Okay, so you're an adult, you have made it this far with one fluent language and you may think why do I need to speak another language?
Apart from the many benefits that come with speaking Spanish as a second language such as increased employability, better brain function and the ability to comfortably converse/communicate in the language when you travel.
There's this sweet sense of satisfaction you gain when you learn or do something new that's just for you. So why not let 2023 be the year you learned to speak Spanish?
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go."
- Dr. Seuss
So, just how does an adult go about learning Spanish in this day and age?
Well, the truth is your options are almost endless! So I'm going to use this article to give you what I feel are the best and easiest ways to learn Spanish.
Free Online Spanish Tuition
There are so many ways that you can learn Spanish as an adult so it makes sense that we start with the many ways you can learn it for free.
Online you have almost Unlimited Access to all the Spanish you will want.
A YouTube channel which I have used and found very handy is called Language of Earth, they have a Playlist called Spanish Lessons for Beginners which consists of 16 videos. The playlist teaches you everything in the Spanish language from how to count to how to hold a conversation in different situations.
Another way you can learn Spanish online for free is by downloading Free Language Apps. For me, Duolingo was the app that worked best. Duolingo works by teaching lessons that are fun and split into bite-sized skills that feel like games. As mentioned this app is available to use for free, with ads and limitations however there is a plus version that comes at a price.
Where ever you get your podcasts whether it's with Apple, Spotify or the Google Playstore it doesn't matter, make sure you download Podcasts in Spanish repeat them aloud and write them into your phrasebook when learning a language, practice and repetition are key.
Whichever of these options you choose, or maybe you will decide to try them all, I highly recommend creating your own phrasebook to go along with your learning. By creating a personalised Spanish phrasebook you are keeping notes to look back over your progress.
This does not need to be anything fancy just a copy or notepad, with two different coloured pens, one for the Spanish words and one for the English translation. Every time you learn a new phrase, especially one you know you will use again, write it down phonetically, correctly and then in English.
"Do not be embarrassed by your failures, learn from them and start again."
- Richard Branson
What is Babbel?
Babbel is the new way to learn a foreign language, the APP is built by language experts, to help you learn and practice a new language at your own pace.
Is it free?
No. this is where Babbel differs from Duolingo and with good reason.
However, even though you do have to pay for Babbel it is not too expensive. See the breakdown as of 2022 below:
- 1 month 9,95€/month (monthly billing)
- 3 months 6,65€/month (19.95€ quarterly billing)
- 6 months 5,55€/month (33.30€ half-yearly billing)
- 12 months 4,95€/month (59.40€ annual billing)
Meaning if you pay for a whole year upfront you save almost half the price, so less than the cost of one SubWay a month you can become fluent in Spanish.
The main difference between Duolingo and Babbel is that while Babbel focuses on a more robust and traditional form of teaching a foreign language through comprehensive lessons, Duolingo tries to gamify your learning and offer a modern experience.
The Babbel core lessons take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete each, and generally speaking, go by super fast. This is large because each lesson is made up of several quick-hit, interactive drills and exercises.
For the first couple minutes, you might be tasked with listening to new words or phrases and then repeating them. Then the lesson will quickly transition into a digital flashcards drill for a few minutes, before shifting again into a short grammatical or conjugation lesson. From there, you might be asked to type in words or phrases on your keyboard or complete a fill-in-the-blank exercise by following a mock conversation.
You never get bored, the lessons are short but memorable. Overall, it's clear Babbel’s aim is to keep their APP easy to use, engaging and effective.
Actual Spanish Lessons with a Tutor
So, I did in the very beginning, take a night class in Spanish at the local Community College, all I can say about that is, ugh.
It felt a lot like being back in school, we went ALL THE WAY BACK! I mean, alphabet, numbers and so on, at the end of the 6 weeks I was no more confident saying Gracias or Mucho gusto! than when I was at the start.
Luckily for me, I got in touch with a private tutor who suggested I start off with Babbel and then when it came time to practice my conversational skills I booked a few lessons with her. My tutor taught me that the benefits of a conversation partner to practice my Spanish with included an increased grasp of my listening comprehension, and a better understanding of the overall language and vocabulary.
At the end of the day, in comparison to some other languages, Spanish is relatively easy and dare I say fun to learn why not sign up for a Superprof Tutor for a few lessons before your next trip? Most of our Tutors give the first lesson free of charge!
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