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No partner? No problem! 3 easy ways to practice your Spanish speaking skills (all on your own!)

February 28, 2022

No partner? No problem! 3 easy ways to practice your Spanish speaking skills (all on your own!)

Without a doubt, the complaint that I most often hear from my students is that they don’t get to speak and practice their Spanish enough. And this is totally understandable. Think about it. Unless you are learning Spanish in a Spanish speaking country the chances of being able to speak your target language, on a regular basis, are slim. 

Now, if you are here my guess is that you feel the same way. If that’s the case, then let me get you in a little secret: the most important aspect of speaking a new language is not only having someone to speak it with, it is becoming comfortable with listening to yourself speak in this language. Believe me when I tell you, even if you had a conversation partner, it would be hard at first to feel comfortable enough to actually hold a conversation in Spanish. And this is true regardless of how many hours you spend working on exercises in your grammar book. 

In this post, I’m going to present you with 3 easy, simple and free ways to speak in Spanish (all by yourself) that you can use at any time and anywhere. Any of these techniques, or better yet, all combined are sure to help you familiarize yourself with the sounds of Spanish and increase your vocabulary faster than you can say Vamos! 

1. Say it out loud: 

Another common complaint I hear from students is that they tend to understand more than they can speak. In other words, their listening skills are stronger than their speaking skills. I’m confident that all that is needed is to give yourself some speaking time to grow your confidence. This is why the best thing you can do is to just speak out loud. Now, I’m not just saying that you should talk to yourself in the mirror. That’s just not realistic or sustainable (though it could be fun to try it once in a while). Instead, I would recommend that you try something a bit more proactive:

a) Read aloud from a book, article or even Instagram post! 

In practice, reading aloud is pretty much the same thing as speaking. And what’s helpful about this is that you don’t have to worry about what you’re actually saying. And the more you read the more comfortable you will become with sentence structure in Spanish.

If you want my advice, choose books, articles or Internet posts that resemble everyday speech. Something like Don Quijote de la Mancha or Cien Años de Soledad are great but no one talks like that in modern times. Instead, find a young adult novel or short stories in Spanish. Read the online script of a show or the transcript of an interview. Make this a daily or weekly habit and you will see fast improvement. Guaranteed!

b) Record yourself: 

This tip can be used in conjunction with the previous point. If you want to take your speaking practice up a notch then record yourself reading your daily text. Then listen to the audio (as you read to yourself) and pay attention to your pronunciation and intonation (no judging allowed!) Be patient with yourself and embrace your own voice in Spanish. It will get better and become easier with time and practice. Pro Tip: Find a popular speech in Spanish and make that your reading text. Look up the audio on YouTube or online and listen to the original source to help you work on your pronunciation. And oh! You will be unstoppable!

c) Create an Instagram account or social media account dedicated to learning Spanish: 

This might require you to step outside of your comfort zone (as many things that are worth in life do), but did you know that Instagram is full of language enthusiasts helping each other practice their target languages. Be brave and post videos of yourself reading or speaking Spanish and receive feedback from others. Now, I know the internet can sometimes be a scary place but in this case, the reward might be worth the risk!

2. Befriending Siri and Alexa:

You might be familiar with Siri and Alexa. But just in case you are not, Alexa is “Amazon’s virtual assistant technology based on a Polish speech synthesizer”. If you own an Alexa, you are probably used to giving Alexa commands such as: “Alexa, what’s time is it?”. But can Alexa do more than that? Well, as it turns out, Alexa can be<