Why can’t you be fluent in Spanish?

Learning to speak Spanish or any other language is not an easy job, or at least it doesn’t seem like an easy job. Some people spend a lot of time and money on schools to learn to speak Spanish, they even spend years studying this language, but when the moment comes to speak to a Spanish native speaker, they just can’t talk fluently.

We could compare this situation to a person who goes to a driving school, studies pretty hard and he gets good grades on all the tests. After a couple of months this person buys his own car, but when he gets into the car, he doesn’t know how to start the car, he looks at the pedals, the car keys and he wonders: “OK… What was the first step the teacher said I should make?”


After having to pay money for the driving lessons and spending hours at the driving school, this person must be feeling frustrated because he doesn’t even know how to do the most basic thing, ¡Starting the car!

Same thing happens when you study Spanish for a long time, but still you can’t speak fluently, some Spanish learners say that they understand when natives talk to them or that they can write and read Spanish, but they just can’t achieve fluency when speaking.Now, the question is, why? Why after all this time of studying Spanish you can’t speak Spanish fluently?

The answer is on the way that you learn, the method you use to learn to speak Spanish,the method that usually schools use to teach Spanish. Most schools use methods where they mainly focus on grammar and they leave real spoken Spanish for the end of the course. When you learn grammar first than real Spanish, you try to learn Spanish just like if it was mathematics, like if the language was something exact and absolute, but the truth is that Spanish, just like any other language is not absolute or exact at all.

Spanish changes,it changes so much that even children change it in the way they want. For example, I remember when I was a little kid, my cousin and I invented our own language so adults couldn’t understand what we were saying, what we did was to put the word “CHU” before every word and we divided the words, so if we wanted to say “Hola ¿Cómo estas?” we used to say: “ChuHO, chuLA, chuCO, chuMO, chuES, chuTAS”.

“Oh my God, next Tuesday’s test is going to be so hard”.

The secret to learning to speak Spanish fluently is on changing the method that you’re using to learnand this method doesn’t even need to be expensive and you don’t even need to go to a school to learn to speak Spanish fluently, the secret to learn a language has always been in front of our eyes and it is: children!

Doing what children doto learn to speak is the best way to learn to speak Spanish.

Diego Cuadros is a blogger and a Spanish online teacher. He uses stories to help Spanish lovers understand fast-speaking native speakers, so they don't freeze and panic in conversations.

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