A Spanish Class
If you can afford it, taking a Spanish class is probably ideal. Local community colleges are great for this. See if there are any adult Spanish education classes available in your area. The classroom approach is one of the better ways to break into a language because it’s very structured and deliberate. You’ll have a teacher helping you and ensuring that you follow through with your work.
Spanish Learning Software
If you can’t afford a class – whether it be time or money – then doing it at home is probably the next best thing. The thing is, however, you have to choose the best course for your own personal learning style and goals. Some software programs are better than others, and no matter what you choose, you have to ensure that you stick with it and be proactive in your approach to learning. A multi-faceted approach is best, with immersion along with English guides to grammar and different cultural applications and nuances.
One of the best Spanish language software courses out there is Rocket Spanish. This program is ideal for people new to the language (or reviving old Spanish that they have learned in the past) who want to get a handle on the basics and to be able to have a very good elementary grasp of the language. It’s a great starting point for anyone looking to learn Spanish at home. We liked the Rocket Languages approach slightly better than the full-on immersion of the popular Rosetta Stone.
Watching Spanish TV / Reading Spanish Magazines
This is a great idea, no matter what method of learning. However, we don’t recommend that this be your only method of learning Spanish. The problem is that you’ll find it hard to progress using only this method, and you probably won’t have the versatility that you would need to use Spanish in a conversation.
However, this is a GREAT idea to supplement learning Spanish in a classroom or a learn at home software course. I did this while I was in college and it really helped me learn Spanish and have it stick. I also got great grades.
Getting A Tutor
Getting a native Spanish speaking tutor is a great idea. Perhaps they could give you private lessons, or perhaps you could meet once a week to practice conversations while you learn at home. No matter what, this is a great resource to have as only using a language will really give it a home in your mind. This is the perfect alternative to living in a Spanish speaking country, as most people do not have that luxury.
No matter what you choose, you should keep in mind that the best way to learn anything is to have fun with it. The more fun you’re having, the better retention you’ll have and the faster you’ll learn. Time will fly and you won’t even feel like you’re working. What do you like to do for fun? Try to incorporate some way of learning Spanish, whether it be watching a favorite TV show with Spanish subtitles, or even in dubbed Spanish, or reading your favorite magazine (like People) in Spanish.
A study at home course – we recommend Rocket Spanish
Spanish speaking tutors or conversation partners
Taking a Spanish class
Movies, books, magazines in Spanish (as a supplement)