Have you ever wondered, “How long does it take to learn Spanish?”
Well, if you have, then know that you are not alone.
This is a question I receive from many of my students. But that’s not the question you should ask.
In the book Atomic Habits by James Clear, you see how when a person wants to achieve a goal, they shouldn’t focus on how much time it takes. Instead, they should focus on “how MANY” times it takes.
In other words, how many repetitions you need.
You can use the same frame of mind when you have the goal of learning Spanish.
You shouldn’t focus on how long it takes to learn Spanish, but instead how many repetitions you need to learn Spanish.
When I was growing up and learning Spanish, I didn’t think about how much time I needed to learn it.
The only thing I focused on was trying to use it every day, trying to listen, read, or speak.
So nobody can tell you that one specific day you will be fluent in Spanish.
Of course, we can’t know the exact day things will click for you.
But what we can do is say that if you build a habit of practicing your Spanish every day, you will be fluent.
This gives hope to every student learning Spanish.
I will repeat that if you build the habit of practicing your Spanish every day, you will be fluent.
So the most essential aspect of learning Spanish is the repetitions that you do, your “Spanish training” repetitions.
You have to do a repetition every day.
You have to interact with Spanish every day.
Don’t worry about making mistakes.
Think about when someone wants to get in shape.
They have to train and eat a healthy diet, right?
But sometimes they will eat something they shouldn’t.
And other times, they will have a bad workout, a bad day, you could say.
But if, for the most part, they stick to their diet and training, then they will reach their goal of getting in shape, right?
The same goes for practicing Spanish.
If you have a bad day or make mistakes, it’s okay.
In fact, those mistakes help you learn faster.
But to have mistakes, you must get your repetitions.
Now that we understand the idea and the importance of getting in Spanish training repetitions every day, let’s talk about what a “good” repetition is.
Because it is no good to take the time to work on your Spanish if you are doing the wrong things, is it?
A good repetition consists of listening and/or reading in Spanish for at least thirty minutes to an hour.
Of course, you can do more—the more, the better—but consistency every week, month, and year is more important than the hours you practice a day.
I have seen students that really want to learn Spanish.
So they decide to practice for 3 to 4 hours a day because they want to learn very fast.
This might seem like the right strategy.
But they get burnt out after a few days or weeks, and they quit studying.
Don’t do something that will make you burnt out or makes you miss studying the rest of the week.
It’s best to lower the time and study for just 30 minutes every day.
If you are starting from scratch or are a beginner, during your study time you want to listen to or read Spanish.
I recommend you do both at the same time.
Two birds, one stone.
You can watch videos that are in Spanish while reading the subtitles.
One of my favorite things to do is to read a book while listening to the audio version. (We have written an article on our favorite way to read in Spanish.)
If you are at a higher level, you can spend time speaking with other people on a website like iTalki.
What happens when you chat with others is that you practice your listening and speaking in Spanish.
Again, two birds with one stone.
I recommend that you mix the activities you do.
That will get rid of boredom and help you stay consistent.
Also, it will expose you to new words.
So this week, on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, you can do repetitions that consist of listening and reading simultaneously.
On Tuesday and Thursday, you can take classes on iTalki to talk with others.
You should try to record those lessons because on Saturday and Sunday you can review them.
You can watch the lesson you took, write down some words that you don’t know too well and study them.
If you are really looking to take your Spanish to the next level, then check out our FREE 3 Secrets To learn Spanish faster training, where I will show you my 3 most significant secrets to become fluent in Spanish faster.