One of the first things you need to do when you’re moving to Spain is learning how to speak Spanish. There are many ways to learn the basics. I struggled a lot with Spanish grammar when I took a Spanish course in the first few months in Spain.
Everyone needs his or her own time and way to learn a language
After 10 years of living in Spain I have lots of experience with studying Spanish. I tried it all. Somethings were very affective and other things were not. I will help you to make your own decisions and maybe help you not to make the same mistakes I made.
- Start with a beginner’s course that you can find as an app (for example Duolingo) or an audio-file. When you are in Spain you can take a course in a language school. When I came to Spain I took an intensive course of several months. If I could do it again, I would take more time and combine the lessons with a personal language coach; someone to have one-on-one conversations with. After I finished my course, I had a lot of knowledge of the grammar, but I didn’t speak a word yet. Grammar is important, but street language and conversation-lessons is what you need in the beginning.
- Most of my Spanish I learned from television. The best decision I made was to stick to Spanish television (I never watched Dutch channels in Spain again). Yes, I miss it sometimes, because Spanish broadcast can be very annoying at times. I don’t like the news broadcast, because of the constantly repetition of the same topics over and over again, but there is Netflix in Spain and some really nice Spanish spoken series. My recommendations for hours and hours of Spanish lessons are: Gran Hotel, Velvet, Las Chicas del Cable, Tiempos de Guerra, Merlí (the original is in Catalan but can be watched in Spanish), La Casa de Papel and El Mar de Plastico.
- Spain and Latin America have some fantastic bands and singers. Spanish music is everywhere and although the lyrics of the songs are sometimes very poetic, it still helps to understand some words and even how to use some grammar. My first Spanish singers and albums were from: David Bisbal, Manuel Carrasco, Alejandro Sanz, Pablo Alborán en Malú.
- Even without speaking Spanish, you can start reading books. Start with simple children’s books or comics. Some words will come back and therefor will be easy to learn. If you are more advanced you can start reading books like: Don Quijote (Miguel de Cervantes), El Amante Japonés (Isabel Allende), Inferno (Dan Brown) or El Laberinto de los Espíritus (Carlos Ruiz Zafón). Keep reading; because it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand every word, it will finally become very clear.
- Meet new people and speak Spanish with them. It is a start to speak Spanish with the neighbour and in the bar or at the market, but try to expand your range. The best way would be if you find a job and work side-by-side with Spanish native speakers. And if that’s not the case, then you can sign-up at a sports club or a dancing class. You meet Spanish people that you can practice your Spanish with.
If you’ll give it all your effort, it will surely work and you will learn Spanish in No Time.