Improve Your Spanish Skills With 10 Simple Tips [Updated for 2024]
If you’re looking for ways to improve your Spanish, you’re in the right place—regardless of your current skill level, I’ve got the tips you need to get you on the right track to Spanish fluency.
Can 10 simple tips really help you improve your Spanish that much? The short answer is yes!
If you stick with them daily and be consistent with your learning, you’ll soon be on your way to fluency.
- 1. Set Realistic Goals
- 2. Keep Good Notes
- 3. Read and Write in Spanish
- 4. Listen to Music in Spanish
- 5. Incorporate Spanish Into Your Daily Life
- 6. Practice Spanish With Native Speakers
- 7. Don’t Take Grammar Too Seriously
- 8. Learn Synonyms of Spanish Words You Already Know
- 9. Volunteer Among Spanish Speakers
- 10. Travel (or Move!) to Spain or Latin America
- And One More Thing…
1. Set Realistic Goals
The trick to keeping yourself motivated is to set achievable targets for your learning progress.
The best goals are specific and short-term. This might be something like “learn vocabulary for fruits” or “practice the conditional tense” every two weeks, every month, whatever works for you.
Recording yourself speaking is a really good way to track your progress. Listening to yourself in Spanish will help you notice any mistakes that you’ll be able to correct.
2. Keep Good Notes
The key to remembering vocabulary is to record it in a way that’s useful to you.
Even if you’re good at memorizing new vocabulary, it’s still a good idea to keep an organized written record for future reference. It’s also a great way to keep track of your progress.
Make a vocabulary diary, color-code your vocabulary or even make sets of flashcards. There are so many options.
The most important thing is that you find the way that works best for you. Here are some additional note-taking tips to get you started.
3. Read and Write in Spanish
There are many options to help you start reading in Spanish. There are Spanish reading apps for the beginner on the go. Or, how about short stories or magazines in Spanish?
If your Spanish is more advanced, you could start with some Latin American or Spanish novels.
Meanwhile, any notes you make can be written in Spanish, such as your daily planner, grocery lists, recipes, reminders and anything else you put to paper (or digital device) during your daily life.
4. Listen to Music in Spanish
If you love listening to music, you might already have some Spanish singers in your playlist. Next, try adding some songs in Spanish.
You could even print the lyrics or write them down and translate the song. Alternatively, you could pick out new vocabulary that you want to learn.
Learning the lyrics to Spanish songs and then singing along is a great way to improve your fluency. It’ll do wonders for your vocabulary, pronunciation and speed in Spanish.
5. Incorporate Spanish Into Your Daily Life
There are so many simple and fun ways to incorporate Spanish into your daily life.
If you enjoy watching movies, TV series or Netflix, try to watch them in Spanish.
You can either add Spanish subtitles to a movie you’re watching in English or even try watching the dubbed version in Spanish for an immersive experience.
Finding a high-quality video resource with accurate subtitles can go a long way. The language learning program FluentU is one such example, with a library of native Spanish language videos that come with expert-written, dual-language subtitles.
FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
6. Practice Spanish With Native Speakers
Practicing with native speakers is the best way to improve your Spanish!
For those who don’t live in a Spanish-speaking country, seek out Spanish speakers. Try using websites such as ConversationExchange and Facebook to connect with people in your local area. You could even host an exchange student from a Spanish-speaking country.
Language exchanges are a fantastic way to socialize and improve not only your level of Spanish, but also your confidence when speaking it.
You can also use online resources and apps for language exchanges, such as Tandem and HelloTalk.
7. Don’t Take Grammar Too Seriously
In most situations, speaking confidently and with good pronunciation will matter far more than whether or not you used the correct gender form of an adjective or if you mixed up the imperative and the subjunctive.
Find comfortable, low-stress situations where you can practice without worrying about grammar.
Prioritizing speed and fluency will help you get over the self-consciousness and doubts that impede many language learners. Your Spanish accent will improve—as will your confidence.
8. Learn Synonyms of Spanish Words You Already Know
The practical language you need to communicate may be a bit different from what you’ve learned from books or language classes. Be sure to study groups of synonyms for every situation.
Learn about the specific dialect you plan to use. This is particularly useful if you’re planning to travel to a particular country, since each country will have their own dialects and varieties of Spanish.
Learn some slang, common phrases and expressions of that area. This is easy to achieve by talking to native speakers.
You can also use WordReference to find synonyms for the common words and phrases you already know.
9. Volunteer Among Spanish Speakers
Volunteering in a Spanish-speaking country among native Spanish speakers will greatly improve your language abilities. In exchange for a few hours of work during the week, volunteers are provided with accommodation, food and learning opportunities.
If you are interested in volunteering but you are not able to travel to a Spanish-speaking country, don’t worry, there are so many opportunities to volunteer in your local community and improve your Spanish at the same time!
One of the best websites to find volunteering activities around the globe is Workaway.
10. Travel (or Move!) to Spain or Latin America
The best way to learn Spanish is to immerse yourself in the language.
But what is the best way to do this?
Travel to a country where everyone speaks Spanish! Not only will you get to speak in Spanish, but you’ll be reading, listening and even writing in Spanish nonstop. There’s nothing like going abroad and immersing yourself in the language to accelerate your language learning.
Why not immerse yourself completely by staying with a local family, joining an immersion program or swapping all-inclusive hotels for Airbnb?
With any of these tips, you’ll be able to take your Spanish to the next level!
Try them all to find out which one works best for you and have fun while improving your Spanish!
¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
And One More Thing…
If you've made it this far that means you probably enjoy learning Spanish with engaging material and will then love FluentU.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. All annual subscriptions now on sale!