“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”—Lao Tzu
Every journey has a beginning.
Regardless of where we’re going or what we’re trying to do or learn, we need to start somewhere.
And at some point, everyone’s a beginner who’s about to take the all-important first steps! It’s an exhilarating moment, isn’t it?
Learning to speak Spanish is an amazing adventure that millions have embarked upon—and successfully completed. They’ve taken those wonderful first steps and now enjoy using the beautiful language in their everyday lives.
Fortunately, Spanish learners have a ton of excellent, interesting and diverse options for taking those exciting first steps. Let’s check out some of the best options for beginner Spanish lessons!
What to Look for When Choosing Beginner Lessons
Choosing beginner language lessons is pretty straightforward.
Here’s a helpful checklist of things that you should look for. Hit some of these marks to give yourself a learning boost right from the start.
- Look for lessons that are basic. They should be mildly challenging but not frightening. That is, you should look at them and feel more excited to do the work than intimidated by it.
- Look for an opportunity to progress in the coursework. You should be able to work toward the next level. Seeing the road ahead of you is incredibly motivating, and it’s a fabulous incentive to keep working!
- Look for interactive material with dynamic content. This is the best way to stay engaged in those first moments of picking up a new language. Your lessons ideally should pull you into whatever is going on and encourage you to become part of the conversation or give you the chance to click on options that’ll provide more information. Look for games or flashcards, for example.
- Look for programs that teach reading, writing, speaking and listening. All four of these are all important parts of a language program. They’re not optional for ultimate success in learning Spanish—so if you’re not getting everything from one source, choose a complementary source that offers whatever’s missing from the first. However you decide to design your language program, be sure to incorporate a combination of reading, writing, speaking and listening practice.
- Look for programs that incorporate authentic content. Content produced by native speakers, for native speakers—as opposed to content in a textbook—is a top-notch way to kickstart your Spanish learning. Plus, there are so many options: videos, stories written by Spanish authors, Spanish music, Spanish cooking videos—you get the idea. Authentic content creates opportunities to hone your language skills and learn about Spanish or Latin American culture at the same time.
- Look for programs designed and led by native speakers. Native speakers bring a language to life. They showcase diverse dialects and idioms—and are the ideal resource for learners to model pronunciation after.
8 Stellar Online Spanish Lessons for Beginners
FluentU is a super example of a resource that delivers dynamic, engaging content that can set beginning learners on the right path to learning Spanish.
These lessons actually bring immersion to learners, wherever they are in the world.
FluentU’s platform takes real-world videos and turns them into fun, immersive learning materials. You’ll find music videos, movie trailers, interesting and inspiring talks, news from around the globe and many other types of videos for learners at all levels. These videos bring this incredible language to life. The material is entertaining, informative and relevant.
Video captions are translated. And with a click, example sentences and definitions demystify new vocabulary. There’s no need to “miss” words; just click on the unfamiliar word for instant gratification—and translation!
Start with numbers or beginner small talk, or choose any of the literally hundreds of beginner-level Spanish videos available on FluentU! Soon, you’ll feel ready to progress to “intermediate” and “advanced” videos.
Learners want to level up, and that’s entirely possible with FluentU. Quiz sections let learners gauge progress, and the quizzes are lots of fun to do.
Native speakers, information from across the globe, dynamic content—this site is perfect for any beginning Spanish learner.
17 Minute Languages offers a Spanish course for beginners that’s designed to teach in as little as 17 minutes a day. The course contends that it’s so engaging that learners will look forward to learning!
There are daily exercises and a core vocabulary of more than 1,000 words that are taught through conversational dialogues. The course uses native Spanish speakers, so your pronunciation models are authentic—which is always the best way to improve your Spanish accent.
The course allows learners to track their progress and interact with other learners. Plus, the stunning photos used in the lessons might allow some learners to become armchair travelers!
edX is an online learning platform that offers learners access to some of the most prestigious universities and companies in the world. Founded by Harvard and MIT, this is a go-to spot for anyone looking for quality programs in a number of fields.
Fortunately, edX offers free basic Spanish courses that are a good way for beginning learners to get a feel for the language. They’re all free and cover assorted topics.
Spanish for Beginners: Learn in Paradise is a fun course to get your feet wet. It touches upon basic conversational Spanish and travel phrases while also highlighting the culture of Colombia. Why not check it out?
Fluentopia’s four-week self-study course brings beginners basic Spanish. The course is all online, and learners are encouraged to take it at their own pace.
Each week there are lessons to complete as well as a group online session that gives learners the opportunity to practice the skills they’ve learned in the week’s lessons.
This course doesn’t only cover grammar and vocabulary. It also highlights interesting and relevant cultural content. Sign up and indulge in fascinating discussions about Mexico City, Buenos Aires and other intriguing cities of the Spanish-speaking world.
OUINO is a complete Spanish course that begins with the basics and offers learners plenty of room to level up. The course is separated into five modules: verbs and conjugation, conversations, pronunciation, building blocks and vocabulary.
There are lessons to practice all four language skills! Reading practice features original short stories. Speaking practice gives learners a chance to record their voices and then compare their pronunciation to a native speaker’s pronunciation. Listening practice consists of listening to an audio clip and placing vocabulary in the correct order within a practice sentence. And writing prompts help learners practice their writing skills.
Native speakers, interactive content, leveling up possibilities and all fundamentals covered makes this a solid starting point for beginner learners!
Lawless Spanish’s beginner course covers the very basics, including numbers, greetings, introductions, food and some verbs. Grammar, vocabulary, pronunciation and cultural tips make this resource a worthwhile time investment. There’s plenty of material to investigate, and it’s presented in a clear, concise manner.
Learners get the benefit of learning online, on their own schedule and at their own pace with this self-study course. There are quizzes and tests available, so leveling up is a snap! If you’re interested in tracking your progress, you can sign up for Progress with Lawless Spanish. After taking a practice test, you’ll have access to an adaptive language-learning system that provides regular quizzes and then customizes your future lessons based on areas that need strengthening.
Udemy is a learning platform that hosts online classes taught by experts and professionals. On Udemy, you can find courses on pretty much any topic under the sun! Its courses are available to learners at very reasonable prices, as well—especially if you happen to catch them during a sale.
Udemy proves that it’s possible to learn from skilled professionals from around the globe without ever leaving your home. It’s a perfect option for those who don’t have the time (or fixed schedule) to commit to a regular Spanish class.
Beginning Spanish learners have several course options with Udemy. There are basic classes, but there are also courses that cater to travelers or those looking to build a more comprehensive skill set in one particular area of Spanish-speaking. For example, you could check out this course that focuses on Spanish conversational skills. It’s geared towards absolute beginners! Or, browse the site to find a different course that suits your learning style and goals.
The Spanish Blog’s beginner Spanish course consists of 58 lessons designed to teach you everything you need to know about basic Spanish. You’ll find lessons on Spanish greetings, Spanish numbers and the common verbs ser and estar, for example.
The best part? The first 40 lessons are totally free. You don’t even have to sign up! Just click on the topic that most interests you for a video lesson, explanation and practice activity. If you get hooked, you can purchase the full course to get access to those final 18 lessons as well as a study guide.
The videos feature a native speaker, allowing you to model your pronunciation right from the very first lesson!
Learning Spanish can be an epic adventure especially for beginners who incorporate some of these excellent options into a learning program.
There are so many resources that it’s a great idea to try more than one to find a perfect language-learning fit. Remember, it’s wise to combine more than one lesson resource to customize a learning program that suits your needs.
But don’t spend too much time overthinking. The best way to learn Spanish? Just begin! Take the first step of your journey!
You won’t regret it, and step by step, you’ll gain feel yourself improving. Before you know it, you won’t be a beginner anymore.
Have fun and good luck!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.