Follow these quick and easy tips to help yourself improve your Spanish and you’ll soon see what difference little changes make to your language learning experience

Learning Spanish doesn’t need to be some awful, tedious experience spending hours and hours hincando los codos (swotting up) with lengthy grammar books or lists and lists of tedious vocabulary. Here at Hablamos we believe your experience studying Spanish should be more fun and enjoyable – and it can be by finding easy ways to practise your Spanish doing little things each and every day. Here are some ideas to help you disfrutar (enjoy) engaging with Spanish in a way that makes your learning interesting.

1. Listen to podcasts

A fantastic way to escuchar español (listen to Spanish) is to descargar (download) one of the multiple podcast apps available for your phone or tablet. There are literally thousands of podcasts on every topic you could possibly think of! It’s simply a case of searching for a theme you would enjoy learning about in your idioma native (native language), but listening to a programme about it in Spanish. Coffee Break Spanish is a great one to get you started as it’s short but varied so you get a little bit of vocabulary and grammar on many different topics.

2. Change the language on your phone/tablet/etc to Spanish

Such a consejo sencillo (simple tip), but one that will have you learning tons of new words en un santiamén (in a short space of time). All you have to do is go to the Settings (Ajustes) and change the language there. You can then sacar fotos (take photos), mandar mensajes (send messages), usar las redes sociales (use social networks) and everything else you’d normally do while absorbing all that lovely language!

3. Read the news/blogs/books/etc in Spanish

We’d definitely recommend starting off with shorter texts, but to practise reading Spanish, there’s no better way than engaging with topics you’d already want to read in your own language. Online periódicos (newspapers) like El País have Spanish and English versions so you can always compare articles if you aren’t sure of something. In terms of books, it might be worth reading something you’ve already read in one language but now in Spanish as then you’ll know the trama (plot) and have a better idea of what’s happening.

4. Watch series and films in Spanish

Another logical idea would be to start listening to as much Spanish as possible to improve your oral understanding. Just like with our previous tip, it makes sense to find things you would want to watch in a language you already speak, but watch them in Spanish instead. It’s often a good idea to put the subtítulos (subtitles) on at first, preferably in Spanish, so that you can hear and read the language at the same time. This helps you to differentiate the sounds of individual words and phrases. Over time, you can switch them off and just sit back and enjoy your favourite shows!

5. Speak to as many people as possible

This doesn’t sound easy, I know, but if you’re learning Spanish here in Madrid, for instance, it’s pan comido (as easy as pie). For example, whenever you ir de compras (go shopping), you’ll need to pedir cosas (ask for things) in places like the supermercado (supermarket) or the mercado (market). Or, in a restaurant (restaurant) obviously you need to speak to the camarero/a (waiter/waitress). Every day there are loads of opportunities to chat with people – you just need to take them! If you’re studying Spanish online, you can easily arrange with your classmates to have an extra chat after class, or look for a Spanish person who wants to learn your language and do an intercambio de idiomas (language exchange). A quick Google will suffice to find many a willing partner!

6. Play games in Spanish

If you follow tip 2, whenever you now descargar (download) a new juego (game) for your device, it’ll automatically load in Spanish. What a great way to pick up lots of new words while having fun at the same time! Fancy a word-based game? Try La palabra del día (Word of the Day) which is the new name for the Spanish version of the massively popular Wordle. Each day you get to practise your spelling and word knowledge and it makes you complete against yourself to find the answer in as few tries as possible.

7. Talk to yourself!

Yes, I know this sounds a bit weird, but talking to yourself in Spanish is a great way to keep practising making the sounds of the language. You don’t need anyone there to correct you as the aim is to gain confidence speaking in a foreign language. You can try different dialogues out on yourself so you feel better about going out and talking with other people. It’s all about the confidence!

Follow these quick and easy tips to help yourself improve your Spanish and you’ll soon see what difference little changes make to your language learning experience. We’d love you to come to class here at Hablamos and tell us what you’ve been doing to help yourself improve your level and we’ll help you with the rest.

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