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75 Free Resources for Learning Spanish Online

75 Free Resources for Learning Spanish online

As you study Spanish, it’s smart to take advantage of as many different resources as you can! Luckily, many of the online options are totally free and easy to use. Continue reading to find out the tutor-approved recommendations from instructor Sara T...

 

If you’ve stumbled upon this post, you’ve probably already decided to learn Spanish — that’s great! Now, you probably need some direction on where to begin. The World Wide Web offers an infinite number of resources that can help you learn a new language. The downside is that sifting through the junk can take hours on end to find a quality website or resource. Lucky for you, I have done the legwork and found 75 of the best online resources to help you improve your Spanish!

Here they are – starting with my personal top 10.

Click on these to jump ahead by category:

Online Spanish Resources - My Top 10 Picks

My Top 10

  1. Duolingo
    This app is a favorite among language learners of all ages. It has a game-like teaching methodology, which makes it fun to use!
  2. The Most Common Irregular Verbs in Spanish
    Get familiar with irregular verbs as soon as possible. The most-used verbs in Spanish (to be, to have, to be able to, etc.) are irregular. By studying one irregular verb each day, you’ll increase your proficiency at lightning speed.
  3. Conjuguemos (Let’s Conjugate)
    Verb conjugation is a nightmare for Spanish learners. We don’t change verbs nearly as often in English, but our pronouns are mandatory. In Spanish, you’ll get frustrated at the amount of conjugation you have to learn, but eventually everything will be simplified and you won’t even use pronouns when speaking. The verb will communicate the person you’re referring to.
  4. MIT Courseware
    Open-source courseware means that universities are letting anyone download their courses for free. You won’t get official academic credit, of course, but what a great way to get an MIT education for free!
  5. People en Español
    This resource can be substituted for any magazine you like to read. Reading in Spanish — especially if it’s about a subject that interests you –will help build your vocabulary and improve grammar. Research shows that learners who read correct grammar are more likely to use it when speaking.
  6. National Geographic in Spanish
    Who doesn’t love Nat Geo? This website is one of my favorites for articles, videos, and pictures. You can even subscribe to the physical magazine in Spanish (at an additional cost).
  7. Online Free Spanish
    Games are a clever way of disguising learning. This website is best suited for beginners or children, with games focusing on vocabulary. I really like this website because you can play a number of games using the same core vocabulary words. Repetition is necessary when learning a new language.
  8. Grammar Games
    For the adult or intermediate learners, try this website. The games focus more on grammar and sentence structure than individual vocabulary words.
  9. Y Mucho Mas
    When you’re ready to relax, try this YouTube channel to start watching La Familia Peluche, one of the most-watched Spanish TV series. This channel has all of the full episodes for free!
  10. Spanish Proficiency Materials
    This is a website from the University of Texas. It has all kinds of materials for improving your Spanish. My personal favorites are the videos featuring Spanish spoken by native speakers from different countries. You can read along with the transcript (in Spanish) alongside the video. This is an excellent resource for listening comprehension.

Online Spanish Resources - Websites

Websites for Learning Spanish Online

Below are some of the best online websites for learning Spanish. These websites will help you learn basic grammar, phrases, and vocabulary. Some offer additional exercises and/or videos to help aid comprehension and learning.

  1. BBC Spanish
    This is a comprehensive page of free online Spanish resources. You can test your Spanish proficiency, watch video courses, play games, and find authentic Spanish news, TV, and radio websites.
  2. Fluencia
    This app is also available as a website. You can sign up for free via Facebook and begin learning. The learning style is very similar to Duolingo and Rosetta Stone. Beginner lessons cover greetings, basic vocabulary, and pronunciation.
  3. Hello World
    This website has more than 700 Spanish resources! I really like the lessons and conversations section, which introduces basic vocabulary and language. There are short, animated videos that feature basic conversation and show vocabulary in real contexts. The website also features a dictionary and plenty of online games and activities.
  4. Learn Practical Spanish Online
    This is a free website that includes information on many grammar topics. The website is divided into levels, from beginner to advanced.
  5. Medical Spanish for Healthcare Providers
    Being bilingual is a huge advantage in the healthcare industry. This website has a lot of free information for Spanish learners, in relation to medicine and healthcare. Even conversational Spanish learners should take a look – you never know when you’ll be traveling and end up sick or in a medical emergency.

Online Spanish Resources - Lists for Studying Spanish

Lists for Studying Spanish

I love working with lists when learning or teaching a language. It’s an easy way to acquire new vocabulary like verbs, nouns, or adjectives.

With the lists below, I recommend committing to learning a certain amount each day. Take a look at one grammar rule each day or one irregular verb. At the end of the month, you’ll know 30 new rules and verbs!

  1. Common Mistakes When Learning Spanish
    Avoid these common mistakes for Spanish language learners by educating yourself before you start making mistakes. It’s much easier to create a good habit than to break a bad one.
  2. The Most Common Irregular Verbs in Spanish
    This website shows the most common irregular verbs in Spanish. Irregular verbs, like ser, estar, tener and ir, are widely used in the Spanish language. Use this website to practice conjugating them.
  3. Top 100 Regular Spanish Verbs
    Similar the irregular verbs list, you can use this to practice conjugating on your own.
  4. Top Spanish Vocabulary
    Make sure you know the most commonly used words — not just verbs — so that sentences really come together.
  5. Top 20 False Cognates
    False cognates are words that look similar in two languages, but have very different meanings. Avoid embarrassing mistakes by brushing up on these common amigos falsos (fake friends). (See also: 75 Most Helpful Spanish Cognates to Know)

Online Spanish Resources - Verb Conjugations

Spanish Help — Verb Conjugations

The best way to conjugate verbs is the old fashioned way — take out a piece of paper, list your pronouns, and begin writing the different conjugations. There’s no way around it. But you can also practice and test your conjugation knowledge online! Below are some websites with online exercises and Spanish quizzes to help you along.

  1. Conjuguemos (Let’s Conjugate)
    Practice conjugating verbs in an online quiz, based on the pronoun. Quizzes are separated into tenses and stem and spelling change patterns. If you’re a beginner, start with present tense regular verbs.
  2. Spanish Verb Drills
    Practice conjugating verbs in sentences here. This website will give you an overview of conjugation and also generates unique quizzes to practice.
  3. Spanish Verb Conjugation Trainer
    This site offers free, online Spanish conjugation practice. Quizzes are separated by tenses. You can either choose which verbs you want to practice or generate a random selection.
  4. Spanish New York
    This is another free, online verb conjugation practice site, with tons of verb categories to choose from.
  5. Verbs Online
    You can practice verb conjugations in sets of 10 here, with a choice of regular or irregular verbs.

Online Spanish Resources - Apps

Spanish Learning Apps

A resource article wouldn’t be complete without mentioning apps! Downloading some of the following apps will let you practice Spanish on the go. Whether you’re taking a break from work or stuck in traffic, you can always find five minutes to practice.

  1. Duolingo
    This is a free language-learning app that focuses on a game-like way of learning, similar to Rosetta Stone.
  2. Open Language
    This website allows you to learn the language from real people. Get the hands-on learning experience you deserve!
  3. Memrise
    This is a free application for language learning that follows the CEFR (Common European Framework Reference), which is an international language proficiency scale. There are several Spanish courses ranging from beginner to advanced, based on the CEFR levels.
  4. Fluent U
    This is an app that introduces Spanish in context. You can view video/blog/visual-learning-strategies, newscasts, and articles in Spanish.
  5. Pinterest
    This is an overlooked app for language learning, but I use Pinterest for almost all of my teaching materials. You can search any topic, vocabulary, or grammar issue and you’ll see beautiful images, charts, and infographics to explain them. This is a must-have if you’re a visual learner.
  6. Rosetta Stone (free demo)
    The famous Rosetta Stone is now an app. You can try a free demo version to decide if this method is right for you.
  7. iTranslate
    This app lets you translate on your phone by voice. Simply say what you want to translate and your phone does the rest. This is great for traveling abroad — just remember, no translation app or website is perfect. It’ll give you a rough equivalent of the words in another language, but often the meaning is not correctly translated. Stick to simple phrases.
  8. HiNative
    This app lets you ask questions to native speakers or people who are practicing speaking Spanish.

Online Spanish Resources - Language Exchange

Language Exchange Platforms

Language exchange platforms can be helpful if they’re used in the right way. Many of these websites work like social networking, where you set up a profile with details about yourself. You then search for “friends” who you can practice your target language with.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that you’ll most likely be practicing with other Spanish learners. This is not a substitute for private lessons, since you won’t be getting the error correction and guidance a teacher would give you. But, if you want to practice information you learned in class, like introducing yourself, this is a good option.

I haven’t included individual details because all of the sites operate the same. The most popular, however, is Tandem. Please be aware that using any website to meet other people (even for learning purposes) has risks. Avoid giving out personal information or becoming a target of a scam.

  1. Tandem Exchange
  2. HelloTalk
  3. Wespeke
  4. Speaky
  5. HiNative

Online Spanish Resources - Chatrooms

Spanish Chatrooms

Spanish language chatrooms are a great resource for practicing written Spanish in your free time. Keep in mind that chatrooms for language learning run the same risks as any chatroom. I wouldn’t recommend letting children use these alone, since they would be speaking with strangers and all the risks that that entails. Overall, though, most users are genuinely interested in learning and improving.

  1. Espanglish Chat
    This is an English/Spanish bilingual chatroom for students to practice either or both languages. The chatroom is free and works online through Java.
  2. Spanish Chat
    Chatrooms are organized by Spanish speaking country, major U.S. cities, or topic.
  3. My Language Exchange
    This is an online language learning community. You can sign up and join chatrooms to practice speaking in Spanish.
  4. El Chat
    This website is an all-Spanish option where you’ll find many more native speakers, not necessarily Spanish learners. This website can help you see how Spanish speakers really communicate and how the language is used in casual conversation.
  5. ICQ
    ICQ works a lot like Skype with free messages and video calls. You can find Spanish chatrooms and converse in Spanish with other speakers or learners.

Online Spanish Resources - Games Online

Spanish Games Online

Games are fun for everyone, not just kids. Everyone learns in the same way and even the most dedicated adult appreciates a break from the routine every once in a while! The websites below are the best, in my opinion, offering a variety of free games at different levels.

  1. Online Free Spanish
    This is one of my favorite websites for kids and beginners. It has games and activities, online books, and printable activities for all learning levels. Check out the memory game for tons of basic vocabulary themes.
  2. Digital Dialect
    This website has a great selection of Spanish games for beginner, intermediate, and advanced speakers. Topics cover vocabulary, phrases, and verbs.
  3. Que Onda? Spanish
    This website has several free online games to practice Spanish vocabulary. I really like the memory game for learning basic verbs and words. You can also play hangman, alphabet soup, whack-a-word, and a verb conjugation game.
  4. Grammar Games
    This website is definitely geared toward serious learners. Online quizzes help you perfect your Spanish in a variety of categories, such as adjectives, article verbs, and pronouns.
  5. My Spanish Games
    I really like the different and creative games on this website! Many of them are directions-based and aimed at children, but they’re also good for beginners of any age. The Spanish vocabulary games include body parts, weather, animals, and more.

Online Spanish Resources - Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups for Spanish Help

If you’re on Facebook, consider joining a group. Information shared in these groups often includes images, charts, and speaking tips. They’re also a great place to ask questions in between classes and practice communicating in written Spanish. Below are some popular groups that I have found on Facebook. Keep in mind these groups may not be monitored and you should always exercise caution in who you accept friend requests from or speak to privately.

  1. Amigos y amigas españoles (20,000+ members)
  2. Aprender, practicar y ensenar el español (6,800+ members)
  3. Quiero practicar inglés-español (4,000+ members)

Online Spanish Resources - Facebook Groups

Facebook Pages for Spanish Help

A less interactive option is Facebook pages. Pages like the ones below often share helpful information, such as proper ways to use vocabulary words, commonly confused words, and spelling help. You may also be able to ask questions, depending on the page’s settings.

  1. Spanish Language Routes (200,000+ likes)
  2. Practicamos Español (48,000+ likes)
  3. Aprender el Español (13,000+ likes)

Online Spanish Resources - YouTube Channels

YouTube Channels for Learning Spanish

YouTube is an amazing resource for seeing and hearing language used in context. I avoid Spanish “lessons” on Youtube — they’re often a video of a tutor in front of a whiteboard or a long PowerPoint with narration explaining difficult grammar — except you can’t ask any questions. Leave the lessons up to your private tutor (or, check out the live, online Spanish classes via the TakeLessons Classroom) and use YouTube to simply enhance your Spanish by experiencing it in real-life situations.

  1. MisCositasTV
    This website has many Spanish-language videos for learners. What I like about the channel is that there are videos from different countries. Spanish is spoken in so many countries and there are many accents you’ll encounter.
  2. Y Mucho Mas
    If you’re studying Mexican Spanish or hoping to travel to Mexico, you must watch La Familia Peluche. This series is about a modern-day family living in Mexico City. This series will remind you of Married with Children or The Simpsons. The visual effects, facial expressions, and body language all help facilitate understanding. Plus, it’s hysterical!
  3. VideoEle
    This is a very good channel that features videos according to levels done by the CEFR (Common European Framework). The videos cover basic language and include vocabulary presented in themes. If you’re a beginner, choose A1 videos; intermediate, choose B1 videos; and advanced, choose C1 videos.
  4. BookBox.
    This is a collection of animated stories in Spanish (with Spanish subtitles). It says the stories are for children, but adults can benefit from watching them as well!
  5. Vocabuflash
    This channel offers stories in both Spanish and English. There are videos for vocabulary, short stories, and dialogues. It’s a great way to listen to pronunciation and work on your reading comprehension skills.

Online Spanish Resources - free eBooks

Free Spanish eBooks

More websites are beginning to publish and share free books. The books are either readable from the website or you download them in a PDF format. The websites below offer a variety of books, from beginner children’s books to classic novels. Adult learners shouldn’t be embarrassed to read children’s books, either. A beginner is a beginner — and the level is the most important factor. Plus, children’s books are well-illustrated and fun!

  1. Children’s Library
    This website has an extensive collection of children’s books. By doing a simple search for Spanish, you’ll find 159 books in Español. The best part is that no downloading is required! You can view the books page by page online. It’s perfect for beginner to intermediate learners.
  2. The Spanish Experiment
    This page has classic children’s stories in Spanish. As a bonus, you can also listen to the audio version. No downloading required! Just choose a story and beginning reading.
  3. Espacio eBook
    Here you can either view in PDF or download the eBooks. Many of them are classic stories and fairy tales by famous writers, such as Hans Christian Anderson.
  4. Free-ebooks.net
    This website lets you download free eBooks in Spanish. There’s a wide selection of books, including romance, cooking, terror, mystery, and more. The only negative is that the books are not arranged by level. This site would only be helpful for intermediate to advanced learners.
  5. Children’s Books Forever!
    While this website doesn’t have the biggest Spanish selection, I wanted to include it anyway. The titles are well-illustrated and very simple to read. There’s no downloading required; the books are viewed in Adobe Acrobat Reader. Hopefully their Spanish library expands in the future!

Online Spanish Resources - Open Source Materials

Open-Source Materials

Open-source materials are free, downloadable materials on the internet. This field is growing by the day and includes resources for both teachers and students to use. They’re great for independent studying and students who are self-motivated.

  1. Spanish Proficiency Materials
    This is one of the best Spanish-learning websites that offers materials in a natural context. It features tons of videos and podcasts organized by skill level. It’s also one of the few sites to feature an advanced and superior level. You can hear and see native speakers speaking naturally about many different topics.
  2. MIT Courseware
    Would you like to study at MIT? Would you like to do it for free? MIT offers free open-courseware, which you can download onto your computer. In addition to Spanish language classes, you can download English-language courses on Spanish culture and history.

Online Spanish Resources - News Websites

News Websites

Listening to the news is extra challenging in a second language. Think about how fast the newscasters speak in English… yes, it’s the same in Spanish! By listening to the news in Spanish, you can fine-tune your ears to very difficult listening comprehension. This will be very helpful if you travel abroad or engage in conversation with native speakers. One of the most common complaints from language learners is that people speak too fast — but in reality, they’re just speaking at their natural speed.

  1. CNN en Español
    This is the Spanish version of CNN. You can read all of the same stories you can find in English.
  2. El Universal
    This is widely-read Mexican newspaper based in Mexico City.
  3. Hoy Los Angeles
    This is a Spanish-language newspaper based in Los Angeles, California.
  4. Diario las Americas
    This is a Spanish-language newspaper based in Miami, Florida. It covers national and international news.
  5. La Opinion
    This is another Spanish-language newspaper based in California. It covers U.S., Mexico, and some international news stories.

Online Spanish Resources - Music Channels

Music Channels

Learning Spanish is going to open your world up to an amazing collection of artists and music from so many different countries. Music styles vary from country to country, so you might want to try a little of each before you decide which type is your favorite.

Below are websites that stream online radio stations from the U.S. and all over the world in Spanish. You can find salsa, oldies, rock and roll, heavy metal… just about anything to listen to. For extra practice, when you find a song you enjoy, try looking up the lyrics and singing along.

  1. La Paz
    This is my favorite website for music because it divides the radio stations by country.
  2. TuneIn
    Choose from more than 20 music categories and even more radio stations to stream over the Internet.
  3. Live365.com
    This website features the top Latin radio stations from all over the U.S. Choose from many music categories and stream live.
  4. Last.fm
    This website lets you choose a specific artist to listen to. Check out Shakira, Enrique Iglesias, and Juanes!
  5. Surf Music
    This website lets you listen to radio stations from Spain. It has a long list of categories and includes styles of music from Europe.

Online Spanish Resources - Magazines

Spanish Magazines

Use whatever interests you to get some meaningful practice reading in Spanish! This strategy will help you learn vocabulary related to topics that you’re likely to talk about. Below are some popular magazine websites in their Spanish versions. If you don’t see your favorite magazine listed, try searching online for a Spanish version.

  1. People en Español
  2. National Geographic in Spanish
  3. Cosmo en Español
  4. Men’s Health
  5. Vogue Español

Online Spanish Resources - Misc Websites

Misc. Websites in Spanish

You can always keep immersing yourself by switching websites you already use to the Spanish version. Below are some websites that I use frequently, but if you don’t see any of your choices on the list, just try searching for them. You can always change your location in your account settings to a Spanish-speaking country to get the Spanish version by default as well.

  1. TripAdvisor
    If you’re like me, you obsessively check TripAdvisor reviews before booking any vacation. You can kill two birds with one stone by checking it in Spanish. You can go to any TA site in a Spanish-speaking country (the link here is Mexico) and still sign in with your original ID and password.
  2. Hotels.com
    There’s nothing better than reading authentic Spanish text with beautiful images to keep you interested. Build up your vocabulary quickly by checking amenities and hotel descriptions. Then, switch back to English to check your comprehension.
  3. Facebook
    Sign up for Facebook in Spanish or change your language settings to Spanish. Your friend’s English posts won’t change – but you’ll have the option to translate them into Spanish. And all of the buttons and links will be in Spanish, reinforcing your vocabulary a little bit each time you click me gusta.
  4. Yahoo! en Español
    Change your home page to Yahoo! in Spanish to get a daily dose of vocabulary and news headlines every time you log on.

How to Effectively Use Online Spanish Resources

As you explore these options for learning Spanish, keep in mind that one website or one method alone is not going to make you a master Spanish speaker. The best thing you can do is to work with a private Spanish tutor to help you navigate through all the resources available.

Private instructors can save you hours of frustration by explaining difficult grammar concepts in a way they know you’ll understand. In addition, your lessons will give you the opportunity to speak in Spanish and be corrected on the spot. Error correction is essential to learning a language, especially when it comes to pronunciation.

Beyond that, another key to immersing yourself in a language is to have meaningful, everyday experiences in it. This happens when you use the language in a real-life context: try writing messages, updating your social media status, making a phone call, or ordering in a restaurant in Spanish. Making a personal connection to the language in this way makes it more likely that you will retain the information.

Try to use as many of the different types of resources as you can, on a daily basis, and you’ll be amazed at how fast your vocabulary bank and knowledge expands! And if you’d like extra help, feel free to contact me through my TakeLessons profile for private lessons, or check out the online group Spanish classes I’m teaching here!

Post Author: Sara T.
Sara T. teaches Spanish, English, Anatomy, and more through online lessons. She has over five years of teaching experience and holds a Masters degree in Teaching and Learning with Technology, with a specialization as an online educator. Learn more about Sara here!

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15 MORE of the Best Tutor-Approved Spanish Apps

15 best Spanish learning appsWe’ve reviewed some of the most popular Spanish learning apps out there — but there’s always more to talk about! Read on as tutor Breeana D. shares her recommendations for 15 MORE of the best Spanish learning apps to check out…

 

These days, it’s easier than ever to learn Spanish. When you’re not getting conversation practice in with your tutor, apps are an excellent way to review things like cognates, vocab and grammar. And since Spanish learning apps can be accessed 24/7, you can practice alone — any time, and practically anywhere — while having fun at the same time!

If you’re curious about the BEST Spanish learning apps, though, I’ve compiled the list below to check out. Here are my reviews of 15 useful, affordable, and worthwhile Spanish learning apps for either Android, iOS, or both:

Click on these links to scroll down to the section of your choosing:

Android Spanish Learning Apps


1) Spanish in Pictures: Food by Mind GA  [Android]

This app offers a dictionary of vocabulary for the following categories: foods, drinks, spices, vegetables, fruits, meat, and seafood. After learning the Spanish vocabulary (which includes pictures and audio), you can test your knowledge by clicking on “words to pictures” or “pictures to words.” This is great for catering to different learning styles. (Hint: Take this learning styles quiz to determine yours!)

From a tutor’s perspective:

I like this app because it has a variety of food vocabulary and pictures; however, they do not provide the English words for any of their pictures or Spanish words. So this app may be difficult to use if you are not familiar with certain fruits, veggies, spices, drinks, and food. For instance, a picture of la alcachofa (artichoke) is listed under vegetables with no English word beside it.


2) Spanish Word of the Day by Declan Software [Android]

This free app teaches you a new Spanish word each day. You can also click on the word, which has the English word beneath, and hear a pre-recorded voice say it.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app is a simple and useful tool to enhance your Spanish vocabulary and to impress your tutor! However, one precaution to keep in mind is that practicing words in isolation is not as useful as using them in context. Your tutor can help you establish an appropriate context for the word of the day.


3) Learn Spanish with SpeakTribe by Edushire [Android]

Before you begin using this app, you’ll be asked to choose your current level of Spanish: absolute beginner, a few words at most, can read somewhat, can follow slow speech, or can speak basic language. You’re also asked to input your age and why you would like to learn Spanish (for social reasons, academically, etc).

After you’ve gone through the set-up, this Spanish learning app quizzes you on the basics, such as conversational Spanish and grammar. It has 29 levels, and levels one through four are free. The higher the level, the more difficult the learning; for example, Levels 15+ focus on commands, adverbs, and the imperfect and subjunctive tenses. If you want to spend more time practicing your grammar, this is the app for you!

From a tutor’s perspective:

The flexibility of this app makes it an attractive learning tool for students of all ability levels. Even the levels that aren’t free are worth the price, as the lessons are great for reviewing important concepts!


4) Spanish for Kids by D.G.S. [Android]

Spanish for Kids, or Español para Niños, is a great Spanish learning app for kids! Users can learn the Spanish alphabet, numbers one through 10, colors, animals, clothing, and much more.

As you are learning the vocabulary words, you click on the pictures to hear the Spanish word. You can also play it in a “game” mode, which can be really fun! Overall, it’s a colorful and engaging app with a lot of categories.

From a tutor’s perspective:

While this app is kid-friendly with its colorful appearance and fun activities, beginner students of any age will benefit from this app, as it focuses on the fundamentals.

 

iOS Spanish Learning Apps


1) Learn Spanish + by Vidalingua [iOS]

Learning Spanish + is great because it goes beyond just seeing pictures or hearing a recorded voice. The pronunciation features allows you to enable your microphone and practice speaking yourself with the voice recognition feature. There are also quizzes and games you can play within each category to make sure you really understand.

From a tutor’s perspective:

The voice recognition feature can be a bit tricky to use. However, the categories they include are much more helpful than your basic greetings and animal names. They include real world situations such as “At the Airbnb” or “At the Market,” although some of these categories are under the paid version.

2) Basic Spanish by Greg Vick [iOS]

This app is my personal favorite. It offers several free activities that cover many different topics. Basic Spanish has 27 free categories from which to choose — including directions, sports, clothing, feelings, and health. Each category includes a study list, a memory game, flashcards, a quiz, word exercises, listening activities, meaning matching, spelling, and a review list. You can also see your score at the end of each activity.

From a tutor’s perspective:

With 27 free categories, you’re sure to find an area that is useful to your study needs! In addition, the app provides ample activities with a great deal of depth.


3) Mirai Spanish by Mirai LLP [iOS]

Mirai Spanish has 20 chapters, each with five lessons. The lessons focus on vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar. Each lesson includes background information about the topic, a summary list, vocabulary list, and a quiz. Chapters one through four are free, and the other chapters can be purchased.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app will be most beneficial for students who enjoy a more formal way of learning. There are no games.


4) Cat Spanish by Memrise [iOS]

This free app teaches you conversational Spanish, with a focus on grammar, by using pictures of cats and an activity called, “chat practice.” In this activity, you match Spanish phrases with pictures of the cats. For instance, there may be a picture of a cat eating fish and the phrase under it will say, “es delicioso” (it’s delicious).

After learning the new phrases, you can apply your skills with chat practice.  During chat practice, you “text” another cat by responding to his questions and selecting from phrases you’ve learned during the picture lesson.

From a tutor’s perspective: This is a good way to practice engaging in conversational Spanish. It is also purrfect for cat lovers.


5) Lingo Cat by Lingo Cat [iOS]

Lingo Cat is a free app with 10 categories, including los colores (the colors) and la hora (the time). It includes a dictionary that lists and describes all of the words included in the app, and each category includes several activities to practice Spanish vocabulary. At the end of each activity, you receive a grade based on your performance.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app’s inviting and invigorating music and sounds keep users engaged, which makes it much easier to remember your daily practice! It offers lessons in several categories, and some activities as well.


6) Learn Spanish with Lingo Arcade by Alligator Apps [iOS]

This app costs $4.99 to benefit from all of their 150 levels. Levels one and two are free. Each level has a timed vocabulary game. As you play, you will hear a Spanish word and have to click the correct picture before the time runs out.

From a tutor’s perspective:

I like this app for practicing basic vocabulary. The voice is pretty monotone, but the pressure of the time limit offers enough positive stress to work up “brain sweat.”

 

Android and iOS Spanish Learning Apps


1) Learn Spanish Quickly by Priya Yerunkar [Android]||[iOS]

This app has 33 categories, from body parts to colors to numbers! Simply click on the picture category and the words that you want to learn to hear a native speaker pronounce it in a clear voice.

From a tutor’s perspective:

I would definitely recommend this app to a student who wants to learn basic Spanish words quickly, due to its wide range of categories.


2) Learn Spanish by Bravolol [Android]||[iOS]

Learn Spanish has 24 categories that focus on Spanish vocabulary and phrases. Nine of those categories are free, including lessons on greetings, shopping, driving, sightseeing, weather, and eating. You can access the other categories through a free trial, or you can purchase them for $4.99.

Each category lists vocabulary and phrases that are said out loud when clicked. You can also repeat the phrase or word while recording your voice to make sure your pronunciation is accurate.

From a tutor’s perspective:

While other apps may be more colorful and exciting, this app allows you to practice your accent and Spanish pronunciation — a must for conversing with native speakers.


3) FluentU by FluentU [Android]||[iOS] 

Fluent U engages you in the Spanish learning process by using interactive tools, such as music videos and the news. The videos can be played with the Spanish translations appearing underneath, and you can click on any word to read the English definition.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app is great for Spanish students who enjoy popular culture. Teens will especially appreciate the social relevance of this trendy app.


4) Spanish Class by Cognitecco [Android]||[iOS]

The free demo for this app includes reference material (vocabulary, verbs, grammar, and phrases) and four exercises (vocabulary, verbs, grammar, and listening). The full version can be purchased for $2.99. Each activity has multiple-choice responses that incorporate reading; there are no recordings for either questions or answer options. Each activity also has a reference page or “article” which explains the correct answer.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app has no bells and whistles. It gets the job done; students who don’t mind the silence will find it useful.


5) Speak Easy by Pocketglow Inc. [Android]||[iOS]

Speak Easy is an excellent app for students, especially those who travel! It teaches greetings, basic phrases, travel essentials, and more. Each Spanish word shows the English word above it, as well as the phonetic spelling below, and an audio recording. The free app has more than 100 free words and phrases to learn, and the full version (with 750 more words and phrases) can be purchased for $3.99.

From a tutor’s perspective:

If you are going abroad to a Spanish-speaking country, this is the app for you. It doesn’t have any games, however, so keep that in mind if you need interactive activities to stay engaged.


6) Learn Spanish by Codegent Ltd [Android]||[iOS]

This free app teaches more than 200 words and phrases, with audio recordings from native speakers. Students who want to practice their accent will benefit from this app.

From a tutor’s perspective:

This app is ad-free, which is great! It’s especially helpful for travelers, because it includes traveling tips.


These 15 best Spanish learning apps are sure to assist you in your language endeavors! If these apps don’t interest you, try checking with your Spanish tutor to see if he or she has more recommendations. And of course, consider your learning style and goals as you practice on your own. Good luck!

Which apps do you use and recommend? Let us know by leaving a comment below! 

Breeana D.Post Author: Breeana D.
Breeana D. teaches Spanish lessons in Abington, PA. Specializing in Early Childhood, Elementary, and Special Education, she is currently enrolled in Temple University’s Elementary Education program. Learn more about Breeana here!

 

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How to Use Apps to Supplement Your Spanish Lessons

How to Use Apps to Supplement Your Spanish Lessons

It’s nice to have a little help when learning a new language. But what if help were available at the push of a button? Good news — it is! In this article, Spanish teacher Joan B. discusses how to find and use the best Spanish learning app for you…

 

Spanish lessons are a great way to build a strong foundation so you can speak, write, and understand Spanish fluently. A large part of your success during lessons is what you do in between them. Reinforcing and practicing the concepts learned can make a huge difference in your learning.

One excellent way to manage your time in between lessons is to use apps as a supplement. Apps offer immediate feedback, fun and creative games, pronunciation help, and much more. A while back, tutor Jason N. shared his recommendations for the best apps for learning Spanish, and then Breanna D. followed up with 15 MORE Spanish learning apps; now, let’s take a closer look at ways to use these kinds of apps!

1. Reinforce concepts

If you learned a new concept in your lesson, you might still be struggling with how it works, as well as incorporating it smoothly into your repertoire. Practicing a new grammar concept with an app like Open Language (for iTunes and Google Play) will guarantee that you use it properly and understand it thoroughly.

2. Get extra feedback

Here’s where you can take the initiative so your teacher can help you even more. Since lesson time is limited, why not do some extra practice with an app like Lingualia (for iTunes and Google Play) to pinpoint problem areas and concepts that aren’t totally clear to you? Then you can rapidly address these areas directly with your teacher. When you’ve already done the detective work of identifying the problem, your teacher can help you more effectively.

3. Immerse yourself

Practicing Spanish frequently can make it much easier to recall what you’re learning, in addition to improving fluency. Using apps on a regular basis when you have a few spare moments (on the bus or waiting in line, for example) can increase the time you spend practicing Spanish, which in turn increases your skill level.

4. Comprehension practice

Another great thing about lessons is the opportunity to practice comprehension when your teacher speaks to you. You don’t have to lose an opportunity in between lessons — you can continue to practice dictation, listening, and translation by using an app like FluentU, (for iTunes) where you can listen to Spanish audio.

5. Improve your accent

Apps like Rosetta Stone (for iTunes and Google Play) use voice recognition in exercises. This ensures that you’re not just repeating, by rote, a word with incorrect Spanish pronunciation as you try to learn it. Using apps that help you in various ways to improve your accent will ensure that you’re pronouncing words accurately the first time you say them.

6. Make quick progress for a specific goal

Some of the best Spanish learning apps, like Duolingo (for iTunes and Google Play), focus on the most useful and common words. This can be a great way to achieve a specific level of fluency in a limited amount of time, such as for a business interaction or upcoming travels. The app can provide you with a path to identify what level you want to reach and how to reach it, in combination with your lessons.

7. Discover your learning style

Some apps use a more visual approach, like Fluencia (for web), while others, like Memrise (for iTunes and Google Play), use memorization as a key tool. The key to using apps as a supplement to your Spanish lessons is to discover what learning style works best for you. Experiment with different apps to see what works. Once again, this will also help you with your lessons — you can share with your teacher what ways of learning are working well and which ways aren’t as effective.

8. Have fun with the language

Keeping it fun and fresh as you learn is important to avoid burnout and frustration. Apps like Cat Spanish (for iTunes), which is humorous and educational with its game format and pictures of cats, will keep you engaged and having fun while learning.

 

Keep these suggestions in mind as you look for apps with which to supplement your Spanish lessons. As you find some apps that work for you, try to make steady progress — often the apps will keep track of your frequency of practice and your score, so use it to your advantage as a motivation tool. Your hard work will pay off!

Readers, what do you think is the best Spanish learning app? Let us know in the comments!

Joan BPost Author: Joan B.
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. She’s studied French, Arabic, and Italian and spent time living in Spain. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more about Joan here!

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What Are The 5 Best iPhone and iPad Apps to Learn Spanish?

best apps to learn SpanishThe best app to learn Spanish is often a debated topic, but in this article we’ll share a few of the most popular choices and why thousands of language learners use them.

If you want to learn Spanish, you must commit to practicing it continuously over a long period of time. This strengthens your “language muscle” so that speaking Spanish becomes a habit that requires little effort.

Fortunately, mobile app technology is on your side. Smartphone and tablet apps making practicing a language convenient and affordable. Spanish apps are a great way to supplement Spanish classes or private lessons.

So what’s the best app to learn Spanish on? While there are more than 100 apps that claim to teach to Spanish quickly, here are the top five.

What’s the Best App to Learn Spanish? Here are 5 Options…

1. Duolingo

Duolingo won the “best application” award in 2013 from the Apple App Store. It tracks your progress in an encouraging way and focuses on 1,500 of the mostly commonly used words in the Spanish language. It’s a top choice because it incorporates voice technology for speaking practice and encourages continual practice of all four inputs and outputs of successful language learning: writing, reading, speaking, and listening.

While it’s comprehensive and a great tool (touching on adverbs, pronouns, adjectives, and question vocabulary), its main weakness is that it does not specifically teach grammar, which is why we recommend complementing it with private tutoring and one of the more grammar-oriented applications below.

2. SpanishDict

SpanishDict has great multiple-choice games to make learning fun, although it’s most useful once you already have a solid foundation of Spanish skills and can carry on a basic conversation. Its dictionary tends to be more accurate than “Google-Translate.”

This app contains the most comprehensive dictionary we have yet to find and it incorporates common phrases where the searched words can be properly used. It’s also frequently checked and added to by native Spanish speakers from all over the 24 Spanish-speaking countries.

3. MindSnacks

Learn Spanish by MindSnacks is a fun application, most appropriate for younger learners. One of the games users particularly like is one that  pronounces a word aloud so you can correctly identify it on the screen, while a clock is ticking away.

The app also keeps score with fun badges and other cartoon-like images. Full access to the first 50 lessons is $5. The images are most appropriate for younger children but can be fun for any age!

4. Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is arguably the most well-known language-learning tool, and also the most intensive. One distinguishing factor is that it attempts to immerse its users in Spanish immediately without explaining and translating everything in English, as if you were learning Spanish as a child, instead of as an adult.

While this can be frustrating for those who want their activities explicitly translated so they understand every word and phrase, it can actually accelerate learning. This option is best for those who are especially motivated, have a special knack for language-learning, and don’t get flustered easily.

5. Memrise

Memrise is possibly the most creative app, designed to teach you specific words through modules such as “Basic Argentine Spanish,” “Intermediate Spanish,” and “100 most commonly spoken Spanish words.” Each contains several lessons reviewing 10-20 words. It’s creative because instead of learning through mechanical repetition, it incorporates clever plays on words to boost learning and make it fun.

For example, “bañarse” is a reflexive Spanish verb that means “to shower or bathe oneself,” and is remembered by “However shy you are of nakedness as you shower, you’ll never be able to ban your ‘arse’ from the bath!” Once your brain makes this “click” it’s unlikely that you will forget this word!

Bonus App to Learn Spanish

Mosalingua takes a unique approach to learning a new language by using the spaced repetition method, meaning it reviews what you’ve learned before you’re likely to forget it. It also uses dialogues and helps test your comprehension with different accents. You get rewarded for your success with bonus materials. Mosalingua is fun and easy to use!

Enjoy your Spanish learning journey and don’t forget it’s supposed to be fun! The best app to learn Spanish is the one that works best with your unique learning style. If you need some extra help along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out to a Spanish tutor for guidance.

These Spanish apps are best used to help you practice in between language-learning sessions with a private tutor! Browse Spanish tutors near you today to really accelerate the path to fluency.

JasonNJason N. tutors in English and Spanish in Fairfax, CA. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here! 

 

 

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These 5 Online Spanish Games Will Keep You Busy For Hours

online Spanish gamesReady for some fun? Take a break with an online Spanish game, and you’ll be learning and having fun at the same time! Here are 5 great options, rounded up by online tutor Marcus S...

 

Learning Spanish can be a daunting dask. One way to turn the stress into fun and make studying a new language more effective is to play games. In the digital age, that’s easy to do, because you can now play online Spanish games. All you need is your smartphone, tablet or laptop to have an on-the-go source of Spanish practice.

The Food Game From Digital Dialects

Digital Dialects offers 16 beginner-level online Spanish games, plus even more games for intermediate and advanced students. One of their many beginner level games teaches the names of common foods. First, you can study words by scrolling through pictures of food. The name of the food is given in both text and audio. For example, a picture of cheese shows “el queso” written above it, while “el queso” is also spoken. Next, you get to practice what you’ve learned by playing the food game. You can choose to play with text or with audio. A table full of illustrated foods items is displayed. The computer either shows you a Spanish food name or speaks it and you have to click on that food item.

Spanish-English Word Match

Vocabulary.co.il offers this simple game for practicing Spanish vocabulary. Seven English words are listed in boxes on the left and seven Spanish words with the same meanings are listed across from them. The words are listed in different orders, so it’s your job to pair each word to its counterpart by clicking on an English word on the left and then the matching Spanish word on the right. (Example: “Pretty” matches “Bonito.”) As you play, the game will draw a different colored line between the two words you select. When you finish, click the Check Answers button and your answers will be graded with a green check mark or red “X,” along with a funny audio congratulations or critique, depending on how you score.

Spanish-English Cycle Race Game

This is one of many online Spanish games on Scholastic Teachers. You get to choose one of two characters, either Jenny or Zack. Next, you select your Spanish level, either Easy or Advanced. The game shows the two characters riding bicycles down the road. You’ll be asked questions in English and have to choose from the two choices given to help your character ride faster and win the race.

Mi cara en Español

This game from Apples 4 the Teachers uses only Spanish words and pictures, which is an ideal combination for learning a new language. You’ll see a blank drawing of a kid’s head beside the cut out images of the parts of his face. When you click on the the nose the computer says “nariz” and also shows the word. You then get to move the nose and other parts to the head until you’ve completed the face.

Limpia Tu Grammatica!

Another game from Scholastic, Limpia Tu Grammatica! teaches you Spanish grammar with one of Maggie’s Earth Adventures. You’re shown Spanish words such as “mirar” (“to look) and have to choose whether to put it in the recycling bin marked “Sustantivos” (nouns) or a “Verbos” (verbs). The words are set on top of illustrations of trash on a beach, so as you play, you’ll be cleaning up litter from the ocean.

These free online Spanish games are perfect for kids, high school students, and adults. So make sure to supplement the lessons you get from a great Spanish tutor with these games, whether it’s on the bus, between classes, before going to sleep, or any other time you have a few minutes to practice.

Bonus:  Learn about the budget-friendly options for learning Spanish!

MarcusSMarcus S. tutors online in a variety of subjects. He has been trained and certified to teach classes and give individual tutoring to students in the SAT, GMAT, GRE, and LSAT for the Princeton Review. Learn more about Marcus here!

 

 

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6 Tools to Learn Spanish During Your Commute

6 Tools to Learn Spanish (& Other Languages) During Your Commute

6 Tools to Learn Spanish During Your CommuteYour commute to and from work or school is the perfect time to brush up on your Spanish — or any other language you’re studying! Here, New York, NY tutor Lauren P. shares six tools to help…

Are you new to learning Spanish or want to brush up on what you’ve learned already, but can’t seem to find the time to practice or study? Stop using that as an excuse! Use these six tools to learn Spanish in the car or on public transportation during your commute.

(Plus, each of these tips also works for other language learners — so whether you’re learning Spanish, French, German, or something else, we’ve got you covered.)

1. Podcasts

Search your podcast app for free podcasts focused on learning your target language. For Spanish learners, I recommend SpanishPod101. The engaging and culturally relevant podcast is made specifically to teach beginner and intermediate Spanish. Over 300,000 podcasts have been recorded and can be listened to on your phone or mp3 player.

For an engaging plot line, get hooked on the Destinos Spanish soap opera series provided through Annenberg Learner. Similarly, BBC’s mystery series “Mi Vida Loca” targets beginner Spanish speakers. Whether you listen to instructional lessons, enticing mysteries, or pop culture Spanish podcasts, you will be flooding your brain with contextualized Spanish and building your language skills.

See also: 10 Cool Sites to Learn French by Podcast, Video, or Blog

2. News Sites

In addition to following the news in English, find a local news station or newspaper in your target language. If you are familiar with daily news topics in English, you will be able to recognize names of culturally and politically relevant people and places. By already knowing the main concepts surrounding key people, events, and topics, you will slowly be able to translate specific words.

Having trouble finding Spanish radio stations? The BBC and CNN are available in Spanish here or here. Try listening to video clips or print articles ahead of time to read during your commute alongside the English articles.

3. Radio

What is a better memory tool than music? If listening to the news is too tedious for your morning commute, sing along to a Spanish radio station. The good thing about music is that lyrics repeat the same words and phrases. Many songs, regardless of language or genre, share common topics and themes. As those hit songs play again and again, you may find yourself inferring the meaning of those loving adjectives and verbs.

4. Audiobooks

Listening to audiobooks is a soothing and educational way to enjoy your commute. Make the most of your audiobook experience by downloading a book you are already familiar with in English. If you know the story of “The Giver” or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”, you will pick up on vocabulary words quickly as the plot unfolds.

Better yet, download an entire series of books! With familiar characters and settings, you will expose yourself to more words in less time. You can easily find audiobooks in other languages, including Spanish, at Audible.com. If you commute via public transportation, you can use the same strategy with hard copy books.

5. Free iTunes Downloads

You can find a wealth of free lessons, audio clips, podcasts, and radio shows to stream or download from iTunes. For example, “Coffee Break Spanish” is a podcast series ranging between 15 to 30 minutes, designed to help you learn Spanish in the car as you drive.

For shorter clips, search for “Five-Minute Spanish” to download 36 free five-minute Spanish lessons from the University of Arkansas. Similarly, “Discover Spanish” offers 44 free 15-minute lessons. “One-Minute Spanish” and “One-Minute Latin American Spanish” will each get you 17 audio clips to learn on the go. If you’d rather listen to conversational Spanish , check out the free clips from “Notes in Spanish”.

Finally, you can download a free Spanish textbook by searching “Español I” by David Vance. This requires iBook software and is obviously more appropriate for public transportation commuters, not drivers!

6. Language-Learning Apps

If you are a public transportation commuter, try using a fun language-learning app or game while you’re in transit! Whether you want to learn and practice new vocabulary words, complete grammar drills, or watch videos in your target language, there are tons of great apps to choose from. Here are some more tips for learning languages with your smartphone, including recommended apps.

Editor’s Note: See our other Spanish app recommendations here!


Even though it is difficult to commit to second language acquisition, it’s easy to make the most of your time with these six tools to learn how to speak Spanish in the car during your commute — or any other language, really!

Of course, these should supplement the time you’re spending each week with your private tutor. And with many tutors offering lessons via online platforms, it’s easier than ever to find a teacher who fits with your schedule. Book some lessons, practice during your commute, and you’ll be speaking Spanish in no time.

Not signed up for lessons yet? Find a Spanish tutor in your area here! 

LaurenPLauren tutors various subjects in New York, NY. She has her Master’s Degree in Education (with a concentration in students with learning disabilities), and is a certified NYC Special Education teacher. Learn more about Lauren here!

 

 

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