Congratulations—you’ve lastly completed your newbie Spanish course!
Now it’s time to take it past asking the place the lavatory is to a stage the place you’ll be able to chat about actual opinions with out native audio system having to talk despacio (slowly).
On this submit, I’m going to outline the intermediate stage, clarify how you recognize you’ve reached it, summarize intermediate grammar, introduce you to seven intermediate Spanish programs on-line and extra.
What Is the Spanish Intermediate Degree?
In accordance with the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR), an intermediate consumer of Spanish is an impartial consumer of the language.
If a learner of Spanish is within the B1-B2 ranges, they’ll then be referred to as intermediate, impartial customers.
However what does “impartial consumer” even imply?
We’ll discover this within the subsequent two sections.
How Do You Know if You’re on the Intermediate Degree?
“Unbiased consumer” is only a fancy strategy to say that you just’re ready to make use of a language to a sure extent with out relying on a ebook, a dictionary or your Spanish-speaking finest buddy.
Nonetheless unsure if that’s you?
OK, then. You recognize you’re on the intermediate stage of Spanish when:
- You possibly can speak simply about easy subjects like your loved ones, your faculty, your hobbies and your free time (B1) or about different summary and technical subjects that you just’re excited about (B2).
- You possibly can learn and write about your private pursuits, your opinion and your desires (B1) or about virtually any matter the place you’d be anticipated to present your private opinion or a listing of execs and cons (B2).
- You possibly can efficiently survive nearly any on a regular basis brief interplay in Spanish (B1) or you’ll be able to maintain a easy dialog with a local Spanish speaker with ease (B2).
Relying on the place you might be within the B-level continuum, you’ll both be categorized as a B1 consumer of Spanish (that is what’s usually referred to as merely “intermediate learner”) or a B2 consumer of Spanish (usually referred to as “upper-intermediate learner”).
There are two questions a variety of my Spanish college students like to ask:
- What number of Spanish phrases do I must know to be an intermediate learner?
- How a lot grammar is important?
The primary query could be very simply answered: The CEFR estimates that you want 2000 phrases to be at stage B1 and 4000 phrases to be at stage B2.
Now the grammar query, that one takes a bit multiple line.
How A lot Grammar Do I Want on the Intermediate Degree?
It’d be not possible to reply this query by providing you with a quantity.
Are you able to think about? You want “45% of grammar, or 67.9 grammar factors.” What?
As a substitute, I all the time inform my college students to ask about intermediate grammar with this query:
What grammar ought to I be learning on the intermediate stage of Spanish?
Now that’s a query I can actually reply.
In the event you’re on the B1 stage of Spanish, you need to be studying:
In the event you’re on the B2 stage of Spanish, you need to be studying:
In the event you’re simply beginning, I’ll be cheering so that you can attain the B2 stage very quickly! Keep in mind that apply makes excellent, and 15-20 minutes of Spanish day-after-day are higher than 4 hours in a single sitting.
In the event you’re on the B2 stage, it’s attainable you’ve reached a degree the place you don’t really feel you’re making any progress (otherwise you’re about to achieve it).
The excellent news is that you just’re not alone. That is so frequent that it even has a reputation: the intermediate plateau.
What Is the Intermediate Plateau?
Merely put, the intermediate plateau is that second throughout the B-level journey once you get “caught” and don’t appear to make any progress.
Though this will occur at any time throughout the language studying journey, it’s been proven to happen more often during the intermediate stages of learning.
The offender for the intermediate plateau has nothing to do with you or the language you’re studying. If that had been the case, why does nearly each pupil of each language get trapped by the intermediate plateau?
As a trainer, I imagine the strategy of studying is accountable.
In different phrases, you’ll be able to’t faux to be taught a language on the intermediate stage by doing the very same belongings you used to do as a newbie!
It’s time for a change in perspective, for a brand new technique.
So, let’s take a look at six helpful ideas you’ll be able to simply implement to lastly break away from the dreaded intermediate plateau.
6 Sensible Tricks to Get Previous the Intermediate Plateau
1. Preserve Studying Vocabulary and Grammar
The fact that you’ve reached the intermediate stage doesn’t mean your work with Spanish grammar and vocabulary is done.
In fact, it’s just getting started!
Learn intermediate Spanish grammar at least twice every week, and try to learn a few new words every day.
To help you with the former, the best thing you can do is to get hold of an intermediate or upper-intermediate Spanish grammar book.
Ideally, it should come with a separate workbook or include grammar exercises you can use to practice what you learn.
Then, download a Spanish flashcard app, get a monolingual Spanish dictionary and try simple tricks like changing the settings of your electronic devices to Spanish, using social media in Spanish and labeling your house with post-it notes.
2. Listen to and Watch More Spanish Content
Even though native Spanish content can be used from day one, this is one of those tools that’s a better fit for intermediate and advanced Spanish learners.
As soon as you can, start watching and listening to Spanish content that was created for native speakers. This is really one of the best ways to bring your learning out of the beginner stage of memorizing phrases and into the advanced stage of actually having natural conversations.
Authentic content will show you how the words and grammar concepts you’ve been studying are actually used in conversations. It’ll also expose you to other aspects of the language that you might not find in a formal learning environment, like slang and filler words. Plus, it’s fun! And that’s important in maintaining your motivation to learn.
So how do you add authentic Spanish content to your learning routine? Seek out Spanish podcasts, radio shows and Spanish audiobooks catered to native speakers of the language. Watch Spanish series and Spanish movies that are available on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime, HBO or Disney+, or whatever your streaming platform of choice is.
Watch them in Spanish (of course!) with the Spanish subtitles on, wherever they’re available. When you feel comfortable enough, leave the subtitles out of the picture!
Be aware that adding native Spanish media to your study session won’t necessarily be easy, especially if you’ve never learned with authentic content before. You might have to look around before you find something that’s actually at your level, or that includes subtitles that aren’t computer-generated gibberish.
That’s why it’s a good idea to ease into this kind of content.
For example, instead of diving straight into watching the news in Spanish, you can try the News in Slow Spanish podcast, which slows down the speech to a velocity that intermediate learners can sustain with.
And as an alternative of attempting to look at a complete film in a single sitting, you’ll be able to watch shorter movies on FluentU, a program the place genuine Spanish movies like film clips and information segments are paired with studying instruments. FluentU is supposed to assist learners examine with native content material: The subtitles are correct and have a built-in contextual dictionary, and movies are organized into six problem ranges.
3. Apply Studying and Writing
Reading and writing are two basic language skills that get most often ignored (or, at the very least, overshadowed by speaking and listening).
Try to add reading in Spanish to your daily routine, even if it’s only for 10-15 minutes.
There are plenty of different reading resources for intermediate learners you can choose from, so be picky and enjoy your reading.
Additionally, you can give reading out loud a try. It’s been proven to improve pronunciation, rhythm and intonation, so it’ll get you ready for your conversations in Spanish.
As for writing, you may be surprised to learn this, but it’s actually one of those things that’ll get you out of the Spanish intermediate plateau the fastest.
Adding writing to your Spanish study sessions won’t only help you remember word spelling better but it’ll also help you memorize new vocabulary, put new grammar constructions and rules into practice and, most importantly, find your Spanish voice.
Writing is like speaking in silence, so it’ll also be a great tool to break the shyness barrier and start talking like a native.
4. Speak Spanish as Much as You Can
This should be obvious, but just in case you were living under a rock, let me say it again: The more you speak Spanish, the better you’ll get at it and the faster you’ll get past the Spanish intermediate plateau.
From Spanish language exchanges and Spanish tutors to speaking to yourself in front of the mirror and practicing Spanish shadowing if you’re still not brave enough to get out there, the possibilities to practice Spanish speaking are huge.
Take advantage of them!
5. Take an Intermediate Online Course
Last but not least, you can take an intermediate Spanish course to fire those neurons up and rise above the intermediate plateau like a Spanish phoenix.
Intermediate courses, especially if they’re taken online, are an easy and often cheap way of getting your progress restarted.
There are a gazillion Spanish intermediate online courses you can take, but I want to make things easier for you.
That’s why I’ve gathered seven of the best Spanish intermediate courses you can find online and have added them here, so you just have to click on their link and start learning.
7 Intermediate Spanish Courses to Help You Climb Beyond the Intermediate Plateau
If you want to learn Spanish in context, the way natives speak it, this online immersion program.
It turns authentic, bite-sized Spanish videos into immersive language lessons through interactive subtitles—just tap on a word for a contextual definition, pronunciation and examples of the term in different contexts.
The curated library has videos appropriate for every skill level, including aspiring advanced learners.
It also includes a large variety of topics, including clips from popular shows like “Money Heist,” educational and inspirational talks and even silly skits involving cats and shenanigans… all in Spanish and at your level.
As you discover advanced vocabulary and phrases in the videos, you can add them to your custom vocabulary lists for more targeted review with typing and speech exercises later on.
Plus, these multimedia flashcards can be followed up with personalized SRS (spaced repetition system) flashcards, reinforcing everything you need to close the gap between intermediate and advanced.
Seasons 2 and three from the Espresso Break Spanish program are the intermediate extensions of the primary 40 classes that launched Spanish in its most simple kind.
Season 3, specifically, is a wonderful device to push you past the higher intermediate stage, and into the beginning of the superior stage.
In the event you need assistance in your subjunctive and wish to grasp your Spanish verbs and pronouns, then the 20-hour audio content material, supplemented by a whole bunch of pages of notes and workout routines ought to get you into your Spanish groove.
The entire course is split into 40 classes, and every lesson encompasses a dialog between trainer Mark and native speaker Alba.
They discuss any matter underneath the solar: journey, present occasions, language studying, and so forth. That’s the primary a part of the lesson.
The second half is the place trainer Mark dives deep into explaining the grammatical guidelines, idiomatic expressions and vocabulary used within the dialog.
In between the teachings, there’s some light-hearted intermission that entails some Spanish tongue-twisters, jokes and a lot extra.
Season 3 not solely builds your grammar and elucidates on advanced grammar points or sticky idiomatic expressions, nevertheless it additionally deepens your understanding of the language.
The oldsters at “Notes in Spanish,” Ben and Marina, imagine in instructing the appropriate vocabulary, the appropriate verbs and solely probably the most helpful grammar—leaving the esoteric Spanish phrases and finicky grammar factors to the lecturers.
Due to their program, you gained’t be an intermediate learner—you’ll be a soon-to-be-advanced learner!
With “Notes in Spanish,” you get fastidiously structured podcasts about probably the most helpful components of the language. Matters coated embrace Fb, quick meals, Harry Potter and different belongings you’d truly discuss in on a regular basis conversations.
Along with the free podcasts, in addition they have a paid “tremendous pack” that features a full transcript of the podcasts, a vocabulary record, a grammar record and a few very helpful workout routines.
The benefit of video classes over audio podcasts is that you’ve a visible connection along with your trainer.
You see how his mouth strikes as he pronounces phrases, and any accompanying gestures.
That’s why YouTube is a wonderful supply of Spanish instruction. I like to recommend, specifically, the Dreaming Spanish channel.
It has loads of classes catering to freshmen, intermediate and superior learners.
Dreaming Spanish movies talk about present occasions, tradition and ideas for studying Spanish. However right here’s the catch: Each little bit of content material is in Spanish!
Plus, totally different dialects are represented, relying on who’s presenting the video. Whether or not you’re studying Spanish from Mexico, Spain or some place else, you’ll discover one thing right here for you.
For much more intermediate Spanish content material, take into account supporting the channel on Patreon, the place two new intermediate / superior movies are uploaded day-after-day.
Sensible Spanish is a brief overview of intermediate-level Spanish, making it excellent for many who want a quick and centered survey of the trickier elements of Spanish grammar.
In the event you be taught finest in textual content kind and are somebody who must tame the current and previous subjunctives, be taught when to make use of por and para, or can’t wait to be taught the numerous other ways se can be utilized, then this mini-program will give it straight to you.
Although there are just a few sections, there’s truly a variety of info to absorb. Each matter is defined intimately, with loads of examples and audio readings of mentioned examples.
I like to recommend giving this one a full read-through, then coming again in future periods and actually specializing in every matter one by one to take advantage of this useful resource.
Have you ever simply accomplished your primary Spanish course and found that you just nonetheless suppose it’s laborious to grasp native audio system?
Do you end up translating in your head first earlier than you truly converse?
Then this program is for you.
Research Spanish believes that a deal with communication is the best way to get previous the intermediate stage.
On their companion website, you’ll discover a collection of models for newbie, intermediate and superior learners. Most models are supported by quizzes and a unit check to ensure you understood every part you discovered.
To make use of the guided course, you’ll must pay a month-to-month subscription charge. Nevertheless, even with out the subscription, you’ve gotten full entry to each lesson on the web site, together with pronunciation examples, detailed grammar explanations, over 50 themed vocabulary lists and conjugation info for all of the tenses.
In different phrases, that is an amazingly complete and indispensable device you’re positive to return again to time and again throughout your research.
Fluent Spanish Academy was designed by polyglot Olly Richards and specializes within the intermediate stage of studying.
You’d be hard-pressed to search out one thing higher suited to the wants of the intermediate Spanish pupil.
By brief tales, genuine audio, purpose setting, month-to-month challenges, progress monitoring and stay teaching, you’ll really feel extremely inspired to attain fluency.
And that, my buddies, is the way you be taught intermediate Spanish.
I’ve simply given you seven intermediate Spanish programs which might be fully at your disposal, proper this on the spot. And the query I’ve for you is: Why are you continue to studying this?
Off you go along with your new Spanish course!
Keep curious, my buddies, and as all the time, completely satisfied studying!