Practice makes perfect.
It’s been true since the beginning of time, and always will be.
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 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 in your Spanish.
Yes, playing video games can really 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!).
How to Get the Most Out of Playing Spanish Games Online
- Try a wide variety of games. Each game is different and thus, 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.
- Influent: Influent is an engaging 3D free-form game that’ll help you learn 300 Spanish words while you help Andrew Cross recover his language learning device.
- Spanish Uno: With 12 fun games, you’ll be on your way to fluency in no time. Make sure to check out the Dialogue Game, where you’ll be able to learn how to handle everyday situations with the help of dialogues in native Latin American Spanish.
- PBS Kids: Catered to small children who are just starting to learn Spanish, PBS Kids will help little ones learn Spanish vocabulary through games and activities. The audio is in English with scattered Spanish words and sentences, which makes the games accessible even for the youngest kids.
Want to take the game idea a step further? Want to get in on the fun even if you’re an advanced learner?
Then you need to try FluentU!
FluentU has a wide variety of videos on topics like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism, as you can see here:
FluentU is engaging and interactive, as 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.
You can also review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
You can even customize it to your learning needs and goals. You set your own pace and choose which videos you watch. This makes FluentU ideal for every learner at every level.
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.
What’s more, 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.
To learn all the vocabulary in any video, ise FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
Finally, the best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary you’re studying, and it recommends examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned.
Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
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.
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’d 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 for free by signing up today.
Spanish podcasts—especially the ones that have been created for native speakers—are a superb way to give your pronunciation and listening skills a boost.
How to Get the Most Out of Learning Spanish with Spanish Podcasts
- Listen to native podcasts. Even if you’re just starting to learn Spanish, you should always go for podcasts with only native Spanish speakers in them. This will obviously be challenging at the beginning, but it’ll pay off in the long run.
- Choose podcasts from the variety of Spanish you want to learn. With so many podcasts available, it’d be difficult not to find one or two in the accent you want to learn and the topics you’re interested in. From linguistics in Mexican Spanish to cooking in the Peruvian variety, getting a perfect accent has never been more simple.
- Use the script if it’s available. Many podcasts offer transcripts you can read along to while listening. If yours does, read it while you listen to the audio, underline unknown words and look them up, take a grammar construction and create sample sentences. The possibilities are endless.
- Listen to podcasts at your own speed. This just means that the audio can be slowed down and sped up, so try different speeds while listening to Spanish podcasts until you find one that’s perfect for you. Eventually, you’ll be able to listen to them at the automatic speed.
- Use podcasts for dictation exercises. My absolute favorite way to use Spanish podcasts—and to improve my listening comprehension in general—is to dictate what I hear. The process is simple: I take out a piece of paper and start my chosen podcast episode. As the host speaks, I write down everything I hear, slowing down and rewinding as needed. Once I finish three to five minutes of the episode, I check the transcript to see if I heard everything correctly. If not, I highlight the words I got wrong and correct them, while listening to the section again. This time, training my ears to hear the correct words.
Online Resources to Listen to Spanish Podcasts
- Audiria: A free podcast with 820 episodes that can be used by Spanish learners of every level. The variety is Castilian Spanish, and the topics included go from cooking and traveling to Spanish culture and literature.
- CoffeeBreak Spanish: One of the big names in the podcast world, CoffeeBreak Spanish is perfect for learners at any level. They cover not only grammar and vocabulary but also the history and culture of countries where Spanish is the native language.
- Notes in Spanish: Notes in Spanish is a podcast that mainly covers topics related to Spain’s everyday life and pop culture. It’s a window to the country, its culture and its language, so if you’re traveling to Spain, give it a listen.
- SpanishLand School: This podcast is a great choice for intermediate learners who want to escape the intermediate plateau. The episodes are 7-12 minutes long, so they’re perfect for students in a hurry.
- Charlas Hispanas: With hosts from four different Latin American countries, this podcast is the best one to practice listening to different kinds of Spanish accents.
- SpanishPod101: This is a superb language learning program that offers a ton of audio and video material for Spanish learners. One of its most interesting features is their pathways, each of them including a different variety of Spanish.
- The Unlimited Spanish Podcast: If you want to learn the Castilian Spanish accent, this is possibly one of the best options out there. Òscar, its creator, uses the Teaching Proficiency Through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS) method. The episodes include a wide variety of topics, some of them tackling Spain’s main cultural aspects.
Learning Spanish online is becoming more and more popular each year, and it’s easy to see why:
Spanish websites offer a wide array of content for language learners at every level and allow them to practice all four major language skills in one place.
How to Get the Most Out of Learning Spanish with Websites
- Find two or three “main” Spanish websites. Less is very often more. Choose two or three high-quality websites that have everything you need to learn Spanish and stick to them. This will give you a sense of structure and help you learn more efficiently.
- Use websites to practice all four language skills. Every method to learn Spanish has its pros and cons. And the major problem with language resources like apps, podcasts and books is that they normally allow you to practice one or maybe two language skills only.
With websites, you have the opportunity to practice all of them, sometimes even at once! A perfect example of this is FluentU, which you can use to improve your overall Spanish level without leaving any skill behind.
- Practice, practice, practice. Websites allow you to do all the exercises you want on a specific topic. They’re the best place to practice grammar rules and new vocabulary, and the feedback you’ll get will help you spot, understand and learn from your mistakes.
Websites for Practicing Spanish Online
- Lengalia: Lengalia offers 24 Spanish courses online, among which you can find grammar, vocabulary and business Spanish. There also videos, podcasts, two courses focusing on holidays and trips and several free tools like a verb conjugator and a vocabulary trainer.
- AMAUTA Spanish School: Use this site if you want to practice Spanish grammar with a Latin American accent. Apart from exercises, AMAUTA Spanish School offers free games and a section called Latin Culture in Spanish, where you’ll be able to read about Latin American culture, cinema, music and cooking, among other topics.
- University of Texas: This simple and somewhat boring-looking website hides some of the best Spanish exercises you’ll ever find online. There are over 80 tasks divided into four levels, a grammar index with explanations and podcasts divided into levels of difficulty.
- Spanish Language & Culture: If you want to learn Spanish grammar and culture at the same time, this website is for you. Each module introduces a different grammar topic through stories and dialogues that depict different people and situations. You then have a list of exercises to practice the topic, and there are even exercises you can send as homework.
- 123 Teach Me: This site offers a lot of free resources to learn Spanish through lessons, games and quizzes. There are also listening comprehension exercises, courses on topics like travel, medical and business Spanish and even a section for kids. And the Spanish verb conjugation tool is out of this world, since not only does it conjugate verbs for you, but also gives you sample sentences with their English translation.
Spanish Chat Sites
Chatting with native Spanish speakers is great practice. With just a little effort, you can have a fun, friendly exchange and improve your Spanish.
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 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 in the world.
However, there are also resources specifically created for chatting in Spanish that allow you to directly connect with native speakers 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 beginner 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.
- HelloTalk: HelloTalk allows you to connect with Spanish speakers around the world through text, voice recordings, audio calls and video calls. This is a great way to practice both your spoken and written Spanish with native speakers.
- El Chat: El Chat is designed for the Spanish-speaking world. There are different rooms based on the country, which makes this a great tool to practice regional dialects.
- Linguaholic: Join Linguaholic’s Discord server to be able to chat in Spanish with users from all around the world. The server includes cool features like custom roles and language-related ranks.
- Tandem: Tandem is a fantastic language exchange site with a chat function where you can meet native speakers who are willing to teach you their language if you teach them yours.
It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t have a smartphone nowadays, and that’s probably the reason why learning languages with apps has become so popular.
On the other hand, Spanish is also a popular language more and more people want to learn. The fact that it’s spoken in over 20 countries is something many people take into consideration (especially if they’re looking for a job abroad or want to go on vacation).
Put those two facts together, and you’ll understand why the number of available options is insanely huge.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Spanish Apps
- Establish your learning style first. Not all learners are equal, and what might work for you can be boring or ineffective for others. Start by analyzing your studying habits and only then choose apps that adapt to them. Do you like a guided style of learning, or do you prefer to have control over your learning path? Do you enjoy grammar exercises, or is grammar a no-no for you?
- Always have at least one free and one paid app on your phone. Having free apps to learn Spanish is awesome, I know, but let’s be real: A free app will never give you everything you need.
Most free apps specialize in one or two language skills, leaving the rest for other free apps. Paid apps, on the other hand, tend to be comprehensive and allow you to practice all four of them plus grammar and vocabulary for a fraction of what a language course would cost.
- There are apps that can be used offline. Having an additional third app to practice Spanish when there’s no internet available is a fantastic option. Imagine learning about the Spanish subjunctive while on a plane to Argentina, or practicing your Spanish reading comprehension in a cabin in the middle of the woods.
- Opt for apps that come with “backing” resources. Some apps are just part of a much bigger project. If an app comes with an accompanying website, YouTube channel, podcast or other special features to make the experience more engaging and immersive, you’ve found yourself a superb language tool.
Apps for Practicing Spanish
- FluentU: The FluentU app is possibly one of the most comprehensive apps you’ll find nowadays. If you’re willing to invest a little bit of money to have everything you need to become fluent in Spanish, download the app and give it a try for free.
- Memrise: Memrise is one of the best free apps you can download. It includes courses divided by level and topic, exercises, daily goals, etc. However, if you want the full Memrise experience, you have to learn through their website, since the app doesn’t include all the free courses available.
- Lingvist: Lingvist is a flashcard app that will help you improve your Spanish vocabulary with decks divided by topic. You can customize pretty much everything in the app, as well as create your own decks and words. And like FluentU, there’s a free trial!
- Mondly: Mondly is a popular app that will teach you Castilian Spanish through interactive lessons and a wide variety of exercises. Its best features are the speech-recognition software and the chatbot, which you can use to practice your writing skills.
- Glossika: With audio-based lessons, Glossika is another app worth a try if you want to learn Castilian or Mexican Spanish. The app includes exercises and dictations, but there are no grammar explanations whatsoever.
YouTube Channels for Learning Spanish
There are some awesome Spanish learning channels on YouTube, and you can use them to fine-tune any skill you need help with.
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. Doing so will make it easy to stay consistent, 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 need to improve most—you’ll probably find at least one high-quality 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.
YouTube Channels to Learn Spanish
- FluentU’s Spanish YouTube Channel: Compiling the absolute best content on the web, FluentU’s Spanish YouTube channel offers the same type of quality content as the FluentU program itself.
The lessons focus on making the most of real-world content by providing advice, tips and suggestions to dive deep into the Spanish-speaking world. Best of all, videos are continually uploaded, meaning you can keep up to date with the latest trends, Spanish recipes, TV shows and more!
For more content like the video below, be sure to subscribe and hit the notification bell. You don’t want to miss out!
- Professor Jason: Professor Jason offers videos on vocabulary, grammar and pronunciation. The videos use a calm, supportive teaching method that won’t overwhelm you and most feel a lot like conventional classroom lessons. To top it off, they’re complete with written examples to illustrate key points.
These videos are for beginner, intermediate and advanced learners, so chances are that Professor Jason offers videos that are right for you. Best of all, he 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.
- Real World Spanish Lessons: Real World Spanish Lessons is a great channel for beginners. Since most of the videos are in both Spanish and English, they’ll allow for a smooth transition into more difficult channels. Real World Spanish lessons has videos on Spanish grammar and vocabulary, but it also teaches you how to learn Spanish fast, how to learn while driving and even how to learn while sleeping.
- Bilingüe Blogs: This YouTube channel covers different Latin American accents, including the Cuban, Puerto Rican, Mexican, Colombian and Dominican ones. Through casual conversations with guests and random people on the street, Lauren (the creator) will help you learn not only grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation, but also about his everyday life in videos where he talks about doing his hair or dating a Latina.
Spanish Interactive Lessons
Interactive lessons are similar to traditional courses, but they have the added benefits of being online.
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 sites may help you learn material more thoroughly than others. 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 beginner and intermediate courses for Spanish learners. These courses consist of interactive dialogues to help you learn and practice Spanish.
- Culture Alley: Culture Alley offers over 70 free interactive Spanish lessons with audio that will help you learn both grammar and vocabulary. There are also exercises and quizzes after each lesson. Its coolest feature turns your Facebook into an interactive lesson where you’ll have to choose the correct translation for random words from your friends’ posts.
Spanish Tutoring Sites
The internet has opened the gates to new ways to learn languages that weren’t available just a few years ago.
With the demand for Spanish tutors on the rise worldwide, the natural step forward was joining languages, tutors and the internet in one single place.
How to Get the Most Out of an Online Spanish Tutor Class
- Make the lessons count. Take advantage of having a native Spanish speaker at your disposition. Make speaking a priority, and ask your tutor to correct your mistakes.
- Learn from your mistakes. Take notes when your tutor corrects your pronunciation, word usage or grammar. When the class has finished, take a look at your notes and review tricky topics and vocabulary as needed.
- If it’s possible, ask your tutor to tell you the topic of the next class in advance. This will give you the opportunity to learn the necessary vocabulary, read about the topic and have a general idea of what you want to talk about.
- Ask your tutor to challenge you. Ask your tutor to give you homework, ask you questions, make you think in Spanish, etc. You don’t want to get bored during class, so give your all during those 60 minutes!
Resources for Finding the Best Spanish Tutor Online
- Live Lingua: Live Lingua helps you find the perfect Spanish tutor regardless of the accent you want to learn. All tutors have university degrees, and your classes will be tailored specifically according to your level and goals. There are different types of lessons you can choose from, including standard lessons, exam preparation and specialized lessons like Spanish for Business. And when you enroll, you get a one-hour lesson for free via Skype.
- Verbling: Verbling has a ton of tutors from all around the world, so this site will be great if you’re looking for a tutor for a specific variety of Spanish. You can search for tutors according to native language, location, gender, rates and even price. Classes take place in their integrated platform for online classes.
- italki: With over 1,500 available tutors, italki is possibly one of the most popular places to find one-on-one Spanish classes. Theoretically, all tutors are professional teachers, and the best part is that you can watch their presentation videos and decide if you like them or not.
- Preply: Preply has over 10,000 Spanish tutors, but thanks to its powerful search engine, you’ll be able to clearly define what you’re looking for. One of the best features of Preply is that you can message tutors and book trial lessons with them. If you don’t like them after that, you can keep on searching. No strings attached!
- Homeschool Spanish Academy: Homeschool Spanish Academy is different from the rest of the sites listed above because it offers one-on-one classes not only for adults, but also for children from five to 18 years old. Plus, if your child needs high school foreign language credit, Homeschool Spanish Academy will be a perfect fit.
With these marvelous types of online resources, you’ll get all the practice you need to propel you to fluency!
Learning Spanish is like cooking a delicious recipe. You need different ingredients and the appropriate cooking methods to get a perfect final product.
By using some (or all) of the types of resources included in this post, you’ll be following the cooking instructions correctly, and you’ll be one step closer to achieving your final goal.
Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy Spanish learning!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.