Learning Spanish

Spanish is a popular language around the world. There are approximately 560 million speakers (first and second language) of Spanish in North, Central and South America, as well as Europe.

Spanish is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn because the pronunciation is simple and there are few false cognates.

According to the Defense Language Institute (DLI) which trains Spanish linguists for the US government, Spanish is a Category I language, the easiest category. It takes approximately 700 hours to reach a conversational level in Spanish – as little as 6 months.

Below are some resources that can help you. The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is a tool used to measure language learning. A 6 month DLI course is designed to reach B2; A1 and A2 are beginner levels, B1 and B2 are intermediate and C1 and C2 are advanced levels of proficiency.

A1/A2 Spanish

Duolingo will teach you approximately 2100 words of Spanish and help you practice your reading and writing in an online environment, through translations. The downside of Duolingo is that it doesn’t do much for your listening or speaking.

Spanish Headstart2 teaches about 750 words related to the military and government.

B1/B2 Spanish

When you get to the B1/B2 level, you might find changing your phone, laptop, and other software into Spanish in order to move into the advanced level.

Destinos is a 50 video series taught in full speed spoken Spanish (in the form of a telenovela) in order to build advanced learning comprehension. There is also a follow-up called Nuevos Destinos.

C1/C2 Spanish

When it comes to advanced Spanish, books and other resources might help but only conversing with native speakers will help. 2 hours a day for a year is all it takes though, and you can get there soon enough. Good luck!

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