Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language

From a lectureseries presented by Professor Bill Worden, Ph.D.

Open your mind to learning one of the great Romance languages of Europe—one that opens the door to understanding some of our oldest and most influential cultures in their native tongue.

image of espanol typed over photo of Spain for article about learning Spanish Language

Think you’re too old to start learning Spanish? Don’t think you have a “language brain”? Think again!

You may not have had the right method of instruction. Rote memorization and practice, practice, practice works for some, but not everyone learns that way. When you start with the simple groundwork and building blocks for Spanish—the proper pronunciation of consonant and vowel sounds, the alphabet, and greetings and responses to greetings—you can start speaking to people in Spanish right away.

Then, as you move on, you’ll learn verbs through their living context, by using them in many different practical settings, and get a visceral sense of how they operate in everyday speaking, and, most importantly, experiencing how they form the basis for expressing yourself in Spanish.

Even if you think you lack the aptitude for languages, these lectures will have you conversing in no time.

But Why Learn Spanish?

  1. It’s one of the most useful languages on earth. Spanish is the third most widely spoken language in the world; the official language of 20 countries; and half a billion people speak it—including over 50 million in the U.S.
  2. Spanish will transform your travel. You can travel to Spanish-speaking countries knowing only English, but your experience will be limited. Speaking the language allows you to actively participate in the culture, rather than passively observe it.
  3.  It’s becoming increasingly American. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States. Whether you travel or not, gaining a rich working vocabulary will prepare you for a wide range of (increasingly) everyday situations in your own backyard.
  4. Spanish is a new business necessity. In North America, Hispanic consumers are the fastest-growing market segment. Knowing Spanish will enhance your resume, as well as allow you to better communicate with your co-workers or employees.
  5. It will broaden your life’s experiences. Learning Spanish allows you to travel into other cultures, to build new friendships and professional contacts, and to communicate with a vast segment of the human population where conversation would otherwise never take place.
  6. New languages sharpen your brain. Learning an additional language increases your mental abilities, increases your critical thinking skills, stimulates creativity, and can reduce your chances of developing dementia. Spanish, specifically, can help you improve your vocabulary by familiarizing you with English words that have Latin roots.
  7. Learn a unique, “under-the-hood” approach to language. You’ll learn from an award-winning professor who has crafted a highly accessible method of teaching language that allows ANYONE to master the fundamentals in an exciting and practical way.
  8. Your kids are going to be speaking Spanish. By 2050, the US will be the largest Spanish-speaking country according to some studies. Kids born in this decade are learning Spanish as part of the standard elementary school curriculum and are more likely to have friends who speak it than ever before.
  9. Keep up with pop culture. Now, more than ever, pop culture is being presented in Spanish (Think “Despacito”—the longest running Spanish-language song on the U.S. Top 40). Turn off the subtitles and enjoy the subtleties of knowing movies, songs, television shows, and books in their native tongue.
  10. Show off. If nothing else, imagine how impressed your friends and family will be when you place an order at a Spanish restaurant in the native language. Sure beats only knowing cerveza, por favor.

Whether your motivations are practical, intellectual, or sentimental, learning Spanish is something that will benefit you for the rest of your life! Experience the fun, intellectual challenge, and practical benefits of learning Spanish, one of the world’s most useful and beautiful languages.

Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language by Professor Bill Worden, Ph.D. is available on The Great Courses Plus. Watch the entire course when you start your Free Trial today.