It doesn’t make sense for a marathon runner to spend all season in football practice.
And a professional saxophonist wouldn’t spend all their time learning guitar chords.
No matter what we’re learning or practicing, it’s important to pay attention to our individual goals, talents and learning styles. Spanish learning included.
The good news? Whether you’re a visual learner who relies on pictures to remember new vocabulary, a write-a-holic who needs to put new grammar concepts to use right away or any other style of Spanish learner, there are e-learning resources out there than can help you get fluent on your terms.
The definition of “e-learning” varies depending on who you ask, but it usually refers to any learning done via electronic media, which nowadays mostly means web-based learning.
That means e-learning is convenient, often free or affordable and brimming with a huge supply of different resources.
So if you’re ready to learn Spanish your way, check out these exciting, engaging, all-around excellent e-learning resources.
Why Learn Spanish Through E-learning?
Spanish e-learning resources are convenient. Unlike traditional classroom courses, you can access e-learning tools any time and anywhere you have an internet connection.
Additionally, e-learning resources usually offer a wide variety of learning materials. Not only do you have your course material, you typically will also have supportive materials or interactive exercises to help you improve any area you struggle with.
Finally, e-learning is versatile. Since there are so many different options available online, you can choose the one that best fits your learning style.
How to Get the Most Out of Your E-learning Experience
Try a variety of different e-learning resources. There are a lot of resources out there, and you won’t know what you like best until you’ve tried a few. Most e-learning resources are either free or offer free trial periods, so you can take some time to choose the one that best matches your learning style and schedule.
Plus, once you choose a resource that works for you, you’re more likely to use it frequently, which will lead to rapid improvements in your Spanish skills.
Mix and match your favorite resources. There are no rules saying you can only use one e-learning resource! Sometimes, you might like part of one website and part of another. That’s totally cool. Just choose whichever resources you like best to put together your ideal e-learning resource package.
Don’t forget to work on reading, writing, listening and speaking. In less structured learning environments, some skills can fall to the side. With e-learning, some resources may only target one language skill, so you’ll need to focus on finding multiple materials that create a well-rounded Spanish education.
8 Excellent Resources for Engaging Spanish E-learning
1. Descubre el español con Santillana
Descubre el español con Santillana (Discover Spanish with Santillana) is a comprehensive, subscription-based e-learning service that provides an array of resources for individual learners and/or educators.
Materials include a student book, videos, audio dialogues, songs, activities and games. There are also leveled readings with accompanying audio, allowing you to target multiple learning skills at once. Writing activities also help you apply your grammar and vocabulary skills.
Plus, you can email or print many activities if you want to take your learning offline.
The program is designed primarily for young students, but the material is appropriate for any beginning Spanish student.
FluentU offers a fun, flexible e-learning option for any level of Spanish student.
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
3. Penn State Berks
Penn State Berks offers free Spanish course material online, focusing predominantly on the foundations of Spanish grammar. This resource offers the best of both worlds: material that was carefully developed by a team of university professors, with the flexibility of self-guided online study.
The material is organized neatly by topic, so you can easily select what area you want to focus on. Topics are beginning level and include commands, grammatical gender, the subjunctive mood and more.
The topics also come with interactive tutorials and practice exercises—the clickable visuals can make otherwise dull grammar material much more engaging to learn, and therefore, easier to remember.
Linguaphone is a subscription-based, beginner-level e-learning course. It works on a PC, tablet or smartphone to make learning convenient. The program is designed to get you communicating quickly in everyday essential Spanish.
With 36 lessons and more than 500 words and phrases, this is a great tool to launch any beginning Spanish student’s skills.
The audio provided through Linguaphone is recorded by native speakers. Early in the course, it’s spoken slowly, but the rate of speech speeds up as the course progresses. This will help you get comfortable understanding authentic Spanish without being overwhelmed.
5. The Yojik Website
The Yojik Website provides free access to language learning materials designed by the Foreign Service Institute and other government agencies.
The biggest benefit of this site is the sheer amount of material available. You’ll have access to complete Spanish courses, with hundreds of pages of lessons. Most of the Spanish materials offered are at a beginning level, but they also include texts and audio designed to help you learn Spanish quickly and efficiently.
There are even a few regional Spanish courses, including ones focused on Latin America, Puerto Rico and Spain.
If you want to target specific language skills, this isn’t the best website for you since lessons are grouped in order with no notes about what they cover. However, if you’re looking to learn Spanish from scratch, these resources will guide you through the material step by step.
ielanguages offers Spanish tutorials on essential grammar and vocabulary topics. One of their most useful learning materials is a downloadable overview of Spanish grammar and vocabulary.
It’s provided as an e-book, where you’ll find 150 pages of tutorials on topics ranging from basic conjugation to office vocabulary to exclamations. The e-book comes with sample sentences, covers variations between different Spanish-speaking regions and also has two hours of recordings of native Spanish speakers from different countries.
If you’re not ready to dive into the e-book quite yet, there are also free tutorials available on the website that cover a wide range of topics (best suited for beginner to lower-intermediate learners).
7. Spanish Gurus
Spanish Gurus offers online group or individual Spanish courses via video conferencing.
The Spanish courses are taught by native speakers with university degrees and teaching experience. Each course is conducted via live video conference to provide you with more direct contact with your instructor. However, if you happen to miss a class, you can access a recording of the session so you don’t fall behind.
You can take a group class, which has a maximum of six students. This is a great way to connect with other Spanish students who may be a valuable resource as your language skills progress. However, you can also take a private course if you want your education entirely catered to your needs.
If you want to combine the benefits of a traditional classroom setting with the benefits of e-learning, Spanish Gurus is a good option.
Learnissimo offers one-one-one online language lessons.
You choose your own tutor, so you can select what regional variety of Spanish you might want to focus on and/or find someone you get along well with. Then, your lessons are conducted via video conference. Since you’re the only student in the class, your instructor can cater your education to your needs.
In your first lesson, your instructor will evaluate your initial level and develop a language competency profile to assess your vocabulary, grammar, oral comprehension skills and more. This will allow your instructor to focus on your greatest needs. Then, as you move forward, your profile will be updated so you can see your progress.
These e-learning resources will help you get your Spanish skills on point, online, on your terms.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.