Practice makes perfect.
It’s been true since the beginning of time, and it never ceases to be true.
And when it comes to learning Spanish, practice is more important than ever.
So as a willing Spanish learner dying to be fluent, how exactly should you practice?
You may already know that online resources can be priceless for studying.
But practice is much more than just studying. Even without the burden of perfection, to truly improve your language skills you’ll need to engage with Spanish-language media, interactive exercises and native speakers.
Thankfully, there’s a variety of excellent online resources that will help you do just that.
It’s time to find out how to really hone your Spanish.
Why Practice Spanish Online?
- Practicing Spanish online is incredibly convenient. Thanks to modern technology, you can practice Spanish online as long as you have a computer, smartphone or other Internet-enabled device. This means you can practice whenever, wherever.
- Additionally, practicing Spanish online provides you with the sort of practice you need to cement what you’ve already learned. Sure, you can memorize information by studying, but without producing and recreating that information yourself, you’ll have a hard time remembering it in the long run.
- Finally, practicing Spanish online will help improve your functional ability to use your Spanish skills. It’s one thing to have studied Spanish and know the rules—it’s another entirely to be able to use what you know. Committing to practicing Spanish online will help you make the leap from book smarts to street smarts, and that’s what the resources below are all about.
Practice Spanish Online with 5 Uniquely Marvelous Resources
Yes, playing video games really can help you learn a language.
Playing real games designed for native speakers of your target language is one way to go about this, but there are also a lot of games out there designed specifically to help you improve your Spanish skills while playing and they’re certainly tools you’ll want to try (for research purposes, of course!).
Benefits of Practicing Spanish Online with Games
- Games are entertaining. They’re designed to be fun, so you can practice Spanish without it ever feeling like work.
- They’re addictive. If you’ve ever played video games, you know they can be highly addictive. The desire to outdo your last score makes you play over and over again. The good news is that when you play Spanish learning games, being addicted to a game can mean practicing your Spanish often without even making an effort to do so.
- They give you experience with the language that you can’t get from simply studying. Since games require more active participation than studying, you’re able to practice your skills and see the Spanish language in a different context.
How to Get the Most out of Playing Spanish Games Online
- Try a wide variety of games. Each game is different and covers different material. The more games you try, the more practice you’ll have with a wide array of vocabulary and grammar rules.
- Look for games that cover your weakest subject areas. For instance, if you know you have trouble with descriptive words, try to find a game that focuses on adjectives. Playing a game is an easy way to improve any weak areas in your Spanish.
Online Resources for Spanish Games
- Digital Dialects: Digital Dialects offers a selection of games grouped thematically by vocabulary. With options to practice with text or audio, these games are a great way for beginning learners to improve their vocabulary.
- RockAlingua: RockAlingua offers a colorful array of games focused on beginning vocabulary and grammar rules. While RockAlingua is designed for children, its fun games and energizing soundtrack are bound to hold any adult’s focus as well.
- Spanish-games.net: Spanish-games.net offers familiar games like hangman and “four in a row” that focus on thematically-grouped vocabulary words. They have quite a few vocabulary sets, so this is great for both beginning and intermediate Spanish students.
Want to take the game idea a step further? Want to get in on the fun even if you’re an advanced learner?
FluentU takes real-world videos and turns them into personalized language learning lessons, providing a unique and innovative way to practice your Spanish online.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos—topics like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, as you can see here:
Benefits of Practicing Spanish with FluentU
- FluentU is engaging and interactive. It uses fun videos along with interactive subtitles. Just click on the subtitles to see any word’s definition, usage examples and other videos on the site that feature the word. If you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list for testing yourself later.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
- You can customize it to your learning needs and goals. You set your own pace. You choose which videos you watch. This makes FluentU ideal for any level of learner. Most game-themed and interactive sites only offer material up through the intermediate level, but FluentU is with you all the way from newbie to native.
- FluentU uses authentic videos to help you learn real Spanish. Since FluentU uses real videos, you’ll hear Spanish spoken by native speakers in actual real-world contexts. This will help you practice speaking and understanding authentic Spanish!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 it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
How to Get the Most out of Practicing Spanish Online with FluentU
- Select videos from your target regions. If you’re about to move to Argentina, choose videos that were filmed in Buenos Aires or elsewhere in the country.
If you’re longing to visit Madrid, choose videos that will introduce you to the city. This way, you’ll get to practice the regional variations you’ll hear in the real world.
- Make effective use of special features. For instance, click the subtitles to learn more about each word. Use “learn mode” to turn videos into learning lessons complete with example sentences, flashcards and pictures.
Play around with all of FluentU’s special features until you find what you like best! You can try out all of FluentU’s features free for 15 days by registering with the Plus plan.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Play Store for iOS and Android devices.
Chatting with native Spanish speakers is great practice. With just a little effort, you can have a fun, friendly exchange and improve your Spanish.
Benefits of Chatting with Native Spanish Speakers Online
Chatting with native speakers is practical experience that will directly translate into conversational skills.
You can also get to know people. Not only will you improve your Spanish, you’ll make friends—and who doesn’t like having friends?
How to Get the Most out of Chatting with Native Spanish Speakers Online
- Arrange to write and speak with your partners. Sometimes partners in language exchanges will focus exclusively on writing to each other or speaking to each other, but this will leave gaps in your skills. If you write and speak, you’ll practice reading, writing, speaking and listening.
- Set “dates” with your partners to discuss certain topics or even watch movies and TV shows together. For instance, set an agreed-upon time (taking into account time zone differences) to get together in a chat room or via Skype to watch a Spanish-language movie. If you have trouble following, you can ask your partner questions in real time. After you’re done watching, discuss what you liked and didn’t like about the movie. This is a fun way to ensure you never run out of things to talk about, and thus, you’ll never run out of opportunities to practice your Spanish!
Online Resources for Chatting with Native Spanish Speakers
There are plenty of sites where you can get matched with language exchange partners or penpals from anywhere the world. However, there are also resources specifically for chatting in Spanish that allow you to directly connect with native speakers in the target language right away. Here are a few to get you started.
- Espanglish Chat: This chat room is focused on “Spanglish.” Users are allowed to speak English, Spanish or both. This is a great way for beginning and intermediate learners who aren’t yet fully proficient in Spanish to practice their skills while still having the option to fall back on English.
- ChatForFree: ChatForFree offers a Spanish-language chat room with video chat. This is a great way to practice your spoken Spanish with native speakers.
- El Chat: El Chat is designed for the Spanish-speaking world. There are different rooms based on country, which makes this a great tool to practice regional Spanish with native speakers.
YouTube Learning Channels
There are some awesome Spanish learning channels on YouTube. You can use these to fine-tune any skill you need help with.
Benefits of Practicing Spanish Online with YouTube
- YouTube learning channels cover a wide array of topics. Having trouble with the pluscuamperfecto? Looking to learn travel phrases? There are videos out there for any topic you can possibly imagine.
- There are plenty of different YouTubers who teach Spanish, so you can select someone you can easily understand and/or who speaks the regional variation you want to learn. This makes it a super adaptable learning tool.
How to Get the Most out of Practicing Spanish Online with YouTube
- Try different YouTube channels until you find one you love—then watch it often. Finding a channel you love will make it easier to watch often, and frequent repetition will help you remember what you’ve learned. Be sure to subscribe so you’re always updated about new videos!
- Use targeted searches to find the best material to meet your needs. Don’t hesitate to look for the topic you most need to improve upon—you’ll probably find a great video!
- Look at video ratings to find the most loved material. This will help ensure that all the videos you watch are worth your time and energy.
Spanish YouTube Learning Channels to Try
- Professor Jason: Professor Jason offers videos on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. The videos use a calm, supportive teaching method that won’t overwhelm you. Most videos feel a lot like conventional classroom lessons complete with written examples to illustrate key points. These videos are for beginning, intermediate and advanced learners, so chances are that Professor Jason offers videos that are right for you. Best of all, Professor Jason covers a wide variety of useful topics, so this is a great way to brush up on your weak points or learn the language from scratch.
- Learn Spanish Step by Step: Whether you’re trying to learn from scratch or just want some extra practice, Learn Spanish Step by Step has some great videos for you. With videos to cover both grammar rules and vocabulary, Learn Spanish Step by Step is a strong resource to improve your skills. Videos feature images and charts, which are great for visual learners. The vocabulary videos are mostly at a beginner level, but conjugation and grammar videos are great for beginning through advanced students.
Interactive lessons are similar to traditional courses, but they have the added benefits of being online and interactive.
Benefits of Practicing Spanish with Interactive Lessons
- They’re structured, much like real-life courses. This will help you learn words and grammar rules in a logical order.
- They’re engaging. They have you actively participate in your learning, which not only makes it easier to focus on the material but also helps reinforce learning.
How to Get the Most out of Practicing Spanish Online with Interactive Lessons
- Use several different lesson sites. Seeing things in different contexts will help cement your learning. Each lesson site is unique and uses different methods. Each learner responds to different methods, so some may help you learn material more thoroughly than others. Plus, alternating between several sites will help ensure you recognize grammar rules and vocabulary outside of the context you’re accustomed to.
- Speak the words aloud while you do the lessons. Interactive lessons are great for reading, listening and often even writing, but you need to add your own speaking practice. Reading everything aloud will help make interactive lessons great all around.
Online Resources for Interactive Spanish Lessons
- Fluencia: Fluencia is structured as a step-by-step course. However, unlike many conventional courses, each lesson leans heavily on images and audio to help you learn. Additionally, the Fluencia system automatically provides you with feedback on your mistakes.
- Duolingo: Duolingo is an excellent free option for practicing your Spanish. Through a series of quizzes with audio and text, you’ll learn vocabulary and improve your skills. These quizzes help you practice reading, writing and listening.
- Babbel: Babbel is one of the most popular language course websites out there and another excellent option for engaging lessons. It offers beginning and intermediate courses for Spanish learners. These courses use interactive dialogues to help you learn and practice Spanish.
With these marvelous online resource types, you’ll get all the practice you need to propel you to fluency!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.