Learn Spanish with me My Journey to Fluency Tips, Methods, Motivation

How can I go from Intermediate to Advanced Spanish?

July 20, 2015
Intermediate to Advanced Level Spanish

Hoy es martes (today is Tuesday) and today during my coffee break I listened to an interesting podcast by Olly Richards on his website;

I will teach you a language

Olly received a question from a student asking:

How can I go from intermediate to advanced Spanish?

I found this podcast to be very interesting as I myself have reached an ‘intermediate plateau’.

I’m roughly at stage B1 (on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages), and I can hold simple everyday conversations. However I now feel that I’m not progressing as quickly as I did in the past. To be honest with you I feel that my language learning has ground to a halt. So how can I go from intermediate to advanced Spanish?

What is the next step?

Olly suggested that to take a language to the next level it maybe useful to do the following:

Listen to the radio.

Especially  radio podcasts which you can get online and which have a full transcript. Olly gave a recommendation for one called Radio Ambulante http://radioambulante.org/ which I’m going to take a look at tomorrow;

Make examples.

When you learn a new word, it’s not enough to just put the definition of it next to the word, but rather to make up some examples using the new word.

Olly says that this is especially important as you move from an intermediate to an advanced level as you will find yourself learning more low frequency words – e.g. more technical words, that you won’t  use in every day conversations and so you can easily forget them.;

Have a reading goal.

This is something that I did a couple of days ago. I have set myself a goal to read 5 pages per day of my new book (which has 420 pages) so I should complete it in 3 months, by 14/09/15.

Olly said that he enjoyed reading books by Gabriel Garcia Marquez such as ‘El ama en los tiempos del cólera’ (Love in the time of Cholera) and so I’ve saved this to my ‘Wishlist’ on Amazon for future reading;

Have a writing goal.

Write about what you’ve read, or write an essay on a subject of interest.

Olly also suggested working with a teacher as this gives you a bit of accountability and they can correct your writing and explain any intricacies and nuances of the language;

Take a course in Spanish.

Take a course, preferabally one where you will have to read and write in Spanish, such as Spanish for business, or another subject that you are interested in.

Well, that’s certainly gave me food for thought. I never considered studying a subject in Spanish before and I know writing in Spanish will help me improve but I’ve not really done much of that either so I’ll put it on my list of things to try.


My Spanish Log
I read 5 pages of my book and made a note of words that I didn’t know;

I started writing down some phrases in a notebook for my husband to learn. Bob would like to become fluent in Spanish and enjoys using the Spanish he has learnt so far but doesn’t have the motivation to study. So, I’ve decided to teach him one phrase a day (only phrases that are relevant to him and that he’ll use) and I write them in a notebook so that I can review them with him on a regular basis;

I listened to an intermediate podcast from Notes in Spanish (http://www.notesinspanish.com) number 31 Las Compras. I don’t know why but I found this podcast quite difficult to understand even though I usually understand about 60% of the intermediate podcasts, so I’m going to listen to it again tomorrow and if necessary follow along with the transcript.

So quite a good day today!

Time spent learning Spanish: 3 hours

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