Nowadays there are so many language learning apps, websites, and online resources out there that anyone can learn a language from the comfort of their own home without ever having to visit the country where the language is spoken.
In this blog post we will look at the many different online resources to help you with your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills when learning Spanish. (Most of these apply to all language learning.)
Duolingo: A great feature of the Duolingo app is their pronunciation test when you have to translate a sentence that you see in English into Spanish. It will then tell you which words you pronounced correctly and give you feedback on the words you said incorrectly.
Whatsapp: As well as a messenging services you can make free voice calls or messages. So you can talk to your Spanish friends or relatives and ask them to correct your pronunciation. If your teacher uses it, they could type you a sentence for you to read out in Spanish and then they can correct you.
Conversation Exchange: The best way to improve speaking a new language is to do more of exactly that! – Speaking and if possible to a native speaker. Conversation Exchange is just one website that helps you find a language exchange partner to chat with on a regular basis either online or face-to-face.
Extempore App: This is a speaking practice app created by teachers to help students gain extra speaking practise between lessons and to help build their fluency. Teachers can create speaking exercises for their students to record either on a computer or a phone. The teacher then listens to the students’ answer to grade it and provide feedback.
Spanish Obsessed: Loads of great podcasts aimed at all different levels.
Audiria: Lots of podcasts with transcripts as well as other vocabulary learning resources. They cover all everyday topics and also have “slow” audio for beginners.
Notes In Spanish audio covers everyday topics and have 3 levels of podcasts:
You can also download the transcript and worksheets to go with them and they run special offers throughout the year.
Coffee Break Spanish podcasts: Feature free and paid-for lessons and podcasts on a variety of every day themes.
Spanish Listening: Great resources with hundreds of Spanish speakers from all over the world along with transcripts and vocabulary scripts. You can search by level, topic, grammar, country or speaker.
I love this website. They have some very funny videos on here catering for all levels of learners: beginner, intermediate or advanced. Videos include interviews, TV Series, music, lessons and documentaries. You choose the video according to your level and preference regarding whether you want to focus on Spanish spoken in Spain or any South American country. You read the script line by line at the same time and also read the English translation. You can even turn off the script to just listen. You can click on “Slow” to slow down the video and can also pause it. There are some free videos or if you really like this website you can subscribe for $9.95 a month.
Mi Vida Loca: BBC online series which is an interactive video and Spanish course rolled into one. It covers everyday scenarios
The Spanish Blog has video lessons and courses for all levels of learners. There are free lessons and paid for courses. They also have a Youtube channel. It covers both grammar and vocabulary.
Study Spanish: Has been around for ages and still a good resource for Spanish grammar. Lots of free stuff but also payable.
Other good Spanish grammar websites for interactive exercises:
Read and listen: Spanish Resources has reading, writing, speaking and listening activities. Topics include cover everyday vocabulary and basic grammar.
Spanish Comic Strips: Go Comics has many comics in Spanish including favourites such as Garfield, Snoopy and Dilbert. You can access these from a smart phone app. Because the text is in short bursts, you get to learn key vocabulary quickly and easily.
Alba Learning: has free e-books as parallel texts. You see the Spanish on the left and the equivalent English paragraph on the right.
Get the Readlang Web Reader to translate words you don’t know and also create flashcards to help you learn them.
Senor Jordan: Popular videos on all aspects of grammar to help you learn Spanish. Often including catchy songs to help you memorise tricky grammar more easily.
Easy Spanish: You Tube site with various videos to help you learn Spanish
Duolingo: One of the best language learning apps today. Start off by taking a level test and then content is tuned to your level. Practise speaking, reading and listening in an interactive environment. If you’re taking formal Spanish lessons this is a great resource to expand vocabulary and perfect your pronunciation. It is very addictive and gives you a percentage of your fluency as you progress through the levels. If you skip a few days it will send you messages to encourage you back!
Babbel: Lessons are only 15 minutes long so you can easily fit them into a busy day and are the perfect length to stop you getting bored. You can choose the topic you want to learn or that you find interesting.
Rosetta Stone App: Helps you learn and speak a language from beginner level using speech recognition software. Topics covered include, meeting people, being polite, time and money, dining out, staying in a hotel, getting around, shopping, health and safety.
Watching Spanish news helps your listening and understanding skills. If you have already heard the piece of news in English this can help you focus on the language in more detail rather than the story.
RTVE: Spain’s national news channel. You can access Spain’s national news programmes to watch live news, as well as documentaries, sports channels and other programmes.
BBC Mundo: Spanish news channel with videos on current affairs, technology, science, health issues, culture and sports news.