, of course. There are people with an incredibly good ear who don’t need that part so much. But without a doubt, whatever style you have, in parallel to your practice of written grammar exercises, try to have a language partner with whom to practice everything. Without fear!
5. Get a language partner…
Advice from Laura, a teacher from Barcelona
The idea of learning a new language can definitely be overwhelming. So many words! Then, why there are many people who become trilingual as adults?
Every teacher has their own approach, but there are common threads that run through all of their rapid-language-learning philosophies:
• Listen to your target language a lot, right from the start.
• Focus on learning high-frequently vocabulary that’s most relevant to you and repeat it – you can do it easily with flashcards and flashcard apps.
• Get a language partner: a native speaker who’ll support you on your journey and speak to you regularly.
6. Stay motivated and disciplined…
Advice from Irene, a professional teacher from Spain
Advising how to learn Spanish in 6 months is tricky because I came across many students with different learning processes and I wouldn’t promise a time frame to learn because there are many factors that may affect the learning process.
However, a student with enough time to study and practice can definitely start speaking in 6 months.
What do you need? Time, motivation, and discipline.
You cannot just have lessons and do nothing else. You need to study what you see, ask questions, check the dictionary, have maximum exposure to your target language (read, write, listen, surround yourself by this new language, there are lots of resources), play with the language and stay motivated.
Almost all my students are happy to write a text as homework, that action helps them to put in practice all that they learn; through writing, you will learn even more because you will try to say as much as you can (something relevant to you).
In my experience, students can speak Spanish after 6 months with 2 lessons (1 hour each) a week + homework and independent study: they write to me in Spanish in their free time, they watch videos, listen to podcasts and music, read news articles, books, audiobooks…
Different things work better for different students. A visual student will learn better with flashcards with icons on them, a musical one with songs, interpersonal by talking and so on. In my opinion, there is no one perfect resource, you should use as much as possible, a combination of all of them or the one that suits you best.
What to watch:
I would recommend a TV series, not a movie: “El Ministerio del Tiempo”. You will learn Spanish (even old Spanish) and the History of Spain (including “the colonies”).
7. Determination is key…
Advice from Cristina Pérez, a teacher from Madrid
I think the clue to learning Spanish is determination. We always hide behind “I don’t have enough time” but that is simply not true. We have time if we get organized. I think having a fixed schedule or a bullet journal will definitely help you reach your goals.
You don’t need to spend 2 hours a day in front of a grammar book but you definitely need to be organized in your study hours. Think about small goals so when you reach them you feel that you accomplished something and it will increase your motivation.
I cannot recommend how many hours you should spend each week. It depends on your goals and your free time. ¡Cada persona es un mundo!
I also recommend to use the time you spend on the subway, or in the doctor’s waiting room in doing something small with Spanish, like listening to a podcast, using an app in your smartphone …
When you do this, keep a track in your diary/bullet journal so at the end of the week you see what you have accomplished.
On the other hand, if you are not good at being a self-taught student, get the help of a teacher. He/she will definitely help you learn and stop procrastinating.
As for specific advice, I would say talking to native speakers or having a pen pal is really helpful to practice the language and get involved with the culture.
8. Find fun ways of learning…
Advice from Antonio Díaz, a teacher from Malaga
Firstly, it must be said that learning a foreign language is a never-ending journey. The thing is, it does not need to be a tedious and annoying process. On the contrary, one should enjoy it and have a great time at all times. That is why I advise beginner students to find playful and fun ways of learning.
Of course, a grammar book is just a must (above all when it comes to the start of studying a new language), but there are tons of other methods that complement the learning process.
The Internet has it all: Youtube channels, bloggers, music, films, series, podcasts… Immerse yourself in the language as much as possible.
Go to your town’s language exchange sessions, meet Spaniards at a Salsa café and watch Almodovar’s movies. That way, you will be unconsciously getting used to the culture, the rhythm of the language, its phonetics, and all other aspects.
9. Follow these 5 key steps to learn Spanish in 6 months…
Advice from Gloria Becerril, a teacher from Mexico
Here are the key steps in learning Spanish quickly and efficiently:
1. Daring to speak, taking the risk of making mistakes. Someone will correct you and you will learn from your mistakes.
2. Being willing to feel awkward, and feeling like a boring person because you will be lacking words and knowledge in that foreign language.
4. Always dedicate a little bit of time to the language, no matter how tired we feel that day. Listen to Spanish even if you don’t understand it yet, get used to the sounds of the language. Eventually, you will understand more and more.
5. Record yourself every 2 weeks or every month. Noticing the progress will motivate you a lot.
What to watch:
“Arráncame la Vida” is a great movie to watch in Spanish.
10. If you want to learn Spanish in 6 months, you must interact with it every single day
Advice from Shanir Salirrosas, a teacher from Peru.
To learn Spanish in such a short time as 6 months, you need to add two characteristics to your learning journey. First, you want to make it fun, and second, don’t study Spanish, just interact with it.
To do this, you must answer these simple questions:
How do I learn something?
Am I a visual learner? Or audio learner? Or maybe I learn by touching things meaning I am more Kinesthetic.
Apply this same way of learning, to achieve your goal of speaking Spanish.
My advice is to be consistent in time, establish your schedule, your routine (30 min, 1 hour, two hours a day, you decide) and persevere.
If you want to learn Spanish in 6 months, you must interact with it every single day.
Ideally, do a total immersion, whether you go to a Spanish-speaking country or if you practice in your own country.
Regardless of your way of learning, you should focus on speaking from day one, that is key.
Forget about mistakes and just talk.
If your thing is audio or video, use audio exercises or listen to podcasts or watch videos: listen 60% of the time, and repeat what you hear the remaining 40%.
For example, if you decide to listen to a dialogue for 30 minutes, use 18 minutes just listening (60%) and 12 minutes repeating what you heard (40% of the time).
If you also like to read, read on your mind 40% of the time and the other 60%, read out loud.
Likewise, If you like to sing, apply the same principle (60%-40%) to your singing practice.
Why spending more time listening or speaking is crucial? Because the more you become familiar with the sounds from day one, your brain will get used to those phonemes or sounds and your immersion will be more natural.
Remember, you must find a way to make it fun and that only depends on you, because only you know what makes you have fun.
General advice on how to learn Spanish in 6 months
People often ask how many months it takes to learn Spanish, if it is possible to learn Spanish in 3 months, in 6 months, or in some other period of time. Some people give up because they have been learning Spanish for many years and have made very little progress. So, is it actually possible to learn Spanish in 6 months?
It is. But you also need to think in terms of hours it takes to learn a language, not only months. If you compare two students – one who practices Spanish one hour every day and one who practices Spanish one hour a week – their progress will be very different, and one will learn much more in 6 months than the other.
I have already collected some tips on learning Spanish effectively in my blog and if you take a look at the article, you will see that regular practice is absolutely essential for learning Spanish faster and more effectively.
Thus, to reach a higher level of Spanish in 6 months, you will need to do some intensive learning, but do not worry – with the great tips from Spanish teachers collected in this article you will do it without any problems, and you will have a lot of fun doing it.
Do you feel like an expert on how to learn Spanish in 6 months now?
These were some amazing tips.
After all, if you were wondering how to learn Spanish in 6 months, no-one could give you a better answer than a great Spanish teacher with lots of experience.
They know what works best and what does not. They know the best ways to learn Spanish in a short amount of time.
You have probably noticed that many of them have a few things in common, such as:
• Study regularly
• Have fun
• Immerse yourself in the language
• Use different resources – podcasts, audiobooks, YouTube, etc.
• Communicate from day one
• Combine teacher’s guidance with ample independent practice
• Pay attention to all aspects of the language and different skills
This may sound like a lot, but it is not. These tips are all quite simple in their sense. What may be a bit harder is following them. Reading this article is not enough, however useful these tips may be.
You need to commit to learning Spanish, allocate time for it every day, and have some patience, and you will achieve a lot in just 6 months.