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How To Learn Spanish In 2021

7 simple steps you can follow to turbocharge your Spanish this year

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Today I’m going to show you how to learn Spanish in 2021. 

If you follow these steps, then by this time next year, we guarantee you will be speaking and comprehending Spanish better. 

I love the beginning of every year because it’s a sort of natural reboot for us. 

It gives us a chance to “start over.” 

The holidays are an excellent time to reflect on what we accomplished and what we didn’t accomplish and come back motivated.

Step 1: Write Down Your Goal To "Learn Spanish"

If learning Spanish is one of the things you want to take seriously this year, the video above should help you. The first thing you want to do is set your goal and write it down, not just today but every day.

Every morning, you should write down that you want to learn Spanish. Not because I believe this will magically come true, but it will keep it at the top of your mind for you, which will allow you to take the necessary steps to make it happen.

Write that goal on sticky notes and put them by your bed, on the bathroom mirror, on your laptop, everywhere. This is something you need to see often.

Step 2: Create Your Plan To Learn Spanish

Writing the goal is not enough, but you need to sit down and create a plan to achieve that goal. You know what they say, a goal without a plan is just a dream. 

When you’re making this plan, you should be specific, and you can do that by asking these questions:

  • What are you going to do? 
  • How are you going to do it? 
  • When are you going to do it? 
  • Where are you going to do it? 

Visualize yourself getting this done. For example, you can write, “Every day at 9 o’clock in the morning I am going to sit in my office and watch a Speaker Spanish Faster video.”

You have to dedicate yourself and be consistent, and it’s much easier to do that when you already have a plan in place.

It’s like cooking. If I just tell you to cook dinner, you won’t know what to cook how to cook it, you will have to do too much thinking. If you really want to cook, you may still figure it out.

If you don’t feel like cooking, you’ll probably just order pizza or something. But if I give you the ingredients and the recipe and say, “Hey, cook dinner.” Even if you don’t want to cook, you can’t deny that it will be much easier to cook now, and you would still be able to get it done. 

Usually, people don’t stay consistent with their Spanish because they don’t have a plan, and on the days they don’t feel like doing it, it’s easy to simply say, I’m not doing this today.

Step 3: Reward Yourself For Your Efforts

The next thing you want to do is reward yourself for the times you study Spanish, and essentially you want to punish yourself for the times you don’t.

At the end of the day, what we are trying to do is create good Spanish learning habits, and the best way to make something become a real habit that we do every day is to reward ourselves for doing it.

How can you reward yourself?

Here’s a trick, it’s been proven that every time we pick up our cellphones to check social media or even read a text message from someone, we get a hit of dopamine in our brain. In other words, we get pleasure from doing this.

So immediately after studying, you can check your phone, or you can do something else that creates dopamine in your brain—like eating. Maybe after learning Spanish, you can eat a piece of your favorite candy.

On the same note, you want to punish yourself for days you don’t put in the work. For example, if you miss your Spanish practice, you don’t get any of your favorite candy.

Get creative with how you do this. Hold yourself accountable by rewarding or punishing yourself with something you really want.

As you see, we can manipulate ourselves to achieve our goals. Over time, learning Spanish will become a part of your life, and you won’t look at it as a chore. That’s when your progress will skyrocket.

Spanish Learning Activities

Next, let’s get into some task-specific things you can do to learn Spanish faster this year. First and foremost, you have to consume as much Spanish as possible—specifically comprehensible input.

You can use YouTube, Netflix, Podcasts, use anything you want. The main thing is that you do something.

If you’re just getting started with learning Spanish, you’re going to want to use resources that have Spanish audio and Spanish text with English translations so that you can quickly compare the texts. Olly Richards has some great books that you can use for this.

Long story short, you need to be consuming a lot of Spanish, and it has to be focused consumption, not just passive consumption.

Step 4: The Hyper-Speed Method To Improve Your Spanish Comprehension

Next, I recommend that you use our Hyper-Speed method. If you don’t know what that is, we developed a technique to help your Spanish comprehension. 

What you do is listen to Spanish at a faster than average speed, and then you bring it back to regular speed.

When the content is sped up, it forces your brain to process the language at a higher speed. So when you come back to regular speed, it sounds as if it’s in slow motion. 

Over time, the more accustomed you get to processing the Spanish language at a fast pace, the easier it will be to understand the regular everyday conversation. 

Also, following this hyper-speed method forces you to focus. There’s no way you can understand anything when it’s fast by listening passively. 

Many platforms allow you to manipulate the speed pretty easy which means you can do this with YouTube videos, podcasts, and audiobooks.

Step 5: Mirroring Technique To Improve Your Spanish Accent

The next technique is mirroring. What you do here is repeat what the person is saying while they are saying it. 

For example, when somebody is translating a live speech, they repeat what the person says but in the translated language. 

You are doing the same thing, following exactly what they say, except you aren’t translating it, but instead, you’re saying precisely what they are, shadowing them. Your focus should be on their pronunciation and intonation. 

I recommend choosing content from the type of Spanish you want to speak. For this, I also recommend manipulating the speed, but this time in the opposite direction. 

Slow it down so that you can hear every syllable being spoken and you can hear the emphasis on each syllable. Then from here, you can speed it up to regular speed and try to keep up with it.

Step 6: Speak Spanish with Native Spanish Speakers

The next thing you can do to learn Spanish is to speak it with other people. Of course, if you want to speak Spanish better, you have to talk. That doesn’t mean you rush into it, but when you feel comfortable enough to speak, start trying to speak with others.

I recommend signing up for some classes on italki. This is what I do when I am learning to speak another language. 

But the key here is that you shouldn’t be looking for someone on italki who teaches you Spanish as if you were in school. You aren’t looking for a teacher; you are looking for a “speaking buddy.”

You simply want somebody who will hold conversations with you, correct you every now and then, and, most importantly, someone who will allow you to speak.

They shouldn’t be teaching you a bunch of grammar and conjugations while you sit there and learn. Instead, you should be the one doing most of the talking and leading the conversations. They should help you in doing that, whether it’s them asking you questions or you starting by telling them the topics you want to discuss for that day.

Step 7: Record and Study Live Chats You Have With Speakers

Also, you should record these calls, with your speaking buddy’s consent, so that you can go back and study them. Pay attention to your mistakes, forgotten words, and recreate those conversations to practice on your own.

Let’s say, for example, you’re saying a sentence, and you notice you don’t know how to say a phrase correctly and your partner has to help you. You should write that phrase down and then recite it as if you never needed help. Those are just a few things that should help you learn Spanish fast.

Bonus Tip

Of course, a quick bonus tip is for you to keep watching our videos and reading our content ;). If you follow these tips this year, I have no doubt that you will be so much more advanced by this time next year and your Spanish you won’t even believe it.

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