We all have our own excuses why our current level of Spanish isn’t desirable.
“My dog ate my homework.”
“All my class did was follow the book, so I can only read and write it.”
“I didn’t have any time in my schedule, so I dropped it.”
“My professor is so repetitive. Like…yeah, Pitbull, we already know every city in Latin America, move on already.”
Some lessons went too fast, went too slow, left out important skills or didn’t fit into our schedules.
These aren’t reasons to give up though. These are reasons to reconsider! If you really want to be fluent in Spanish and your past lessons let you down, you can always try a different route. Or, if you haven’t had any problems but are still seeking that absolutely perfect fit—look no further.
While intermediate Spanish is one of the most difficult stages for many, luckily there are many different approaches to overcoming it.
This time around, figure out which approach will be best for you so you won’t have any more excuses or waste any more time—you’ll just come out the other end with the Spanish skills you need.
What to Expect from Intermediate Spanish
If you thought conjugations in introductory Spanish lessons were excessive, just wait. There will be more tenses to learn and even things like mood and proper syntax will come into play.
After getting through intermediate Spanish, you’ll be expected to be past choppy, improper sentences and be able to carry on a conversation. You’ll work with higher-level vocabulary, refined sentences and gain a more authentic accent.
With all these things in mind, it’s important to create a well-rounded plan and choose the lessons that best suit you.
What Kind of Spanish Lessons Are You Looking For?
The reason many people fail or give up on Spanish lessons is because they’re finding themselves in the wrong ones. With busy schedules, tight budgets and various weaknesses and strengths, it can sometimes be a bit difficult to find lessons that properly accommodate these issues.
But that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. There’s a wide selection of lessons out there and surely a few that would work for you! Even if you don’t have cash to spare, don’t have much time in your schedule or only need to strengthen your Spanish in certain areas, there’s something out there for you.
With so many resources available these days, especially online, you can find nearly anything. And nobody knows you better than you, so why not make your own plan for learning Spanish?
You can go the typical route and sign up for a college crash course, (if you’ve got the time, that is). You can opt to find something more leisurely like a software program. And even if you don’t want to fork out the cash, there are plenty of free websites, readings, videos, apps and more resources that can give you everything you need to get to the next level of Spanish proficiency.
So, let’s take a closer look.
5 Kinds of Intermediate Spanish Lessons, Tailor-made for Different Learning Styles and Lifestyles
1. Spanish Lessons That Provide Structure
These classes are pretty much guaranteed to help anyone get through the intermediate level if they put in the effort.
If you easily get off track and need direction, guidelines and deadlines to keep you going, these are the way to go for you.
Foreign language classes usually aren’t very hard to find. Just go and check out what they have to offer at your local community college. If they have Spanish language courses available, signing up should be easy and the classes are usually very reasonably priced.
If they don’t offer a Spanish language course that fits into your schedule, be sure to ask if they have an online or hybrid program available.
If you still can’t find anything locally, there are accredited universities that you can attend totally, 100% online. Oregon State University is one example which offers a wide variety of Spanish classes for you to choose from that can be done entirely online.
The Fluent Spanish Academy is a program that was specifically designed to boost intermediate Spanish students straight up to fluency. Fluency is achieved with the perfect cocktail of short stories, Spanish audio, live coaching, goal setting and progress tracking. So, that’s another great online program to explore—especially if you’re already a fan of the creator, Olly Richards, who’s a well-known polyglot.
2. On-my-own-time Spanish Lessons
We all have our own pace.
For some people, a scheduled class may be too slow-moving, fast-moving or just a hassle to get to sometimes. If you’re someone who would rather learn Spanish at your own leisure, perhaps downloading a software is the way to go for you.
Currently on the market, there are tons of programs available for people like you. That means you can shop around to find the one that best fits your needs and budget.
One of the most highly-reviewed software programs for language learning is Rosetta Stone. Have you ever felt drawn to this classic yellow box? It is perfectly natural. After all, this software is famous worldwide for a real reason: It works. It guides you through language learning from start to finish with plenty of structure. Even better, it employs a teaching technique similar to how young children are taught their native language, which is associating images with the words that name them.
We all know that Rosetta Stone is a bit pricey, but luckily you can try a free demo on the website to see if it's right for you.
Another you may consider checking out is Study Spanish, which offers a money-back guarantee.
Since we’re talking about great Spanish software for flexible, self-paced learning, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention FluentU.
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. Free, Flexible Lessons
If you just want to peek at the content or take a stab at it, there are a few websites loaded with topics in intermediate Spanish to get you started. One popular website is BBC Languages. It offers many tools available, such a audio samples, video, reading, quizzes and more. Best of all, it’s both free and user-friendly.
There are plenty more options for intermediate Spanish lessons online that are offered for free—just take a look at what else is out there by clicking here.
Oh, and if you want to go a slightly more nontraditional route, truth be told, there’s more to YouTube than cats playing pianos and Korean music videos. You may be surprised that YouTube has actually become quite a valuable Spanish learning tool.
Anything you could want to see or learn has a video on YouTube now, including nearly every topic in Spanish at every level. You can find videos of Spanish professors giving lectures in their classrooms, and even specialized ones from home.
Look up Professor Jason and Laura Garrido Eslava. They’re Spanish language professionals who created YouTube channels for teaching their language.
In addition, you can find videos of Spanish natives speaking the language. Once you’ve got the grammar lessons down, it wouldn’t hurt to train your ears to the language in a natural flow. For this, you can check out LightSpeed Spanish.
So if you have YouTube access, which you probably do, it can be pretty much the same as going to college—except that you can control your professor with the pause, rewind and fast-forward button and don’t have to leave your house. Education doesn’t get much better than that!
4. Spanish Lessons for Avid Readers
The moment you sign up for a class, the first thing they tell you is which textbook to buy. “That’ll be half of your next paycheck, please,” the cashier at the school bookstore will say.
With tuition and book costs, learning the traditional way can quite costly. Since many of the professors follow the book to-a-tee in the classroom, why not just go out and buy the book yourself?
If you’re a reader, this way could save you a lot of money and hassle. Books for college classes are usually written in the most intuitive and easy-to-follow formats, so you shouldn’t have problems if you can stay focused.
“Avancé” is one of the books currently in use for intermediate Spanish classes at many colleges in the United States. And because you’re not enrolled in the class, you have the exciting option to get the older edition, which will drastically take down the price to… reasonable.
You can look for this book on Amazon, along with countless other intermediate Spanish textbooks for sale. There are tons of options for you to choose from, and some of them even come with supplementary online material.
So, shop around and see which is right for you. Some can even be found for pocket change!
5. On-the-go Lessons
Think of all the minutes you spend every day waiting, sitting on the subway or standing in line. You usually spend this time refreshing your Facebook every 30 seconds, twirling your hair or tapping your foot.
Why not take advantage of this time and use it to supplement your learning? You can easily be using those spare minutes for getting ahead with your Spanish goals.
There’s a wide variety of apps and podcasts that are easily accessible when on the go. If you download an app or two, you easily can just pull out your phone and start learning at any moment. With so much competition in the market for creating apps, you can find almost anything your little corazón desires, at the price of free.
Just a couple of examples are FluentU and Rosetta Stone. Both of these companies offer great apps with a selection of content suited for your individual needs. And the much adored Coursera, which provides entire semester-long courses in the Spanish language—as well as courses on other topics that are taught in Spanish—now has a neat mobile app for your convenience!
While you’re at it, it wouldn’t hurt to download a few podcasts either. With podcasts, you just put in your earphones and it’s that easy. The website Podcasts in Spanish offers a podcast on any almost subject that you could possibly want.
Whew. There sure are a lot of options out there for learning Spanish.
Now that you know what’s out there, it’s up to you to decide which is the best course of action for you to power through intermediate Spanish and onward to the last stage.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.