The best way to learn Spanish if you're a beginner
I want to answer this question today:
Is it different learning Spanish depending on your level?
Well, it is indeed! Just like a baby doesn't learn the same way as a teenager! Well, you're the baby now! And you want to be clever in the way you work towards your goal, which is getting to the next level where you can be more independent and keep having fun.
Yes, we have some base that is not going to change: You have your lesson, you do your homework, you do your next lesson and so on.
However, some things may (and should) change: The focus, the exercises, the proportion of the skills practiced...
If you're learning Spanish at a beginner level this is what you should be doing:
Get the basics of grammar right
I'm talking about determiners (the, a, this...), prepositions (ex: in front of, behind...) agreement adjective-noun and determiner-noun in gender and number (un perro negro - a black dog) and the first 3 or so tenses you learn, which will usually be present tense, near future and past preterite.
When you first learn how to use the grid to form the present tense make sure you understand it as you will use it later on for other verbs. Practice thoroughly the irregulars of those tenses and go back to the grids and lists of verbs to keep them fresh.
I also include here accents, difference between ser and estar and difference between por and para.
Have your vocab fresh
This is probably the stage where you'll never learn the most vocabulary, so you don't want to forget every you're taking in now.
Things like numbers, colours months, days of the week, the weather, family members, descriptions, comparisons, food, clothes, house, places, hobbies, opinions, etc.
Because this vocabulary is very common, it's 100% sure that you'll need it later no matter how basic you think it is now.
You don't know how easy is to forget it until you need it and you don't remember it!
Obviously the frequency of the recaps will depend on how good your memory is, but just take 30 min from time to time (4-6 weeks) to have a look back.
Don't look out for comfort
It's easy to stay inside your comfort zone at this point but that can lead you to not practicing your speaking and listening skills as much as you could.
If you start now, you'll thank yourself later.
I always encourage my students to speak and I give them the support they need to feel comfortable, but in the end it's only them who can make the decision.
At the beginning we start with quite short interactions but it's important to keep the challenge present and try to introduce more of this as you become more confident. Sometimes is a good idea to prepare some bullet points or key vocab prior a conversation or discussion that is going to take place in the lesson. Remember everybody's been there and there's nothing to be ashamed of!
The same goes for listening. Its amount and difficulty is meant to increase as you go along and if you want to practice at home you can listen to music or watch short films and films with subtitles.
You can check our music and tv shows recommendations and you can also check our post on **books, movies and short films or check directly my short film playlist.
Another good idea is trying a language exchange, where you can meet new people from around the word and practice your Spanish while you have a drink. Check my post on language exchanges here if you want to know more.
Also, if you're thinking about paying for an audiobook, you may want to check my recommendation on the matter.
Finally, if you need some help to get there, here's a voucher for £4 you can use right now to get some lessons with me on Vivatutor: LAUNCH4.
Good luck! / ¡Buena suerte!