When you live a busy life, convenience is key.
In the name of convenience, you try to simplify everyday tasks.
Convenience drives you to take the shortest, quickest route possible to reach your destination.
And sometimes, instead of sitting down for lunch, you might stop at a convenience store for a pack of gum and the finest beef jerky a dollar can buy. You don’t do it because it’s nutritious or delicious, but because it’s convenient.
So when it comes to learning Spanish, you’ll undoubtedly also want a convenient option, and learning doesn’t get much more convenient than when it comes conveniently compacted onto a shiny disc.
In case you’ve been away from the 20th century for too long, we’re talking about CDs.
Many CDs are actually helpful audiobooks, which contain all the learning that you’d expect in a normal book in audio form. Others are more like audio programs that replicate a more traditional Spanish course.
But regardless of which sort of Spanish CD you prefer, these 7 great CDs will provide such a convenient way to learn Spanish that you’ll want to learn on repeat!
Why Use a CD to Learn Spanish?
One reason to use a CD to learn Spanish is that they’re flexible. A lot of people nowadays want to go entirely digital and have therefore cast aside their CDs.
However, CDs are often more flexible than digital downloads because you can use them with a CD player or upload them to a mobile device. This way, you can use them with an even wider variety of devices than digital downloads. Plus, if you don’t upload them to your computer or device, they don’t take up valuable hard drive space.
Additionally, CDs are convenient. You can listen anytime and anywhere. This makes them a great option for listening at home, in the car or even in line at the DMV.
What’s more, CDs are engaging. By responding to prompts, you practice both your speaking and your listening. Plus, learning CDs vary their content enough to ensure you don’t get bored, which makes it easier to practice for longer stretches of time.
7 Convenient CDs That’ll Make You Want to Learn Spanish on Repeat
Whichever CD resource you choose, you can also supplement your learning with FluentU, which requires no downloads, installation or software.
FluentU takes real-world videos, like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks, and turns them into Spanish learning experiences.
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 like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, 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 recommends examples and videos for you based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
“Behind the Wheel Spanish”
The “Behind the Wheel” series focuses on helping you learn Spanish during your drive time. It uses brief, information-dense lessons to help you learn key information. Each level builds on previous levels, so it’s easy to follow the whole course in order.
The main focus of “Behind the Wheel Spanish” is to provide you with the common vocabulary and skills needed to build sentences rather than memorizing phrases. If you’re looking to continue learning Spanish, this is an ideal choice since it provides you with foundational skills you can build upon in the future.
The CDs use an English speaker for instruction and a native Spanish speaker for examples. Each set has eight CDs and hours of content. Each set also comes with a companion book that includes transcripts of the CDs and related exercises.
“On Target: Spanish for Healthcare Providers” provides targeted education to prepare doctors, nurses and other health professionals to communicate effectively with Spanish-speaking patients.
This CD set teaches helpful medical terms like body parts, diseases, procedures and more.
It also comes with a mini phrasebook to help you continue your practice with or without the audio.
The CDs do move along quite quickly, so this is a strong option for anyone who’s already at an intermediate level or higher who needs to learn medical Spanish. Beginning students are likely to be overwhelmed.
If you’re preparing for the AP Spanish test, “Barron’s AP Spanish with Audio CDs and CD-ROM” is an invaluable tool. However, you don’t have to be preparing for the AP test to benefit from this set.
The set comes with four CDs, a CD-ROM and a book. It’s designed to help students excel on the AP Spanish test by providing them listening, reading, writing and speaking practice. While it targets the exam specifically, any Spanish student needs these skills, so the set remains a strong choice.
The CDs contain audio examples as well as transcripts of the audio—just be sure you aren’t trying to read along if you’re listening while driving! Additionally, the practice exams are a helpful way to test your learning.
“SmartSpanish” is a set of CDs designed for beginning Spanish students.
It aims to prepare you to speak Spanish and understand spoken Spanish, with the ultimate goal of being able to hold real conversations in Spanish.
Material is spoken slowly and then you repeat after the speaker. This lets you practice both speaking and listening. Additionally, tips and explanations are given in English to help you understand the Spanish language in more depth.
The CD set also comes with a brief booklet that contains transcriptions of the audio so that you can read along or study independently.
“Rock ‘N Learn Spanish” is an unconventional Spanish learning CD. Rather than focusing on speaking and repetition, “Rock ‘N Learn Spanish” focuses on teaching you basic Spanish words and phrases through catchy songs. You’ll learn common vocabulary related to things like telling time, the seasons and more. While the program is aimed at children, it’s great for anyone who would rather learn Spanish with a little musical accompaniment.
The CD comes with a short learning book with activities. The set also includes a cassette if you’re of that persuasion.
“Spanish Audio Course” is by Collins Dictionaries, which produces a wide array of different language dictionaries.
This audio course is designed as a quick, easy option for travelers. It doesn’t cover grammar like some other CDs, so it’s great if you just need some quick, functional communication skills but aren’t looking to become fully proficient.
The format is simple: the CD plays a phrase and you repeat it. This helps prepare you to make basic requests, ask basic questions and understand common phrases.
“Oxford Take Off in Latin American Spanish: The Complete Language Learning Kit” offers a comprehensive learning program with a significant CD component.
The set covers basic vocabulary based on scenarios related to eating out, health, public transportation and other common situations.
“Oxford Take Off in Latin American Spanish: The Complete Language Learning Kit” comes with CDs and a book, which are designed to be used together. Sections begin with a listening activity on the CD. Then, the book provides written activities, dialogues, vocabulary and grammar rules that build upon the recording. This provides a comprehensive foundation in Spanish for beginning students.
The set focuses exclusively on Latin American Spanish, which is a great way to master this regional dialect without distraction. However, if you’re interested in learning Castilian Spanish (the style spoken in Spain), this might not be an ideal choice.
So as you learn Spanish, go easy on yourself and give these 7 convenient CDs a try!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.