Let me guess, you took four years of Spanish, and the only thing you remember is hola. While that may be true, it is not for lack of learning that took place. Your brain is like a muscle when it comes to the retention of languages. If you do not use it, you lose it. So, if you want to regain fluency in Spanish or any other language, you are going to need start spending some time exercising your brain in the expansive jungle gym of a new language.
A very prolific foreign language in the United States is Spanish. It was number 2 in the top 10 most studied languages on Duolingo in 2021. It is also number 2 in the world for languages with the most native speakers. That puts Spanish above English and right under Mandarin Chinese for people who grew up speaking those languages at home. So, maybe dusting off your Spanish textbook is not such a bad idea. Except you probably no longer have a physical copy of it or maybe have no desire to brave the cobwebs and spiders in the attic or basement. Have no fear! The internet is here! There are plenty of apps and websites to jumpstart your reentry into the language learning arena. The best part is most basic language learning apps and websites are free. Here are 5 free websites for learning Spanish.
This Spanish learning website offers a plethora of language learning aids. It originally started as just a dictionary. Their dictionary distinguishes itself from other Spanish dictionaries because it includes the region or country where each word is used. This is particularly useful, since there are 21 Spanish-speaking countries that may have their own terminology depending on the word you are searching.
Spanishdict also offers free Spanish language lessons. Their lessons are reminiscent of Duolingo but are exclusively for the Spanish language. The spectrum of study is extensive and is categorized by topics. Levels go from novice to advanced. Each section tells you how many questions you will answer for completion. Lessons focus on conversation-based topics and vocabulary.
You can find the verb conjugations of any verb of your choice by using the conjugation feature of the website. You will take the infinitive of any Spanish verb and put it in the search bar. Spanishdict will list out all the possible forms of the verb in all the possible tenses. I would suggest knowing the tense and person's conjugation you are looking for, otherwise, seeing all those verb forms could be overwhelming.
An awesome feature that is great not only for teachers but also for students is the "Classrooms" tab. Here you will find a treasure trove of instructional videos along with questions to be answered. All videos have subtitles and are taught by native Spanish speakers. These videos focus extensively on a variety of grammatical topics. Do not pass up on using this feature.
Another website that is a Spanish teacher and Spanish student's best friend is studyspanish.com. The sheer amount of grammar lessons and practice activities allows Spanish language students to truly drill their skills. They have lessons on every grammar topic imaginable. You simply search for the grammatical idea you want to explore, and you will find an assortment of resources to aid you in your quest to dominate the Spanish language. The free resources for this feature include a grammar lesson and a basic quiz, mini test, oral activity and a podcast episode.
Another useful feature is the pronunciation tab. You can use this tool to methodically go through the pronunciation of all the letters in the Spanish alphabet. You will also be able to see how vowels sound in combinations called diphthongs. Intonation for questions as well as stress for syllables appear in the pronunciation section as well. Once you have learned how to pronounce the consonants and vowels in words, you will be able to read anything in Spanish even if you do not understand it. You may fool a native speaker or two with your awesome reading skills but brace yourself for a stream of staccato syllables hitting your ears as that fooled native speaker takes you for a learner with a more advanced ability than you currently find yourself.
Like Spanishdict, StudySpanish also has lessons on vocabulary. Their introductory lessons are list-oriented and are followed by spoken as well as written practice. Each activity starts with two spoken exercises. Then, you will find two sets of flashcards to practice your vocabulary. After that you can do a matching activity or two. Vocabulary lessons also include a quiz and test you can do. They are a combination of fill-in-the-blank and matching. If you complete all of the vocabulary and lessons available, you will be equipped with a wide array of topics that you will have vocabulary to discuss.
The verb drill tab offers verb drills on every type of verb that exists in the Spanish language be that regular, irregular, stem-changing, irregular first person, etc. The drills available are truly an extensive and comprehensive overview of all Spanish verb types. You choose the verb you would like to learn or practice from the lefthand list. You will be taken to an overview of that verb with explanations and examples of the verb usage. Once you feel you have adequately understood the forms of the verb and how they are used, you can generate a unique quiz. You will choose the number of questions and whether you want to include the vosotros verb forms or not. Once you have completed the quiz, you will receive a score which will tell you your level of mastery for that verb. For practicing verb forms, StudySpanish is definitely the website to use.
Corelanguages offers a wide array of services on its website. It has free study materials for Spanish, English, German, and French. In the Spanish course you will find materials for Spanish learners of the A1 and A2 levels. Upon entering the Spanish course page, you will see the two courses to choose from. If you have studied Spanish in the past, you may want to take the placement test to see what your current level is before choosing a course. You will also see that you have the option to sign up for lessons with a language instruction professional. Lessons with a teacher can be in person or online, individual or group.
Once you have chosen the course you wish to begin, you will be able to sign up for a free account in order to access the full course content. When you have your account, you may choose any topic to start your Spanish study. Topics cover conversational, grammatical, cultural, and vocabulary-related aspects of the Spanish language. When you select a topic of study such as Spanish indefinite articles, you will be taken to an overview of that subject. You will see a variety of exercises to reinforce concepts taught in the lesson.
Each lesson has a corresponding video that you can access. These videos are created for adult learners, so you will not be asked to sing a song or answer Dora's questions as she creepily stares at you in awkward silence. Each video has visuals to aid your learning. If you are a note-taker, these videos make it easy to take notes. There both long and short videos covering each topic, so you can choose which one for which you have the time, interest, or attention span.
Lessons also include written exercises where you can practice vocabulary and grammatical concepts. The answer key is included for all questions. There are two or three written exercises per lesson. You can also access the vocabulary tab to see all the vocabulary listed for you. Each lesson also includes a list of additional links to other helpful websites and activities that will reinforce the concept you are trying to learn.
Which of these websites have you used to learn Spanish? Which one would you like to start using? Comment below!
If you would like to explore apps available to learn Spanish, check out our article on the 5 Most Downloaded Language Learning Apps in 2021.