Do you wonder if learning Spanish fluently in 3 months is possible? When you visit a Spanish-speaking country or meet a Spanish-speaker that you want to chat with, you know what urgency feels like. You want to speak Spanish fluently and you want to do it now. But fluency in 3 months is impossible, right? Actually, no. I’ve seen somebody go from zero to fluent Spanish in 3 months. It was all about the learning process.
Learning Spanish in less than 3 months
Back in 2004 I went to Madrid, Spain for a semester abroad study programme. I had two roommates that took classes at an English-speaking American university. Neither of them spoke Spanish.
As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I spent the semester scrambling to learn useful Spanish words and gain fluency in my full-Spanish programme. Despite my own efforts, the most remarkable improvement I saw in learning Spanish wasn’t mine but that of my roommate Flora.
The Spanish language learning process
Flora had never taken a Spanish class before. Yet somehow between late September and holiday break in December, Flora became fluent. I was shocked. Beyond typical Spanish phrases for beginners, she was actually having full-on Spanish conversations.
We all know the immersive experience is a case of ‘baptism by fire’ but let’s break it down. What did Flora’s study abroad experience give her—and can it be duplicated by learning Spanish online?
I believe Flora’s success can be copied from home. Her learning process can be broken down into three successful areas: She managed her time, used every resource, and spoke Spanish on a daily basis.
Manage your Spanish learning time
First, Flora managed her learning time. She attended classes in English but she took Spanish class seriously. She read her textbooks every afternoon. She practiced reading signs. On the way to student clubs in Plaza de Chueca, she would whip out her pocket note book and write down phrases we heard. She worked Spanish language learning into her schedule anytime she could.
Spanish language learning resources
Flora also plugged in to every available resource. She watched the José Andrés cooking show every day during siesta lunchtime. She listened to popular Spanish music on the radio. She noted down Spanish song lyrics from the discotecas at night. She went out of her way to memorize everything Spanish phrase she could find.
Daily Spanish conversation
Finally, Flora spoke Spanish every day. She would invite me to a jug of sangria to drill her on Spanish grammar. She made a friend at school (ok a boyfriend 😉 ) that she spent all her time with. Flora’s rapid learning technique of time management, resources, and daily conversation practice is actually something that language learners can duplicate from anywhere.
Learn Spanish online with Lingoda
For managing time, online learning is great. Lingoda has classes that fit any schedule. Do you want to chat at 3 a.m.? Perfect. You can study around school, work, and family responsibilities.
You can get Spanish listening resources online: from YouTube to Twitter to podcasts.
As for practice, Lingoda has native Spanish-speaking teachers. They teach you things a textbook cant. For example, did you know Spanish words in Spain are not the same in Mexico? Live instructors on video chat give you real-time feedback and tips. There are even group classes for a social element.
Lingoda Language Sprint Challenge
Flora had another thing that got her fluent in Spanish in 3 months: motivation. She devoted herself to an intensive study regimen. This urgent motivation is crucial to why immersion brings success in language learning. To provide this, language learning schools are innovating. Whether you are motivated by a challenge or cash money, Lingoda has a cool opportunity with their Language Sprint.
With her serious motivation, my study abroad roommate Flora became fluent in Spanish in 3 months. I honestly believe that following the same technique, you can do the same.