A magic recipe to learn Spanish

“Stop complaining, sit down and finish your Spanish lesson!” if you’ve been struggling with learning Spanish, you’ve probably kicked yourself more than once, and it’s very likely that you wondered: “isn’t there another way?”,”isn’t there a magic recipe?” “is learning grammar and repeating all the boring drills the only way to learn Spanish?”, “isn’t there an easier, faster and more effective method to learn Spanish?” if you have made these questions, you need to read this.

Learning a language can be overwhelming, I know how it feels when you just want to stop studying or doing whatever you are doing to learn a foreign language and just give up.

I remember sitting on a couch feeling disappointed because I couldn’t understand certain TV Show that I was watching in English, that’s when I started to wish for a magic trick that could take me to fluency and to understand native speakers.

That’s when I decided to turn to the internet and look for black magic to give me the power of understanding and speaking English fluently.

I was shocked when I found a strange formula based on a mix of dog paws and horse sweating.

Yeah, OK, you got me, I’m just kidding with you, the truth is, there’s no shortcut or a magic formula to learn a language and start speaking Spanish fluently overnight.

Learning Spanish requires time, effort and practice. Just like everything worth getting in life, it doesn’t happen instantly, but it’ a process that in some cases could even take years.

Good news are: you can enjoy that process doing things you like to practice some Spanish, and if you do the right thing, you will probably increase the speed of your learning, and you could decrease the amount of time that your brain requires to achieve fluency.

We all like stories

Let’s go back in time to when there was no computer, nor internet, nor notebooks, nor anything. Education back in those days was a bit different than it is today.

Our ancestors used to teach lessons by saying stories to their offspring, just imagine an old member of a tribe telling the new generations a story about how his grandfather died trying to hunt a lion and extracting a valuable lesson from the story: do not mess around with lions.

Picture the facial expressions on the face of the young people, feeling astonished and a little terrified by the story of their respected grandpa.

Come back to the present day and let me ask you a question … why do we go to the movies? … duh! Of course, to see movies, but why do we like movies? … the answer is because we like stories!

I know that times have changed and listening to their grandpa telling them stories is

not something that many young people enjoy nowadays.

But still, our natural love and interest for stories is there! This is why the entertainment industry is so successful, they tell stories all the time! In the movies, video games, books, TV shows, songs, blog posts; we hear stories all the time because humans love stories!

Use stories to learn Spanish

As you can see we all love stories and you need to take advantage of that to learn Spanish. Stop being stuck between the grammar rules, the boring drills and the irrelevant lists of words.

Ignite your Spanish learning by reading or listening to stories, pick interesting stories you like and “devour” them until you understand them 100%.

Stories may create powerful links in your brain to words in Spanish, you will remember words easily every time you hear them, let me explain why.

Let’s say you’re listening to a story about a guy who had a girlfriend, the guy is profoundly in love with the girl, and because the story is interesting for you (love stories can be boring for some people xD) you are immersed in the story.

Actually, you create some kinds of emotions for the story because you notice how the guy feels about the girl. Now, let’s imagine the girl runs away with another person, and our guy feels really down and he says: “Tengo el corazón roto”, which means: “my heart is broken”.

There’s a high probability that you will remember the guy of the story every time you hear: “tengo el corazón roto” because your emotions got involved in the story, you feel bad for the character of the story.

Now, imagine if the story made you laugh, or if it freaked you out, what if it was an inspirational story? Positive emotions are even more powerful, you could create links to new vocabulary very easily if you use fun stories!

What are you waiting for?

After reading the paragraphs above, you’re probably thinking: “Fine, I get the point, stories are a great way to improve my Spanish. You know, maybe, I’m going to read a couple of Spanish books … Oh, I got it, cien años de soledad by Gabriel Garcia Marquéz!”

Hold your horses! I’m not suggesting you should read or listen to any kind of Spanish stories. Reading serious and recognized books may sound very academic and intellectual, but have in mind that these kinds of books offer a very advanced vocabulary, even for native Spanish speakers this kind of literature is complex to understand.

You need to take it easy, start with simple and easy stories. “What! like if I was a child?” Yes, like if you were a child.

Remember that for your native language, you are a grown-up, but for Spanish, you are just learning to talk and because of that, you need to feed your brain with simple vocabulary and then over time, you can increase the level of your stories.

Spanish stories for beginners and intermediate learners

“You know what Diego? You talk too much, I understand that stories a great to learn Spanish, but hey man, where do I get some easy stories to learn Spanish?” I’m glad you ask! Because if you read blog posts about tips to learn Spanish, then of course you need material to put into practice what you learn here.

Well, the internet is full of resources to learn Spanish, and stories are not an exception. If you google “easy stories in Spanish” or “historias faciles de entender en español”, you will find an infinite source of material.

Those free resources are awesome to learn, you could even go to YouTube and watch some stories.

However, I certainly can recommend you the following books:

The author of these books is Olly Richards, if you read my last post, you know that I love his work and I consider him and his website,IWillTeachYouALanguage.com, one of the best resources to learn languages online.

Since the first pages of these books, you will find awesome instructions on how to read effectively, you can also find a vocabulary section, which is meant to understand the words of the stories.

Nevertheless, Olly aims to focus on enjoy reading, not words or vocabulary, which I think is a very powerful way to learn a language.

As you can see the books are divided by two levels, so if you feel that you need to really take it easy, you can get the version for beginners, or if you feel that you can increase your level you could just get the intermediate level version.

Pricing is very accessible and I seriously think they’re worth it because aside the method, great instructions, and level of reading, the stories are fun!

The links that will take you to these books from this website are affiliate links, which means that we will get a small commission for your purchase.

This doesn’t mean that the price will increase for you, but it means that we will get a small commission from amazon if you buy through one of our links, we’ll be very thankful with you for supporting our work.

Stories for listening

As you know, on this website, we promote listening as the main source to learn languages and what better way to improve your Spanish than combining stories and listening.

If you went to the home page of this website, or if you checked our side bar, you probably noticed that we are offering a free Spanish lesson; it is a story, and around that story, I make a complete lesson that I promise, it will improve your Spanish.

Also, if you would like to get more stories like the one we are giving away for free, you can get more on ourproducts section, they are definitely worth it!

Don’t think that I’m just offering some products through this post, please don’t! Take the valuable information that you learned about stories, don’t get any of the products that I recommend if you don’t want to, but take my advice.

Google for easy to understand stories in Spanish, read them, listen to them and take the most out of them.

There’s no magic formula to achieve fluency in any language, but as I said before, you need time and effort.

I know the words “time and effort” may sound a little overwhelming, but you could replace them with, “Fun and enjoyment”if you do this, I promise fluency will be yours in the blink of an eye leaving you with a bunch of fun memories and a new language to use proficiently.

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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