Learning Spanish hasn’t been as easy as it is now. Believe us!
For many years we thought that the best way to learn Spanish was by going to a school, or by moving to a Spanish speaking country.
The traditional way of learning made us believe that we need to be “face-to-face” with our teacher or to be fully immersed in the culture to properly learn the language.
However, we have seen how technology has helped us find alternative ways for learning Spanish.
We are not only talking about online classes; we are talking about heaps of alternative ways that help us learn and improve the language.
In today’s article, we are going to talk about the best way to learn Spanish at home.
Yes, as you’ve heard! You can learn Spanish from the comfort of your home.
One of the advantages of learning Spanish is that it is the second most spoken language in the world. More than 20 countries have Spanish as their official language, and more than 580 people speak it
This makes Spanish a language with a lot of different resources to learn and practice.
Check out these creative ways to incorporate the Spanish language into your daily routine at home!
1. Change the language of your devices and Apps in Spanish
Switch your phone and computer language to Spanish.
We bet you are already familiar enough with the operating system layout of your devices; you rarely read the labels on the buttons you click, don’t you?
So, it’s easy! You won’t get confused, you will learn new words instead
Furthermore, switch the language of your most used Apps. Set your e-mail, Spotify, and your social media in Spanish.
By switching the language settings you can get exposure to new vocabulary and incorporate Spanish practice into your daily life.
2. Change your phone’s voice assistant to Spanish
If you are using any voice assistant (Siri, Google Assistant, etc.), try now to use it in Spanish.
Instead of asking your assistant “what’s the forecast today?”, ask “Cómo está el clima hoy?”. Or, instead of asking “What time does the game start”, ask “A qué hora empieza el partido?”
When doing this you will incorporate some pronunciation practice into your day. Don’t get frustrated if there are times when the assistant doesn’t understand you. Type the sentence you want to say in Google translate and play the pronunciation button; learn how it’s pronounced and try again with your voice assistant.
3. Read in Spanish
One of peoples’ favorite plans at home is reading. Nothing is better than getting a cup of coffee or tea, sitting on the couch and reading a book.
Of course, for reading literature or complicated topics we all prefer to do it in our mother tongue. But, depending on your Spanish level, there are many options to incorporate this hobby into your language practice.
Find the Spanish version of your favorite book -the one you have read twice or three times-, and start reading. Since it’s your favorite book you already know the story, right? It’s the perfect exercise for focusing more on the language instead of on the story.
You can also choose children’s books, as they are short and simple to read.
Whatever book you choose remember to:
- Underline new vocabulary
- Look up the meaning of the new vocabulary
- Read again
4. Watch movies, series and TV shows in Spanish – or with Spanish subtitles
Who doesn’t like to watch movies, series or TV shows at home?
Get your popcorn ready and enjoy watching movies while learning Spanish!
Be aware of your level of Spanish and act accordingly. Of course, you can’t expect to understand a Spanish or Latin American movie if you have been studying Spanish for only a few months. It would just frustrate you!
To start what you can do is:
- Watch all your movies in English with Spanish subtitles
- Watch movies in Spanish with English subtitles
- Watch movies in Spanish with Spanish subtitles (intermediate-advance level)
Either way, you will get an enormous amount of vocabulary, and you will learn how to structure sentences.
Watching movies in their original language (Spanish) is a great way to immerse yourself in the sounds of the Spanish language, learn slang from different countries, and get familiar with different accents.
When you get tired of watching movies and series. You can also watch Youtube videos or TED Talks.
Find here very interesting TED talks in Spanish with English subtitles.
5. Social Media in Spanish
We already talked about switching the language of the Apps you use the most. That’s one way, but there is also another way to learn and practice Spanish using your Social Media.
Following pages that interest you, and that use Spanish as their first language.
- Follow newspapers and magazine pages. In Colombia, you can follow El Tiempo, Semana, El Espectador.
- Follow pages that talk about your main interests. If you like nature and environmental causes, follow Greenpeace Colombia or WWF Colombia. If you like art, follow museum pages such as MAMBO (Museum of Modern Art). And if you like music, follow your favorite artist pages.
- Follow – and pay particular attention to posts of those friends of you from Spain and Latin America.
- Read the captions and comments. It won’t only help you learn new words but it will also help you learn local slang and expressions.
6. Listen to music in Spanish
Listen to Spanish or Latin American music. No matter your Spanish level, you can start grasping a couple of words, then a few sentences, and eventually you will get it all.
Music is a very important part of the Colombian culture. So, if you love music -as we do- you will have a lot of fun learning Colombian Spanish.
How to practice Spanish by listening to music at home?
- Leave some music on in the background. Even if you are not paying attention to the lyrics your ears are getting tuned into the Spanish language.
- Try to grasp words or sentences, and write them down.
- Find the lyrics of your favorite songs, and sing along. Karaoke-style at home.
- Look up the new vocabulary.
7. Cook in Spanish
For those who love cooking, here is another fun way of learning Spanish at home!
Food is not only delicious, food is something that connects people. Through food, we learn about new cultures and we make new friends. Also, we make ourselves, our family and our friends happy.
As one of our sayings goes “Barriga llena, corazón contento”. Literally translated as “full belly, happy heart”
How to learn Spanish while cooking?
- Purchase a cookbook in Spanish
- Find a website that provides recipes in Spanish.
- Find youtube videos that provide recipes in Spanish
While cooking you can learn new vocabulary (i.e. kitchen utensils, food vocabulary and verbs frequently used in the kitchen)
Note: You can combine cooking with our Tip No. 6. Yes, cooking while listening to Spanish or Latin American music in the background.
8. Excercise in Spanish
Do some exercise in Spanish.
You can find all kinds of online classes in Spanish: Yoga, Zumba, Pilates.
Workout classes are an easy way to learn body vocabulary and get familiar with the imperative form of a verb.
Watching exercise videos at home allows you to watch the video closely to understand the movement and the instructions even if you don’t understand everything the instructor is saying in Spanish.
You will keep your ear tuned while feeling energetic and burning some calories!
When talking about exercise, people normally refer to exercise the body. But keep in mind that it is as important to exercise the mind as we exercise the body.
9. Write in Spanish
No, we don’t want you to become a professional writer. Neither, we want you to write a book.
Our advice here is to start writing whatever you want in Spanish. No matter how short it is.
- Write the grocery list in Spanish
- Write your daily To-Do list in Spanish
- Write your journal in Spanish
- Write a letter to a friend in Spanish
At first, don’t focus much on the “perfect” spelling or “perfect” sentence. Just let yourself go and write whatever you feel.
Then, you can read your notes again and correct any mistakes you might have made.
10. Take an online Spanish course
Lastly, as a complement to the tips mentioned in this article, we highly recommend taking Spanish classes online.
It’s true you can learn and improve Spanish on your own but there is no doubt that having a native Spanish-speaking tutor is an effective method to properly learn the language.
You will see quick progress when combining what you learn in your daily routines at home with a structured academic program.
Ask your tutor any questions you have when reading, watching movies or listening to music. Ask them to correct your pronunciation, spelling and grammar.
Now that you have these 10 Tips to learn Spanish at home, start incorporating them into your daily life.
Start thinking in Spanish. Don’t aim for perfection. And, have fun!
Learning Spanish is an adventure, and what’s more interesting about adventures is the journey, isn’t it?
So, enjoy the adventure!