Learning Spanish has many personal and career-related benefits. Here are just a few of the benefits of learning the Spanish language.
- Job opportunities - Speaking Spanish makes you eligible for thousands of additional jobs in the United States. For example, businesses often hire freelancers for short-term projects, such as translating a document or presentation into Spanish.
- Better communication skills - Since Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the U.S., learning the language will enable you to better communicate with your customers, coworkers, or employees. And they’ll respect you more for it!
- Higher income - If you learn to speak Spanish, in many fields you’ll automatically qualify for higher pay. Spanish speakers are incredibly valuable in the medical and customer service fields.
- Better travel experiences - Traveling to a Spanish-speaking country is more adventurous and affordable when you speak the native language. Rather than using a travel guide in English, you can simply ask the locals for advice on their favorite spots. You can also negotiate with merchants to avoid inflated tourist rates.
- New relationships - Speaking Spanish enables you to make new friendships and networking opportunities. You can get to know the people around you in new ways, whether it’s a coworker or your in-laws.
- Volunteer opportunities - After you learn to speak Spanish, you’ll find doors opening for many new volunteer opportunities at charitable organizations, both national and global. Local food pantries and shelters are always looking for volunteers who will be able to make a stronger connection with the individuals they’re serving.
- Improved mental health - Studies have shown that learning a new language such as Spanish can help prevent or delay signs of dementia and even Alzheimer’s disease. It can also improve your ability to focus and problem-solve.
Supplies Needed to Learn Spanish Online
Depending on how you plan to learn Spanish online, the necessary materials will differ, but you shouldn’t have to purchase many supplies. A private tutor may require you to purchase a textbook and workbook, but if you’re taking online Spanish classes, you’ll probably just need a notebook or journal to take notes in.
If you’d like to supplement your learning with Spanish language apps, you’ll need a smartphone and up to a few dollars per app.
Like most other skills, regular practice is the key to learning Spanish. You should practice Spanish as often as you can, but we suggest a minimum of 30 minutes per day. It’s important to keep in mind that when practicing Spanish, quality is just as important as quantity, so make sure you’re covering all your bases - including speaking, reading, and writing in Spanish.
There are dozens of ways to practice Spanish throughout your day that make learning fun. Include these activities in your daily schedule to become fluent in Spanish even faster.
Call a friend
Call up a friend on the phone and tell him or her how your day went in Spanish. Listing out all of your daily activities is great pronunciation practice.
Teach someone else
One excellent way to reinforce what you’ve already learned is to teach it to someone new. For example, ask a curious family member if you can explain a difficult Spanish concept to them.
Go shopping at Hispanic markets
If you live in a diverse community, chances are there is a Hispanic supermarket near you. Visit one for practice reading labels in Spanish and make small talk with your cashier.
Watch YouTube Videos
There’s a variety of free online Spanish lessons that you can find on YouTube to watch during your spare time. We recommend starting with our Spanish playlist for helpful beginner tutorials!
Watch Univisión or Telemundo
Watch TV on Spanish-only networks as a way of immersing yourself in the language. Netflix and Hulu now offer programming in Spanish as well. If you need to turn subtitles on, don’t hesitate!
Listen to Spanish music
Create a Spanish playlist for your commute to work or trips to the gym so you can learn the lyrics and sing along. There are also many Spanish-language podcasts available for download.
Change the language on your phone or laptop
For practice reading Spanish specifically, go to your phone or laptop’s settings and change the preferred language to Spanish. This is one way to immerse yourself in Spanish vocabulary on a daily basis.
Read a book in Spanish
See if your local library has any books in Spanish. You may have to start with children’s books if you’re a beginner, or you can check out a Spanish newspaper if you’re more advanced.
Write in Spanish
Whether you’re writing your shopping list, or you have a personal blog page, challenge yourself to write in Spanish more often. You can even look for a Spanish-speaking pen pal online!
Play games in Spanish
Download a Spanish trivia-style game on your phone for extra vocabulary practice when you’re on the go.
Learn Spanish Online
Here at TakeLessons, we offer a wide selection of group classes so you can enjoy free Spanish lessons. Our group classes are a fantastic way to practice your pronunciation and conversation skills.
As you study Spanish, it’s smart to take advantage of as many different resources as you can! Try connecting with other Spanish speakers and learners on the internet to practice your skills. You can use any of the following language exchange platforms, chat rooms, or Facebook groups.
Note: Be aware that using any website to meet other people (even for learning purposes) has its risks. Avoid giving out any personal information and do not allow children to use these sites unattended.
Language Exchange Platforms
If you want to practice Spanish conversation skills such as introducing yourself, then language exchange platforms are a good option. Many of these websites are similar to a social network, where you set up a profile with details about yourself and then search for friends to practice your target language with.
It’s important to keep in mind though, that you’ll most likely be practicing with other Spanish learners, so these platforms are not a substitute for taking Spanish classes or lessons.
- Tandem Exchange allows you to easily search for other language learners online for some mutually beneficial practice.
- HelloTalk puts you in touch with over five million native speakers worldwide.
- Wespeke uses an app to match you up with language partners. You can practice your Spanish here via text, audio, or video.
- Speaky is home to a community of language lovers speaking more than 100 different languages.
- HiNative is a Q and A platform where you can instantly find the help you need when you have a difficult Spanish question.
Spanish Chat Rooms
Spanish language chat rooms are a good resource for practicing written Spanish in your free time. Remember to be aware of the risks we mentioned above, but overall, most users are genuinely interested in improving their Spanish.
- My Language Exchange is an online community where you can practice Spanish with a native speaker.
- Espanglish Chat is a free English/Spanish bilingual chat room where students can practice either language.
- El Chat is an all-Spanish option where you’ll find more native speakers. You’ll be able to see how Spanish speakers communicate in casual conversation.
- ICQ works a lot like Skype with free messages and video calls. You can find Spanish chat rooms here and converse with both speakers and learners.
Facebook Groups and Pages
If you have a Facebook account, consider joining a Spanish group. Information shared in these groups often includes images, charts, and Spanish speaking tips. They’re also a great place to ask questions in between classes and practice communicating in written Spanish.
A less interactive option is Facebook pages. The pages in this list 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.
- Amigos y Amigas Españoles (25,000+ members)
- Quiero Practicar Inglés-Español (7,000+ members)
- Spanish Language Routes (240,000+ likes)
- Practicamos Español (95,000+ likes)
- Aprender el Español (21,000+ likes)
Learn more about conversing in Spanish here.
If we were to list every country where Spanish is spoken, we’d run out of room! But here is a list of countries where Spanish is known as the “official language.” If you plan to travel to any of these nations, you’ll be able to get by speaking Spanish. Taking advantage of free online Spanish lessons is a great first step on your world travel journey.
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- El Salvador
- Equatorial Guinea