While many of us spend lesson after lesson getting to grips with Spanish grammar, it turns out that what we instinctively knew – learning Spanish grammar is not the best way to learn to speak Spanish – has now been confirmed.
While grammar certainly does have a place in a complete language course, it doesn't help us with what for most people is the main objective of learning Spanish – to be able to hold a conversation.
The problem with concentrating on learning Spanish grammar is that we don't practice the one thing that will help us learn Spanish most effectively – and that is simply to practice speaking Spanish with native Spanish speakers.
By hearing Spanish spoken with the correct pronunciation and with the vocabulary and structures that are used in everyday Spanish – as opposed to how the grammar books tell us we should speak – and trying to reproduce our own version, being corrected when required, we can assimilate the language much faster and soon become competent Spanish speakers.
That isn't to say there is no place for grammar study of course. Grammar, taught completely separately from conversational practice, can help us understand why phrases are structured in certain ways.
It is there imperative that in order to learn to speak Spanish in the shortest time possible you find a course that teaches one-to-one conversation as well as grammar and the teaching should focus on how Spanish is spoken, rather than formal Spanish.
If you are unable to find a course that offers these then focus on finding a teacher who will at least teach grammar as it is spoken. You can search for someone in your area to talk Spanish with, perhaps in return for doing the same in English.
Learning a language will always remain difficult for most of us. But to maximize your chances of success you need to need to make sure that your efforts are focused in the right areas and soon you will find yourself making rapid progress.
Mark Hazard has lived in Spain for more than 5 years, which explains his interest in learning Spanish. His website, Simply Learn Spanish has more information about .