Surfing the net for free Spanish lessons?
Wondering if you can really get what you need for free?
I mean, you’re pretty committed to this Spanish thing. Shouldn’t you just go ahead and spend that hard-earned dough on a premium resource?
Well, let me tell you—starting with free resources is the best strategy for any Spanish learner.
Too many start out surfing and end up being persuaded that they need to buy that popular grammar book. Subscribe to that pricey online course. Enroll in that real, in-person course offered in their hometown.
Many learners also feel a rush that lasts for a day or two after making their investment, only to find that it fizzles out quickly.
You might find out that you’re not vibing with certain materials or approaches to learning. You might discover that a different learning style works better for you.
Then that expensive book is collecting dust on a shelf, or your seat in the classroom is left empty.
Start with the free stuff.
Wait until that rush turns into a habit. Until you figure out how you learn best, and which materials are the right fit for you.
Then you go ahead and pay for what you truly need.
Today I’ll get you started on the right foot, with the best free Spanish lessons I’ve found while scouring the internet for a linguistic bargain.
1. 123 Teach Me
123 Teach Me is the perfect place to start learning Spanish for free.
Designed for people who have never studied Spanish before, this colorful website includes everything a beginner can dream of, from lessons on the alphabet to a Spanish placement test to a free worksheet creator.
I recommend you start by learning the alphabet, then head to the Spanish 101 course.
After that, you’ll be ready to take the course on the preterite tense, followed by the course on the imperfect tense.
To practice grammar and speaking, take the Conversational Spanish 201 course.
FluentU gives you a completely free trial without limits so you can check out the whole platform at will and decide if it’s for you or not.
But what exactly is FluentU, and why am I so convinced it’s the right tool for you?
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.
3. Aprender Idiomas y Cultura General con Rodrigo
This massive 488-video YouTube channel will teach you Spanish from scratch. For free!
Starting with the alphabet and several pronunciation videos, and going up in difficultly slowly but steadily, Rodrigo will teach you about numbers, Spanish idioms, verbs, questions and Spanish conjunctions, among hundreds (literally) of other useful topics.
Rodrigo starts speaking mostly in English, giving you Spanish translations as he explains the lesson. However, his use of English becomes more and more scarce as you advance through the lessons.
4. SpanishPod101’s YouTube Channel
SpanishPod101 is one of the main players in the language-learning game, and when it comes to Spanish, it’s one of the best ways to learn the language for free regardless of the level you currently have.
If you have a look at the channel’s playlists, you’ll soon realize the number of hours invested in developing SpanishPod101 is huge.
They have videos divided by level, skill (I really recommend the listening comprehension playlists) and even by topic.
With this channel, you’ll be able to learn about the Mexican accent (you’ll love this series’ hosts), pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and conversation, among other useful stuff.
There are also three 24/7 Spanish livestreams (Words & Expressions for Everyday Life, Listening and Speaking), long vocabulary videos with phrases on everyday Spanish and even a section where teachers answer students’ questions.
5. 5-Minute Spanish
The concept of this podcast is simple: You just need five minutes a day for around a month to grasp the basics of Spanish grammar.
The podcast promises, and it certainly delivers.
Each episode covers a key concept in Spanish grammar. Examples include stress and accent marks, ser vs. estar (Spanish “to be” verbs), direct and indirect object pronouns and Spanish commands.
By the end of these 36 episodes, you’ll have a solid knowledge of Spanish grammar and pronunciation.
Even if you don’t have an iPhone, iPod or iPad, you can legally download iTunes on your PC or Mac and watch the cute presentations as you listen.
If you have an Apple device, you can also download the e-book Español I (Spanish I) for free. In it, you’ll learn about Spanish grammar, vocabulary and culture.
6. Beginners’ Spanish: Getting Around
OpenLearn offers this 20-hour Spanish course completely free of charge.
Aimed at beginner students who already have a very basic knowledge of the language, the course is divided into 10 sections, each of which includes readings, audio material, vocabulary lists and a lot of exercises with answers.
The course also includes a list of Spanish instructions (mainly related to the class environment) and all the transcripts of the different audio files.
The whole course can be easily downloaded in a document (you can choose the format). Everything in the course, except for the audio, is included in the downloaded file (for example, the file in PDF format has 107 pages).
Once you complete this free introductory course, you can enroll in Beginners Spanish: ¡Empezamos! (We start!). By completing this course, you’ll reach the A2 level of Spanish.
7. Notes in Spanish
Ben (from the UK) and Marina (from Spain) are a cute couple who’ve been teaching Spanish for over 15 years.
Their podcasts and videocasts are divided into three levels (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), so anyone who wants to learn or improve their Spanish for free can enjoy them.
Even though Ben tends to translate a lot of the expressions into English, they both try to use as much Spanish as possible, introducing vocabulary and grammar naturally into their conversations.
The topics they cover include family, shopping, holidays, Spanish cinema, table manners and globalization, just to name a few.
8. The Spanish Blog
Even though you can watch all its videos on the website, The Spanish Blog is actually a YouTube channel.
Divided into five levels with 30 short videos each, The Spanish Blog will take you on a journey through the Castilian Spanish accent that will start with Hola (Hello) and will end with the Spanish present perfect subjunctive.
Laura, the host, is a native speaker from Spain. She presents the course in English, which makes it perfect even for total beginners, but she translates all the words, phrases and sentences into Spanish.
9. Coffee Break Spanish
Coffee Break Spanish is possibly the best free Spanish podcast you’ll ever find.
Divided into four seasons (each one representing a level), it gives you hundreds of free episodes to get you from zero to hero in an engaging and efficient way.
The first season starts with the typical beginner topics (presentations, greetings, family, etc.), and the level goes up with each season. Vocabulary and grammar also get more complex each episode, but everything is built upon what’s already been covered.
Although the first few episodes include a lot of English, things get more and more Spanish as you go, with the final season being mainly in Spanish with some English explanations and a few key word translations.
Apart from the four main seasons, Coffee Break Spanish also offers other Spanish series such as Magazine, the Travel Diaries, Coffee Break Spanish To Go, En Marcha (On the Move) and Espresso, all of which you can listen to for free on Spotify.
10. Dreaming Spanish’s YouTube Channel
A YouTube channel with over 1,500 videos to teach you Spanish.
Four levels (from super beginner to advanced).
Different accents with teachers from different Spanish-speaking countries.
Zero words in any language other than Spanish from the very first second.
Yeah, it exists.
It’s Dreaming Spanish, a channel that will certainly have you dreaming in the language at the speed of life.
By using the comprehensible input method, you’ll learn Spanish like a child learns their native language: naturally and in Spanish (unbelievable but true!).
If you’re serious about learning Spanish in a quick, effective and engaging way, this channel is the free treasure you were looking for.
And if you’re an intermediate learner (or once you reach the intermediate level), you can’t miss the videos on the history of Spain.
11. Intermediate Spanish: Understanding Spoken Spanish
This fantastic free course from OpenLearn has been created to help intermediate learners of Spanish feel confident when listening to and speaking it.
Through a ton of multimedia material and interactive activities, you’ll learn how to use your own language and all the tools you have readily available to understand Spanish better and communicate easier.
The course can be downloaded in several types of files to learn offline.
After taking this one, you can continue expanding your knowledge with the paid Beginners Spanish 3: ¡Adelante! (Go Ahead!) course.
12. Languages 247
Languages 247 gives you the opportunity to learn Spanish for free from the beginner level to upper-intermediate.
With 60 lessons divided into four levels (A1-B2), this course has everything you need to really learn the language except for the alphabet.
Each lesson includes five main sections: Reading practice, vocabulary, grammar, speaking practice and exercises.
Everything in the whole course—from the dialogues and readings at the beginning of the lessons to the grammar explanations—is in both Spanish and English.
The lessons also include videos in each section, and the exercises are interactive and include answers.
13. LightSpeed Spanish
Gordon and Cynthia are the hosts of one of the most massive free grammar videocasts on the internet.
In each episode, they discuss a grammar topic while having a mostly bilingual conversation.
Cynthia, a native Spanish speaker, tries to always speak Spanish, while Gordon translates examples, gives explanations in English and does his best to speak Spanish as much as he can.
Divided into four levels (Beginners, Early Intermediate, Advanced Intermediate and Advanced), the videocast covers every imaginable grammar topic, but there are also episodes devoted to vocabulary, cultural curiosities and even Spanish movies.
There are also three special sections:
- “El Aula” (The Classroom), where they explain the difference between confusing words and talk about other interesting cultural and linguistic stuff
- “Subjunctive,” where they analyze the Spanish subjunctive in depth
- “Spanish Vocabulary Builder,” which is a fantastic 16-episode podcast for any learner wanting to improve their vocabulary
Each episode is preceded by a written intro. After it, you can watch the video, listen to the audio and download the episode for offline learning.
14. AP Spanish Language and Culture
If you’re looking for a great free resource to practice for the AP Spanish Language and Culture exam, you’re in luck, because edX has this archived course you can take to make your Spanish skills excel.
First off, sign in or register to edX. This will give you access to the course.
Please note that the course has been archived, which means you won’t have assistance from the teachers or even access to the forums.
However, the course itself is still intact and offered in full, and thanks to its audiovisual material, articles, essays, vocabulary, grammar explanations and exercises, you’ll be able to get yourself ready to pass the AP exam with flying colors.
Best of all, the last section of the course includes exam practice and a real one for you to take.
Do you have what it takes to nail it?
15. Practical Spanish
Are you trying to learn Latin American Spanish for free? Do you love the Colombian accent?
If you’ve answered “yes” to both questions, boy do I have great news for you!
Practical Spanish is a free course created to teach you conversational Spanish from beginning to end.
The main page includes different sections on the left side.
The “Videos” section has several videos (with subtitles) divided by level.
The “Beginner,” “Intermediate” and “Advanced” sections are the ones you’re going to use to learn Spanish.
When you click on any of them, you’ll see a list of lessons on the left. I recommend you do them in the established order so you don’t miss anything important.
Each lesson also includes grammar explanations, practical examples with translations and native Colombian audio.
Don’t miss the graded practice readings, especially because each of them can be listened to while being read!
16. Advanced Spanish: Language in Context
OpenLearn strikes again with a free course, this time aimed at advanced learners of Spanish.
Completely in Spanish, the course analyzes the Spanish language as a living “organism” that evolves and changes, focusing mainly on how different media make use of it and how regional varieties can both enrich and fragment it.
With reading activities (the Don Quixote ones are delicious), audio material and even a glossary, this short advanced course will make you think about the Spanish language while you learn it.
A meta-journey you’re going to love!
17. University of Texas
Don’t be fooled by the apparent simplistic and unattractive appearance of this fantastic free site.
The University of Texas gives you Spanish practice for hours on end, from the beginning to the superior level, on useful everyday topics such as the colors, the numbers, the family, feelings, the weather, movies and electricity.
In total, there are 85 complete lessons offered.
Each task has a short description of what it’s about and includes five sections: Videos, grammar, vocab, phrases and podcast.
For each task, you’ll first watch and listen to native Spanish speakers from different countries talk briefly about the topic of the lesson. You can read the Spanish or English transcript while watching.
Then, you’ll get grammar explanations with tons of examples, followed by a vocabulary list, a list of phrases and sentences related to the task topic and a podcast episode.
There’s also a grammar index and a list of additional podcasts under the task list.
18. Facultad de Estudios a Distancia UMNG (Faculty of Distance Studies UMNG)
The Nueva Granada Military University from Colombia has set up this YouTube channel for native Spanish students, so the videos are recommended for upper-intermediate and advanced learners of Spanish (or beginners who want to practice shadowing).
With webinars on topics such as globalization, public accounting or industrial engineering, any Spanish student wanting to give that final push to their language skills will be able to take advantage of this free native audiovisual reservoir.
Also, don’t miss the SABER PRO (KNOWLEDGE PRO) playlist, which focuses on correcting those pesky language mistakes even native Spanish speakers make on a daily.
19. Diseño y Creación de Videojuegos Specialization
Coursera brings you this super interesting course on video game design and creation offered by the University of Barcelona.
Since it’s a specialization, the course takes more time to complete (around eight months if you invest two hours a week as the creators suggest).
This also means that, while the course itself is completely free, you’ll need to have a Coursera subscription to take it. Coursera offers a seven-day unlimited free trial when you subscribe, so if you’re interested in what I’m about to tell you, give it a try!
This course will teach you, in Spanish, about the whole video game creation process, from beginning to end. At the end of the course, there’s a final project to assess if you’ve successfully acquired all of its contents.
The project is simple and exciting: Make changes to a video game demo!
While the course is taught completely in Spanish, there are also English subtitles available, in case you get lost.
I recommend this specialization to every Spanish learner because of the English subtitles availability, but students interested in making a career out of video game development or wanting to know more about the topic will benefit much more from it.
20. Corrección, Estilo y Variaciones de la Lengua Española (Correction, Style and Variations of the Spanish Language)
Let me start by saying that, as a language professional, I’m obsessed with this amazing free course.
Another one offered by the University of Barcelona through Coursera, this completely free course (you can pay for a certificate once you complete it) has been created for native Spanish speakers who work with the language professionally.
These include people like philologists, translators and editors, but the course is also perfect for Spanish students at the C1-C2 level.
The course is completely in Spanish (with Spanish subtitles), and analyzes different texts written in or translated into Spanish, focusing on how the Castilian, Argentinian and American varieties of the language differ (or not).
With videos, presentations and readings full of practical examples, comparisons and linguistic information, this course is perfect for anyone working (or wanting to work) with the Spanish language in a professional setting, be it as a teacher, translator, writer, editor, etc.
This course is only for the brave of heart, but if you’re a language nerd, you’ll have the time of your life while taking it.
And that’s all for today, my friends.
As you can see, learning Spanish with free lessons and resources is indeed possible.
If you’re committed to learning this beautiful language, all you need is an internet connection, some free time and the will to put some effort into it.
These free resources will do the rest.
Stay curious, my friends, and as always, happy (free) learning!
Francisco J. Vare loves teaching and writing about grammar. He’s a proud language nerd, and you’ll normally find him learning languages, teaching students or reading. He’s been writing for FluentU for many years and is one of their staff writers.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.