Oh, so you’ve just finished your basic Spanish course? Congratulations!
After all the hours you’ve put in, flipping through your disfigured flashcards, leaving the folks at the Mexican restaurant blinking clueless because you’ve singlehandedly, but unintentionally, mangled their language… you’ve done it!
Give yourself a pat on the back, grab a cerveza, and know that you can write “Spanish” as an addition to your resume.
Cue the exuberant mariachi band and let’s see you strut that Step-Aside-I-Know-Spanish walk that you’ve practiced in your room.
Okay, maybe not just yet.
Believe it or not, the fun is really just beginning. And when I say “fun,” I’m not being sarcastic. I really mean fun!
While you’re reading this, there are a couple of “intermediate” Spanish courses online that not only bolster and fortify your basic Spanish, but also take it to a level where good ol’ you can have really meaningful conversations with native speakers. Not just ask where the bathroom is or tell time or express that you’re happy today.
You can take it to a level where you can talk about real opinions, not just about canned ones given as examples in the basic course. (Aren’t you tired of always talking about the weather?) Wanna talk about recent events and abstract concepts, where native speakers are not forcing themselves to slow down or enunciate clearly?
Yes, today I’m gonna give you eight intermediate Spanish online courses that stand ready to assist you in moving forward.
But before doing that, have I ever told you about some reasons why it’s finger-lickin’ great to take intermediate Spanish courses online? Not yet? Okay, let me do just that.
Why Take an Online Intermediate Spanish Course?
You Can Tailor the Course to Your Interests, Intentions and Weaknesses
You may have forgone online courses in your basic Spanish and have turned to secondhand books, or private tutoring. And you may have done fine. But going forward? Where the lessons are more advanced and more nuanced? I really think you cannot afford to miss an online course.
With the great number of offerings online, you can actually choose one or three that are perfect for you and reflect your state of Spanish, because not all “intermediate” learners are the same. You have different areas of weaknesses that need work and different interests.
Books, on the other hand, are unilaterally set in stone and scarcely interactive.
Online courses are not even really better organized, but you can actually decide what you want to learn and how you want to learn. You can take advantage of your unique learning style and choose the pace that suits you best.
Online Courses Are More Engaging and More Effective
Online courses are proving more effective than other methods of instruction.
Yep. You read that right!
They are more effective than traditional teaching and learning methods. Oh, I know hard-nosed academics have been giving online education a bad rap, saying they’re child’s play and don’t really measure up to centuries old institutions.
But the truth is that online courses are more engaging. All those fancy graphics, eye-catching colors, crisp audio and humorous texts really are doing the job. Because of these elements, students are more motivated, they spend more time with the lessons, remember it better, become excited about their progress and are more reflective about what they’re learning.
All these work together to make the lessons stick and stay with the student.
Mobile Access, 24/7 Availability
With an online course, there’s no running through campus or through traffic because you’re already late. With online courses, you whip out your laptop inside a comfy coffee shop (or at the park, the beach, in your room, in your bed, at 1 a.m., etc.! Wherever and whenever.
Imagine waking up your teacher for a lesson because you just feel like it.
Can’t do it, huh?
Okay, imagine telling him to do the exact same lecture all over again, 3-4 times, because you wanna review and make sure that you didn’t miss anything.
Or imagine telling your teacher to stop/pause because you have to go to the bathroom.
Are yah feeling me now?
If Not Cheap, They Are Absolutely Free
And here’s the kicker. Not only are online courses much more effective, not only are they more engaging, not only do they give you control of your program, not only do they give you total access any time of day, but they come absolutely free!
How’s that for weighing the pros and cons, huh?
They not only lower the costs of education by obliterating the concept of tuition fees, online education bypasses commuting expenses or the equivalent cost of your commuting time.
Spanish online courses are really changing the concept of immersion. It used to be that learning a new language is the equivalent of buying a ticket to your target country. Nope, learning has been democratized and you’re getting the lessons absolutely free!
Yeah, there are some paid courses, everybody knows that. But when you actually do the math, you’ll come to the conclusion that these courses give you an unbelievable bang for your buck that would be heard around the world.
Enough said. Let’s get to these online courses and discuss the unique merits of each.
8 Intermediate Online Courses to Lift Your Spanish to New Heights
Coffee Break Spanish (a.k.a. Showtime Spanish)
Following the resounding success of its first two seasons geared for Spanish beginners, the award-winning Radio Lingua network has created a series that’s perfect for the intermediate learner.
Season 3 is the natural extension of the first 80 lessons that introduced Spanish in its most basic form.
If you need help on your subjunctive and want to master your Spanish verbs and pronouns, then the 20-hour audio content, supplemented by hundreds of pages of notes and exercises should get you into your Spanish groove.
The whole course is divided into 40 lessons, and each lesson features a conversation between teacher Mark and Alba. They talk about any topic under the sun: travel, current events, language learning, etc. That’s the first part of the lesson.
The second part is where teacher Mark dives deep into explaining the grammatical rules, idiomatic expressions and vocabulary used in the conversation. In between the lessons are some light-hearted intermission that involves some Spanish tongue-twisters, jokes and so much more.
Season 3 not only builds your grammar and elucidates on complex grammar issues or sticky idiomatic expressions, it also deepens your understanding of the language.
It’s definitely worth checking out!
Finally Learn Spanish – Beyond the Basics
This one’s a podcast for folks who previously studied Spanish and are now looking for material that will put the lessons in a conversational context. There are 38 lessons, all free, and the dialogues deal with a broad range of interesting topics like shopping and having your favorite drink. Let me tell you that you are missing out on a lot if you’re not listening to this material. It’s all good.
Repetition is key to their method. I mean, these guys will stick with you until you get it right.
And speaking of which, they serve up tips on improving pronunciation, mastering grammar rules and building a stronger vocabulary—and are presented by both Spanish and English native speakers.
So what are you waiting for? Seriously.
Go to iTunes now and download these bad boys. (They even have software you can download to your smartphone so you can learn vocabulary on the go.)
FluentU, by far, is the most trusted name in the industry of language learning with videos. What it has done is nothing short of revolutionary. Let me explain.
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.
Awesome, right? So give it a try now and to see what the fuss is all about.
Notes in Spanish
The folks at “Notes in Spanish,” Ben and Marina, don’t consider you an intermediate learner. They call you Soon-to-be-advanced-Spanish-learner, believing that with their program, students can reach Spanish fluency faster.
No, there’s no magic involved. Only that they believe in teaching the right vocabulary, the right verbs and only the useful grammar—leaving the esoteric Spanish words and finicky grammar points to the academics.
Most native speakers don’t even use them, so why should a you have your nose bent out of shape over something you’ll never encounter outside a boring Spanish class?
With “Notes in Spanish,” what you get are carefully structured podcasts about the most useful elements of the language. Head on over to iTunes to give these babies a listen.
In addition to the free podcasts, they also have a paid “superpack” that includes a full transcript of the podcasts, a vocabulary list, a grammar list and some very useful exercises.
The Spanish Blog
The Spanish Blog is a YouTube channel run by Laura Garrido Eslava, a language teacher from Bilbao, Spain.
It has plenty of lessons catering to beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. The advantage of video lessons over audio podcasts is that you have a visual connection with your teacher. You see how her mouth moves as she’s pronouncing a word, and the accompanying gestures if any.
The Spanish Blog is pretty much no frills, no nonsense learning. It’s just you, in a room with teacher Laura. The lessons, which number in the hundreds, are 3-5 minutes long and are paced just right.
Oh, by the way, teacher Laura has her own site, The Spanish Blog, where you can get loads of learning materials in the form of mp3s, articles, live online classes and even a chance to book for online tutoring.
The site also introduces not only Spanish the language, but also Spanish the culture. So if you’re interested in dipping your toes in both, check out her site.
With a course that can be finished in 2-3 sittings, Practical Spanish is perfect for those who need a fast and focused survey of the trickier aspects of Spanish grammar.
If you learn best in text form and are someone who needs to tame the present and past subjunctives, learn when to use “por” and “para,” or can’t wait to learn the many different ways “se” can be used, then this mini-program will give it straight to you—sans all the trimmings.
The site’s intermediate Spanish course deals with advanced grammar, advanced Spanish verbs, giving descriptions and giving directions—so you can engage in deeper and more meaningful conversations with native speakers.
Livemocha is a community of language learners, and provides a platform for folks to interact and help one another. You can practice conversations with native speakers through audio or video chat. In a way, everyone is both a teacher and a learner.
If you’re a German learning Spanish, you can help others learn your native tongue as others, in return, are helping you.
Through the concept of “mocha points,” learners are encouraged to complete exercises and interact with one another. Points are only given to members of the community who do the exercises and provide a service to others. This may be in the form of grading someone’s exercises in your native tongue or volunteering as a language partner.
The points you received from these activities can be used to unlock a new activity or a piece of content in the Spanish course you’re taking. Cool, huh? If this sounds like something up your alley, sign up for a Livemocha account now!
Have you just completed your basic Spanish course and discovered that you still find it hard to understand native speakers? Do you find yourself translating in your head first before you actually speak?
Then this program is for you. It comes in the form of audio CDs that are full of substitution, replacement, translation and variation drills that are sure to drill the lessons in your head.
The two principles of this program are 1) Over-learning and 2) Authenticity.
In this course, you’ll not only be listening, but actually do a lot of talking yourself. In fact, of the 15 CDs included in this course, the first two are all about pronunciation. You’ll be talking so much, that by the end of the program, it’ll all be second nature. Over-learning and authenticity, indeed!
And that, my friends, is how you learn intermediate Spanish.
I have just given you eight intermediate Spanish courses that are completely at your disposal, right this instant. And the question I have for you is: Why are you still reading this?
What are you waiting for?
Go on. Off you go with your Spanish course!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.