5 Best Free Lessons to Start Learning Spanish
So, you want to learn Spanish, but where to start? There are tons of resources available online but before you dive into a full-fledged program or invest in a language tutor, it might be worth exploring some free resources. These can help teach you the basics and give you a little taste of what learning Spanish is like.
Luckily, there are tons of free lessons online from podcasts to interactive games. While these will not make you fluent they are a great way to get started. We here at AmazingTalker have taken the time to do the research for you and narrowed it down to 5 amazing lessons you start using today to learn some basic Spanish. And of course, all of these will not cost you a cent!
So, without further ado here's our list:
SpanishPod101 is an enjoyable and unique way to start learning Spanish through podcasts. You don’t have to be a huge podcast fan to use this sort of platform because each podcast has been recorded (not all are free) so it's more like recorded lessons. Each episode covers a basic topic in Spanish from vocabulary, grammar or sentence structure. They also have other entertaining topics such as etiquette and travel tips. There are thousands of topics so you most certainly won’t be bored using this platform.
After listening to a lesson you can go through the vocabulary that was used in the podcast and see some lesson notes which will cover the fundamentals of the grammar and sentence structure that were discussed in the lesson. They are not the most comprehensive lessons and unlike other platforms on this list, the lesson notes most resemble something out of a textbook. There are also no quizzes, at least not in the free version, for you to test your knowledge. Lastly, you can explore peoples comments which can, at times, be useful in cases where there was something others’ found confusing or unclear in the lesson.
What we love is the sheer variety of topics covered, if you’re looking for an introduction to basic conversational Spanish this is a great place to start. The platform is however a little unstructured, you will need to search for topics which interest you or you think will be useful. Still if you are comfortable with a little self directed learning then SpanishPod101 could be a great place to start!
2. 123TeachMe (Spanish)
123TeachMe is a simple but comprehensive site with plenty of resources to get you started with learning Spanish. What we love is the variety on this site and all the tools that they offer. While it may not be as flashy as other sites on this list, 123TeachMe is entirely free and is perfect for who enjoys self directed learning. The content on this site can probably take you from beginner to an intermediate level of Spanish.
Firstly, let's look at the lessons they have. Clicking on the resources tab will show you some sub categories. They’ve got everything here from grammar tutorials to sample dialogues for listening to reading comprehension tools. The grammar lessons are broken into 2 categories 101 and 201; 101 will give you the basics of vocabulary and help you become familiar with Spanish words. 201 will get a bit more advanced to teach you some simple conjugations and conversational terms. We also love the quizzes they offer, they’re great to help you confirm that you have retained the information learnt.
Next, the site has plenty of fun and interactive Spanish language games. While these games are simple they are still entertaining and a nice break from the traditional lessons. We recommend you incorporate them periodically but you will not be able to learn Spanish just from playing the games.
Our personal favourite is Aim Point Pool, it’s essentially a solo match of billiards but to keep playing you periodically have to answer a Spanish related question. It’s great because you chose from 20 something different categories so you can test yourself with the pressure of a game.
Thirdly, the site has an amazingly useful Spanish conjugation tool. If you’ve ever studied Spanish or French, you know the hardest part is remembering all the conjugations. Here you can simply type in a verb and it will give you a full conjugation table for all forms of the verb in every tense. Even if you don’t make this your primary site for studying this tool can definitely come in handy.
Lastly, there are a few other tools which may not be key to your learning but are still pretty useful including the word of the day and Spanish sentence marker. The sentence maker takes any English or Spanish word and puts it in a sentence for you. This is super handy for practicing a particular word or to learn about different conjugations.
All in all, if you're looking for a simple and absolutely free way to start learning the basics of Spanish definitely try 123TeachMe!
Duolingo is one of the most popular language platforms on the web with 38.5 million users. Duolingo sells itself as a 5 minute a day language platform. It’s a very unique system focused much more on a passive sense of learning through games, quizzes, and interaction rather than simply just reading a textbook or listening to a lesson. It is entirely self directed so at no point will you interact with a human.
So, for example, a lesson covering present tense would start with a quick read up on the present tense conjugations to teach you the basic concept. Then you’d do maybe 5-10 exercises which quickly reinforce the concept, these will be tasks like having to identify the meaning of sentences or translate English to Spanish. These take around 2-3 minutes to complete, at least at the earlier stages and there’s typically 2-3 of these modules per topic.
The entire system is designed to teach you Spanish at your own pace using a predetermined online system. Having gone through the system we believe it is really comprehensive in teaching the basics but it’s unlikely that you’d progress past an intermediate level.
4. Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish
Destinos is a really entertaining way to learn elementary Spanish. Unlike any other of the platforms on this list it is not a direct means of learning like with modules and audio samples. Instead, Destinos is based around a 52-episode telenovela which is designed specifically to teach you elementary Spanish. Telenovelas are Spanish dramas which are very popular in Latin American countries. If you’re a TV lover or maybe you already love telenovelas you’ll be a huge fan of this platform.
You can watch the episode first and enjoy the story and characters, then you will be given the opportunity to reinforce the learning by going through a vocabulary sheet which will be related to the events in the episode. Next you can go through a short quiz to test your knowledge.
Forget Netflix, we promise these series are so interesting you’ll be binge watching them for fun! Not to mention you’ll be learning elementary Spanish so it’s a win-win situation. Just heads up that you may also want to incorporate this platform with another to get a full beginner intro.
FluentU is a video-based learning platform whose teaching philosophy is more hands on than most other platforms. You can choose from thousands of videos about everyday and sometimes random situations. Each video will have Spanish and English subtitles; however, you can interact with the Spanish subtitles. Hovering over a word will show you a definition (and pause the video automatically) and clicking on a word will give you a detailed breakdown of its use in various situations and its conjugations. After the video you can take a very basic quiz based on the content of the video, these are great for reinforcement.
The shear volume of videos and unique situations they present is what this platform so immersive. However, it’s not going to be for everyone as some of you may prefer a platform with more structure. With that being said, if video learning and learning through interaction is your style than this may be the platform for you!
FluentU is not entirely free, they offer trials from anywhere between 15 days to 4 months depending on the plan you’d potentially want after. We recommend the trial as a way to start learning the basics but long term learning typically requires more structure.
We hope this list helps make your research as easy as possible. When you feel like you've gotten an introduction to Spanish from one of these platforms why not check out AmazingTalker. AmazingTalker is a online tutor platform that connects you with one-on-one language tutors from around the world. All the tutors have years of experience and extensive credentials. The platform is also one of the most user friendly available making it incredibly easy to find a tutor, books lessons, and start learning all at an affordable price!