Learn Spanish

Learning Spanish can be an enjoyable experience, as it can expand your personal and professional horizons, while unlocking new opportunities for growth and development. In this article, we will explore why you should learn Spanish, the benefits of learning the language, how to learn Spanish, how to stay motivated while learning, how to measure your Spanish level, how to pick a good Spanish course, and why going abroad is the best way to learn Spanish.

Learn Spanish with EF

Article overview

Want to learn Spanish?

Here's why you should choose EF for your Spanish course abroad.

Global leader in international education

State-of-the-art schools in Spain and Costa Rica

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All-inclusive package: language course, accomodation and meal plan

24/7 support, from the pre-booking stage until after you return home

Learn Spanish abroad

Why learn Spanish

Learning English is a good way to improve your professional future and expand your horizons. More and more people around the world use English as a way to connect with people from different cultural backgrounds. The English language has become the lingua franca of international communication, trade, business, diplomacy, and many other areas. Mastering the language will open doors for you, both expected and unexpected.

According to the EF English Proficiency Index (EPI), the world's largest ranking of countries and regions by English skills, more than 1 billion people speak English as a first or second language, and hundreds of millions as a third or fourth. English proficiency helps scientists, researchers, tourists, and business professionals exchange information. On an individual level, people who speak English get better jobs, earn more, and have access to more of the information available online.

5 benefits of learning Spanish

If you're not totally sold on the idea of learning Spanish, let me give you a few more reasons to consider:

  1. Open the door to all other romance languages: Learning Spanish is a gateway to other romance languages, such as French, Italian, and Portuguese. Once you have a foundation in Spanish, it will be easier to learn other languages in the same family.
  2. Enjoy your favorite songs and movies in their original language: Knowing Spanish can help you understand the lyrics of your favorite Spanish-language songs and enjoy movies and TV shows without relying on subtitles. You'll be able to appreciate the nuances of the language and the culture behind it.
  3. Immerse yourself in Spanish literature and culture: Learning Spanish can give you access to a rich and diverse literary tradition, as well as a vibrant and dynamic culture. From Cervantes to García Márquez, there are countless books and authors to discover and enjoy.
  4. Make new friends and connections: Speaking Spanish can help you connect with people from different backgrounds and cultures, and make new friends in a different language. Whether you're traveling, studying abroad, or meeting new people in your community, knowing Spanish can help you bridge cultural divides and build new relationships.
  5. Boost your career prospects and personal growth: Bilingualism in Spanish and another language can be a valuable asset in many industries, including healthcare, education, business, and government. It can open doors to new job opportunities and higher salaries. Learning Spanish can also provide opportunities for personal growth, cultural awareness, and empathy.

How to learn Spanish

There are many ways to learn Spanish, including taking courses at a language school, hiring a private tutor, or using online resources such as language learning apps. It's essential to choose a learning method that suits your learning style and goals, whether it's through immersion, self-study, or a combination of both.

To learn Spanish quickly, one of the most effective methods is to immerse yourself in the language. Ideally, you would be surrounded by Spanish 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and the most practical way to achieve this is to travel to a Spanish-speaking country. But even if you can't travel, you can still create a Spanish immersion environment at home. At first, this may seem overwhelming, but you can take it one step at a time:

  1. Surround yourself with Spanish language materials and make them part of your daily life, such as Spanish books, movies, TV shows, music, and podcasts. You can also change the language settings on your phone and computer to Spanish, and use Spanish-language apps and websites.
  2. Try to speak Spanish as much as possible, even if you're just practicing with yourself or a language-learning app. You can also find a language exchange partner or tutor to practice speaking with. You can set aside some time each day to practice speaking, even if it's just for a few minutes.
  3. Learning about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries can help you better understand the language and make it more interesting. You can try cooking Spanish cuisine, learning about the history and traditions of Spanish-speaking countries, or even attending cultural events in your area. Social media is also a great resource for connecting with Spanish-speaking communities and staying up-to-date on current events in Spanish-speaking countries.

Repeat this process and try incorporating Spanish into different parts of your day. Read Spanish literature, watch Spanish-language movies or TV shows, listen to Spanish podcasts, practice Spanish with a language-learning app, or learn to play Spanish songs on a musical instrument. The key is to make Spanish a part of your daily routine and find ways to integrate it into the activities you already enjoy.

Challenges of learning Spanish

Learning Spanish can be an enjoyable and stimulating experience, but it comes with unique challenges that learners may face. Some of the primary obstacles for Spanish learners include:

  1. Pronunciation: Spanish has a distinct sound that can be challenging for non-native speakers to replicate. Spanish features rolled "r's," unique vowel sounds, and syllable stress patterns that can take time to master.
  2. Grammar: Spanish grammar is known for being complex, and there are many verb tenses, noun declensions, and grammatical structures to learn. Spanish has several irregular verbs that do not follow a specific pattern, making it challenging for learners to memorize.
  3. Vocabulary: Spanish has an extensive vocabulary, and some words can have multiple meanings, making it difficult for learners to determine the appropriate context. Learners may also encounter colloquial expressions and idioms that can be challenging to understand.
  4. Regional dialects: Spain and Latin America have many regional dialects, and these can differ significantly from standard Spanish. This can be confusing for learners who are not familiar with the variations.
  5. Listening and speaking skills: Spanish spoken at a native pace can be challenging for learners to understand. Learners may struggle with comprehension when encountering regional dialects or fast-paced conversations.

Learning Spanish may come with some obstacles, but it's also an experience that can be incredibly satisfying. With practice and dedication, you can overcome these obstacles and gain proficiency in the language. Resources such as textbooks, language learning apps, and language exchange programs can be beneficial in supplementing classroom instruction and improving your language skills. By immersing yourself in the Spanish language and culture, you can gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of Spanish and the people who speak it.

Stay motivated while learning Spanish

Learning Spanish can be a challenging yet rewarding experience. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to stay motivated! Here are a few tips:

  1. Set realistic goals: Break your Spanish learning journey into smaller, more manageable pieces, and set attainable objectives for each step. For example, you could aim to learn ten new Spanish words each day, or try to master a particular grammar rule within a week. Remember to celebrate each small victory and keep pushing towards your bigger goals.
  2. Practice regularly: Consistency is essential when learning Spanish. Incorporate regular practice of speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Spanish. You could establish a particular time each day to study Spanish or integrate Spanish into your everyday routine, like listening to Spanish music or podcasts during your commute.
  3. Immerse yourself in Spanish: The more you immerse yourself in the Spanish language, the more inspired you'll be to continue learning. Consider changing the language settings on your phone, computer, or social media accounts to Spanish, or watch Spanish movies or TV shows with subtitles. Seek out Spanish language groups or events in your community and practice speaking with native speakers.
  4. Find a language partner: Learning Spanish with a partner or group can help you stay motivated and on track. Seek out a language exchange program in your local area or find a language partner online. Practice speaking Spanish together and offer each other feedback and support.
  5. Take breaks and enjoy yourself: Learning Spanish can be difficult, so it's important to take breaks and have fun along the way. Give yourself a reward for accomplishing your goals, or take a break from studying to engage in something you enjoy in Spanish, like cooking a Spanish dish or reading a Spanish novel. Remember, learning Spanish is a journey, not a destination, so be sure to relish the process!

How to measure your Spanish level

There are various language proficiency exams you can take to measure your Spanish level, such as the DELE exam, the SIELE exam, or the ACTFL exam. These exams can help you determine your language level and set realistic goals for your language learning journey.

If you're learning Spanish, taking a standardized Spanish test can be a useful way to assess your current level and track your progress over time. Our Spanish test assesses reading and listening comprehension skills and is built to the same standards as other Spanish proficiency exams such as the DELE or SIELE. The test takes 30 minutes to complete and the best part is, it's free!

Our Spanish test provides you with a score between 0 and 100 for both listening and reading skills, as well as an overall score. The scores are aligned with the six levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) from A1 to C2. This means that you can use your score to compare your Spanish language proficiency with other language learners around the world, and set goals to improve your skills. Whether you're learning Spanish for personal or professional reasons, our Spanish test is a useful tool for assessing your progress and achieving your language goals.

Test your Spanish

How to pick a good Spanish course

An English course is a good idea for beginners and can be a great investment if you know what you’re looking for. Before researching English course options, sit down and make a list of your goals as you learn English. If you’re looking for a broad introduction to the language, that’s a very different course than one that prepares you for negotiating contracts in English or one that gets you ready to take the TOEFL. It’s worth spending 15 minutes putting your goals down on paper.

Once you know what you’re looking for, research which English courses most closely match your learning goals. Here are the main options:


  • Online English courses – unlimited access to the platform + live teacher lessons on demand, or a private teacher to study what you want to study
  • English language schools – once or twice a week in a location near you (just like regular school)
  • English courses abroad – 3-4 hours of lessons a day + a host family (full immersion experience)
  • Self-study – the most common way to learn English. There are extensive English reference materials online as well as English learning apps.

Class size

  • Private lessons – work on exactly what you want (more expensive)
  • Group lessons – follow a set curriculum and meet at set times (less expensive)


  • Long-term English courses – meet once or twice a week all year (usually 2-4 hours/week)
  • Intensive English courses – meet every day for 2-6 weeks (usually 15-30 hours/week)


  • General English courses – a broad spectrum course covering all aspects of the English language
  • Specific English courses – IELTS preparation, TOEFL preparation, medical English, aviation English, English for Academic purposes (EAP), etc.

The more specific your goals, the more likely you are to find an English course that can meet them. And remember, as you learn English, your goals may change, so revisit them regularly and adjust your learning strategy accordingly.

Studying Spanish with EF was an amazing experience that boosted my confidence. As a beginner, I was intimidated by the language, but EF's comprehensive approach made it easy to understand and practice. Now, I feel more confident speaking Spanish and have even used my language skills professionally.

Jenny, EF New York

Learn Spanish with EF

At EF, we have over 50 years of experience teaching Spanish to students from all corners of the world. Our own Spanish curriculum is available exclusively at EF schools globally, and we offer a range of courses suitable for learners at every level.

 If you're thinking about enrolling in a Spanish course, our team of education consultants is available to help you choose a program that matches your goals and budget. Contact an EF office in your area to learn more about our Spanish language courses and how we can help you achieve your language learning objectives.

English schools

Explore a wide range of opportunities to learn English in our English-speaking schools.

Learn Spanish in Spain

Immerse yourself in the Spanish language and culture while studying at our centrally located schools in Barcelona and Malaga.

Learn Spanish in Costa Rica

Enhance your Spanish language skills while studying at our school in Costa Rica, located in a coastal city surrounded by the breathtaking natural beauty of the region.

Frequently asked questions about learning Spanish

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