17 Spanish Learning Tools to Build Strong Language Skills
It is easy to find Spanish learning tools and resources online these days.
But the key is choosing the ones that are actually good.
After years of teaching Spanish as a foreign language and doing literally thousands of hours of research, I have come up with a list of the best online Spanish tools that every learner needs.
I have chosen 17 excellent resources that have been thoroughly tested and are sure to raise your Spanish to a whole new level.
- What Sets These Spanish Learning Tools Apart from Others?
- Why Are Spanish Learning Tools Important?
- Hone Every Spanish Skill at Once
- Improve Your Grammar
- Boost Your Vocabulary
- Master Your Listening Skills
- Read Your Way to Fluency
- Be the Best Writer
What Sets These Spanish Learning Tools Apart from Others?
Everyone with an internet connection can just search for “Spanish language resources” or any similar set of keywords and get hundreds of millions of results back.
Most of us will just pick the first few options and call it a day, but how can you be sure those resources are really what you need?
Enter Franko, a.k.a. me!
After analyzing some of the top articles on Spanish learning resources, I discovered that there was something missing.
Almost all of those websites give you endless lists of links with almost no explanation on what you can do with them. They seem to have just copied and pasted the links and prayed for the best.
I, on the other hand, have visited and tested hundreds of sites and apps over the course of my teaching career in order to offer the best to my students.
This list includes 17 awesome Spanish learning tools that can help you improve all the skills you need to reach fluency.
This list is divided into sections by the skills that these resources can help you with. Just go to the section you want to work on and start having fun!
You even have the option of practicing every aspect of the language all at once if you chose to use the resources included in the first section!
It really can’t get any better than this.
Why Are Spanish Learning Tools Important?
Listen, I get it. Each of us has our own preferences when it comes to studying and learning a new language.
Some of us prefer working with books, others go the full immersion route and travel abroad, while still others listen to podcasts or watch YouTube videos. Been there, done that!
But at the end of the day, if you really want to learn a language and learn it for good, you have to tackle and work on every aspect of it instead of focusing on each in isolation.
By having a list of resources like this one, where you can learn about and practice every aspect of the Spanish language, you are giving yourself a great chance to succeed.
You do not have to use every Spanish learning tool included here. Instead, use this list to suit your needs and adapt it to your learning process and keep it in mind for the next time you want to practice a specific area of the Spanish language.
But that is enough introduction, I dare say. Let’s get to the point at last.
Included below are 17 great Spanish learning tools to skyrocket your español and make you feel like a real native speaker.
Tools up, people!
Hone Every Spanish Skill at Once
Sometimes you just want to have it all in one place and practice everything possible in the easiest way possible.
Enter the Big Tools of the post, two outstanding ways of getting all the Spanish you need in one sitting.
A classic like Memrise could not be forgotten in a list of the best Spanish learning tools.
In case you are not familiar with it yet, click on the link above and start your next great language adventure right away.
Memrise is a web-based learning system that allows you to learn almost anything you want for free, and that includes Spanish!
Just choose the course you want to take and start learning.
Courses are normally divided into lessons that contain vocabulary and expressions you need to learn. You are given translations and audio for every single word you hear, and some of the words contain sample sentences with translations, meme-like images and even short videos of native speakers talking!
The Memrise learning method is based on spaced repetition. You get to see and hear each word several times during each lesson, and you have to do short, simple exercises between words so that you can be sure you are remembering everything correctly.
Memrise allows you to gain experience points that help you reach further levels and it lets you compare your score with that of other users. Let the competition begin!
You can also track your learning stats, follow friends, set daily goals and do review sessions with all the words you have learned so far. Even better, if you are looking for more specific content or want to study something more niche or fun, you can find hundreds of user-created lessons by visiting the website.
There really are many ways to learn with Memrise!
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, 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 gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)
Improve Your Grammar
Grammar is the skeleton of every language. You may fight against it as much as you want and try to convince yourself that you only need to watch some videos and listen to some podcasts, but the truth remains that if you really, really want to learn a language, you need to master its grammar.
Have a look at these three resources and become the master of Spanish grammar!
WordReference English / Spanish Grammar Forum
A lot of you may know WordReference and even use it as an online dictionary (a great one, by the way), but did you know it has dozens of specialized forums, as well?
The WordReference English / Spanish Grammar Forum is a great place to solve all your grammar problems and find a whole lot of Spanish grammar resources for free!
Whenever you have a question related to Spanish grammar, use the “Search” function and find the exact answer you need.
If your question has not been asked or answered before, just create a new post and ask away! The people on the forum are super friendly and eager to help, and they are natives of Spanish from many different countries, so you can be sure you will get the answer you need even if it is a regional or dialectal one.
The questions in the forums are normally answered by volunteers, normal people just like you and me who feel the need to help. If you want to contribute, just have a look at the questions and doubts people have and, if you know the answer, help them! They will be as thankful as you are.
StudySpanish.com Grammar Lessons
I fell in love with this cute, little page since the very first time I visited it.
StudySpanish.com is a great site that includes many, many Spanish resources, from vocabulary through pronunciation to verb drills, but it is the grammar section that made my heart melt.
The grammar lessons found here can be considered an almost-complete Spanish course.
You have nine big units, ordered by level from the easiest (for beginners) to the hardest (for advanced students). Each unit is divided into lessons you can access individually and study at your own pace.
Lessons contain full grammar explanations, lots of examples, conjugated verbs and even flashcards.
I can assure you that if you complete the 108 lesson topics included in this grammar course, you will be unstoppable!
Mondly is a well-structured, comprehensive course that allows you to learn some 33 languages for around $50 a year!
Is it worth the price? I say it is!
You can get a feel for the program by trying the first lesson (called “Hello”) for free. You do not even have to register to do it. Choose your native language (“American English” is an option here), the language you want to learn and your level, and you are ready to go.
Mondly has lots of lessons on many different topics, like transportation, colors, school, shopping, countries and languages—and more. It also includes grammar lessons and a core vocabulary list, among other features.
You get daily lessons with many different types of interactive exercises, a weekly quiz and a monthly challenge!
The interface of the course is super user-friendly and completely bilingual. You can listen to every single word and sentence in the course with just one click, and the accompanying pictures and drawings will make the trip more enjoyable.
My favorite section is the Chatterbox, though. It is a place where you can “talk” to different people, who will pose questions and give you answers while they teach you and guide the conversation. It is like a choose-your-story book but in the form of a Spanish grammar course!
And do you know the best part of it all? You only need to click during the whole process if that is what you want. No need to type whatsoever if you choose so!
Boost Your Vocabulary
You already got the grammar and now you need words in order to be able to build sentences that follow those grammar rules. Here are three tools that will boost your vocabulary to unimaginable levels.
You have probably come across SpanishDict before while looking up words online or trying to find sample sentences.
What many people still do not know about it is its new vocabulary section, which I personally believe has one of the coolest interfaces out there.
Just click on the “Vocabulary” tab and get ready to be amazed.
After logging in, you will be able to choose from thousands of vocabulary lists created by users, or you can create and share your own ones.
Start by choosing any list at random or scroll down and click on the “See All Categories” button. You can also choose one of many amazing textbook vocabulary lists, exhaustively divided by topic and accompanied by vocabulary quizzes. Amazing!
Once you have chosen your list, just click on it and start learning! You will be able to listen to every word as many times as you want, and you will be asked to type in the translation as you learn.
The best of it all? The program includes sample sentences along with the translations for each word. It is impossible not to boost your vocabulary with SpanishDict!
YouTube Vocab Videos
YouTube really is a goldmine when it comes to learning languages, especially Spanish.
You can find everything from grammar lessons to listening practice and even writing practice, but if there is something the platform really excels at, it is teaching vocabulary.
There are many Spanish vocabulary lists you can choose from on YouTube. Here are just a few to get you started:
- 300 words for beginners by Polyglot Pablo
- Three hours of vocabulary words for advanced learners
- Basic Spanish phrases for conversation
There are even videos specifically created to help you learn Spanish words while you sleep!
This little list is just a sampler of the hundreds of useful vocabulary videos you can find on YouTube. So head over there, type in “Spanish vocabulary” and start learning like a boss!
Language Course S.L. App (Android)
If anyone had told me a couple of months ago that you could have a phone app with almost 10k vocabulary words to learn, practice your listening and reading skills and more, all for the mind-blowing price of zero dollars, I would have laughed so hard I would have had to be taken to the hospital.
This app is the most amazing thing you could ever imagine. It lets you choose your level (from A1 to C1), then teaches you over 9,500 words.
You can also select from dozens of lessons on specific topics such as business, travel, weather, sports, fashion, slang and more. Learn and practice these words with many different types of exercises and quizzes, like choosing the right picture, picking the correct spoken word or finding the right translation among different options.
But there’s more! The app lets you listen to Spanish radio and read the news in Spanish, and it also has a Sleep Learning feature that you can fully personalize (including the music) that allows you to learn Spanish words while you sleep.
The app also keeps track of the words you have already learned, your achievements and your high scores. Have you downloaded it yet?
Master Your Listening Skills
Out of the four main language learning skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking), listening comprehension tends to be the most neglected one by teachers. As a result, you have learners who have a robust knowledge of grammar and a superb vocabulary but are not used to listening to native speakers, so they end up understanding less than 50% of what is being said.
Make sure to practice those listening skills from the very beginning. Use these three awesome tools to help you out.
Coffee Break Spanish
One of the best ways to practice your listening skills is by listening to podcasts.
Coffee Break Spanish offers free podcasts lasting around 20 minutes each. They are very accessible for beginners because they are bilingual and they feature guests who are real Spanish people in real life situations.
If you go Premium, you can even get the transcripts of the conversations, extra study material and access to several activities related to the topic. (By going Premium, you also get unlimited access to the Coffee Break Academy and the Premium Reading Club, so it is money well spent).
News in Slow Spanish
News in Slow Spanish must be the greatest podcast site for intermediate students out there.
With over 500 episodes, it presents worldwide news every Thursday on many different topics that range from politics to culture, traveling and art.
Each episode is divided into two big chunks. The first part includes four pieces of news from around the world, read by native speakers of Spanish. You can choose if you want to listen to them at a slow or normal pace, and you have access to transcripts of the news in the form of a PDF document.
The second part of each lesson focuses on a specific aspect of the Spanish grammar and includes a mini-lesson on Spanish expressions. All this is spiced up with materials that explain the grammar topic, expand the information on the expressions and let you do activities and quizzes related to the lesson.
Everything would be perfect if it were not for the fact that you only get five free lessons. If you want to have access to all the materials available, you need to get a subscription.
On the bright side, you have many different kinds of subscriptions to choose from (you can even pick the variety of Spanish you want to study). The price varies depending on whether you only want the audio (from $4.99 per month) or you want it all (from $14.99 per month).
Give it a try!
Forvo is a pronunciation dictionary that allows you to listen to any word in existence, in every language!
Just write the Spanish word into the search box and you will get all the results containing that word.
The words are read by native speakers from different Spanish-speaking countries. You can choose the pronunciation that suits you best, or just do like me and listen to every one of them!
Apart from single words, there are also expressions and full sentences that include the word you have searched for. These expressions and sentences are also pronounced by native speakers, so you can be sure everything you hear on Forvo is correctly pronounced.
This one is a gem you should always have close at hand.
Read Your Way to Fluency
Reading is essential if you want to see how real Spanish looks on paper.
When we read, we subconsciously learn words and word patterns, see grammar rules in action and, at the same time, exercise our brain and our reading comprehension.
The following three tools will keep you reading for hours. Enjoy!
Lingua is still a young website so it does not have an excessive amount of material, but it looks amazing so far.
It offers over 25 Spanish readings divided into three levels (A1, A2 and B1).
The site is very easy to use. Just click on a title and start reading! After you have read a passage, there are some reading comprehension questions on the right side of the page and you just have to choose the correct answer based on what you have just read.
The readings and reading comprehension questions are available for download as a PDF file, so you can print them and take them with you everywhere!
Practical Spanish Readings
Practical Spanish is a great website that includes an equally great “Readings” section that is divided into four levels (Absolute Beginners, Beginners, Intermediate and Advanced).
The Absolute Beginners and the Beginners readings each include a short reading, questions with answers and some expressions for you to learn. It is all translated into English, with both Spanish and English versions presented side by side, and all the Spanish texts are available in the form of audio recordings so that you can listen to and read the text at the same time.
The Intermediate lessons include longer texts divided into sections with the English translation visible on the right side. All the readings include audio recordings, as well.
The Advanced lessons include long, complex texts in Spanish with audio recording. If you want to read the translation of the text, you have to click on a link that will take you there, but you have no option to see both the Spanish and the English readings side by side.
Choose your level, then work your way up the difficulty levels.
This is a great website where you can learn a lot of different things about the Spanish language, but very few people know that it also has graded readings for you to practice your reading comprehension skills.
The readings are divided into four levels (Novice, Intermediate, Advanced and Superior). Each level includes hundreds of quizzes where you have to read a text and then answer some questions or do some exercises related to the reading. Many of the quizzes also have a vocabulary section where you can learn the most challenging words of each text.
As it happens with any Spanish learning material prepared by 123TeachMe.com, all the readings have been carefully chosen in order to create a natural learning curve from the Novice to the Superior level.
There is, however, a small setback: Only the first quizzes are available for free. If you want to enjoy them all, you will have to pay for a subscription (from $2.95 per month).
Be the Best Writer
You might want to have a pen pal, or maybe you have been asked at work or in class to write 500 words on some (mostly) boring topic.
But if you do not practice your writing skills, you will not be able to communicate your message properly. Besides, all the spelling errors you will make if you do not practice will definitely give away the fact you are secretly not Spanish!
Practice your writing and become a poet. Or just an error-free student. Your choice.
My students, especially the younger ones, love Kwiziq.
The site includes writing exercises, which I have been using with my pupils to practice their Spanish knowledge, and we have not had a single moment of boredom since we started using them.
With Kwiziq, you get tons of writing exercises where you can test yourself through translations and see what you need to work on.
Each exercise starts with Kwiziq the robot telling you that you will be asked to translate some sentences. At this point, you can see the grammar topics you will be practicing and the English version of the text you are going to translate.
When you type in your translation, Kwiziq tells you where you made mistakes and allows you to give yourself a mark for your work. Then, he gives you another sentence to translate.
During the translation process, you will be given advice as to which grammar lessons (also included in the course) you need to revise, and at the end of the exercise you get the full correct text with audio.
If you want to give this awesome website a try, there are a few free lessons to sample. To enjoy all the goodies, you will have to buy a subscription (starting at around $9.85 per month).
Spanish Resources is a website where you can practice your listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.
When it comes to writing, it offers dozens of exercises divided by topics such as geography, antonyms, adverbs, emails, etc.
Just click on the topic you are interested in and you will get access to the exercises. Print the page (the site is not too interactive, apart from the audios) and do the exercises. You will be asked to describe images, complete sentences, write answers to questions, listen to audio segments and answer questions and more.
You can access it all for free, but keep in mind that this is a self-assessment page. As such, you will need the help of your Spanish tutor or a Spanish speaking friend who can correct your mistakes. Apart from that, this is a great source of inspiration for your writing practice!
TakeLessons Writing Prompts
I would say that this tool is aimed specifically toward advanced learners of Spanish, but if you are feeling brave and have the help of a teacher or friend, give it a try!
You are shown 25 writing prompts and the only thing you have to do is take a pen and a piece of paper and write on the topic you have been given.
Some of the prompts include links with grammar explanations and information related to the topic in question, as well as grammar points you should take into account and include in your essay. They also give you tips regarding the style, the target audience or the vocabulary you should use.
And these, my friend, are 17 of the most amazing Spanish learning tools you can find online.
Each of them is great for one or more specific aspects of the Spanish language, but together they become an invincible weapon of mass learning that will make your Spanish skills shine like the very sun.
Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy learning!