“Barato es bueno. Gratis es mejor.” (“Cheap is good. Free is better.”)
Before you try Googling that quote in the hopes that it was uttered by some philosophical genius, let me come clean.
The quote can’t be attributed to anyone famous: My notoriously frugal uncle used to say it all the time.
At every family gathering. To anyone who’d listen.
It’s worth noting he died a very wealthy man, so I haven’t forgotten his advice!
Make no mistake, he wasn’t against paying for something—but at what he considered a fair price. If the price was minimal? He was happy. And free? The man would almost do a dance of joy!
All kidding aside, tío (uncle) was right! Paying for an item is fine. Cheap is also okay.
But free is better—especially if the quality’s first rate!
And that applies to many things, including Spanish lessons.
There are lots of free online Spanish lessons that can enrich your language program. They’re not cookie-cutter lessons, either. Several programs targeted to different level learners are available—if you know where to find them.
Let’s find them so you can add them to your own Spanish learning routine!
The Benefits of Taking Free Spanish Lessons Online
As my wise tío pointed out, free doesn’t mean useless.
Many free programs offer amazing options, including help from native speakers, online quizzes, printable lessons and enlightening videos.
When choosing resources to add to your program, look for areas that you may need some extra work on.
Choose personal trouble spots then find free lessons on those topics to get yourself leveled up. Some themes you might seek free help with are grammar basics, core vocabulary, writing, listening and pronunciation practice. Concentrate your efforts wherever they’ll serve you best. Tailor a program to suit your learning needs!
Free online Spanish lessons often offer bite-sized learning like video lessons, exercises and quick-fix explanations of key Spanish concepts. These are a busy learner’s dream because you can fit them into basically any schedule. That’s free learning—on your time!
Some lessons also include podcasts, which are an incredible mobile asset. Listen anywhere, anytime! What’s not to love?
8 Free Spanish Lessons Online for Language Learners on a Budget
This program features podcasts and videos for learners of any level, from beginner to advanced.
The material is presented in such a clear way that it’s a snap to see which lessons are appropriate for which level of learner. Once you pick your level, you can browse through the many lessons, each of which comes with an informative video, or just listen to the accompanying audio file.
Videos are conversational and use a mix of English and Spanish to teach concepts in a friendly and approachable way.
At each stage, there are worksheets called “help sheets” that are available for purchase if you want to do some extra learning.
Additionally, if you’re looking for a full immersion course, you can try the program’s immersive experience in Madrid, although this is, unsurprisingly, not free. If you enjoy learning with this program, though, it’s something to consider!
The Spanish Experiment is “learning disguised as fun”! At least, that’s the verdict I received after running this one past my 10-year-old niece. She loved it!
And if it’s a hit with a young audience, you know it’ll be a really fun way to learn! The lessons here are great for getting children involved, but they’re also excellent for adult beginners.
Lessons come with fun examples and illustrations to make concepts memorable, and include audio for key words.
There are also children’s stories you can listen to and follow along with the text. Not sure what a sentence means? Click “Translate” under it for instant clarity!
Although this resource doesn’t get into more complex concepts, it’s a great way to get beginners started on their Spanish language journey. The website covers all the basics, including greetings, health, plurals, feelings and even false cognates.
The site also provides previews of next-step courses for those ready to move on from the beginner level!
FluentU offers an online immersive experience using real-world video content with interactive captions.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into a personalized language learning program. Videos are conveniently organized into lessons, so you can easily work towards a particular objective, topic or skill.
The interactive captions on each video mean you can click on any unfamiliar Spanish word for in-context definitions and even to see it used in other videos for lots of context.
But the program is about so much more than videos: You also get access to video-enhanced flashcards, customizable vocab lists and personalized quizzes that evolve as you learn.
Although FluentU does have a monthly fee, you can try it out for completely free with the FluentU free trial that gives access to all aspects of the program.
So unlimited free Spanish lessons with the option to move forward with this dynamic program? ¡Muy bien! (Very good!)
Part of the Open University Program, Spanish for Beginners is a program of six free online Spanish courses. Open University is a huge distance-learning program that has many courses on various subjects available—including Spanish!
These courses are targeted toward beginners who want to gain basic Spanish skills.
Each course focuses on a different aspect of the language. By the time you complete all six, you’ll know how to hold basic conversations in Spanish, talk about yourself and your surroundings, successfully shop for clothes, order food or ask for directions and more beginner language tasks.
These Spanish courses do have specific run times so check to see when the next course will begin. Until the lessons start, you can pop into the course forum and introduce yourself to fellow learners! Maybe you’ll meet a new language exchange partner here.
The courses are free but if you’d like to receive a certificate as proof that you completed the coursework, there’s a fee for that.
Rodrigo Ferreira is a world-traveling language lover who’s committed to helping others learn languages.
Learn Spanish with Rodrigo is an extensive language program that addresses every level of learner, from beginner to advanced.
There are many video lessons to access—on so many topics! All facets of Spanish grammar and key vocabulary are covered, including things like “the rolling r” and counting to a billion. The program also includes course notes and quizzes for each lesson.
Although the website design is a little outdated and there are some jarring ads, it’s definitely worth a visit for the excellent content!
Rodrigo is a native speaker who also has over 400 lessons on his YouTube channel, where he presents topics in an engaging, entertaining way.
BBC Spanish is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in learning Spanish. The site is no longer active and all its content is archived but there’s so much worthwhile content that’s it definitely deserves consideration.
The lessons are perfect for beginners because the basics are covered in depth. If you’re not sure where you fall on the learning curve, there’s a test to determine whether you’re an absolute beginner, fluent or somewhere in the middle!
One of the best features of this free resource is an interactive Spanish learning drama called “Mi Vida Loca” (“My Crazy Life”) which is can be completed in 12 lessons. As an add-on to this program, there are vocabulary and grammar lessons with content derived from the drama.
Despite its lessons’ archived state, BBC Spanish provides links to news, cultural issues, Spanish tests and more.
Tandem Madrid offers a mini-course for beginners that’ll get you started on your Spanish learning adventure.
There are new interactive lessons posted weekly. You can easily access audio, video and even small lessons about cultural aspects like tapas—the finger foods so popular in Spanish-speaking countries. Lessons include key vocabulary presented in easy-to-use tables and each one ends with a quiz about the lesson’s topic.
If you’re satisfied with the free lessons, there are paid options to continue your learning with Tandem Madrid. This try-before-you-buy option is one that any bargain-savvy learner will appreciate.
Practicing Spanish provides basic Spanish language skills that anyone would find useful. But it also addresses a niche audience: These lessons are for healthcare providers!
They place caring for a Spanish-speaking patient or working in a Spanish-speaking environment within reach of every healthcare provider.
Various health issues as well as parts of the human anatomy are covered in this free course.
Even if you’re not looking to go into the healthcare field, knowing your elbow from your shoulder is an asset!
My uncle was a wise—and, as I’ve said, wealthy—man. He knew money doesn’t grow on trees (despite certain misleading plant names) and it’s always best to keep as much of yours in your wallet as possible.
So get Spanish-language rich without spending a cent.
Any of these programs will get you closer to whatever your Spanish language goals are—and you’ll have fun doing it!
¡Buena suerte! (Good luck!)
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.