How To Learn Spanish On Your Own? 9 Secrets on How to Learn Spanish By Yourself

Lady looking at her tablet and learning on her own to illustrate the importance of learning Spanish on your own time

Are you wondering how to learn Spanish on your own but don’t know where to begin?

I’ve compiled some strategies I used in my personal experience for how to learn Spanish on your own when I was trying to learn English and I’ve reversed them to fit your needs and make sure you can succeed in the language and learn Spanish.

But first let me guess:

You’re worried about how time-consuming learning Spanish can be and all the verb conjugations. Or you’d rather not spend an arm and a leg on a private Spanish tutor who’s determined to teach you according to his rules.

So what are the other options?

Is there a way for you to learn Spanish on your own time, learning topics that you want to learn and embracing the learning process from day one? (Spoiler alert: Yes, there is.)

9 Secrets on How to Learn Spanish on Your Own

Learning Spanish isn’t easy, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are my 9 best-kept secrets from mastering the language.

1. Find your motivation to Learn Spanish

Post it note with the word why on it to remind yourself why you want to learn Spanish.

Every learner has different motivations, and it’s crucial to craft your strategy around your needs. Half an hour should be enough to concentrate on the target language to learn at your own pace and practice Spanish.

So how do you find motivation to learn Spanish?

You must deeply understand the reason you want to immerse in this new language pursuit and have total clarity of your short and long-term goals.

For example:

If you want to brush up on your Spanish for a trip, then you should concentrate first on the most important phrases.

With my methodology, you can work on building solid language learning habits that will help you learn and speak Spanish and master conversational Spanish faster.

Alternatively, if you’re about to meet your Latin American girlfriend’s parents, you should work on introducing yourself and practicing Spanish by mastering a few pleasantries first.

You can also work on learning some basic words to have easy casual conversations and speak Spanish with all the members of the family.

2. Get a Journal to write only in Spanish

Journal with a pen to illustrate the importance of daily writing practice to learn Spanish.

Maybe we’re preaching to the choir right now, but Spanish can be daunting. The Spanish language is wonderful, but in order to learn Spanish well there are also literally thousands of words in every language, and it can be difficult to know where to start.

I’ll tell you the solution:

Beginners should start to practice Spanish by writing in a journal to learn Spanish vocabulary and translate basic sentences in Spanish about their lives.

For example:

How to say ” Today I took a shower”! and “I went to work”.

The key point is linking it to your life:

By doing this you’ll be using the most common verbs, the most important adjectives, and the ideas and Spanish words that actually matter to you.

The more you write in a journal about your life in Spanish, the better you will become at understanding the sentence structure of the language and the Spanish grammar.

Here’s the deal:

The Journal strategy doesn’t only help you with the Spanish grammar concepts but also makes you more familiar with the language as a whole.

3. Commit to at least half an hour a day learning Spanish

A weekly schedule on a notebook to illustrate the importance of planning when learning Spanish

It can be tempting when you get into the study flow to do several language lessons back to back and think that the more the merrier is the way to go to learn Spanish.

Or maybe:

You think you should study for 2 hours a day because that’s how you studied subjects in the past. Unfortunately, this “binge learning” strategy isn’t very effective in learning Spanish.

Let me explain,

Slowing down your learning so you can properly commit vocabulary to your long-term memory is the key to success. Studying for at least one hour a day is your best strategy for becoming fluent in Spanish.

Luckily,

This is the strategy that I use when I learn Spanish. It’s not about quantity but more about quality and awareness of how you manage your time at every given moment.

Bored on public transportation? Dip into a Spanish conversation with yourself about your day. Stuck in the world’s longest queue at the supermarket? Time for some of your favorite Spanish music.

Keep this in mind when you learn Spanish:

Any moment in the day is a good opportunity to enjoy and learn Spanish.

4. Start with simple words and activities in Spanish that match your skill level

Take it easy note and reminder when learning Spanish.

If you are new to Spanish, don’t feel bad if you need to start with the Spanish basics.

That’s right: you slow down

Learning Spanish is meant to be enjoyed which means that if you are trying to get good fast you prevent yourself from really savoring the language-learning journey.

In other words, don’t obsess over perfection and fast results. Learn Spanish by doing the easy stuff instead!

How to say Hello, the most common verbs, the most important adjectives, and how to count.

The reality is:

In order to learn Spanish on your own successfully you need to invest time and effort in really getting to know the language, practicing Spanish, and learning how to fall in love with it.

Never forget:

The foundations that you build when you learn Spanish today will guarantee your success in the long run.

And like Mother Teresa once put it:

“There are no great things, only small things done with great love”

5. Identify the right Spanish learning resources

Phone's screen displaying multiple apps that can support you learning Spanish

From Spanish channels on Youtube, friends who are native Spanish speakers, or your favorite Spanish songs to my constantly updating and motivational Byond language blog. There are multiple resources to choose from when learning Spanish.

However:

There’s no one size that fits all when learning Spanish so I try to encourage people to explore multiple learning resources.

Here are some of my personal favorites:

  • Shakira songs from back in the day.
  • Disney Movies in Spanish
  • Short stories in Spanish
  • Watch interviews of my favorite artists with Spanish subtitles

Personally, I love some Spanish music at the end of the day.

A good way to learn Spanish even if you’re not using these suggested resources is by surrounding yourself with motivational media and like-minded learners.

The reality is:

Learning a foreign language on your own means you need to establish your own support network too.

6. Check out some Spanish language books

Boy reading a book to illustrate the importance of reading when learning Spanish

Reading in Spanish helps us become more comfortable with the words or new vocabulary and grammatical rules that enable us to express our own thoughts just like reading in one’s native language.

Guess what?

Seeing the text of new words and concepts visually helps to reinforce our memory of them, while having the ability to stop, think, or look up words in a dictionary allows for more individualized pace of mental absorption.

Reading at even a slow pace also exposes us to more sentences per minute than the average movie or TV show. (Just think of all the pauses, transitions, and action scenes where characters are not speaking.)

This is exactly the reason why heavy readers tend to speak more articulately than the average person, despite theoretically having had the same number of years of exposure to the language.

Being exposed to a larger “brain feed” of vocabulary and grammar simply trains you to use the Spanish language better in your own speech.

The point?

The more reading material and books you find in your mother tongue you love and start reading them in Spanish, the faster and more confident you will feel in real-life Spanish situations.

Want to know a few book suggestions?

I wrote an article about the best books to learn Spanish in 2023. Give them a try!

7. Find ways to make Spanish-speaking friends

Group of people hanging out and eating watermelon while learning Spanish

A great way to learn Spanish is immersion. You don’t need to live in a Spanish-speaking country to get to have conversations with native Spanish speakers, all it takes is making time to do your research about language meetups in your city and deciding on a specific day in the week that you can attend it.

The point is this:

The more real exposure you can get to the language in the form of having conversations with real people and native speakers with whom you can interact on a regular basis, the more of an impact the language will make in your life.

Nothing compares to having native Spanish-speaking people with you to help you feel comfortable using new words and making mistakes right from the start.

That’s right.

No more excuses.

Put yourself out there and commit to being more social and building strong relationships with other language learners and native speakers or finding a language partner who can help you practice speaking and improve your Spanish.

8. Travel to a Spanish-speaking country by Yourself

Woman looking at a map to decide what her next Spanish speaking destination will be.

This is by far one of the best ways to really immerse and absorb the Spanish culture and the Spanish-speaking world like nobody’s business and even when it might feel scary at first, it’s the one where you will get the most ROI for your Spanish knowledge.

In fact:

People who step out of their comfort zone and visit Spanish-speaking countries improve 10x faster in their speaking Spanish goals than people who don’t and this not only applies to your Spanish skills but to any area of life.

Why?

Because we are usually stuck in a certain way of doing things and we’ve become complacent and stagnant when learning a new language.

Let’s be honest:

We don’t like doing things that feel scary or challenging and yet those are the things we should be doing more. So if traveling solo to a Spanish-speaking country feels a little uncomfortable that’s a sign you must consider it.

9. Make Spanish part of your lifestyle

Lady in a kitchen cutting a pear to illustrate the importance of finding way to incorporate Spanish in your daily activities

If you really want to achieve mastery in Spanish and achieve the comprehension skills that will take you to the next level, you must make it part of who you are and that can only be achieved if you make it a lifestyle.

This is another good way to learn Spanish while making it effortless and enjoyable.

On my website Byond Language, I talk about creating language-learning habits or language skills that even when they might not feel natural at first once they become habits they will become second nature for you.

Spanish it’s not just a language that you’re learning.

It’s a way of life!

What’s the solution

Take it one day at a time, I read a book called The Slight Edge which gave the idea that what’s easy to do is just as easy not to do.

How do you apply this to learn Spanish?

Do a little bit of the five skills you need to learn a language every day for 5 minutes (speaking basic Spanish by yourself or with a language exchange partner, writing Spanish sentences, listening to a Spanish TV show, and reading Spanish regularly)

For example:

If the hardest skill to practice Spanish for you is writing then do that first thing in the morning and use it to either talk about what happened the day before or what you want to accomplish that day.

The key point is:

Knowing that journaling and writing will improve you not only as a Spanish language learner but also give you the confidence to practice Spanish deliberately and continue to learn Spanish independently making it part of your Spanish-speaking environment and lifestyle.

Final Thoughts on How To Learn Spanish on Your Own

Now you know:

No matter where you study or how you choose to learn Spanish, knowing Spanish is a great way to connect you with the vast network that is our global community.

is it going to be easy?

Of course not! Nothing worth having ever is.

The real question is:

How bad do you want it?

While it may seem like a daunting task, nothing is impossible when you weave in a few minor tips and tricks to your everyday routine.

When it comes to embracing the Spanish learning journey consider the following:

  • Find language apps that you like.
  • Teach Spanish to your friends and family members. (The little you already know)
  • Find a language partner
  • Research some Spanish courses like mine (Beyond Language)
  • Check out Spanish podcasts
  • Consider some Spanish TV shows (soap operas) or Spanish movies
  • Hire a Spanish tutor if you have the budget for it.
  • Go to Spanish restaurants and order food in Spanish

This Spanish journey is going to be full of trial-and-error experiences, but do not let that get you down!

Embrace the educational adventure before you, experiment with different and creative Spanish language learning tips, and get ready to add the Spanish language to your repertoire!

Want more?

Check out my other blog posts on my Language learning blog Byond Language

Keep Going! Keep Learning!

Meet Daniel

Since he was a child, Daniel has been passionate about Social Dynamics. Learn how Daniel got his start as a Language Coach, and why he decided to start this language blog. If you want to send Daniel a quick message, then visit his contact page here.

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