A couple of days ago, I reached out to different successful Spanish learners, asking them one very brief question. Their answer could become a very powerful piece of advice for you.
In this post, I will be featuring their advice.
They kindly agreed to answer the following question for helping intermediate Spanish learners:
“What is the biggest advice you could give to someone who has been stuck at intermediate Spanish? What’s your #1 tip?”
Why is advice important?
One of the best things you can do to achieve good results for your Spanish is to look for a nice mentor.
- A mentor is an experienced and trusted adviser who already walked the path that you are walking right now.
- Someone who by experience becomes a trustworthy guide towards your Spanish goals.
- You need someone who gives you advice.
If you watched the movie the matrix, you probably remember that Morpheus became a ‘coach’ for Neo (The star of the movie). He helped him discover his real power and develop his true potential, and that is what a mentor does.
Just like Morpheus, mentors tell you what to do when tough times come, and in this case, when the intermediate Spanish level comes.
Now, if you think about it, we all need help to achieve good results at any project we want to do in life, and Spanish learning is not the exception.
So without further due, here is the advice from 4 ‘mentors’, ‘senseis’, ‘morpheuses’, ‘masters’, or experts in Spanish learning:
1- Olly Richards
“When you get stuck at an intermediate level in Spanish, you need to start to do things differently!
As a beginner, you have no choice but to learn new snippets of information piece by piece and try to use them yourself when you come to speak. At an intermediate level, though, you’ve already learnt all the basics of Spanish, and areas for improvement become more subtle and difficult to spot.
For this reason, it’s vital to start studying the “whole language” – read and listen as widely as possible on things that interest you. By doing this, you’ll get exposure to lots of great quality Spanish, and you’ll start to “fill in the gaps” of your current level.”
Olly Richards is a very well known polyglot and an expert on language learning. He offers advice on iwillteachyoualanguage.com and he also created the fluent Spanish Academy which I highly recommend you give it a try if you get the chance, it is specially designed for intermediate Spanish students who want to achieve fluency.
2- Lindsay Williams
“Accept that it’s ok, the boom period is over. There comes a time with language learning when the early days of making quick progress slow down, but that’s ok if you keep going.
Once you trudge through that, you’ll come out the other side with Spanish seeming much more solid in your brain and you’ll begin to make those quick wins again.
But what can you do to keep going when it gets tough? Get as much exposure as possible. Find music, podcasts, audiobooks that you love; change your subtitles and dubbing on films and TV shows where possible, and even try reading in Spanish too. And make sure that you find stuff you enjoy!”
Lindsay Williams is the language-obsessed chica behind Lindsay Does Languages, a community dedicated to inspiring independent language learners and online tutors to succeed when doing it solo. She speaks a varying number of languages depending on the day of the week and how awake her brain is, but has studied 11 to some degree of competence.
3- Ben Curtis
“Don’t give up! It’s normal to be stuck on a plateau for a while, even a long time, in any kind of learning process.
Even if that happens, you jump up to the next level eventually, often when you least expect it.
So keep learning a little or a lot of Spanish every day. Keep finding ways to enjoy Spanish, and if you can, get an Intercambio, that can make all the difference!”
Ben Curtis is one of the founders of notesinspanish.com, he is an Englishman who went to live in Spain and a succesful Spanish learner. He has written two books about his time in Spain and how his website came to life.
4- Shawn Mclsaac
“Whenever you are studying something, ask yourself whether you’ll actually use it. You’ll want to know how to talk about your work, hobbies, etc. You can likely skip terms specialized to dentistry.
However, unless you anticipate visiting a dentist that deals only in Spanish, ask yourself:”Do I really need to know this?” You’ll find whole sections you can essentially skip which saves you time and keeps you on purpose with your studies. It has to be relevant to you, otherwise, you’ll lose interest.
When you are at the intermediate level you’ll want to really focus on speaking and writing. Those are the active aspects as you become very involved. The more engaged in the learning process, the more you’ll identify weaker areas. Most importantly, make it fun and interesting. Be playful with the language”
Shawn McIsaac teaches Spanish on Instagram @SpanishlySpeaking, and he is the author of the Ebook Spanishly Speaking: Learn Spanish from Zero towards Fluency.
You just read some good advice, now what?
What you read above is literal advice from people who learned to speak Spanish as a second language successfully. To them, a huge thank you for taking the time to help me build this blog post.
These are experts that I deeply respect and I suggest you follow some of their work so you can see exactly what they recommend for achieving fluency in Spanish.
Essentially, they agreed on this:
- Don’t give up.
- Get as much Spanish exposure as possible
- Make the language fun and interesting.
if you want to hear more advice, as well as powerful techniques to get unstuck from the intermediate level of Spanish, you definitely have to sign up for my 8-day free Email course in the form below.