Many of us drive nearly every day.
The act of driving has become second nature over the many hours of practice.
Think back to the first time you ever drove a vehicle. Most of us had a teacher awkwardly fidgeting in the passenger seat but trying very hard to not appear nervous. You were probably nervous, too.
The teacher helped us learn about the rules of the road. Eventually, we did not need a teacher anymore because the lessons they taught us became so deeply ingrained.
Now think about your language-learning journey.
Spanish can be a difficult language to learn but with the right teacher, learning and understanding the language can become as easy as driving a car.
Taking a Spanish language course can help build a foundation that will stay with you forever.
This post will help you find the right one to take.
How to Find the Best Spanish Language Course for You
There are many ways to learn Spanish and different methods work for different people. If you find yourself stuck on a learning plateau, losing motivation or just plain struggling with a certain concept, you might benefit from a Spanish language course.
Wherever your Spanish knowledge is at the moment, a guided course can be just what you need to take your skills to the next level.
But a course has to fit your needs in order to really be effective. So before you start looking for a class, there are a couple of questions you should consider.
What is your current skill level?
First, determine your level of Spanish. If you are not sure exactly what your Spanish proficiency is, you can take a placement test. The type of placement test you take is up to you, but there are some great free options online.
What is your learning goal?
The course you choose has to fit your needs, which means you should determine your goal before you begin looking. There is a course for practically every aspect of the language out there, so it is important to think about what you want to get from your studies.
Are you looking for a comprehensive learning experience that will touch on everything? Do you want to brush up on your vocabulary for a specific topic? Or maybe you are struggling with some grammar concept and would like a course that is totally devoted to that.
It is all out there—you just need to know what you want.
How much time are you willing to commit?
Course lengths vary. Are you willing to commit a whole year to a program? A couple of weeks? A week of high-intensity crash course work?
Determine your time frame before you sign up and make sure the course will work well with your schedule. You do not want to sign up for a year-long course only to have to drop out a few months into it.
Remember to keep in mind how much weekly work each course has in addition to its overall length. A three-month course might only require a few hours of study per week, while a one-week option might require a 20-hour commitment!
Know what you are signing up for so you do not feel overwhelmed.
What is your budget?
Are you willing to pay for a course or are you looking for something that is totally free? Both have plenty of great options to choose from!
Do you need proof of completion?
When the course is over, do you want something to show for it other than your improved skills? Some courses offer a certificate of completion, which may be a nice addition to your resume and a valuable tool for landing a good job.
If you want a course that will count toward college credit, you will need to keep that in mind during your search.
Do you learn better alone or with a buddy?
Sometimes, things are better with a friend. You might feel intimidated when you walk into a classroom full of people but working with a study buddy can help motivate you both.
On the other hand, you might work better with an entire class of people who are in the same boat as you. Maybe you thrive in the community and prefer the traditional classroom.
Or maybe you just want to learn by yourself!
These are all excellent ways to learn, but you will have to consider which one is the most effective for you and choose a course that fits what you need.
Find the Drive to Learn with 9 Spanish Language Courses for Any Learner
Online Spanish Language Courses
Sometimes your schedule just cannot accommodate another in-person commitment. An online Spanish language course will allow you to connect with a teacher without having to attend an in-person class. Learning online will also allow you to complete the course on your own time.
Each of the options provided below is offered by an established course provider and many are even available for free!
This MOOC platform is a great option for anyone looking to cover all the basics of the Spanish language.
You will have the option to take “Basic Spanish 1” and “Basic Spanish 2” online. The first course has content that typically takes seven weeks to complete and the second course is only four weeks long. Both are self-paced and completely free.
The first course introduces you to Spanish and will teach you enough basics to allow you to introduce yourself and have a brief conversation. The second course delves further into grammar and vocabulary, giving you the tools you will need to describe yourself and your everyday life.
Between the two courses, you will achieve A1 proficiency level on the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFRL).
If you need a certificate of completion, you can get one for $40 (for each course). It is not necessary to get one, though, unless you want to add it to your resume or need the proof for a potential job.
Alison is an online course provider that offers two introductory Spanish language classes for free through their website.
The first class is aptly named “Introduction to Spanish” and includes the very basics like greetings, numbers and dates and beginner conversation skills.
The second course, “Basic Spanish—Restaurants in Spanish” is exactly that: a guide to ordering food and all you need to know about visiting a restaurant in a Spanish-speaking location.
Choose the one that suits your needs!
“Learn Spanish: Basic Spanish Vocabulary Specialization,” hosted on Coursera and presented by UC Davis, focuses on learning specific areas of vocabulary. Each section of the course lasts between three to four weeks and starts on specific dates on a regular basis throughout the year.
You may want to follow the recommended order, but that is not completely necessary if you have a specific goal in mind. By the end of the full span of the course, you will have 1,500 of the most useful Spanish words in your arsenal, from hobbies and daily life to more cultural topics.
Coursera also offers a course for healthcare professionals who want to learn Spanish for their workplace.
Udemy is known for offering a wide variety of courses. You could learn anything from Python coding to baking.
Naturally, you can also learn Spanish here! There are many options available, suitable for any level of learner. From a crash course for beginners to an advanced Spanish course, you can find anything you need here.
Most of the courses offered here are not free, but they are generally very affordable. If you see a course that you like but it is out of your price range, then just wait and keep an eye on it. Many of the courses on Udemy go on sale periodically so it may be worth the wait.
Non-traditional Online Spanish Courses
Taking a class sounds great, but some people learn better in a less traditional way. An online option that is not set up like a traditional classroom may be the perfect solution for you.
These offers are not your typical Spanish courses but they will still improve your Spanish skills:
FluentU is an online immersion program that will help you learn Spanish through authentic videos.
FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.
The immersive, entertaining content makes grammar and vocabulary much more memorable.
The program is about so much more than videos: You also get access to video-enhanced flashcards, vocab lists, interactive subtitles and adaptive quizzes that evolve as you learn.
This is a great option if you are looking for something that is more self-paced and more authentic than textbooks and classroom memorization.
Let the little owl teach you Spanish, one day at a time. Duolingo uses a game-like experience to motivate you to keep learning, encouraging you to learn a little bit of Spanish every day.
Lessons use translation and fill-in-the-blank style learning, but they also build listening and speaking skills—two aspects of language learning often overlooked by online courses. Lessons start from complete beginner and work their way up to more advanced concepts.
Duolingo is available for free but you can upgrade to the Plus account to unlock even more features.
This website is like an interactive textbook. It provides many different lessons organized from beginner to advanced topics, with clear and easy-to-follow explanations of concepts as well as exercises you can do right in your browser and see instantly what you got wrong.
Although the lessons are organized in a logical learning order, you do not have to follow this order. Instead, you can pick and choose the information you want to learn based on your own goals.
No Comprendo is completely free and it is easy to get started.
Some people (including myself) learn better in person, so you may be looking for a classroom experience. The added benefit of a classroom is that you will meet people on a similar language level who are likely willing to practice their Spanish with you. Finding a conversation buddy is never a bad thing!
Here are a few in-person options for learners:
Fluent City offers in-person classes at various levels in multiple cities around the US. The classes are not free but they are reasonably priced for a multi-week, in-person experience. You can also often get a discount for joining the mailing list.
The downside to this option is that you have to live in one of the cities where classes are offered: New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Chicago. If you do not live in any of those cities but would still like to enjoy the benefits of the program, you can take an online, one-on-one course through Fluent City.
If you do live in one of the aforementioned cities, you can get a free assessment of your skill level that consists of a placement test or a conversation with an advisor. This way, you will know exactly which course you should sign up for.
A local college or library
There may be options in your local community college or university for Spanish language courses you can take in person. You may even be able to use these classes for college credit towards your degree if you are currently enrolled.
Some libraries also host language classes periodically. Check in your community and you may find a good low-cost or even free option that you can take.
The benefit of this option is that you will also meet other members of your community who are on the same language learning journey as you. Your friendly local neighborhood study buddy awaits!
You now have nine options for Spanish language courses you can take, whether you want to study alone or with a community of learners. Find the option that will drive 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.