We are living in an age of information. It only takes a few seconds of typing to come across a never-ending number of resources claiming they will help you reach your goal: learn Spanish by yourself, in the comfort of your sofa, in a quick and easy way. But is it really possible?
The shortest answer is: yes, but it won’t be that easy, and you will eventually need some help, if you want to do it right. In this article you will find three considerations to bear in mind during your journey.
According to the Common European Framework of Reference, you need around 500 hours of study to be able to understand other people and express yourself in a fair number of situations. To reach that certain amount of fluency, you will need to master your grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. You will need to devote a lot of time to it. The results will be amazing, but won’t be necessarily fun every day: being absolutely on your own can take its toll when your motivation falls down. You will also need to categorize new thinking structures and immerse yourself in new cultural universes. It is a very long way to go. It is certainly not easy, and requires a huge amount of effort… but don’t panic! And remember in what year we are living, and how accessible an infinite number of resources are today.
Below you will find three considerations that will be helpful in your solitary journey of acquiring a new tongue.
- You are like a raw diamond— you need to be polished to shine your best
Today it is absolutely possible to learn Spanish, or any other language or skill, by yourself. Nevertheless, it is highly important that you book a lesson with a professional teacher from time to time. Reach out for someone who knows how to spot mistakes, giving you fundaments and rules to avoid them in the future; it will definitely make a difference. Your goal is to be fluent and correct, you don’t want to be the person that is not aware of their mistakes, and you definitely do not want to be on the spot for saying some awkward or unnatural phrase. A professional teacher, either in person or through videocall, can work wonders in your final result.
2. Being responsible is easier than being disciplined
You should also pay attention to your motivation level. Depending on how disciplined you are, you will be more or less successful in actually devoting the time you initially said you would. Mastering a language takes months, or even years. It doesn’t really matter how perseverant you are, your motivation will fluctuate, and that is normal. When you feel like giving up, it will come in handy having a teacher or some fellow students reminding you how much you have achieved so far. It is easier to go back in track if someone else is depending on you to reach a new record. At the end of the day, it is motivation the engine inside of you that makes you start each day, again and again.
3. You are a human, don’t lose your social nature
You should remember that the process of learning is per sé a deeply solitary one. You will need receptivity to absorb new ways of expression. You will need silence to listen to your own thoughts and reflect back on the new information you have just been in touch with. However, you should not forget that a language is a method of communication, and you want to communicate with other human beings. Putting your Spanish skills in use straight away and perfecting them on the way is better than waiting and waiting until you think you are ready… You may never feel ready if you don’t start. Who are the perfect people to put your new knowledge into practice? A teacher who is used to listening to other foreign speakers, or fellow students who are going through the same difficulties as you.
In short, even though it is possible to learn Spanish on your own, that is not the best way to go all along if you want to do it right. If you learn it by yourself, or through technology, the process will be quite different from the one through which you have acquired your mother tongue: emotions will be out of the map. Use your motivation to start today, with the help of a few reliable resources that you probably already have in your devices, and then perfect yourself with a teacher, fellow students and/or native speakers when needed and possible. Good luck and don’t forget to enjoy each step of your journey!
And remember you can start right now watching these videos.