How to Learn Spanish (or any language)

1. Understand that 'to learn Spanish' means
'to become fluent in Spanish'

When it comes to learning Spanish, we believe fluency is the only worthwhile goal. The reason is simple: when you are fluent in Spanish you are in a position to participate fully in the life and culture of the 500 million Spanish speakers in the world. When you've taken one or a few Spanish classes you have started to make progress on the road to fluency, but your ability to participate in Hispanic life and culture, including business, is very limited. What is the point of studying Spanish if you won't be able to use it in your life? When you are fluent in Spanish you are able to use Spanish in many significant and rewarding ways.

If you stop after a couple of classes or programs, the time you've put in so far will go to waste. Within a year most of what you've learned will fade and your ability to participate in the incredibly rich and varied Spanish speaking world will pretty much be limited to trivial 'travel Spanish'; you won't be able to enjoy TV shows, movies, radio, books or normal conversations in Spanish.

2. Understand that fluency is the mastery of two related but independent skills:

  • The skill of understanding what native Spanish speakers say - in any situation
  • The skill of speaking Spanish that native Spanish speakers can understand in order to convey any idea you want

(The skills of reading and writing Spanish are easily acquired on the way to fluency)

3. Understand that a very enjoyable path to fluency exists that you can (mostly) do at home.

It is based on practices that trigger your natural language learning ability (the same ability that allowed you to become fluent in your native language)

The chart below shows the progression of the two fluency skills, understanding and speaking, as they evolve from ‘Beginner’ through ‘Fluency’.

What you practice to become more skillful changes as you move from one level to the next. Understanding what those practices are and how to do them is the key to your becoming fluent.
There are literally thousands of books, DVD programs, classes, tutoring approaches and online programs that teach you ‘Spanish’. They all work in the sense that you will always learn some of the Spanish language (or something about the Spanish language) with any of them. But few of them, alone, will even get you close to fluency.
The Pars Omni Spanish Fluency Program shows you exact practices to improve your understanding and speaking skills at each level. And the Program is practical: you accomplish the 4 levels from Basic through Practical Fluency on your own, and on your own schedule, using our Spanish Fluency Membership software.
At the beginning, we offer our Foundation Spanish Class. It’s for those who are just beginning their study of Spanish and also those who have takes some classes or other instruction quite a while ago and are feeling like they can no longer access what they once new. More information 
The Spanish Fluency Membership Program is a subscription based program whose main purpose is to improve your passive knowledge of Spanish as quickly and easily as possible. This program also focuses on developing your ability to speak Spanish, but your biggest hindrance to improving your speaking ability is always your lack of passive understanding, which must take priority. More information 
At the Basic level you have the ability to converse in Spanish with a basic vocabulary of 1500+ words and you have the ability to express yourself in 6 verb tenses in the past, present and future. This gives you a taste of what fluency feels like: you can carry on simple conversations with (cooperative) native speakers. You need to have these abilities and the confidence that you can already converse in Spanish in order to make good progress in, and persist in, the Membership – because there you’ll be on your own.
By the time you reach the end of the Intermediate Level, you may want to engage in tutoring or practice conversations or advanced conversational classes or (best) travel abroad in order to get more practice speaking Spanish with native Spanish speakers. We offer some of these programs and there are plenty of other providers of such programs.
Of course, you can focus on speaking or conversational practice even at the Basic or Intermediate Levels – any such practice is always good – as long as you don’t sacrifice your Membership time devoted to improving your passive knowledge. Failure to follow this guideline (usually due to ignorance) is why many of the following students experience frustration at their lack of progress or abandon their studies:
•Those who take one-month or less ‘intensive’ Spanish classes in Spanish language countries before they’ve reached at least the high-Intermediate level
•Those who take private tutoring before they’ve reached the Advanced Level.

When you are fluent your world looks like this:

And here's what you can do:

Participate fully (understanding and speaking) with Spanish speakers and culture:

  • Your Spanish speaking world includes (potentially) 500 Million Spanish speakers
  • Understand and enjoy thousands of Spanish language TV shows, songs, films and videos
  • Understand and enjoy thousands of books, magazines and newspapers
  • Automatically continue to improve your Spanish for the rest of your life - just as native speakers do 
  • Experience the gratifying sense of 'flow' when you communicate in Spanish - just as you do in your native language.

And if you don't reach fluency in Spanish what can you expect?

From Beginner to Elementary level your world looks like this:

Rudimentary participation with Spanish speakers and culture at best:

  • Understanding: you understand a few hundred words. You are unable to understand TV shows, radio, film, newspapers, books, people except for isolated words. 
  • Speaking: very limited.
  • Difficult to learn Spanish on your own.

At Intermediate level your world looks like this:

Limited participation with Spanish speakers and culture:

  • Understanding: you can understand spoken Spanish using a vocabulary of 1200 to 2500 words. You'll struggle to understand most native conversations, TV shows, films, books etc.
  • Speaking: you can speak about most every-day subjects at a simple level. You'll struggle and mostly fail at trying to match your speaking ability in English.
  • You can begin acquiring Spanish on your own under good conditions.

At Advanced level your world looks like this:

Participate substantially well with Spanish speakers and culture:

  • Understanding: you can participate in the 'mass culture' (TV, books, newspapers) and most conversations, and still need to look up words or ask for clarification in various situations.
  • Speaking: you can discuss any personal or public topic easily, still making grammatical and usage 'errors'.
  • You can improve your Spanish on your own with little effort.
  • Occasional experience of the 'flow' associated with fluency.

3.  There's an amazing ability that you (we all) have to learn languages

You (we all) learned out native language without effort or study 

If you don't use that same natural ability to help you learn Spanish - or you don't yet know how to use it without having to travel to a Spanish speaking country - you'll miss out on the one thing that can guarantee your success no matter how many classes or programs you take.