Do you want to learn Spanish, but you don’t know how to start?

I was one of those people who when learning a second language had to struggle, all of this probably because I didn’t have the techniques or the necessary habits to learn the right way.

So that you don’t make the same mistakes I made and to make the process shorter and more enjoyable for you.  

Here I bring you a list of eleven tips that I find most useful when learning Spanish and that helped me a lot when I started to apply them and that after I started applying them my learning was much better.

It is much easier to learn and relate words to those things that are around you than to those things that are not, and that you probably won’t use much while learning Spanish.

Learning the vocabulary related to things that are around you will help you to remember easier, because sometimes you learn vocabulary and as you don’t use it and they are not present in your environment, you end up forgetting it and it’s like a vicious circle, you learn vocabulary, but as you don’t use it you forget it again and again.

This was happening to me while I was learning English because when I asked myself how to say a word, I would translate it, but since I didn’t use it I would end up forgetting it and this used to repeat itself.

When I learned the names of things that were always present and as an exercise when I saw them repeated the words related to those objects. Those words little by little started to be part of my vocabulary without forgetting them thus becoming part of my active vocabulary.

2. Write a list of useful vocabulary.

One of the recommendations is to write notes with the most useful words and consult them frequently and of course, repeat them.

One way to do it once they are many is to consult them by choosing five words each day and the next day you add five more and the third day you take five more and you remove the first five you chose and so on respectively.

A common mistake with the notes is that sometimes you write notes, but you never consult them, instead, you add and add words, but when it comes to using some of those words you have no idea.

It is scientifically proven that we forget eighty percent of what we learn, so by writing new notes every day and without consulting them, these words will stay in your notes and not in your head, but if you consult these words they will stick in your brain, and of course, you will be able to use them without forgetting.

3. Talk whenever you can. 

I truly believe that the only way to learn a second language is by immersing yourself in it and one of the ways to do this is to take advantage of every opportunity to practice.


If you have the opportunity to speak with a native speaker or someone that is also learning like you, take advantage of it and speak to him or her in Spanish, even if your vocabulary is small, put it to the test, don’t be ashamed to speak or to make mistakes.

It is a good way to practice being heard and listening.

4. Read in Spanish! 

Reading in Spanish can be very useful when it comes to expanding your vocabulary, if you are a beginner, I recommend reading specialized books for young children because the stories for little ones are short and easy to understand.

This will also make it easier for you because of the simplicity of the vocabulary.

Read short stories

As they are written exactly for you as a Spanish learner, they will be a perfect way of learning.

Here tow tips I consider useful when it comes to reading.

  • When reading don’t just look at the words, read aloud, so that you can hear yourself make the correct movements when pronouncing the words.
  • Record yourself to listen to it. Probably you cannot pronounce the as a native does or even properly, but you may know how it sounds, that practice will not only help you to learn more words, it also will help you to understand and speak better.

After recoding yourself try to sound out those words that you mispronounced.

5. Watch programs in Spanish.

Watch videos or television programs in Spanish, it is important that you understand at least fifty percent of what you see, if you are a beginner, I recommend you watch them with subtitles in your native language, but if you understand a little more you can watch them with subtitles in Spanish.

 Another thing that I recommend if you are a beginner is that instead of watching series or other programs, you should watch cartoons for small children, since they are much easier to understand, because of the simple vocabulary used. As your vocabulary and comprehension grow, then you can start watching series or other types of programs.

6. Include learning Spanish in your daily schedule.

The truth is that we want to learn a new language and for our learning process to be effective and fast we must make space in our daily life.

The truth is that very few people dedicate enough time to their learning, even if they want good results, but because the only way to get those good results is by dedicating time to study every day or often, you need to make Spanish part of your routine.

You don’t have to dedicate a full hour, of course, I understand that you don’t have that much time available, instead, you can dedicate an average of fifteen minutes or less a day, in activities that can vary of course with the same objective: LEARNING SPANISH

7. Hire a Spanish teacher or try to find someone to practice Spanish with.

Thanks to technology you can hire a teacher and take online classes from the comfort of your home and at the time you want, there are many platforms that allow you to do this.

Also, there are many people who want to learn Spanish like you, and you can also find other people who want to learn your language and in exchange, you teach them or practice conversation with them too, they are willing to help you with Spanish.

In this part two things are important:

It is normal to make mistakes when practicing and we should allow ourselves to make mistakes when speaking as this is how we learn. 

That the teacher you hire corrects you when speaking in case of mistakes.  

In both cases, either with a teacher or with an exchange student, make sure that this person corrects you when speaking so you don’t create bad habits or believe that a sentence construction is correct when it is not, and you get used to speaking incorrectly.

It will be much easier if you learn the correct form of pronunciation and sentence construction from the beginning than to learn it much later when you have already created a habit.

Focus on the conversation and not grammar. 

It is fine if you want to learn grammar, it helps us to structure sentences correctly, so it is also necessary to learn it, but you will usually take an hour or possibly two hours of class a week if you decide to hire a teacher and you may take advantage of that time.

There may be grammar in the lessons, but it should not be the focus of the lesson. Instead of grammar try to focus on the conversation. (When taking a class with a teacher make an effort to speak or try to speak), don’t just listen to what the teacher says, speak too. Ask the teacher how to say the word in Spanish when you don’t know it.

This is the best opportunity for language exchange and the perfect time you have to speak without any fear, the teacher will make sure to understand you and that you understand what she or he says.

8. Speak Spanish with yourself. 

How many times has it happened to you that you learn a new word and then after a short time, no matter how hard you look into your mind you can’t find it? Well, it’s happened to me many many times and that’s totally normal.  

This may seem a little crazy, but the truth is that it worked for me and I still use this method when I learn a new word.

Repeat that new word out loud

Try to make a complete sentence with it.

9. Listen to music Spanish

Songs are a good way to learn.

Why not learn the lyrics and sing a song? even if you barely speak Spanish, songs can be a great source of vocabulary.

One thing you can do is look up the words of the song and then listen to it while reading the lyrics and sing along.

Another good source of vocabulary that can also help you a lot, are podcasts, and I highly recommend listening to them.

 10. Don’t be obsessed trying that everything makes sense in English as well. 

It happens that sometimes when you try to make sense of Spanish in English or in your language.  It may work, but sometimes it will not make any sense at all, I recommend you focus on understanding it in Spanish without looking for the exact meaning in your own language.

This can be very disappointing and frustrating. Each language has it own structure due to this fact it can always structure a sentence like in your own language or translate a word literally.

 11. Be patient               

Last but not least is patience because you are learning a totally new language and although you want to learn immediately and want to understand everything, the truth is that it will take time and it is totally normal.

So don’t be so hard on yourself.

Remember that a language cannot be learned overnight and although there is not a magic formula, with effort, dedication, and patience you will succeed.

You are the captain of your learning, analyze yourself, think about how you learn best, choose the techniques that work best for you, and start applying it.

Organize your time and include Spanish in your calendar, be persistent and constant in your learning journey and you will be surprised by the results.

Don’t be afraid of making mistakes when speaking and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way.


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