Is it Really Possible to Learn Spanish at Home

By: Terry Edwards

Of all of the Romance languages, Spanish is the most widely spoken by native speakers (47%), so it's certainly no wonder you want to learn it as well. As the official language of many countries all over the world, it simplifies communicating with locals during your travels and if you have a Spanish speaking population back at home, you'll enjoy sharing in their culture at the native level.

Spanish, as with most languages, is directly descended from Latin, or more precisely, Vulgar Latin, the form used by commoners throughout the Roman Empire. In many respects, the vocabulary and grammar is similar to other languages such as Portuguese, French and Italian, so if you speak any of these languages, learning Spanish will be a breeze for you or certainly vice versa.

As with any language studies, Spanish may be learned in a variety of ways and will generally take up to 300 hours to become skilled at speaking fluently. Taking classes locally in a group setting by a trained instructor is often helpful, but you'll proceed at a slower pace. The best method of course is total immersion - actually living and working in locality where Spanish is the official language.

However, with our busy schedules, often hectic personal lives and even financial limitations, immersion may not be feasible and classes may conflict with other obligations. That really leaves two other choices, which are hiring a private tutor or simply learning at home on our own. Private tutors of course are costly and you're still subject to adhering to a schedule for your lessons.

Fortunately, there is an abundance of self-taught training in Spanish widely available on the Internet, CD's, DVD's, audio cassette and even in workbooks and manuals. Pursuing a home study course is ideal because you learn according to your schedule and at your own pace. You can listen to CD's for example while driving, working out or doing just about any other activity.

You'll start with basics, learning simple vocabulary and grammar to communicate with native speakers. As your vocabulary and skill at grammar increases, you may want to find other Spanish speaking people to practice with; ideally someone who's native language is Spanish. This will allow you to focus on the details of the language and refine your level of fluency.

Learning Spanish at home is a rewarding experience that will stay with you throughout your life. By turning it into a family activity you'll also benefit your children and expose them to a wonderful culture with centuries of rich history!

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