Would you like to learn Spanish in way that
- saves you time
- saves you money
- is fun
- lets you practise speaking, listening, reading and writing?
Then online Spanish learning is the way to go.
You're probably into online learning anyway seeing as you're reading this post.
But I'm sure you've experienced the overwhelm of trying to choose the right resources among all the websites, courses, podcasts and blogs on the internet.
That's why in this post, I've put together my favorite online resources for learning Spanish.
You'll find Spanish online resources for every level of your learning journey from beginner to advanced. And more importantly, you'll discover how to make them work for you and your Spanish goals.
The Most Valuable Spanish Learning Resource: You
But first, I want to start with the most important part of learning a new language: you.
In the end, your success in learning Spanish will have more to do with your motivation and commitment than what textbook or revision aid you use.
- Why do I want to learn Spanish?
- How much time and energy am I willing to commit to that goal?
There are more incredible resources for learning Spanish online than ever before.
But the fundamentals of learning Spanish are still the same—the best instruction in the world will do nothing if you don't dedicate enough of your time, energy, and focus to learning Spanish.
Once you find a website or course you enjoy, you have to use it!
Studying Spanish independently online will only be successful if you identify the best resources for you and then commit to using them daily.
How To Find The Best Spanish Resources For You: A Checklist
Your language-learning journey will be different than anyone else's because your experiences and life are different.
All of the resources on this list will help you learn Spanish. But your best list might look different from mine because every language learner is unique.
Before I give you a list of my favorite online resources, it will help for you to identify what makes a given website or program the best for you.
- How much of a factor is cost? Are you looking exclusively for free programs or are you willing to pay for quality instruction?
- How much exposure have you had to Spanish? Do you need a beginner course or something more advanced?
- Do you speak any other Latin languages?
- What's your preferred learning style? Do you need more visual or audio instruction?
- Will you be learning at home or on the go (during your commute or lunch break, for example)?
- How comfortable are you learning in a self-guided course?
- How much time do you have to dedicate to Spanish learning each day?
Knowing what you are looking for will help you evaluate all of the available options for learning Spanish online.
You'll want to try a few and see what works best for you. As you start working through them, keep a list of what you like and what doesn't work as well.
Ultimately, you'll want to create your own list of the best online resources that is tailor-made to your preferences and lifestyle.
My Top 23 Spanish Resources Online
With that said, here are my favorite online resources for learning Spanish.
I have used many of these myself and had the rest recommended to me by friends that are similarly enthusiastic about learning and teaching Spanish.
The Must-Know Types Of Spanish Resources Online
- Dictionaries and grammar guides
- Complete online Spanish courses
- Bite-sized resources to complement courses and online guides
- Blogs and podcasts
- Websites to find a speaking partner
- Immersion materials for more advanced learners
Listing them this way will help you quickly scroll through the choices and pick what you need.
Spanish Dictionaries And Grammar Guides
These are websites you can use to look up unfamiliar words, translate text, and learn the basics of Spanish grammar and conjugation.
- #1 SpanishDict: Includes an online dictionary, language guide, interactive flash cards, verb conjugations, and more. I can usually find what I'm looking for here, even if I am studying regional variations or slang. Just check the “Examples” section for colloquial expressions and common uses of any word.
- #2 Diccionario de la lengua española: An online dictionary run by Real Academia Española (an official institution devoted to the preservation of the Spanish language). The definitions are all in Spanish, so this is not for translation as much as it is for defining words. As such, this is an especially great resource for intermediate and advanced Spanish language learners.
- #3 Word Reference: Another easy-to-use dictionary that also includes a forum where users can ask and answer questions about usage or colloquial phrases. I especially like how this website differentiates between Penninsular and Latin American usage.
- #4 Lingolia: Learn grammar, verb conjugation, and vocabulary all in one place. One unique feature on Lingolia is an entire section of the website dedicated to exploring Spanish-speaking countries, with everything from basic facts to virtual tours.
Full Spanish Language Courses
If you want to jump right in with a Spanish course, here are five I recommend:
Some of these courses are targeted at beginners, some are for intermediate learners ready for the next level (or needing to brush up on Spanish that has gotten rusty), and others cover both beginning and intermediate levels.
- #5 Spanish con Salsa: A supportive community of Spanish learners who love learning with latin music.
- #6 Spanish Uncovered: This is my Spanish course for beginners where you learn Spanish by reading and listening to fascinating stories full of rich, authentic language. Why stories? I don't just have one good reason to recommend story-based learning—I have 16. You can also supplement the course with my Short Stories in Spanish book.
- #7 Michel Thomas Spanish: Another highly-recommended audio course available on Audible or on CD that has worked for Spanish learners for many years.
- #8 Fluent Spanish Academy: My Spanish course for intermediate learners who are looking to move to the next level and become truly independent in Spanish.
- #9 SpanishPod101: A Spanish course through podcasts, geared specifically at beginning Spanish learners. This is especially helpful for people who need help staying motivated or who don't know where to start. If you're curious how it works, I wrote an entire review here. Some of the material is available for free, but the bulk of it requires a membership.
Bite-Sized Spanish Online Resources For Revision&Practice
No one of these resources will be enough to gain complete fluency in Spanish. But these bite-sized Spanish instructional aides and activities are perfect for everyday practice and revision.
- #10 Babbel: Multiple levels of instruction, grammar, and exposure to the traditions of Spanish-speaking countries worldwide.
- #11 LingQ: A combination of news articles, music, videos, and more for a more natural learning experience.
- #12 Fluencia: A great Spanish-learning website and smartphone/tablet app from the folks at SpanishDict.
- #13 MosaLingua: Focuses on teaching useful phrases with a flashcard system powered by spaced repetition. It may not be anything new or flashy, but it can really help you get the basics down right.
Spanish Blogs And Podcasts
Listening to Spanish spoken by many different native speakers is a great way to get comfortable with a variety of Spanish accents and phrases. Reading Spanish is also an important skill that you can work on at any time online.
- #14 Coffee Break Spanish: An incredibly popular Spanish learning podcast that breaks lessons down into short episodes that will fit in your daily coffee break.
- #15 Real Fast Spanish: A diverse podcast and Spanish learning blog from Andrew Barr and his team of Spanish teachers. They also offer online Spanish courses for learners everywhere from new beginners to advanced.
- #16 Notes in Spanish: Authentic, real Spanish at multiple levels so you can listen to Spanish the way you will use it in everyday life. For a fee, you can also order worksheets that accompany the free podcast audio.
- #17 Nachotime Spanish: Nacho helps Spanish learners get off the intermediate plateau through his blog and community.
Bonus: You might also like Spring Spanish, a nice website that teaches a method called Conversation Based Chunking.
Online Spanish Speaking Partners
One of the best ways to learn Spanish is to speak it! The good news is that you can do that online with either of these programs that connect you with a Spanish speaker for live practice from home:
- #18 iTalki: My favourite website for connecting students and teachers online. You can filter tutors by country, price, and whether or not you they offer a free trial session. If you want my advice on how to find the perfect iTalki tutor, check out this post: 12 Steps to Finding Your Perfect Language Teacher Online.
- #19 HelloTalk: Chat in real time (either through text, voice, or both) with Spanish speakers worldwide. One of the neat things about the chat interface is that you can review, correct, or translate messages right in the chat screen.
Online Spanish Immersion Materials
As your Spanish improves, you'll need to upgrade your reading and listening material to media produced for Spanish speakers (as opposed to Spanish learners).
If you're already an intermediate or advanced Spanish learner, incorporate these resources into your daily study.
- #20 Radio Ambulante: A radio show and podcast produced by NPR that follows the same basic format as other NPR programs like This American Life.
- #21 Telemundo: Spanish news (both print and video) and original television programming.
- #22 La Rosa de los Vientos: A long-running radio show about current events, history, influential Spaniards, and more.
- #23 Spanish Conversations: A set of dialogues for Spanish learners (not native speakers, I know) that tell an intriguing story in 20 parts. I created Conversations to bridge the gap between intermediate and advanced levels because I know how hard it can be to understand fast spoken Spanish.
The Key Ingredient To Make The Most Of Spanish Online Resources: You!
No resource can ever be the “magic” key to making you fluent in any language.
Instead what counts are the factors that make you a unique Spanish learner. And the amount of time and effort you can put into learning Spanish daily.
As you try out the resources from this list, reflect on what's working best for your current level. And more generally for your learning style and preferences.
The most important part of any Spanish language course or resource is the effort you put into it. No matter what, commit to working on your new language every day with the resources that suit you and you'll see your hard work pay off.
What are your favourite Spanish resources online? Are you going to try out any suggestions from this post? Let me know in the comments.