As many of you already know, there is no magic pill that you can take that will transform you into a fluent Spanish speaker; learning a language means that you have to fully engage with it, going through good and bad days, and commit yourself to something that will take lots of effort and dedication to achieve.
There are, however, lots of techniques and programs that you can use to improve your Spanish. If you are a beginner then you will want to start off with a course that gets you using Spanish right from the start. After reviewing many of the courses out there, I have managed to get that list down to three: an audio course, software and a video program. You can see those courses here - how to learn Spanish fast.
What We All Need to Be Doing
In order to learn Spanish fast you must put yourself out there and speak as often as you can. This is something that most of you realize, but actually doing it is another matter. There is no substitute for practicing your Spanish through conversation; using the Spanish that you know and listening for new Spanish to put into practice. Many learners don't have the opportunity to do this as they don't live in a Spanish speaking country. But living in Spain gives you all the opportunities in the world to speak Spanish.
I'm a shy person. I found it difficult at first to speak Spanish in groups of people. I tried my best to force myself to just speak, but I couldn't do it. Then I realized that the problem wasn't just speaking Spanish in large groups, it was speaking any language in large groups. So, what I did was I arranged lots of individual intercambios so that I could speak to my hearts content. I put myself out there in a different way.
I found a way to practice my Spanish as much as possible and made great progress. I stopped hanging out with my expat friends for one or two nights a week to meet up with my new Spanish friends. I asked them to correct me, I made lots of mistakes, but I didn't stop trying.
This is how I learned Spanish fast. I used my Spanish, made lots of mistakes, learned from them along with learning from my language partners, and started making progress.
So, I have a question. How has 2011 been for you in terms of learning Spanish? And what are you going to do differently in 2012?