If you have extended stay planned (i.e. 3-6 months) to a Spanish speaking country and you only have five weeks to become conversational (!) before your departure, continue reading for 3 Steps to learn Spanish in one month.
You must accept that you will be nowhere near fluent when you arrive, but your goal should be to arrive to your destination feeling comfortable about your ability to grocery shop, talk to your Airbnb host or landlord, and get by on public transportation.
Step One: Sign Up For A Class
Access to an instructor allows you to ask questions, solicit feedback and request film recommendations. You can sign up for a weekly class at Fluent City. The format is very conversational, so every Tuesday (or weekday your class falls on), you are forced to speak Spanish for two hours that you otherwise would have been speaking English. You can also trust that the textbook provided is a good one for additional self-study. Signing up for a class gives you a more formal way of staying on track, so you can guarantee you get at minimum two hours of practice a week.
Step Two: Buy More Time
There are tons of moments where you are just waiting in line or on another endless commute. For example, waiting in every line involved with the typical visa process. Use this time to learn Spanish immediately through free apps such as Duolingo or Memrise that improve your vocabulary. There are hundreds of similar free apps available that gamify Spanish learning.
While walking or biking, plug in your headphones. If you'd like to challenge yourself to hold more conversations in Spanish, sign up for Fluent City's new Spanish Conversation Club, which meets bi-weekly beginning May 30. Conversation Clubs are small, social, interactive and 100% geared towards speaking practice—which is perfect for your needs with Spanish with one month to hone your skills! This unique experience is tailored to improve skills for students who have completed Essentials, Level 2, or the equivalent. When in doubt, you can always podcast it out! A Fluent City favorite is Coffee Break Spanish. Coffee Break Spanish is a series of sequential episodes involving a (Scottish) teacher, a native Spanish speaker and a language learner.
Additionally, if you have a 5-10 minute work break during the day, watch short video clips. Find videos that have both Spanish and English subtitles, are broken into 5-second clips for easy rewinding, and provide dictionary context. The Fluent City video below is a great example of a short video clip to try during breaks you find in your work day.
Step Three: Involve Your Friends
To make learning more fun and also stay accountable, involve your friends or family in the process! Try using these film recommendations from a Fluent City Spanish teacher, and make Wednesday and Sunday movie nights with friends or family. Be sure to turn on the subtitles!
You should focus on meeting new Spanish speaking friends in class, at Meetup events and also by hosting Couchsurfing travelers before you depart for your own travels. Trying to text with them in Spanish is a great way to get in extra practice as well.
Everything mentioned thus far adds 6 hours of activities to your week – 2 for class and 4 for the movies – and makes each day more efficient. In addition, you should spend about 20-45 minutes per day, or 5 hours per week, on short videos, texting and apps. While you won’t be fluent when you arrive to your destination, you will feel much more ready to make your extended stay an easier transition.
Ready to start learning with Fluent City? Sign up for your Spanish lessons today.
Have your own suggestions to add? Comment below!