How to Learn Conversational Spanish in 12 Steps

a group of people having a conversation

If you are learning Spanish from a beginner level, then developing to a conversational Spanish level can seem a pretty difficult task.

With so many different resources available both online and offline, it can be hard to know which ones are best for you.

With this in mind, in this post we take you through the best twelve ways to learn develop conversational fluency in the Spanish language.

Over the next few minutes of reading, we will cover:

๐Ÿ‘ What it means to be conversational in a language
๐Ÿ‘ Which methods you should adopt in order to reach conversational fluency
๐Ÿ‘ How to learn Spanish from home and find conversational Spanish classes completely free

One thing before we get started: If youโ€™re serious about learning to speak Spanish then be sure to check out our list of Spanish Language Resources. We have tested and rated dozens of online Spanish courses and language apps.ย Tap this link to find out more.

What does conversational Spanish actually mean?

Before we look at the top twelve ways to learn conversational Spanish, let’s define what conversational fluency means in the Spanish language.

In short, ‘conversational’ refers to how well you are able to communicate in a target language.

To be conversational and able to converse in the language you are learning implies that you are able to understand and respond to an individual when they are talking about popular, broad topics.

Therefore, a conversational Spanish speaker should be able to understand a native Spanish speaker when he or she is talking about popular topics.

They should also be able to negotiate everyday affairs and transactions, such as buying a train ticket, exchanging money, ordering food in restaurants or asking for directions.

They should also feel comfortable and at east when communicating in the Spanish language.

By following the twelve steps below (in no particular order) you will be well on your way to developing conversational Spanish.

Find an online Spanish tutor

woman with online tutor

Finding an online Spanish tutor will keep you motivated to learn and more confident when conversing with other Spanish speakers.

There are several websites out there that will connect you with a tutor, such as Tutor.com and LanguageLine Solutions. These sites are often a great way to find free online Spanish courses.

Popular sites like Skype have also added tools to let you learn conversational Spanish for free.

Most online tutors offer conversational Spanish lessons for a reasonable fee. On many tutor marketplace sites (which we’ll come on to shortly) you can also select the tutor based on his or her experience, region and hourly rate.

Watch Spanish movies on Netflix

man watching Netflix

Netflix is the world’s largest video streaming company, offering a lot of different movies in Spanish.

You can watch these on Netflix with English subtitles and get conversational practice all at once!

Below you will find a list of Spanish language movies available to watch on Netflix.

โœ… Casa de las flores

The outward perfection of a family-run flower business hides a dark side rife with dysfunctional secrets in this darkly humorous comedy series.

โœ… Vivir sin Permiso (a series about a Mafia boss living in Galicia – highly recommended!)

An influential Galician drug cartel leader must seek out his successor while keeping his degenerative disease a secret.

โœ… Casa de Papel

A criminal mastermind who goes by “The Professor” has a plan to pull off the biggest heist in recorded history — to print billions of euros in the Royal Mint of Spain. To help him carry out the ambitious plan, he recruits eight people with certain abilities and who have nothing to lose.

Sign up to an online Spanish course

Online Spanish courses are available in abundance. Some schools offer a more intensive experience, while others are better for those who want to study conversational Spanish in a relaxed environment with other English speakers.

If you’re just starting out on your language journey, these sites will help you find an institution that offers conversational and cultural immersion programs.

Here are some of the most popular online Spanish courses which will help you to improve your pronunciation when speaking Spanish:

โœ… Spanish with Maura Lasswell

โœ… Spanish from Spain with Carmen Peralta

โœ… Live Lingua’s conversational Spanish course

Take lessons with a native Spanish speaker or fluent speaker of Spanish

There are plenty of advantages to taking online Spanish classes to improve your Spanish language skills.

One major advantage of an online tutor, of course, is that you can take classes from the comfort of your own home. This makes learning Spanish more accessible at any time of the day.

Another benefit, which is a big plus for those who want conversational skills rather than just knowledge about the language, is that most online Spanish tutors offer audio or video chats with students.

This means that as a student, you receive regular feedback from your Spanish teacher on your Spanish and progress in real time.

Undoubtedly, this goes a long way towards improving conversational skills.

Online learning is also advantageous because it exposes you to a variety of speakers from multiple Spanish speaking countries.

Where to learn Spanish with a native Spanish tutor

Below, you will see our suggested sites to find a high quality online tutor.

Preply

Preply is an innovative language teaching website, which connects students of various languages with professional teachers.

On Preply, you can learn to speak Spanish confidently through native speakers who are fully qualified and experienced in the field.

Teachers on Preply range from unqualified, part time language tutors, to PhD holders and specialists.

Through the platform, you are able to filter your search by location, price, experience and whether or not the first lesson is free of charge.

Preply provides an ideal place to practice Spanish conversation and speak Spanish confidently with somebody who can guide you.

PRODUCTKey PointsPricing

BECOME A TUTOR
โœ… Choose your own rates and teach any subject, whenever you like.
โœ… Access to hundreds of lesson plans, completely free.
โœ… Easy to get started quickly by filling out a short application.
Free sign up. Set your own teaching rates depending on your own personal experience and qualifications.

LEARN A LANGUAGE
โœ… Ability to select a tutor within your budget.
โœ… Simple navigation feature to filter tutors by location, experience, qualifications etc.
โœ… Ability to read students reviews of other teachers.
Tutor rates vary. Click 'Learn a Language' to get started and filter tutors based on your own personal budget.

Tandem

Tandem is a great place to practice Spanish conversation with a native speaker.

The Tandem language app is a conversational learning tool that pairs you up with someone from another country to chat.

The goal of the app is not only for two people to learn conversational skills in their native languages, but also for them to help each other improve those conversational skills by chatting and exchanging ideas about cultural differences.

Whilst Tandem is not necessarily a place to learn Spanish, it is certainly a great resource if you want to speak Spanish more regularly in a relaxed environment.

italki

iTalki is an online language learning platform that connects conversational learners with native speakers of their target language.

You can use italki to learn conversational Spanish in lesson format, much like its rival, Preply.

Italki has a few features which make it stand out from the crowd and an ideal place to develop your conversation skills with a Spanish teacher.

Firstly, the user interface is easy to navigate. Secondly, the first lesson is often free (depending on the tutor).

And finally, you can select a native speaker by using the search filter, just like on Preply.

Listen to Spanish language podcasts

image of man listening to spanish podcast

Listening to Spanish podcasts is one of the best ways to practice Spanish pronunciation and master basic conversational skills from an early stage in the learning process.

There are so many free listening resources available, and theyโ€™re an easy way for you or your kids to listen any convenient time.

A great time to listen to Spanish podcasts is during a commute into work each morning.

Here are some popular podcasts that you may want to listen to:

โœ… Radio Ambulante (a podcast from National Public Radio)

โœ… Al Punto con Jorge Ramos (an interview show hosted by Univision and Telemundo journalist, Jorge Ramos)

โœ… How Did You Learn Spanish? (a conversational interview)

We have produced a whole post dedicated to podcasts in Spanish here.

Move to a Spanish speaking country

If you are looking for a more immersive environment, then moving to a Spanish speaking country could be the solution to learning Spanish quickly.

Whilst this does not guarantee Spanish fluency, immersive cultural integration generally leads to being able to speak Spanish confidently in a shorter space of time than if you’d stayed at home.

Typically, those who learn Spanish most quickly are those who feel integrated with the language.

By making friends or working abroad, your speaking skills will inevitably progress. Furthermore, studying Spanish becomes less of a chore and speaking Spanish becomes more natural.

Working or studying in a Spanish speaking country is a great way not only to meet native Spanish speakers, but also to meet advanced Spanish learners from your own country.

Some of the most popular destinations for anybody looking to move abroad include Spain, Mexico and Costa Rica, all of which are home to numerous language schools.

Learning Spanish through a language school is a great way to learn Spanish with likeminded people.

Learn Spanish vocabulary every day

image of woman reading bookWhilst learning languages and attempting to learn vocabulary regularly, it’s important to practice writing, listening and speaking every day through the adoption of new vocabulary.

Building your vocabulary is an effective way to learn Spanish little by little.

There are many ways to learn new language vocabulary and develop your language skills at your own pace on a daily basis.

Furthermore, it’s often completely free! Some of the best ways to incorporate vocabulary building into your Spanish learning include:

โœ… Chatting with others who speak Spanish to progress your language learning and boost conversation skills

โœ… Reading books in the Spanish language

Note: Even if you are not a reader, it’s important to get into the habit of reading in Spanish as quickly as possible.

โœ… Watching or reading news stories from Spain and South America

โœ… Watching films and TV shows that have a dubbed version of each film, (not subtitled).

Note: This will help improve your listening skills, as well as learn new words.

โœ… Using apps and websites such as Spanish Vocabulary Builder, as well as tutor marketplaces with online classes

โœ… Learning conversational Spanish from a book, audio and video course combo with real world videos.

โœ… Listening to the radio in your target language

Practice Spanish with friends

A group of friends speaking

Practice with your friends! Whether you are learning Spanish online or whilst in a Spanish speaking country, native Spanish speakers are a key to conversational Spanish.

Practice Spanish around the house with housemates or with colleagues whilst at work.

Talking to each other in Spanish is the fastest and most practical, natural way to practice conversational Spanish and learn the language as quickly as possible.

In order to make Spanish friends online, it is necessary to join a conversational Spanish group.

One of the most popular such groups on Facebook are those where you can find people with conversational Spanish levels similar to yours and who also want to learn conversational Spanish.

A word of caution about these types of groups: make sure that they allow native speakers before joining, otherwise it will be full of people trying to sell their services or asking you to help them speak Spanish fluently.

Learn the basic grammar rules as quickly as possible

Understanding basic Spanish grammar, such as verb tenses and conjugations, (and a range of Spanish words and common phrases in context) is the key to mastering basic Spanish conversation.

Whether you are learning Latin American Spanish or Castilian Spanish in Spain, you will need to learn Spanish grammar in order to develop conversational Spanish, then Spanish fluency.

The best way to learn conversational Spanish grammar is by studying from a grammar book, watching videos online or using a foreign language app that allows you to practice your Spanish skills with language partners or a Spanish tutor.

Your current level of education and your learning style will determine which textbook or language resource is perfect for you. Furthermore, don’t feel you need to follow traditional classroom learning methods.

Our top 3 Spanish learning apps

Below, we have listed our top 3 recommended Spanish learning apps.

Rocket Spanish

Rocket Spanish is a language learning app that uses audio lessons, interactive exercises and readings to get you to a conversational level in Spanish. Through its structured and proven successful process, you will begin to understand more about the language you are learning. Conversation classes are available through the app and interface.ย Review

Rocket Languages

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
Highly effective at improving listening skills, reading skills and overall comprehension.Not the cheapest option but justified pricing based on features and benefits available.

Ease of Use

Languages

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Simple, modern dashboard designed to be as easy as possible to use.12 of the world's most popular languages available including Spanish and French.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ No Subscription Fees
๐Ÿ‘ Very Good App & Website
๐Ÿ‘ Comprehensive Courses
๐Ÿ‘ Money Back Guarantee
๐Ÿ‘Ž One-Time Payment Required
๐Ÿ‘Ž You May Require a Language Tutor

Summary


Rocket Languages is one of the more advanced language learning resources we have come across. Its lesson features, comprehensive courses and travelogues make it better than the majority of its competitors for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.

It is more expensive than many short term because it requires a one-time payment, not a subscription. There is a free trial available for all learners.

One-time Payment Dependent on Language

Pimsleur

Pimsleur Spanish is designed to get you conversational in Spanish as quickly as possible. Its course structure is based on its own successfully proven method. Pimsleur Spanish contains 210 thirty minute audio lessons with plenty of additional review content. Pimsleur offers all users a free 7 day trial in a variety of popular languages.ย Review

Pimsleur

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.0 out of 5.0 stars 3.0 out of 5.0 stars
Effective at improving listening skills and overall Spanish comprehension.More expensive than almost all main competitors.
7 Day Free Trial included.

Ease of Use

Languages

5.0 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Modern dashboard. Very easy to use and navigate on desktop and app.40+ languages available, including Spanish, French, Italian, German and Chinese.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ Huge library of audio lessons
๐Ÿ‘ Modern, user-friendly dashboard
๐Ÿ‘ Proven, effective method
๐Ÿ‘ Encourages speaking practice
๐Ÿ‘Ž More expensive than main competitors
๐Ÿ‘Ž Repetitive with limited reading practice

Summary


Pimsleur Spanish is a great option for anybody looking to improve their overall Spanish comprehension. The Premium Plan includes more than 75 hours of Spanish audio content, taking you from beginner through to advanced level. Native speakers feature throughout the course to get you used to hearing the language.

Pimsleur's method is effective but repetitive. We do not suggest relying on this resource alone to help you learn Spanish. We'd like to see Pimsleur incorporate better grammar explanations into their lessons.

FluentU

FluentU is a language-learning platform that brings language learning to life through language immersion with news videos. It provides users with an immersive learning experience through commercials, interviews, music videos, tutorials and more. By teaching through video, FluentU helps you to interact with Spanish in a way that many apps cannot.ย Review

FluentU

Effectiveness

Value for Money

4.5 out of 5.0 stars 3.5 out of 5.0 stars
Highly effective at improving listening skills, reading skills and overall comprehension.More expensive than its main competitor, Yabla, but more video content available. 14 Day Free Trial included.

Ease of Use

Languages

4.5 out of 5.0 stars 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Modern dashboard. Very easy to use and navigate. Spanish, Chinese, Italian, German, French, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, English and Japanese.
โœ… Pros
โŒ Cons
๐Ÿ‘ Huge library of video content
๐Ÿ‘ Modern, user-friendly dashboard
๐Ÿ‘ Interactive Subtitles
๐Ÿ‘ Wide variety of games and activities
๐Ÿ‘Ž Not the cheapest option on the market
๐Ÿ‘Ž Limited speaking practice

Summary


FluentU is a great language immersion tool. The real-life and simulated videos encourage you to see the language for yourself in a realistic way, emulating real-life experiences. There are features for quizzes and flashcards as well as a dictionary to look up vocabulary that you are unfamiliar with.

In terms of grammar explanations and speaking practice, FluentU is lacking a little. We recommend seeking additional tools to really strengthen those skills.

$20 p/month (Free Trial for 14 days)

Don’t focus too much on the Spanish accent or dialect

a map of Spanish speaking countries
When developing conversational Spanish, it’s very common to focus on the type of Spanish you want to learn or the Spanish accent you think you should have.

When you are learning a new language, try not to focus too much on the accent. There are thousands of accents and dialects in the Spanish language, not just within Latin America but also in Spain.

When you study Spanish, the most important thing at early stages is to understand the grammar, frequent phrases and other language necessities.

Purchase a Spanish phrasebook or grammar book

Phrasebooks are a great way to learn Spanish whilst studying alone. We mentioned previously, it’s important to learn the grammar before mastering your speaking skills.

A phrasebook will teach conversational phrases in Spanish and provide translations for common expressions and questions. Typically, they provide a platform from which to progress from basic conversation.

Additionally, the phonetic spelling in phrasebooks is often a great way to practice Spanish pronunciation.

Grammar books are also a valuable resource for developing Spanish speakers.

They provide an opportunity learn Spanish through a more traditional, academic method, which still suits many learners.

Whilst they do not provide the same level of linguistic intimacy as a Spanish tutor, they are a great investment for those wishing to study in their native language.

image of blog author with book on 501 Spanish verbs

Oh, by the way, this is me! My name is James, I’m a Spanish tutor and the author of most of the language material on this site.

The book I’m holding, Barron’s 501 Spanish Verbs, is the book I used to learn over 500 regular, irregular and reflexive verbs in multiple tenses. I highly recommend it! You can get your copy below ๐Ÿ™‚

Write in Spanish every day

Believe it or not, the process of learning Spanish is made easier with consistent writing.

The Spanish language is phonetic, which means that it is almost always written in the same way that it’s pronounced.

Writing in Spanish will help you to learn grammar, particularly if you are a visual learner. It will also help a great deal with your vocabulary development.

Pronouncing the words aloud while reading or typing is a great way to understand how they sound when they are spoken.

When using these methods on a regular basis, you will see that learning Spanish becomes much easier.

If you are in the process of learning Spanish from a beginner level, start by writing the names of objects on sticky notes around your house!

Now it’s time to put this into practice!

We hope you found this blog post to be an insightful overview of the best ways to learn conversational Spanish.

You don’t have to take a class or buy expensive textbooks if you want to speak more in-depth with your Latino friends and colleagues.

There are plenty of free online resources that can help get you started on your journey towards fluency, plenty of which we have covered in this post.

Try to start incorporating a few into your daily routine. Not only will they help boost conversational Spanish skills, but also improve other aspects of life.

The key to speaking Spanish is to find a conversational Spanish course or an online resource that works for you.

Take an approach that fits in with your lifestyle. Whatever it takes to learn more about this beautiful language – do it!

We want everyone to be able to enjoy their time on earth comfortably speaking another language while learning new things along the way!

Which one are you going to apply first in order to learn Spanish as quickly as possible?

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However, the review and blog content this site is not dependent on the value of any product or the percentage of the sale we may receive. All reviews and language articles on this site are the opinion of that particular writer.

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