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I have set a goal to learn Spanish at a conversational level in 1 month, with 2 prior years of experience at a traditional highschool, with information retained but still not able to hold a conversation. I am asking what I should do in what order throughout this month to achieve my goal. Conversational to me just means being able to talk to someone in Spanish while understanding them and they understand me, talking about general topics.

I am willing to dedicate about 2 of 3 hours everyday to study, I do not have much money to spend so it'd have to be free resources, I have Internet access and a few times a week I am with native speakers. I've learned basically conjugations, my accent, vocabulary not even to A1 standard, I also have the basic structure down. Im mainly trying to learn vocab and intermediate sentence structure.

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  • If you are located in USA, go to your public library and ask librarian. They usually have Pimsleur audio course on CD. Rip it to your MP3 player. You can listen to them while commuting, walking etc. Gives you lots of exposure to a language in life-like circumstances (being introduced to someone, asking for directions, ordering a food), and are setup in kind of dialog: ask you a question (how to say something), pauses for you to think, then gives you right answer (and often repeats it). I highly recommend it. It also uses spaced repetition.
  • For vocabulary, get Anki app (for spaced repetition) and get free shared decks from https://ankiweb.net/about - you will be surprised how much you can learn (and retain) with spaced repetition.
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  • Good advice, thank you :)
    – Flavor
    Aug 28 '19 at 18:13
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Your goal is essentially to become better at the language, especially conversation.

The default thing is to get as much exposure to the language as possible - change your computer, phone, and so on to Spanish. Get your entertainment, if any, in Spanish - books, movies, music. Read news in Spanish. Video games, too, if available. The idea is to get as much exposure as possible. This should not do take much extra time, as you are replacing whatever you typically do with the Spanish equivalent, where convenient and available.

The other easy thing to do is to talk as much in Spanish as possible when in the presence of the native speakers, and also with others. Use the vocabulary and simple sentences that you can and do not worry too much about pronunciation. Then, when you notice a mistake you keep doing, take note and check or practice that later. Check the words you would like to know but do not, the sentence structure you are not certain about, etc.

I can not help with the specific resources you should use. Some typical free ones people use are Anki(droid), Clozemaster and Duolingo. Your local library might have language courses or books.

Reading books, maybe out loud, should be a good way of expanding vocabulary and learning more than basic sentence structures, but maybe you would like to search for videos or other material explaining precisely what you want to learn.

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I suggest you adopt a learning strategy that consists of two stages:

  1. In order to improve your conversational skills (and considering the fact that you can speak with native speakers a few times a week) you need to improve your vocabulary and revise some basic grammar rules. In order to do so, you can use various free yet reliable online resources such as the Spanish Language and Culture website where you can expand your vocabulary in an enjoyable and effective way since it features study topics based on cultural figures and current issues in Latin America and Spain (you can take a look from here http://personal.colby.edu/~bknelson/SLC/), the Books4Languages website where you can find the Gramática del Español (available for A1, A2 and B1 levels) and Vocabulario Español (for A1 and A2 levels) books (you can access the grammar book for A1 from https://open.books4languages.com/spanish-a1-grammar/) and the Drops: Learn Spanish. Speak Spanish app which implements a visual learning system to further improve your vocabulary.
  2. For further benefits, immerse yourself in the language while having a good time. Since you can dedicate around 2-3 hours to study everyday, you could spend about 1 hour/1 hour and a half for stage 1 and dedicate the remaining time to reading (books, magazines, blogs) and watching tv series and shows in Spanish as well as videos on platforms such as Youtube.

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