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How To Reach B1 In Spanish Quickly


Good job! You made it to A2 and now you can enjoy the Spanish language a little bit more! Believe it or not, you only have two CEFR levels left to reach fluency (B1 & B2).

In this article, I am going to show you how to reach B1 in Spanish within 3 months. These are the same methods I am using currently to reach the B1 level in French as we speak.

The truth is, now that you have reached A2, you are going to have to put yourself in some uncomfortable situations and use harder materials to get to B1 in a timely manner.

However, trust me when I tell you that it is going to be worth it! Without any further ado, let’s take a look at what we should be doing daily to hit the B2 level in Spanish!

Summary: How To Reach B1 In Spanish Quickly

The CEFR (Common European Framework of Reference) is a way that we can gauge our level in a foreign language. There are 6 levels in total, A1/A2, B1/B2, and C1/C2.

The B1 Level requires a total of about 380-400 study hours, along with about 1,850 known words.

Now that you are approaching the intermediate levels, the materials you should be using to study must be more complex, more expressive, and more engaging than ever.

My favorite methods from this list that I am using daily to achieve the goal of reaching B1 in French are:

  • Watching YouTube Channels That Focus On Comprehensible Input

  • Speaking Once A Week With My Language Partner On HelloTalk

  • Reviewing Flashcards Daily

  • Using My Phone In The Target Language

  • Writing A Daily Journal In My Target Language

  • And Recording Myself Speaking

Below I will show you how much time I am spending on each of these tactics to reach the B1 level within the next 5 months!

Cartoon man holding a trophy and a title that says "How To Reach B1 In Spanish"

What is a B1 Level In Spanish?

A B1 level is the first step of the intermediate stages of the CEFR. This means that you have a vocabulary of approximately 1,850 words, and you have studied for about 380-400 hours.

A B1 learner can accomplish the following:

  • Understand the main points of clear, standard text that are relevant to you

  • Write personalized letters expressing emotions, wishes, and experiences

  • Able to handle issues that may arise while traveling

  • Able to sustain a conversation on familiar topics

  • Understand the main points of podcasts, videos, and radio (when spoken clearly)

  • Present oneself with ease for both the speaker and the listener

  • Ask for recommendations, directions, help, etc.

Methods For Getting Input To Reach B1

Now that you are at the A2 level, you are finally starting to be able to appreciate the Spanish language and the cultures that speak it.

However, soon that appreciation will grow greatly. To reach B1 we need to start choosing methods that are a little bit more difficult, and that push us to our limits.

Comprehensible input is defined by Dr. Stephen Krashen as being messages that are understood by the reader while being a bit above their current level.

So if these methods seem above your level, perfect, if you only understand 65% of what you see, perfect! You are on your way to acquiring Spanish! Let’s jump into the best comprehensible input methods that you should start utilizing today - This is how to reach B1 in Spanish.

YouTube Channels That Offer Comprehensible Input

Many YouTube channels offer content tailored to your level - I would recommend however that you don’t focus on whether a video says A2 or B1, what matters is how much of it you understand.

Try and find content that you can understand the main points of, without understanding every word.

I try and shoot for content that I understand 65-85% of. I have found this is the sweet spot for learning new words extremely fast.

Some of the best YouTube channels to get you from A2 to B1 are these:

In all 3 of these channels, the lessons and stories are 100% in Spanish. They all have more beginner videos and all the way up to high intermediate. I suggest you listen to their videos at least 20 minutes a day to reach B1 in a reasonable amount of time.

Listen To Music & Read The Lyrics Simultaneously

When I am learning a new language, I don’t stop using this method daily until I reach B1. Usually, this method occupies ⅓ to ½ of my time.

This is an almost effortless way of seeing 1,000+ words within 15 minutes.

If you are interested in learning exactly how my approach to learning vocabulary and grammar through music works, check out this article I wrote all about learning languages with music.

HelloTalk Language Partners

One method that might feel uncomfortable and scary - is looking for a language partner. When I had an A2 level I started looking for friends on HelloTalk so I could practice weekly conversations with them - and one day I experienced the A2 learners nightmare.

I was speaking with an Argentinian woman and I said the word País wrong. She was a terrible person and rudely corrected me saying “It’s País, NOT PAIS” - because I wasn’t pronouncing the I correctly (with the accent mark).

Needless to say, I felt terrible, but - I never pronounced that word wrongly again, lol.

I tell you this to warn you that it can happen, but also that most people have treated me extremely well and have encouraged me! Don’t be scared about texting with people in Spanish, you will have Google Translate to know what they are saying, and you can use it to write your message too.

If you use this method - even if you only use Google Translate, you will constantly be learning words, and grammar due to the exposure and nervousness you might feel during the conversation.

Remember that emotions (good or bad) will help you remember vocabulary, being uncomfortable in a new language is normal, and it will help you progress!

Ready Poetry & Memorize The Vocabulary Through Repetition

One method that I enjoyed a ton at the A2 and B1 stages was memorizing poems. I would read them to myself at work, and it always reminded me about how beautiful the Spanish language is.

I can still recite the well-known Poema 20 by Paul Neruda by heart.

It gave me an extremely diverse vocabulary, words like - Well, Dew, Twinkling Stars, To Fall, Etc.

If you are interested in seeing my favorite Spanish poems that I memorized when I was at the A2/B1 level, check out this list I made for you with all of them (and their translations).

Review Flashcards Daily

I know Flashcards do not make for the sexiest study session, and it might be your least favorite method - but trust me, it will bear fruits. The goal is not to memorize words, it’s to see them enough times that your brain is forced to acquire them.

The reason flashcard decks are useful is that they show you the same 300 words 10-15 times. Afterward, when you are using the other methods you will see the words in context, and it will reinforce them in your memory.

To get from A2 to B1 I use flashcards 20 minutes a day, despite it being super boring.

If you don't know which flashcard program to go with, I have an two articles on this subject that briefly showcase the Best Flashcard Apps For Your Phone and the Best Flashcard Apps For Your Computer.

Use ClozeMaster To Find New Sentences & Write Them Down

ClozeMaster is an app that shows you a sentence that is missing one word, and you have to choose the right word out of 4 options to complete the sentence. The extraordinary part about ClozeMaster is that the sentences are almost always applicable to real life, unlike Duolingo for example.

I like to use ClozeMaster daily, and I usually write the most useful sentences down in my language notebook to review later.

Switch The Language Of Your Phone To Spanish

If you don’t use your phone for work, or if you’re willing to have a tiny learning curve, changing your phone to Spanish will really help to keep you always in touch with the language.

The vocabulary that you will learn will become so ingrained that you won't even notice that your phone is in Spanish anymore. Personally, after using my phone in Spanish for 3 years, I tried putting it in English one day and it looked more foreign to me than it did in Spanish.

If you want to try and switch your phone to Spanish - follow the directions below!

Screenshots that show how to set your phone language to spanish for learning purposes

Steps to change phone language:

  1. Go to Languages & Input in your settings

  2. Click Languages

  3. Click Add A Language

  4. Find Español And Click it

  5. Choose Spanish From Any Country You'd Like (Doesn't Matter Which You Choose)

Methods For Getting Output To Reach B1

Now that you have methods for getting more advanced input that can get you from your current level to a B2, let’s talk about Output methods. Output will now be a little bit more important than when you were at the A1 level, although it’s still not as important as input.

Speaking With A HelloTalk Language Partner

You can speak with a language partner in any way that makes you most comfortable, but remember that - making yourself uncomfortable will come with its own set of rewards too. Just as I put this in the Input section due to the fact you’ll see new words constantly, but this is an output method too.

Try and find somebody with a level in English that is nearly equal to yours in Spanish. This way you won't feel embarrassed because their English level is way better than yours in Spanish.

Chat with them using Google Translate, if you become good friends, send each other voice messages and ask for corrections. When you find a real friend that speaks Spanish, your level will start to increase dramatically.

Reading Stories/Poetry Out Loud To Yourself

One way to further your speaking skills without the chance of being embarrassed is by reading to yourself. Luckily, with websites like The Fable Cottage, we can listen to native speakers read a story and afterward, try to imitate their pronunciation.

Not only does this help our pronunciation, but by pronouncing things correctly, it becomes easier for us to understand words and phrases when they are said by natives.

Find Motivation Quotes & Read Them To Yourself Daily

One way I keep myself immersed daily is by finding motivational quotes that keep me inspired to continue my studies, and I repeat them to myself daily.

Currently, I am at the A2 level in French, and I have 6 quotes that I read daily. This helps us connect with the language by being inspired by it, and it helps motivate us to continue.

Here are some example quotes that you can write down if you like them:

Podrán cortar todas las flores pero no podrán detener la primavera. –Pablo Neruda

They can cut all of the flowers but they cannot stop the springtime - Pablo Neruda

Una mujer que escribe tiene poder. Una mujer con poder es temida. –Gloria Anzaldúa

A woman that writes has power. A woman with power is feared. - Gloria Anzaldúa

“Cuando no sea absolutamente imposible, hay que insistir, siempre persistir y nunca desistir.” - Martín Balarezo García

"When it is not absolutely impossible, you have to insist, always persist and never give up." - Martin Balarezo Garcia

Write A Journal In Spanish Daily

One incredibly powerful technique that launched my Spanish level forward was journaling. I do this daily in French too! Basically, I just use Google to translate my journal entry, I let Google Translate read it to me, I read it to myself, and then I write it.

This helps us achieve multiple things at once: it furthers our listening comprehension, it furthers our pronunciation abilities, it teaches us new words, and it helps us remember how to spell correctly.

This is probably one of the biggest reasons that I can spell better than most of the native Spanish speakers that I have spoken with.

If you want to learn exactly how I use this method to achieve my language goals, check out this article I wrote explaining my technique.

Record Yourself Reading A Story & Correct Yourself

I have been using this method a lot with my French recently and it has worked wonders. I just record myself saying something that I have an audio clip of a native saying - and I compare.

Usually, I can point out a handful of things that I am doing wrong, so it's an easy way to get corrected without having to ask a native speaker.

Another way I have used this method in the past (but with Spanish) - is that I would translate a story of a personal experience and I would read it to myself on video.

Once I had the video I would compare it with the Google Translate voice and see where I pronounced something incorrectly, or on which words I stumbled.

Create A Lesson Plan To Reach B1

Now that you have all of these methods to try, it'll serve you well to create a lesson plan. This plan will give you structure so that you never have to question what you are going to do every day.

Below is a graph of how I am spending my time studying every day.

a graph showing how to delegate time when going from the A2 level to the B1 level when learning Spanish

**How I am currently studying to get my French from A2 to B1**

Conclusion: How To Reach B1 In Spanish

If you want to reach the B1 level in Spanish, you’re going to need to push yourself into new situations that might seem a bit above your level. Although you may feel uncomfortable at times, don’t worry, this is super normal and will help you progress.

You are on your way to being able to enjoy the language in ways that before - you couldn’t even imagine. So embrace the journey, one day you will be fluent like I am, looking back with nostalgia and thinking “Man that was so fun when I was clueless and trying everything to advance”.

Trust me, the journey is just as beautiful as the destination. If you want my personal plan to get myself from an A2 to a B1 that I am using currently in French - it goes like this:

  • 30 Minutes Watching Videos In French

  • 30 Minutes Listening To Music & Reading Lyrics

  • 20 Minutes Using Flashcards

  • 10 Minutes Of Journaling And Writing Quotes

Doing these 4 things gives me a total daily study time of one and a half hours, which means within 5 months I will reach the B1 level - and you can too!

Have a wonderful day/evening/night!

- Ben


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