Learning and fun go hand in hand.
So you say you want to learn Spanish?
And have fun?
And let it be something you do daily—without it being a drag?
I like the way you think and I’ve got one word for you.
That’s right, YouTube.
Hey, it’s more—much more—than dancing cats or motorcycle chases. There’s a place for that, too, but if you want to learn Spanish, YouTube’s got you covered.
Why Learn Spanish with YouTube?
Well, we’ve all got our own reasons for choosing a particular language-learning journey, but you’ve chosen well.
Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the world, after Mandarin Chinese. It boasts over 400 million speakers and is the official language of over 20 countries. Spanish will open so many doors for someone who speaks it, not only in social settings but in educational and employment venues as well.
It’s possible—no, logical!—to utilize any means that facilitates language learning via listening and/or speaking. It’s, after all, the natural way to learn a language which is, of course, solidly proven by the fact we all learned our native tongues this way, right?
The internet is a 24/7 part of our lives. We have access anytime so native speakers are always available. And mobility counts, so remember your phone and tablet bring the learning everywhere!
Take-along learning leaves no room for excuses not to engage. A few minutes here and there add up, and build upon skills we’ve already acquired. If presented with the chance to learn via small time commitments, it’s a win-win situation. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t say yes to some speedy Spanish video learning, can you?
I didn’t think so.
And it’s impossible to beat the channel options available on YouTube. There are a ton of interesting programs to choose from—something for everyone! So no excuses there, either, because the schedule works on your time and you choose what you see.
Tips for Using YouTube to Learn Spanish
Get the most out of your experience by keeping the following in mind:
- YouTube helps create an immersion experience because you’re surrounded by authentic content. The key to making this a success is participation. Don’t just passively watch the videos! Speak. Sing. Listen. Learn. Laugh.
- Pause the videos. If you miss something, go back.
- Watch lip movements and mimic them so your pronunciation skills increase. Babies watch their parents speak and do exactly that—they mimic, and it works!
- Surround yourself with Spanish music, television shows and just about any other cultural facet that interests you. It’s all brought right to you, and your only obligation is to engage.
- Check out FluentU for increased accessibility to the best of authentic Spanish-language YouTube content out there. FluentU takes real-world videos—like movie trailers, music videos, news and the types of fun videos you can find on the channels below—and turns them into personalized language lessons.
5 Channels to Start Learning Spanish via YouTube
Let’s face it. There are so many videos available that narrowing the selection down could be a major time suck. As I said, there’s something for everyone. Sports. Hobbies of all kinds. News and movies. Anime.
You name it, YouTube’s probably got it. But who has the time to sift through everything that’s available? Really, it’s a huge endeavor! But have no worries! We’ve done the legwork for you and provided a fantastic starting point for this YouTube Spanish learning adventure.
ElSmosh is an offshoot of Smosh, which is the brainchild of a web-based comedy duo.
Comedy duo creates YouTube channels? You’ve already guessed that the content is not only informative but fun, right?
Over three million subscribers agree and the videos get loads of play time.
Videos include game trailers, animation and series content, so there’s something for everyone. Leave your serious side at the door; some of their videos border on the ridiculous—but while you’re laughing, you’re learning.
If you’re looking for a go-to channel for both basics as well as more dynamic content, SpanishPod101 is the place for you! It’s for the beginner and those advanced language learners who are looking for materials to brush up their skills, with intermediate videos in between.
The videos are short, so there’s no huge time commitment. But beware: viewing one after another is not difficult to do, and you may find you’ve spent an hour (or more!) watching these language gems.
Yes, I’m speaking from experience!
There’s more than vocabulary and grammar on tap with this channel. They provide a wealth of cultural information presented in an informative, engaging style.
Weekly terms from Spain and Mexico keep things interesting. Also, the series “Ask a Teacher” features Rosa, who answers all sorts of questions with a smile and tons of encouragement!
One of the best features of SpanishPod101 is that there’s something for every level of language learner. Beginner or advanced, they’ve got you covered!
If you like what you see on the YouTube channel, check out the SpanishPod101 website to get access to all of their audio and video lessons.
If you think all channels are dull, think again and look to Yuya! I’m sure you’ll agree there’s nothing dry or ordinary about this channel.
Watching these videos provides a total immersion in popular culture. Clips of fashion, food and beauty tips are fun and fast-paced. Think Cosmo or Glamour Spanish-style, and you’ll see why this is such a popular option.
A great video to start with is a take on a popular topic, the Unicorn Frappe. Actually, the recipe is simple and—I’m speaking as one who actually has tried the recipe and even has this drink on her desk this very minute—refreshing!
Not much is more immersive than being in a friendly kitchen.
As children, many of us picked up language skills by sitting in cocinas (kitchens) with our abuelas (grandmothers), didn’t we?
I know I did!
If you’re looking for cooking shows in Spanish, visit Vme Cocina where dishes from across the globe come into your kitchen.
This is a multi-use channel. Learn to cook and practice language skills effortlessly. (And with dinner for the table at the end of each lesson!) What’s not to love?
I’ve made the Torta de Pan (Bread Pudding)—incredible. And the truth is, it went so quickly I made a second one, but shh! Let’s keep that to ourselves, okay?
My favorite YouTube Spanish series is an oldie-but-goody vintage about a “lad” (Chavo) from apartment eight called “Chavo del Ocho.”
Absolute slapstick, it’s a typical comedy show from the 1970s. The great thing is that fun, jokes, laughter and comedy are timeless. Chavo and his neighbors show this in delightful detail.
Even if you don’t understand all the conversation, the characters make stories ridiculously amusing to follow.
Remember the immersion theory? Surrounding yourself naturally with a language promotes learning so learning occurs naturally.
Maybe it’s just me, but I always recall something that made me laugh. It’s just natural, for a lot of people, to remember those slices of life. And when a series mimics real life situations, the way “Chavo del Ocho” does, we’re given the chance to absorb some Spanish language skills the same way we learn our native language.
This is one of my favorite episodes. There are subtitles available for most episodes, so you’re sure to catch every farcical innuendo and silly joke!
These are only a few channels to start you off.
I’m sure you’ll discover more as you become enamored with this fast, immersive language learning method. If you’re anything like me, the problem won’t be finding more channels to learn from but cutting the learning sessions short. Hours can pass swiftly when you’re participating in a Spanish novela, giggling over a silly sitcom or learning to bake a torta!
So say sí to more laughter when you include YouTube as part of your language learning journey!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.