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How Long Does It Take to Speak Spanish Fluently?

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Languages > Spanish > How Quickly Can You Learn Spanish?

When people decide to learn a new language, they’re often concerned with how quickly they can start talking to people without having too many problems.

Becoming fluent in Spanish, just like any other language, is usually measured in terms of months and years.

We’re going to focus on this idea and attempt to work out exactly how long it would take if you started from square one.

What Does Being Bilingual Mean?

Being bilingual in Spanish means that you can read, write, speak, and listen without any real difficulties. Of course, this is difficult to measure and very subjective and one of the only way to measure someone’s level is usually in terms of a test.

For Spanish, there’s the ELYTE. This exam tests your grammar, vocabulary, and reading and listening. The written test includes 40 questions with a choice of 5 answers and 10 questions in the oral test.

The results are graded in terms of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (A1, A2, B1, B2, C1, and C2). To get the highest grade (C2), the equivalent of being bilingual in Spanish, you’ll need at least 155 points. There are a number of organizations that can help you prepare for this exam, too.

It should be noted that this exam focuses on professional Spanish. If you want to know your level in Spanish, you should have a look for level tests online!

Is It Possible to Learn Spanish in 6 Months with Total Immersion?

If you want to master a language, you have to practice. Is there a better way to practice than living in Spanish?

If you’re a student, you should consider immersing yourself through a language exchange program. Share an apartment and avoid other English speakers. That’s not why you’re there, after all.

If your level is already quite good, you could apply for jobs in a country where you’ll speak Spanish. However, if you don’t speak a single word, you should start off with intensive Spanish classes and take a basic job. Make the most of the high season by looking for work in hotels or tourism. 

Immersion is also great for learning idiomatic expressions and slang. The first month is your chance to dive straight in. By listening to the locals speaking, you’ll be able to get used to certain words, phrases, and the local accent. However, you should also start speaking as soon as you can. By the second month, you’ll feel more comfortable and won’t be able to stop yourself from trying to speak!

Take Spanish Classes to Quickly Become Bilingual

Taking Spanish classes can help you improve your Spanish. In fact, if you want to become fluent in Spanish, classes can help you master the syntax, conjugation, vocabulary, and practice speaking.

You will need to go beyond the level you’re taught in school, though. This is where working with a private tutor can help. They can help you with the basics as well as practicing speaking which is essential for anyone wanting to immerse themselves in a foreign-speaking country.

There are professional and qualified tutors available who can help you with their teaching skills as well as native speakers who have an unbeatable mastery of the language. Of course, the perfect combination is a qualified teacher who’s also bilingual in English and Spanish. Your Spanish tutorials can also be conversational. Conversation classes will help you learn to speak the language fluently.

This can help you learn genuine everyday Spanish as its used all around the world as well as receive personalized language coaching.

Use the Right Tools to Master Spanish in a Few Months

If you want to learn Spanish as quickly as possible, you need to use the right resources. The same goes for children who are learning SpanishIf you want to become fluent in Spanish, you’re also going to have to work really hard!

Here are some effective ways to help you become fluent in Spanish:

  • Get a Spanish app to practice your Spanish when you’ve nothing to do: Duolingo, for example, can be installed on both a smartphone and a tablet. It’s completely free and is a fun way to practice your Spanish. With this method, you’ll no longer waste time waiting around.

  • Use free sites to learn Spanish. If you have a break at work or are waiting for your dinner to be ready, why not go online and do a few Spanish grammar exercises to make sure you’ve mastered the basics.

  • Watch or listen to the news in Spanish to train your ear and make you more familiar with Spanish pronunciation. This is a great way to practice without feeling like you’re doing any work. You can also watch plenty of different television channels online in Spanish.

  • Read Spanish as much as you can. There are plenty of Spanish newspapers and magazines that you can read online for free. You can keep up to date with the news from all over the Spanish-speaking world.

What are the best ways to learn Spanish? You can learn about Spanish customs and culture. (Source: pixabay.com)

Speak Spanish Fluently with Bilingual Classes

If you want to become bilingual, you usually have to start young. Children have a number of advantages when it comes to learning. Plenty of scientific studies have proved it. If you want to get them into languages at a young age, specialized bilingual schooling is a great option.

There are schools that can teach children in both English and Spanish. This means they’ll get a mastery of both languages. However, these schools are mainly for Spanish-speaking families who would like their children to be taught in the language they speak at home.

Of course, these places are great for children from English-speaking families to learn Spanish quickly, too. In fact, practicing a language every day is not only the best way to learn but also a great way for them to make Spanish-speaking friends. Why? This is because they’ll learn a foreign language alongside native speakers.

There are also bilingual schools where some classes are taught in one language and others in the other.

Which are the best Spanish exchange programs? Of course, you can also learn Spanish in Spain. (Source: Agustin Piñero)

This means they can also learn Spanish when they’re not even studying Spanish!

A student who starts learning Spanish from a young age (elementary school) through until the end of high school will have a good mastery of it. The sooner they start, the better.  But that doesn’t mean age is a limit for older people!

Learning Spanish while You Sleep: The Key to Bilingualism?

Outside of school, language learning is a real benefit when it comes to your professional life. As an international language, Spanish is no exception to the rule.

Becoming bilingual in your free time isn’t as easy as you think even if you’re really motivated. There are a few options to help you, though.

How can they help you learn Spanish quickly? While there’s no magic solution, you should still do everything you can to help yourself. Have you heard about learning Spanish while you sleep?

Sleeping can be really helpful for learning things, especially foreign languages.

Put simply, our brain organizes the facts and information from throughout the day while we sleep. There are plenty of studies showing the benefits of sleep in terms of learning. The opposite has also been shown to be true. A lack of sleep can negatively affect memorization as well as your cognitive development and even your appetite.

With this in mind, you can maximize your learning potential by sleeping correctly. Studying just before bed might be a great way to learn.  You may begin to dream in Spanish!

Studies on Language Learning and Sleep

A study performed by researchers in Freiburg and Zurich focused on language learning and sleep. The participants had to learn vocabulary and then some participants then went to sleep and listened to the words as they slept. The other group remained awake and listened to the words for a few hours. The exams that followed showed that the group that listened to the words while sleeping had learned more. Listening to Spanish as you sleep could help you remember better.

Which are the best ways to learn Spanish? Sleeping is really important when it comes to language learning. (Source: pixabay.com)

Mosalingua, a language-learning website also carried out their own study. Their results arrived at the same conclusion as that of the scientists. The results showed that listening to the words you learn during the day as you sleep are better assimilated.

Of course, you won’t become bilingual while having a nap. You’ll make much better progress using your free time to study what you’ve learned during the day.

Learn Spanish through Hypnosis to Become Fluent in Spanish?

Another alternative method similar to learning while you sleep: Learning Spanish under hypnosis. While this technique is usually used for changing behavior and stopping people smoking, can it help you become bilingual?

How much do Spanish language tutorials cost? Learning Spanish through hypnosis isn’t really like what you’ve seen on TV. (Source: pixabay.com)

Hypnotists obviously say that it can. Can it really? Can we learn a language without being fully conscious?

Hypnosis: A Technique for Speaking a Language

Let’s start with an important fact: Hypnosis isn’t magic. You’re not going to miraculously wake up fluent in Spanish. A few sessions may be necessary since hypnosis is a state between being awake and sleeping where your sole focus is on the hypnotist’s words.

In a state of focus, hypnosis can help you with a number of aspects of language learning:

  • Training your ear to new sounds

  • Focusing on speaking and the Spanish accent

  • Improving your concentration

  • Preventing inhibitions

One of the hardest things about learning a language is putting the theory into practice. Speaking and correctly pronouncing words are often difficult things to overcome. It’s much easier to understand what people are saying but responding to them is a much more difficult challenge to overcome. There’s one simple reason: when you’re adults, your brain is shut off to new sounds. Sometimes shyness can come into play, too.

Hypnosis is a way to overcome some of these difficulties by helping you to improve your speaking.

A Typical Spanish Hypnosis Session

You won’t spend your time sleeping during a Spanish hypnosis session. The session is organized into several parts where you will be under hypnosis. Generally speaking, the lesson focuses on a text. The words studied will be repeated under hypnosis before you work on them while you’re awake. You’ll then repeat the first step.

This is oral learning which can teach you vocabulary and expressions but is limited when it comes to learning grammar and conjugations, for example. However, it is a good way to improve your speaking. If you’re struggling to express yourself in Spanish, this might be a useful way to complement your traditional classes.

Either way, if you want to really benefit, you have to choose the right Spanish tutor or hypnotist.

The Benefits of Learning Spanish Quickly

Be careful! Don’t fall for the old “learn Spanish in 30 days” tricks. You have to learn Spanish from the beginning. The sooner a child starts studying Spanish, the better.

If you already have a good level of Spanish, are familiar with irregular verbs, can use the subjunctive, and have a broad vocabulary, you’ll obviously be able to learn more quickly than someone who’s just started studying! Here are a few tips and tricks that will help you on your way to Spanish fluency:

  • Speak Spanish every day: whether on Skype or face to face, writing emails or texts, or on social media.

  • Watch movies in Spanish. You’ll soon have watched every movie with Antonio Banderas and Javier Bardem in the world! When starting out in Spanish, you can also watch TV series.

  • Put your cellphone in Spanish. This will help you learn some interesting vocabulary as well as help you expose yourself to Spanish every day.

  • Learn important joining words and expressions such as “I don’t agree”, “to be honest”, etc. Having a few of these expressions will help you become fluent in Spanish more quickly.

  • Look up new words you hear in a dictionary. As a Romance language, Spanish has a lot of vocabulary from Latin. Half of English vocabulary is from Latin directly or indirectly (mainly from French). Learning Spanish words can help improve your English vocabulary, too.

  • Go out with a Spanish speaker! Amor te da alas. (Love gives you wings).

Can a Child Become Bilingual in Spanish?

Of course! For those interested, Spanish can be learned from a very young age. Don’t forget that the human brain loves learning new things, especially when it comes to languages.

The idea that a child should master their mother tongue first before learning a second around the age of 7 is complete nonsense.

Anyone can learn at any age.  In fact, it’s recommended that a child should learn their second language at the same time as their first by listening to stories in Spanish (every other evening, for example), playing games, and having fun in Spanish (with cartoons, games, or Spanish classes).

A child can learn Spanish at exactly the same time as they’re getting ready to say their first words in English. That’s crazy, right?

Now you know that becoming bilingual can be done in a relatively short period of time, you just have to get started. Start by using a few of our tips and tricks. Learning to speak a foreign language fluently requires that you learn all the different aspects of it (vocabulary, grammar, conjugations, pronunciation). The better you are at each of these things, the better your results will be.  You can start today!

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