Congratulations! You’ve decided to learn Spanish, one of the most beautiful, romantic and widely spread languages in the world.
You want to visit Madrid, or anywhere in Spain and be able to have a more immersive experience. You want to spend winter in Mexico and enjoy communicating with the warm native speakers there. You want to be able to understand your Spanish speaking relatives. You want to discover new food from any of the 20 Spanish-speaking countries in the world.
No matter what your goals are, effort and motivation are what you have to keep up to succeed in your goal of learning a new language. But, if you’re using the right learning resources, you’ll have a great advantage already.
I’ll give you a hand with that. Te voy a echar una mano.
After 7 years of teaching Spanish all over the world, I’ve seen many different beginner Spanish learners, and these are the online resources that work best for them.
I’ve compiled a list of my 10 favorite Spanish resources that you can use on your own to boost your Spanish learning.
1. Best Lessons: HelloSpanish In-Person or Online Lessons
HelloSpanish is a personal Spanish learning program focused on accelerated growth through custom, engaging and fun lessons.
You can have lessons in person in San Francisco, at home or your office. And if you live somewhere else, you can have online lessons at your best convenience.
We create a custom Spanish course for every student. Each student receives also outstanding custom materials that always match your interests. Start learning español with a personal Spanish tutor!
But don’t take my word for it. After all, I’m HelloSpanish’s creator and teacher – I’m biased. Read why people like having lessons with their Spanish teacher José at HelloSpanish here.
2. Best Vocabulary App: Quizlet
There are many vocab and flashcards apps out there. They are great learning resources, since vocabulary is the core of any language.
Quizlet is my favorite one to study Spanish. I prefer it over Memrise or Anki because it’s:
- Customizable: You can create your own docks and use other user’s docks that might be useful for you. Tons of people use it, so you have a lot of options to choose from.
- Efficient: The main app in Quizlet, Learn, allows you to learn and review your Spanish words efficiently, and make sure that once you’ve completed it in the app, it will stay with you for your real-life conversation.
- Fun: Quizlet brings gamification to vocabulary learning through the apps Gravity, Match, and others. If you get bored of your bread-and-butter flashcards for vocab building, you can switch to these other options.
3. Best Youtube Teaching Channel for Beginners: CultureAlley
If you’re really a beginner, level 0 in Spanish, and you’ve never learned another language before, this channel will be really helpful in providing you a good basis. It’s more grammatical than other beginner channels on Youtube, which focus more on conversation. Here you’ll learn things like greetings, getting around, talking about the family; along with Spanish grammar topics like the pronouns, a good overview of the conjugations, demonstratives, etc. The best thing is that you can use it for free online, anytime you want.
If you’re serious about the language, having a solid knowledge of all these topics will come handy when you advance levels.
Here is a more extensive list of channels you can use on Youtube for free to improve your Spanish.
4. Best Youtube Channel for Conversation: Easy Spanish for Beginners
Easy Spanish is a great resource of video lessons recorded right in the streets of Mexico City, where the host interviews Mexican people about many different topics: New Year’s Resolutions, daily activities, directions, the university, etc. The host has a very clear, easy way of talking that will be easy to understand and will educate your ear on the sound of Spanish. And don’t worry, even if you’re more interested in learning Spanish from Spain, it will still be helpful hearing Latin American Spanish.
Also, as you begin to understand and want a bigger challenge, you can watch the regular Easy Spanish video episodes on Youtube, too. If you really like them, you can support them on Patreon!
You can see more Youtube channels for conversation here.
5. Best Online Dictionary: SpanishDict
I like SpanishDict because their definitions and examples are accurate and updated. They have a lot of examples and sentences with the word in use, even for not very common words. All those are free resources you can use online.
Their grammatical explanations are also pretty solid, so if you ever have questions after your Spanish class, you can trust them to provide good answers.
They also have a good app for iPhone and Android.
6. Best Online Translator: Linguee
There’s no shame in using Google Translate, I use it a lot. It’s quick, easy to use and it loads fast. But sometimes there are more difficult words or expressions that Google doesn’t have in their database yet.
Linguee offers a translation from a huge database of translated text from the Internet and their own servers. That will allow you to compare text in English to a Spanish translation that is actually published somewhere online. And you’ll be able to see many possible translations of the same word or sentence and pick the one that best suits the context you’re using it in.
7. Best Spanish Podcast for Beginners: CoffeeBreak Spanish
Radiolingua produces very high-quality language learning podcasts: they have a version for English, Italian, French, Chinese, and of course, Spanish.
I like it because they use a story as the connection of all the episodes, so you feel like you know the people and you want to get back to listening to it to see what happened! That’s great when you need to stay engaged in your learning.
Also, they have good teachers and their explanations are actually good. You can learn a great deal about the target language here. The task for you is to practice it later!
This is a free podcast, with the chance to purchase a deluxe version with activities and extra episodes.
8. Best Music for Beginners: This Playlist on Spotify, Youtube or Google Music
This is going to be a controversial one. How do I dare to tell you what music you should listen to?
And you’re right! You should listen to the music that you actually enjoy. But I’ve created this list because these songs are some of the easiest to understand in Spanish. They are also classic hits of many different Spanish speaking countries, and they will show you a lot about their culture.
Music is a great way to learn languages and get used to the sound of the language itself. Learn more about how you can use this playlist to learn Spanish in this post.
31 Spanish Songs Students Love for Improving Speaking and Vocabulary
9. Best Movies in Spanish to Watch on Netflix USA: Top 5 of 2017
It’s actually not very easy to watch movies in Spanish when you’re in the US. We have Netflix, yes, but the catalog is not great. I don’t know how they make their selection, but a lot of the greatest movies from Spanish-speaking countries are missing.
I made this list of the 5 best Spanish language movies you can watch on Netflix in 2017. Have you seen them all?
5 Best Spanish Movies (Spain) on Netflix USA to Learn Spanish
10. Best TV Shows in Spanish to Watch on Netflix USA: Top 5 of 2017
Similarly, TV shows are a great way to get used to Spanish, and particularly, to the sound of the real, on-the-streets Spanish. You’ll learn words and expressions that you won’t find in textbooks or even movies. Plus, they’re a lot of fun!
These are the Best 5 Spanish language TV Shows you can watch on Netflix in 2017.
5 Best Spanish TV Shows on Netflix USA 2017 to Learn Spanish
What do you think? Is there anything else you use to improve your Spanish as a beginner? What about a Spanish language exchange? Do you have an online Spanish partner?