If you actually want to learn and retain Spanish, and not waste your time, your best bet is to get a Spanish immersion program.
There are hundreds of reasons for wanting to learn Spanish. My personal reason was to be able to travel through Latin America super cheap for a couple months.
Others do it for increased job opportunities. And there are others doing it to impress the opposite sex.
Whatever your reason, you're guaranteed to succeed if you ditch “traditional" Spanish learning methods and follow a good Spanish immersion program.
A Quick Word On Immersion
Just about all language research these days shows that immersion is the best way to learn a new language.
In fact, it's simply how the human brain is wired to learn. The human brain is designed to pick up on patterns in puzzles, and then to solve them subconsciously.
This is how we've learned any habit we're good at!
Language is absolutely no different. This is why it's so strange to me that most people study and dissect a language in the traditional manner still.
How many people do you know who went through two or more years of Spanish in high school and still can't speak a word of the language? What a waste of time!
The Best Spanish Immersion Programs
There are two things a “Spanish immersion program" can be.
1. It can be an actual course of study at a school. I do not typically recommend these.
The reason I don't recommend these is mostly because they're unbelievably expensive and work a lot slower than home methods work.
Yes, Spanish immersion schools work, but just not very well for the price you pay!
2. The best kind of “Spanish immersion program" is an actual computer program. Spanish immersion software allows you to work at your own pace, doing exercises entirely in Spanish.
There are a number of Spanish immersion programs available for the computer. Many are equally good, but they vary in price quite a bit.
To really speed up your time learning Spanish, consider also using Spanish immersion audio programs in your car.
Think about how much time you spend in your car per week - if you took advantage of that time and used it to learn Spanish, you would be speaking the language in no time.
The Best Spanish Immersion Program
The best Spanish immersion program is the program that you can follow at home. Start with a good piece of Spanish language learning software, supplement it with audio learning in your car, and a couple weeks later move on to other (free) home immersion techniques.
Cheap travel, amazing food, wonderful people. . .
No more excuses!
Follow my advice and learn Spanish in just a few short weeks using the methods that researchers and thousands of others have proven to just WORK .