Thinking of learning Spanish? Here are five ways you can do it.
Don't have the time to read, watch this video instead
1. Language learning apps
Nowadays, most people love to download an app if offered that option. Apps like Duolingo and Rosetta Stone are easy to access, easy to use, very cheap, and learning is made fun through gamification. Millions of people have tried using these apps to learn Spanish... but what percentage of those people have actually mastered Spanish using that method? Our guess is not many at all. We recommend using these apps for learning new vocabulary, but not for reaching fluency in Spanish.
2. A trip to a hispanic country
Of course, this is the ideal solution. Completely immersing yourself in Spanish by travelling to a hispanic country. Ah, how nice would it be to go to Mexico and ask for ''un taco y una cerveza, por favor'', or to Cuba and inquire about ''clases de baile''. Now that's a fun, engaging way to learn a new language. You will quickly become fluent because you have no choice but to speak in this new language to the best of your ability. We all wish, and we all can't, for obvious reasons. And even when travel resumes, the costs of traveling abroad is just too high for many people.
3. Online Spanish classes
There is a method in between the spectrum of full immersion (going abroad) and Zero immersion (language apps or group classes): online Spanish classes offer a part-time immersion, where you are exposed to real-life language practice. And this 'part' can be big or small, completely controlled by you. For instance, if you decide to take one hour of private Spanish classes per week, that's a small part-time immersion. You will see progress of course, but at a much slower pace than if you were to take 4 hours of classes per week, therefore practicing a 'big' part-time immersion.
OCTB student Tyler says it himself : ''the 3 weeks of Spanish classes I've been taking with OCTB have already almost amounted to the 4 years of Spanish I took in high school''.
4. Learn Spanish with Netflix
You'll be happy to hear that watching TV shows and movies on Netflix in Spanish with subtitles is a great way to develop your ear for Spanish, to get used to different accents, to learn Spanish vocabulary, and to learn how to construct sentences you will use in real life. This is a great method, except that there is no one to guide you or to explain grammar and such.
5. Group language classes
Most of us took 2-3 years of Spanish in high school. And what do we remember? Nearly nothing, unfortunately. Group classes are a good setting to hear the language spoken by a native speaker -the teacher- and to learn grammatical rules and vocabulary. However, the focus is on reading and writing, and some listening. There is not enough time for speaking, unless there is a personal tutor for every student in the classroom. And as OCTB student Idelle says in this video, you need to speak in a new language in order to truly learn it.