Learning any new language is an exciting, multi-layered journey that offers many different paths to eventual fluency, but did you know that these days there are some great shortcuts? For instance, if you know where to look, you could find online Spanish classes, and in some cases, even find resources on the internet for learning Spanish online that are for free.

Of course, online Spanish classes are going to be very different to enrolling in a language school or even using a private Spanish tutor. Both of these, more traditional options are going to go a long way to monitoring your progress and keeping you motivated during the more challenging aspects of learning a new language, however not everyone has the luxury of private education and even if they did, some people prefer the flexibility of online learning these days. In fact, some people even love to teach themselves!

So is it possible to take basic Spanish lessons online? Absolutely! Not only that, but all foreign language learning is doable via the internet, so whether you want to learn French, Portuguese, Chinese, or Russian there are certainly online options available.

We are living in a digital age, where it is now possible to book our travel, buy our groceries or even renew our licence registration from our smartphones, so why not pick up a few easy Spanish phrases or even take basic Spanish lessons online?

There are so many online options when it comes to foreign language learning and even for learning Spanish online – it all depends on you, your goals, budget, time, and even location.

Reasons for Learning Spanish Online

As already mentioned, you might be one of those people who thrive on being self-taught. Not only that, some people these days simply prefer online learning for various reasons – amongst these is the ability to learn at your own pace and in your own time.

In South Africa, Spanish is rarely offered as a high school subject, which means that both adults and children either enrol in private language schools or end up searching Spanish tutor near me.

Also, even though Spanish is ranked as the second most widely spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese and just ahead of English, if you find yourself outside of one of South Africa’s larger cities, you may not be able to find face-to-face Spanish tuition very easily. In a case like this, the internet world is oyster! This is when online Spanish classes are really useful. It doesn’t matter whether you want to learn easy Spanish phrases, take up basic Spanish lessons or find a private online tutor like those on Superprof, who could take you through more advanced language work, there are many options.

collection of foreign language dictionaries on desk
Some languages are easier to learn than others for English speakers. - Source: Pixabay

If you are wondering how long it will take you to master learning Spanish online – that really depends on a number of factors. Amongst these is of course your own dedication and motivation, as well as if you have learned any additional languages before. When it comes to basic Spanish lessons, there is no doubt that these can be easier for people who already speak English, French, or any of the other Latin-based languages. For one, at least the alphabet is the same – unlike learning an entirely new alphabet as is the case with Arabic, Chinese and Russian!

Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced language student, the internet is jam-packed with great resources for learning Spanish online and Superprof has researched the best online tools to make this possible!

Online Spanish Classes: A Reality!

New technology is making just about anything possible today, but one area where it really does help us to get a head start is with foreign language learning. And the great thing is that even if you start out with basic Spanish lessons online, you could always migrate to face-to-face tuition when it suits you.

Having said that, by using online tools, you could rapidly assimilate a new language into your life, in fact, easy Spanish phrases learned on the run via a Smartphone could be all you need to prepare for that backpacking holiday to South America or the Basque Country!

But what about becoming fluent through online Spanish classes? The real question is can foreign language learning really progress without a classroom or the expertise of a private tutor?

The answer is yes, but be aware because there are certain hindrances!

It should go without that learning to speak Spanish fluently is no easy task. It takes dedication to its study especially when it comes to grasping the more complex aspects of tenses, verb conjugations and how to use the subjunctive which of course all differ from English.

For this reason, when researching online Spanish classes be careful of flashy promotional type offerings offered by some websites. Remember that in reality, it is impossible, even with all the willpower in the world to master foreign language learning in a matter of 30 or 45 days!

If you really want to learn Spanish quickly the most effective way to do this is to invest in a language immersion trip to one of the 22 countries around the world where Spanish is spoken as an official language. Even if you worked and lived in a Spanish speaking country, arriving with only basic Spanish lessons or a few easy Spanish phrases under your belt, it would still take you several months to become fluent.

Spanish metro sign banco de espana
If a trip to a Spanish-speaking country is not possible, you could try connecting with a n online teacher. - Source: Unspalsh

In fact, fluently mastering English, German, French, Italian or any other language takes a lot of work and practice. It is only when we are exposed full time, at a very early that we are able to pick up new languages effortlessly.

And when it comes to answering that question, ‘how long will it take for me to learn Spanish’ - it is not possible to give an accurate answer, because none of us learn at an equal pace.

So while online Spanish classes can certainly give you a head start and offer the foundations and initiation to the grammar, alphabet, and other subtleties of the language, in terms of becoming bilingual, it is safe to say that at some point you will need a private Spanish teacher! Unfortunately, despite the well thought out pedagogical programmes available on the internet, they are insufficient in terms of achieving fluency in an additional language.

When it comes to using the internet for basic Spanish lessons or to learn those easy Spanish phrases there are some great ones to speed up your language initiation!

Here are our recommendations for learning Spanish online, some are even for free.

Duolingo.com

Duolingo is a popular website for online foreign language learning and it is also free to use. Lessons take on the form of quizzes that test your listening, speaking, and writing. As you begin with basic Spanish lessons, you can expect to be introduced to some simple vocabulary, nouns, adjectives, and of course, easy Spanish phrases.

As an interactive app that is downloadable to your Smartphone, Duolingo is perfect for the office commute, waiting in a doctor’s office, or even while you are queuing at Home Affairs (for the passport you need for that language immersion trip). We particularly like this app because it does emphasise the importance of verb conjugation and other grammar rules of the Spanish language which are critical foundations for foreign language learning. It also has a handy translation tool, which of course you can carry around in your pocket!

To make learning Spanish online fun and relevant, Duolingo has gamified their app, but there are also actually forums available where you can interact with fellow users and native Spanish-speakers.

Babbel.com

When it comes to foreign language learning, the reach of Babbel is extensive. It offers 13 foreign language courses including Spanish.

When it comes to picking up easy Spanish phrases, especially for that trip abroad, or for those who are more interested in speaking, rather than reading, Babble is a good choice.

Not only will this site allow you to quickly assimilate the basic foundations you need to learn the Spanish language, but it will teach you everyday expressions too.

In addition to the traditional, basic Spanish lessons found on Babbel, users can also find more in-depth discussions regarding the linguistics or grammatical aspects of Spanish.

As a website, Babbel is useful for both learning pronunciation and becoming conversational in Spanish. It also has an app that is really convenient in terms of growing your Spanish vocabulary.

Memrise

Memrise is one of those free foreign language learning websites where users actually help each other to progress. The site uses visual, audio, memory activities, and games to ensure that vocabulary and easy Spanish phrases are learned and then tested in quizzes.

If you are one of those language students who struggles with remembering vocabulary, Memrise could suit you because it cleverly uses the concept of word association to make sure you can recall definitions. In fact, users are invited to submit their own mnemonic techniques with which they have had success!

Part of Memrise’s success is that it caters for speakers of all levels and offers a variety of lesson types.

There are many more online foreign language learning sites - it really depends on your personal preference and of course, your reasons for wanting to learn Spanish.Check out a few before you decide which one is just right for you.

Remember that by embarking on an online learning journey, you are completely responsible for the rate at which you progress. It will be up to your dedication, perseverance, and mainly self-discipline. Remember that when you hit those inevitably complex aspects of learning Spanish, you will have to be your own motivator. Sadly, this is when many students throw in the towel and give up on learning Spanish online.

So with a Smartphone in your pocket, you could download apps like Babbel, Duolingo, Memrise, and Busuu and have a Spanish tutor in your pocket.

smartphone screen showing apps
There are many smartphone apps that you can use to make learning Spanish more fun. - Source:Unsplash

There’s also a paid version of Babbel that will allow you to access more of the site’s content and offers voice recognition software that will evaluate your pronunciation. What’s more, once you are subscribed you will be able to pick up your online Spanish classes from any of your devices whether that’s your laptop, phone or tablet.

YouTube

Another way to learn Spanish free of charge would be via YouTube, simply get searching and you will soon be in a world of free online Spanish videos from quick tutorials to more in-depth lessons created by linguistics professors.

Progress to a Private Spanish Teacher

So while there is no doubt that learning Spanish online will provide you with language foundations and initiation, if you are serious about becoming fluent in Spanish, check out Superprof which is an online platform that is host to Spanish tutors from all over South Africa.

You can actually search by location to find a teacher near you, or choose someone from anywhere and have private online tuition using Skype, Zoom, or Google Meet. Superprof tutors are available for every level of ability. It is up to you to choose someone who is for the level that you are at and who understands upfront where you want to go with your Spanish lessons.

One of the advantages of using Superprof tutors is that in many cases the first lesson is free. This is a great opportunity to get aligned with your potential tutor before committing to a term of lessons. For instance, this could help you to avoid signing up with someone who specialises in Spanish for business or Spanish literature, when you really only want basic Spanish lessons while you backpack around South America on a gap year.

However, you decide to learn Spanish, there are many ways to make it fun, so be sure to do that and never forget, that practice makes perfect.

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Niki

Niki is a content writer from Cape Town, South Africa, who is passionate about words, strategic communication and using words to help create and maintain brand personas. Niki has a PR and marketing background, but her happiest place is when she is bringing a story to life on a page.