You want to learn Spanish, but you are not sure of the best way to go about it and are not sure what the best place to learn Spanish is. Below you will find different options depending on your circumstances. The best place for you to learn Spanish will depend on your finances, your time, and your fluency goal.
On Language Learning Apps
If all you are looking for is to scratch the surface of language learning, all you will need is a language learning app. If you are not willing or able to invest in your language learning, you can download Duolingo for free. You will have access to all of their learning materials for all of the available languages. Or you can choose one of the other top 5 most downloaded language learning apps. Make progress in your language abilities in as little as 15 minutes per day. Depending on the app you choose, you may also have access to free online classes with native speakers either individually or in groups.
At Your Job
What if you could learn a language on company time in sanctioned language training sessions at no cost to you? The truth is you can! Language training is paid for by companies across the globe to increase employees’ ability to communicate in a global world. Sessions can be held in your workspace, in a conference room, or even off site. Classes can be individual or group sessions. There is even an online option. This option is free to you and has the added benefit of being taught by a teacher specialized in teaching Spanish for business purposes.
On Social Media
Social media is not just for connecting with friends and family, it can also be used to connect with people from across the globe. This is particularly helpful when searching for people to help you learn a language from the comforts of your own home and for free. Search for groups for learning Spanish. When choosing which groups to join, choose ones with high numbers and high interaction. That way, if you ever have a Spanish-related question, you know that you will get an answer. Follow accounts that are focused on teaching Spanish and about Hispanic culture. These accounts will be invaluable in your Spanish journey. Like groups that you join, you should follow accounts with lots of followers, interaction, and quality content.
With Language Partners
Another free option for language learning is to find language partners. This might be a friend who is a native Spanish speaker, or maybe a fellow Spanish learner. Maybe there is a local Spanish meetup that meets periodically. Finding a native language partner gives you the advantage of knowing that you will be hearing the correct pronunciation, grammatical structure, and constructs 100% of the time. Meeting with fellow language learners offers the advantage of having someone who knows the difficulties of the Spanish language and how to overcome them. Meetups are good for immersing yourself in the Spanish language. If you meet up at an authentic restaurant, you can also immerse yourself in the culture as well. Meeting at an authentic restaurant will also hopefully give you the chance to interact with the potentially native speaking staff as well.
In an Authentic Environment
Another potentially free option for learning Spanish is to find an authentic environment where Spanish is spoken. This does not need to be in a Spanish speaking country. You can go to a Hispanic store to find a place you can experience immersion in the Spanish language and Hispanic culture. A paid option would be an authentic restaurant. Be careful with this one. Some restaurants are Tex-Mex (Texas style of Mexican food) and may not be authentic, so you may find it difficult to find a native Spanish speaker. Another non-paid option would be to attend a Spanish speaking church. In the United States, you will likely find both Catholic and protestant options within a one-hour radius of you. This will guarantee an immersive experience. Another immersive context would be a music or dance gathering. Maybe there’s mariachi or reggae playing in a local bar somewhere or a weekly salsa group that meets. Check Facebook or ask in your local Hispanic store to see what authentic experiences are available near you!
With a Language Teacher
If you have a bit of time and money to invest, learning Spanish with a language teacher will be a great option for you! You can choose to meet with a Spanish language teacher online or in person. Teachers bring a wealth of intimate knowledge of how the Spanish language and culture work as well as how language learning works. They will meet you at the fluency level you are at and will gradually help you climb to higher levels of fluency. You can meet once a week, twice a week, three times a week, etc. It depends on how fast you want to progress and how your schedule is. When choosing a language teacher, it is best to select one who has formal education in language teaching. If choosing to search for online classes, you should choose a company that has been around for a while and has clout in the language learning community.
In a Spanish speaking Country
The most expensive option and most time consuming is likely also the best place to learn Spanish– in a Spanish speaking country. Most think of Spain when considering learning Spanish abroad. Although Spanish originated from Spain, it might not be the best option for you. Besides having a potentially high-ticket cost to arrive there, it is also one of the most expensive Spanish speaking countries to visit due to the currency exchange rate. Another disadvantage to choosing Spain as your country of choice is that Spain has pronunciation, vocabulary, verb forms, and cultural norms that are non-existent in the other 20 Spanish speaking countries. Since most Spanish speakers in the United States are from Latin America, it would be more beneficial to choose a country located there for your visit. Peru and Colombia are good options due to the clarity of the Spanish spoken there, but ultimately, the choice is up to you. Staying at an exclusive resort, while nice, will likely not improve your Spanish. Opt for somewhere that allows you to get out and about gaining experience with the local language and culture.