Spain, with its distinct culture and practices is a go to destination for most people around the world. Apart from their culture, there is something else lying at the heart of the country that has permeated through to a large share of the world. It is their language, Spanish.
Spanish, is the third most spoken language in the world and has more than 400 million native speakers. It is the primary language of 20 countries and is the dominant language in Latin America. It is also widely spoken in parts of North America and across Europe. The dominance of this language is the reason why it is quite handy to learn at-least basic Spanish.
Spanish is considered to be one of the easiest language to learn for an English speaker, the reason being the fact that both the languages share a common latin root. Many sites on the web offer Spanish lessons. These sites follow different modes and methods of instruction and when used complimentary to each other, can be of great use to anyone keen on learning the language. The following are the sites you should drop by before you go chilling on the beaches of Chile.
Below are the top 10 sites to learn Spanish online quickly and fluently.
Top 10 Websites to Learn Spanish Online Quickly and Fluently
1. Start Spanish
Start Spanish is an online tutoring site teaching Spanish under a paid subscription system. The site offers three different plans, Silver, Gold and Platinum. The plans differ only in terms of the private tutoring lessons it provides. The Platinum plan provides 4 private classes per month, the Gold plan 2 and Silver provides none.
The important feature of this site is undoubtedly the Unlimited Access to group classes. These group classes on average consists of a qualified Spanish instructor and 3-4 students who the user can interact with. This interaction is monitored by the instructor and personalized feedback is given to each student via Email immediately after the session. These classes are available 24/7 and a new session starts every hour.
The site also provides access to writing exercises, learning resources and 30 interactive units. Thus it takes into account the importance of the conversational aspect, and the reading and writing aspect involved in learning a language and quite effectively has applied it. It also offers a free one month trial and a refund if the course is cancelled within one month, giving a user the opportunity to see if it matches his learning method and style. This site is the best choice for learning basic and conversational Spanish.
Cervantes is the website of Instituto Cervantes, an international NGO created by the Spanish Government in 1991 to promote the language and culture of Spain. The website was started in December 1997 and offers different kinds of packages from Basic to Super Intensive at different prices.
The packages differ in terms of the number of private classes and whether access to Online learning platforms is available or not. Each package offers to a user 16 levels of learning from Basic to Advanced, pronunciation and grammar tools, a level test and also certificate for passing each level. It also offers courses for preparation to DELE Exams and also a new course which is Spanish for Lawyers.
The site is a great resource to someone who already knows basic Spanish and especially if preparing for the DELE exams. Another important advantage of using this site is the certificates that you get from completing the course, which will be of considerable value because of the affiliation of the institute with the Spanish government.
3. Instituto Exclusivo and Living Language Platinum
On the same footing are two websites, Instituto Exclusivo and Living Language Platinum. Both these sites similar to the ones above have to be paid for and offers quality services to an aspirant keen on learning Spanish.
Instituto Exclusivo offers tailor made lessons taught by qualified tutors. There is no predefined course structure and the tutor and the student determines how the course progresses. The site offers three packages. The first package provides 10 hours of tutoring, the second 20 hours and the third 40 hours. The site offers 3 kinds of courses, Regular, Immersive and Specific (like Business Spanish).
The last 2 categories are 20-40 hour courses meaning that the purchase of the second or the third package will be necessary. The tailor made course structure followed by the site is its defining feature and also a major advantage. The lack of other interactions and learning platforms is a drawback. However the site is still one of the go to sites for the people who have mastered basic Spanish and are DELE Exam aspirants.
Living Language Platinum is a website with a variety of resources for teaching Spanish. It has 46 lessons composed of vocabulary, grammar, audio conversations, cultural notes etc. Other resources available are E-tutoring sessions with native Spanish speakers for interaction , an online expert and peer community to interact with and games and puzzles to help in retention. The site offers 4 kinds of paid access to these resources, starting from one year access to six months, three months and one month. This site is a good choice for people wanting to learn basic and conversational Spanish.
4. Synergy Spanish
Synergy Spanish is a website that offers a online Spanish course by using an innovative Spanish learning technique. The creator of the technique Marcus Santa Maria having discovered a Unique Language Pattern advocates the use of 138 Spanish words capable of making 88,000 Spanish phrases to learn Spanish quickly and effectively.
This technique focuses on making conversational Spanish fluent and effective and bypasses the lessons of grammar and tenses that other traditional language teaching techniques use. The site offers three packages which differ from each other in terms of access to Video Lessons and Email Coaching and availability of CDs (with audio lessons) and printed version of the action guide.
This site is perfect for people who want to learn basic and conversational Spanish quickly and who does not have the need to learn the grammar involved in the language. This technique does not factor in the writing aspect involved in learning a language. Hence it is a course catering only to the basic level learning and does not hold much value to the intermediate and advanced levels. Another important drawback is the lack of availability of a platform to practice the new found conversational skills.
5. Web Spanish
Web Spanish is a video based E-tutoring system which assigns a private teacher to each student. The site offers 4 different kinds of courses which are General Spanish, Medical Spanish, Spanish for DELE exams and other video tutorials. The site also makes use of various video and audio lessons to communicate effectively with the user and to create strong foundations in grammar, sentence structure etc.
The site offers a Free Trial which can be used to determine the efficacy of the site. The payment packages differ in terms of the number of hours it gives access to the user. The packages are for 5, 10, 30 and 50 hours of access. This website will be a good choice for anyone wanting to learn basic Spanish. The site does not give out details regarding any interactive platform, which if absent will be a severe drawback.
6. Spanish Pod 101
Spanish Pod 101 is a very efficient Spanish teaching website that is essentially centered around Audio and Video lessons. It provides basic lessons to beginners without any payment at all. The site also offers two paid versions Premium and Premium Plus with access to many more audios and videos, flashcards, and in the Premium Plus subscription plan even tutors. The site however lacks in community and conversational features. Overall this site is a very reliable resource to learn basic Spanish.
Nulengua is a E-Tutoring website that focuses solely on the conversational aspect. The user interacts with a native speaker via Skype to learn the language. The site also offers a flexible predefined course structure and lessons can be skipped at the instance of the student. It offers 3 kinds of courses, Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. The student has the choice of changing the tutor at any point of time and can choose tutors according to a specific need.
The site however does not offer any other supplementary resources to help in the process of learning. A key feature of the site is the payment system it uses. There is no direct payment for the tutoring services. The user buys tokens and these tokens are used to pay for sessions. NuLengua is definitely one of the easy to use and efficient site on the Web to study Spanish.
FluentU is a popular video based site that teaches multiple languages including Spanish. The site can be accessed under a Free, Basic or a Plus account. The Plus account gives access to a large variety of resources including more than 1200 Spanish videos with their transcripts.
The Plus account also provides a learn mode with resources like Flashcards, MCQ tests etc to help you learn the language and to let it sink in. This site lacks a tutoring system that the other sites already mentioned has. It is a great site to learn basic Spanish but cannot be truly considered as a complete primary Spanish learning resource.
9. Notes In Spanish and Coffee Break Spanish
Notes in Spanish and Coffee Break Spanish are two similar websites that offer free basic Spanish podcasts to its users. Both these sites provide an MP3 version of the conversation between two people in which they explain the basics of the words used and what was spoken. Access to these mp3 files are free but resources such as transcripts of the audio and other supplementary resources have to be paid for. This is a great site for a user to use to supplement the Spanish they are learning from other primary sources and cannot be a primary resource to learn Spanish.
10. DuoLingo and Fluencia
DuoLingo is a free online language program that also teaches Spanish. Its main feature is the game like system it uses and the game like environment it retains to motivate the person to continue learning the language. It uses a variety of techniques such as translations, matching words to images etc to teach Spanish to a user.
Fluencia is a program similar to DuoLingo. It is however not free and has to be subscribed to. It uses similar methods as DuoLingo but has more developed programming wired in that is capable of tracking and reviewing your progress and strengthening the weak aspects.
Both these sites have different levels of varying difficulty to which a user advances after finishing a particular task or objective. These sites are good supplementary resources to help you learn basic Spanish and preferably can be used alongside other primary courses discussed above.
Learning Spanish like many other things has immensely changed with the advent of innovative technologies and availability of Internet and other online features. Now it is not necessary for a aspirant to sit in a traditional classroom and study. It is possible for a aspirant to now study Spanish from anywhere around the world using one or more of the primary and supplementary websites mentioned above.