Where to Start Learning to Speak Spanish
Episode #2 of the course How to speak Spanish fluently for beginners by Rype
In the previous lesson, we gave you our reasons why you should learn Spanish.
To help you take that next step, today we’re going to share where you can start learning Spanish online and in-person. With so many different alternatives you could pursue, it’s easy to get lost. There’s no right or wrong answer when it comes to choosing which method is right for you.
To give you the most objective answer, we’ve categorized each method by time required to learn, effectiveness, cost to learn, and an overall score.
Let us know your thoughts and share the list with a friend who’s learning Spanish!
Local language meetups
Time: 2-3 hours per session
Cost: Free or ~$10/session
Overall Score: 5/10
“I have no one I can practice Spanish with where I live!”
It’s the inner voice we hear when it comes to practicing our conversation skills. That’s where local language meetups come in. Local language meetups are a great place to meet like-minded individuals who also love languages. In an optimal situation, you can find a conversation partner who can speak your target language. In the worst-case scenario, you get to meet interesting people from diverse cultures.
Since you’re surrounded by others who understand the struggles of learning a language, they tend to be more patient when you’re conversing with them. Just be sure you’re returning the favor by being patient with others when they’re practicing with you.
The best options to get started? Using meetup.com, couchsurfing.org, and eventbrite.com, you can likely find language meetups happening in your local city.
Language instructional courses
Time: 60 minutes per session (200+ hours to complete 5 levels)
Cost: $150-$300 per package
Overall Score: 6.5/10
Language instructional courses are programs that are pre-created to take you through a sequential process of learning a language. Usually they are divided into proficiency levels (beginner, intermediate, advanced) and aim to teach you grammar, vocabulary, and reading skills.
The upside to purchasing these language programs is that you can learn at your own pace, with the ability to take it wherever you go. The downside is that it’s not personalized to your needs and is built for the masses without considering an individual’s learning styles or goals.
The best options to get started: Michel Thomas, Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur.
Time: 10-20 minutes per session
Cost: Free or $20/month
Overall Score: 8/10
Software apps that are downloaded on your phone can sometimes feel more like a game than a learning process. And that’s often the point. While these apps are limited in the level of depth compared to a language instructional course, the difference in price is vast.
You do get what you pay for, but even the premium version of these language apps can be very affordable for most people.
Best options to get started: Our top recommendations for language apps are Duolingo, Babbel, and FluentU.
Private language lessons online
Time: 30-60 minutes per session
Cost: ~$50-100/mo (~$5/session)
Overall Score: 9/10
If we’re using the analogy of trying to get in shape/lose weight, then the options we mentioned above are like P90X (fitness course), and taking private lessons is like finding a personal trainer.
With a personal language teacher, you get everything that you’d get from a premium language course, plus the major advantages of having it personalized for you, gaining immediate feedback, having live interaction, and 100% accountability.
As we’ve previously noted, the last two (live interaction and accountability) are the two building blocks of learning a foreign language. It’s often the difference between giving up too early and reaching fluency.
Best options to get started: Rype, Conversation Exchange, GoSpeaky.
Hope you enjoyed this lesson. Tomorrow, we’re going to answer one of the most popular questions we get: “How long does it take to learn Spanish?” Stay tuned!
“Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It” by Gabriel Wyner
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