When I moved to Spain I certainly didn´t learn Spanish Fast. I had already had some Spanish tuition, up to A Level standard. Yet I was missing speaking skills. I had already decided that I was going to live in Spain permanently. Back then, in 1998, I wished that I could have read blogs or had Facebook groups to check. (they didnt exist in the 90´s)
Now fluent in Spanish I can see how to fast track language learning. In retrospect I can see the error of my ways. My long and indirect route to good Spanish would have been quicker if I had sought out language courses abroad or professional guidance.
Learn Spanish Fast
There are lots of language schools and immersion courses to choose from in Spain. I think its such a great opportunity to be able to travel to Granada, Valencia or Seville. The chance to be immersed in a Spanish environment even when class has ended accelerates the process too. I had the disadvantage of being in Barcelona which had a large international community as well as the added complication of Catalan.
So the environment I was in, I heard lots of English and Catalan spoken. This reduced the amount of exposure to Spanish when I first arrived. I would recommend choose locations away from expat areas so that you have more interaction with locals. Granada, Seville and Salamanca are all good choices.
Find your Motivation
I also think that having motivation to learn a language well is important. If you need to communicate to move to a new country, find work or get a promotion these reasons will help. When you have challenging moments in your learning process, without a clear reason to learn, giving up is too easy. Even if you work hard at Spanish classes you will reach plateaus. It can be frustrating but recalling why you are learning Spanish and your initial motivation will help you persist.
Spanish Classes in Spain
With platforms like YNSITU which help you to learn Spanish in Spain finding language courses abroad is easier now. This site can arrange your accommodation as well as offering classes for beginners or more advanced levels of Spanish.
Being exposed to the language in everyday situations is a big advantage when you are learning. Daily interactions are like small real life tests which will make you gain in confidence as you get used to speaking to Spanish people. You can also listen to local radio or switch on Spanish TV, being in Spain allows you much more opportunity to hear the spoken language. Although you may not understand every word, just picking out words you do know will familiarize yourself more.
Read Local Press
I remember when I first moved to Spain and was improving my Spanish. I would get a printed newspaper and just try to read the headlines. Eventually I would soon see a pattern, there are always certain words that would keep appearing. I soon learnt more vocabulary and could read more complex texts.
It is good to link your learning to something you enjoy too. If you have a specific hobby or sport perhaps you can find other locals who are interested. Learning specific vocabulary within an area you are passionate about is a more light hearted approach to Spanish, but effective nonetheless.