Recommended Resources for Learning Spanish
This list is a work in progress and we will continue to add to it as I go along. Some of the courses and tools you have to purchase but a lot of them are free. We've marked the free ones with an *.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that if you buy from them I will receive a commission for the sale. I only share resources that I have experience with or that are widely known to be reputable.
Remember, it is completely possible to learn Spanish without spending a lot of money. There are a lot of helpful tools that you can buy, but ultimately don't feel like the more tools and courses you have the faster you'll learn. That's not true. If you do buy something to help you learn make sure it's something that will meet your specific needs.
These are tools that can help anyone who is learning Spanish no matter which course or method they are using.
The best free Spanish to English dictionary I've come across online. It also offers conjugation charts , lessons, and practice quizzes on Spanish grammar. A great free resource.
This free digital flashcard system helps you memorize words and grammar points. It's an automated spaced repetition system that helps ensure you practice words right before you forget them. It also allows you to create your own decks or use shared ones made by other learners.
Language exchanges are sites that connect you with native Spanish speakers who are learning English. You usually have the option of using text, voice, or video chat to help each other learn your prospective languages. They are one of the best ways to practice your spoken or written Spanish and they are free!
This is my favorite online language exchange and it's free to use. Create a profile and practice with native Spanish speakers from around the world instantly via text, audio, or video chat. It has a ton of cool features that help make the exchange experience an easier one. You can even browse other learners by common interests like books, tv, or music so you'll have more to talk about.
Italki is mostly known for its paid lessons with online language teachers, but they also have a community section that is completely free to use. You can find other language learners and use Italki to setup a language exchange via Skype or use the notebook and Q/A sections to get your writing corrected by native speakers.
These sites connect you with professional teachers or informal tutors for one on one paid Spanish lessons. Private lessons are one of the most effective and efficient ways to learn a foreign language.
Italki is the largest and most popular site for online language lessons. They have hundreds of Spanish teachers to choose from. You also the option to search for professional language teachers or informal tutors.
Another great site offering one on one lessons with professional teachers. While they are not a big as Italki they only allow certified native teachers on their. They also have an interesting monthly subscription option for online group classes which is pretty cool.
A language learning site exclusively for learning Spanish. If you're looking for a Spanish tutor online this site is definitely worth checking out. What sets 123 Spanish Tutor apart is that all their tutors use the communicative language teaching method so you learn Spanish that you can use in real life situations.
COURSES & METHODS
If you're stuck on figuring out how to learn Spanish this is where you want to start. There are a lot of courses and methods for learning a foreign language. For the most part I don't think one is necessarily better than the other, but some of them differ greatly between each other. Knowing your needs and preferences with help you choose the right one for you.
The US Department of State made these courses to train employees serving overseas. The courses are little dated but they are in the public domain which means you can download them for free!
Polyglot Benny Lewis' approach to language learning. Not a formal method per se. One of Benny's moto is "speak from day 1", and that's what you will learn how to do if you read any of Benny's stuff. Great food for thought if you want to hit the ground running in Spanish. We recommend checking out his blog and his book.
A great book and learning method by Gabriel Wyner that aims to make memorization and recall easier. Wyner's method centers around 3 rules: focus on pronunciation first, don't translate when you practice (no English), and use a spaced repetition system like Anki. He has a very detailed and offers an interesting approach to memorizing vocabulary and grammar which is definitely worth a look. Check out his book and his site.
These are tools that you can use to supplement your learning. I think of them as secondary resources. They typically won't be the main way you learn Spanish, but they can still prove to be an important of your learning.
The premiere free language learning app. Duolingo is awesome. It makes learning grammar and vocabulary feel like a game. It also has a cool immersion feature that lets you translate Spanish articles in English. It's completely free so definitely check it out.
FluentU is a great tool for digital immersion. You learn vocabulary through actual Spanish TV shows, movies, and commercials. They offer a good amount of content for free but you have to pay a monthly subscription for all of their features. It's a good way to add variety to your learning and hear words in context.
Great for developing your vocabulary, Learnwitholiver.com offers daily exercises and words games as well as an onsite flashcard system that helps you review what you have learned. Exercises and flashcards are free, but the site also has some upgradable premium features as well.
SpanishPod101 teaches Spanish primarily through audio based lessons. Their site also has a lot of extra features like insite SR flashcards and vocabulary quizzes. Their lessons are especially good at helping you developing your listening skills and are great you have to learn on the go.
A great resource for native English speakers learning Spanish. Jordan's Youtube videos break down difficult Spanish grammar points into easy to understand pieces. He also offers some cool premium courses on his site as well.
One of my favorite Youtube channels for learning Spanish. The lessons are in depth, practical, and fun to watch.