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How To Learn Spanish On YouTube: 2020 Guide – Justlearn

Boredom is the enemy of all language learners.

Many formerly eager learners have found their enthusiasm slowly leached away. It can happen because they found memorizing words dull or just found it hard to concentrate on droning conjugation lessons.

In order to stay motivated, language learners – and language teachers – need to find a way to keep lessons engaging and entertaining. The use of audio and visual media has always been a potent tool in  language teachers’ arsenal. 

Playing tapes in class – of people having conversations or music – gives learners a feel for the language and livens up what could have been a dull learning.

Even better are language learning videos, where engaging hosts or cute animated illustrations can catch the learners attention and get the point across better than a droning live lecture.

One particularly effective language learning tool that has arisen with the popularity and ubiquitousness of the Internet is YouTube. 

This online video-sharing platform is the world’s second-most popular site after Google and features videos created and uploaded by people all over the world.

“How-to” videos have got to be some of the most popular types of content available on YouTube.

All you have to do is Google “how to _____” something and there is bound to be a YouTube video or two or three or more on that very topic. 

Search “how to learn Spanish” on YouTube, or Google the topic and the result will be a wealth of videos AND video playlists and channels that promise to help you learn basic Spanish.

All you need is a good internet connection and you can spend hours on YouTube just watching “learn Spanish” YouTube channels.

Why learn Spanish on YouTube?

1. It is convenient

As long as you have an internet connection, and a computer, laptop, or mobile device, you can watch a Spanish for beginners YouTube video. This means that you can have a Spanish language lesson anytime or anywhere.

The lessons videoed and uploaded on YouTube are more or less permanent, so you can return to them time and time again.

If you’ve forgotten something, or need a refresher, you just need to watch the video again. 

There’s also the convenience of being able to rewind or fast forward a video.

If you were distracted, or didn’t catch something, you can rewind or playback to that particular part of the video.

As many times as you need to till you get it. 

This feature of YouTube is much more convenient than having to ask a live lecturer to repeat something.

2. It is free

If you are wondering how you can learn Spanish for free, the answer is YouTube.

Most videos available on this video streaming platform are free.

Sure, you just have to deal with being shown a few advertisements, but these are quite short and you can skip them.

How to learn Spanish on YouTube: 3 important steps

If you are wondering how to learn Spanish quickly using YouTube videos, we recommend that you should follow these three steps.

1. Watch intently 

Find a good Spanish step-by-step YouTube and play it, giving it your full attention.

Most Spanish learning videos on YouTube come “bite-sized”, so they are usually between five to ten minutes or less.

While there are longer videos out there, they are usually for more advanced learners or may not be geared for language teaching.

When you are watching a YouTube video for the first time, watch intently and try to understand everything. Treat it like a real “classroom” situation, with the YouTuber as your teacher.  Do not do anything else and give it your full attention.

2. Take notes

Again, treat your Spanish language learning YouTube viewing like a “classroom”, so take notes while you are watching.

Taking notes by hand, writing down information, is an effective way to memorize and remember things. So, while watching, jot down some quick notes on what is being taught.

These could serve as a guide for you to review the information later or a quick reference when you want to confirm something mentioned in future lessons.

You should also jot down any questions you have or any points in the video that are not too clear.

After watching the video you can try and search for the answer or more information on the topic through other channels.

3. Repeat the videos

We recommend that you watch a YouTube video straight first, with no distractions. But just because you’ve watched a video through, doesn’t mean you should consider it “done.”

Repeat exposure is a good way to ensure that information stored in your short term memory gets transferred to your long term memory.

So, watching a video several times is the best way to ensure that the information you absorb becomes innate knowledge.

As we mentioned, when you watch a YouTube video for the first time, you should take notes and take note of what you didn’t really understand that well.

During succeeding viewings, you should pay particular attention to that portion of the video – maybe repeat and play back that bit a few times. It could be that watching it again might clear things up and ensure you now understand what the video host was trying to say.

If you are watching a video on repeat, you can take a more relaxed approach to your watching.

You can have a video playlist on repeat, playing in the background as you do other things.

This activity is still of value as it can help you get used to the sound and feel of spoken Spanish. You can also try mouthing along or repeating what the host is saying to improve your pronunciation.

Tips to improve your Spanish learning on YouTube

1. Watch YouTube videos in Spanish – even if they are not language learning videos

There are a lot of videos on YouTube in the Spanish language and not all are designed specifically for language learning. 

They might be content specifically created for Spanish speakers, but these videos have their own lessons to teach you.

Going through Spanish YouTube videos is almost like taking a tour through the Hispanic World.

You are bound to find videos from Spanish speakers of every dialect, exposing you to the different accents and regional variations.

They will also cover a variety of topics so they offer an interesting and entertaining glimpse into the lives, hearts, and minds of Spanish speakers.

There is all sort of content on YouTube in Spanish. You can watch and listen to news shows and travel shows.

There are Spanish speakers talking about their hobbies, from video game enthusiasts, to movie reviewers and beauty bloggers.

There are even comedy sketches, short films, clips from popular TV shows, and – of course – music videos from Spanish speaking artists. 

Watching Spanish language videos is a great way to familiarize yourself with how native speakers sound and how they use language – you can even pick up some interesting and useful slang words.

This can help prepare you for the day when you get a chance to actually speak with a Spanish speaker.

Exposure to interesting and entertaining Spanish language content is a great way to say motivated. They really help the Spanish language come alive and can remind you of why you want to learn.

2. Find and follow Spanish language learning YouTube channels

Sure, you can just search for “how to learn Spanish” on YouTube and be inundated by a wealth of content, but if you really want to learn Spanish quickly, we don’t recommend you just watch random videos, or what YouTube recommends as “popular.”

One of the cons to learning on YouTube is the fact that there is no real learning structure in place.

If you decide to learn by just watching “how to” videos that pop up when you do a search, when and what you learn can be “random” it could be confusing. 

This is especially true if you are trying to learn a language. You might end up being confused if you watch videos “out of order” or not related to one another as they might cover topics that require prior knowledge that you don’t have yet.

One way to avoid this haphazard way of learning is to follow Spanish learning YouTube channels. These are created by specific people or groups of people with a certain theme in mind. 

A language learning YouTube channel will probably be produced by a language learning teacher or language learning teacher group who have a certain lesson plan in mind.

They will produce and upload videos in a particular sequence that will follow this learning plan. Following their videos will give you the structured learning experience of regular class learning, while still allowing you to learn at your convenience. 

3. Use the comments feature 

The YouTube platform allows people to comment on videos. Comments are usually posted at the bottom of the video and allow people watching to interact in real time.

Oftentimes, at the time you are watching a video, there are also others who are online watching.

The video creator themselves may be online and monitoring the comments.

Thus, comments can be a good way to ask questions or if you need clarification from the video creators or other watchers.

4. Use the subtitles feature

While it may feel like cheating to turn on the subtitles, they can also help you learn. 

Sometimes there might be additional information embedded in the subtitles of a video that you might have missed.

This is especially true the video is really aimed towards teaching people how to speak Spanish.

The video producer could add extra explanations through the use of subtitles.  

We recommend that you watch with subtitles on one of your repeat viewings.

For the first few viewings, watch without subtitles so you are really forced to understand the lessons and “think” in Spanish.

Then go through the subtitles and see if there was anything you missed.

At the very least it could help catch some errors you made in comprehension

There are two key factors that ensure that you learn a language fast. One is constant exposure, the other is having conversations.

Spanish language YouTube videos, be they for language learning or just Spanish content, provide constant exposure to Spanish language and topics. In that sense, they excel as a language learning tool and can really help you learn Spanish fast.

However, they lack the conversational part. 

You can learn grammar and vocabulary, even pronunciation, by watching YouTube videos, but you won’t really gain fluency.

Fluency is the ability to make yourself understood by native language speakers and that is only something you can really achieve by trying to start a conversation.

To this extent, while YouTube is a good supplemental tool, it’s no substitute for live language tutoring sessions. You need to be able to practice what you know about Spanish and to do so; you need to speak it around other people.

If you really want to gain fluency in Spanish fast, we suggest finding a good native Spanish online tutor.

Having a few sessions, every week, where you can talk to a native language speaker who listens to you speak and explains to you what you got right or wrong will improve your Spanish by leaps and bounds.

Instead of depending on YouTube, you can instead use it as a supplement to your lessons with your native language tutor. 

On the days that you don’t have a lesson scheduled, but feel like getting some learning in, play a YouTube video. 

You can even tell your tutor if you are following a particular channel or they might be able to recommend a helpful video.

You can also ask your tutor if you didn’t get something on the video and you can watch it together and they can help explain things to you.

At the very least, describing or talking about the Spanish YouTube video you watched is a good conversation starter!

This content was originally published here.

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