spanish-online-course

20 of the Best Spanish Online Courses in 2020 to Upgrade Your Learning

Finding the right Spanish online course is like finally getting that perfect haircut.

Not too formal, not too casual.

Just the right length, just enough layers and just the style you hoped for—all at the right price.

The main difference is that finding the ideal Spanish online course can be relatively simple if you know where to look. Once you’ve seen a few great options, you’ll have all you need to improve your Spanish or to learn Spanish entirely from scratch.

Meanwhile, nothing can guarantee you that perfect haircut every time. Nothing.

But online learning Spanish with online courses can definitely provide you with all the resources you need to propel yourself towards fluency. And that’s better than a perfect haircut, anyway.

Indeed, if you want to learn Spanish online, Spanish courses are a great way to learn the fundamentals of the language. Like Spanish immersion software, online courses offer a versatile, multifaceted approach to learning that can simulate in-person immersive experiences.

So whether you’re looking for beginner courses, intermediate courses or advanced Spanish lessons, Spanish online courses have all you need to do everything from learning basic Spanish to mastering the Spanish language!
 


 

Learn a foreign language with videos

Do Spanish Online Courses Really Work?

The short answer to this question is “yes!”

They can really work… but it’s up to you to put in the time and effort needed to get the absolute best out of them.

With online learning, there’s no teacher to push you or tell you when you should turn up to class. You’re on your own, and that requires motivation and dedication.

But this can work in your favor. I bet many of us have skipped Spanish class because it interfered with some other plans we had. I know I’ve done this. Unlike conventional courses, you don’t have to reserve a time slot for them, which makes it easy to learn on your schedule and at your pace. You can study when it suits you!

This is even easier now that most online courses have an equally good app equivalent. Download it to your phone, grab a set of headphones and you can literally learn Spanish whenever the mood hits you.

But how can an online course compete with real interaction, you may ask? Well, an online course can never compare to live conversation, but it can give you the building blocks to communicate effectively in Spanish.

You’ll learn the correct way to speak, use memory aid tools like flashcards and hear Spanish being spoken clearly during your study.

While you can use online courses to get down the basics, you can also use online courses to carry you straight through to fluency. And that’s a great place to start!

How to Find the Right Spanish Online Course

There are countless courses in today’s market. Some are free, some offer a small monthly subscription and others you pay for outright.

Everyone will have their own personal favorite and it can really be down to individual preference. But if you’re about to invest your time and money in an online course, here are the questions you should be asking:

  • Does it offer the right material for my current level of Spanish? Some lessons offer placement tests while others are specific to a certain level. Make sure a course has the level you need before you commit.
  • Is it affordable for me? Some of the courses we list are free while others are a bit more on the pricey side. Decide on your budget and stick to it!
  • Where can I study? Are you fixed to a computer or can you consider a more portable course?

When we think of “online courses,” we often think of a self-paced computer course as opposed to a classroom one. But some courses are available for download and can be used offline. Conversely, university courses and guided courses are becoming more commonly available online.

In short, you have a lot of options!

  • What’s the success rate? What do the user reviews of the course say? How successful were others in completing it?
  • Does it cover the particular subject matter that I’m interested in learning? Does the course teach vocabulary that’s relevant to what you actually want to do with your Spanish? For example, does it focus more on business, travel, formal or informal Spanish, etc.?

The courses we’ll be looking at below are more extensive courses that can all be used as a “main” course over time. Let’s get started.

20 of the Best Spanish Online Courses in 2020 to Upgrade Your Learning

Rocket Languages

spanish online course

Best for: All levels.

Price: One-time fee at different tiers. Free trial available.

The Rocket Spanish course is packed full of useful, everyday Spanish and can take you from beginner to intermediate or even advanced.

Classes consist of audio lessons around half an hour each for a total of 134 hours of lesson time.

Lessons are structured like conversations featuring Amy (a learner) and Mauricio (a native Spanish speaker). The dialogue is then broken down and the grammar and vocabulary are explained.

It’s one of the closest online courses you’ll come across to classroom-style teaching.

The dialogues definitely feel less staged than many other course dialogues. They’re also less formal and more authentic, sounding like a conversation you’d have if you came across a friend at a bar. Topics covered include basics like greetings and more involved conversations like discussing people, places and things.

The course tracks your progress and gives you loads of opportunities to speak and even record your voice in a role-play-type situation. After each lesson, you can test yourself on what you just learned and rate how easy (or difficult) it was.

Aside from the courses, Rocket Spanish has a great forum where you can chat with other learners, bounce ideas off each other and make virtual friends.

FluentU

spanish online course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Monthly fee or discounted yearly fee. Free trial available.

FluentU offers a flexible option to up your Spanish game. You choose what you learn and at what pace.

FluentU takes real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

Through this diverse, authentic video content, you can improve your Spanish regardless of your current skill level.

That’s because every single word comes packed with information available at a single click: an in-context definition, associated image and multiple example sentences.

You can even see how words are used in other videos across the site for tons of context. Say goodbye to spending hours searching for good videos on YouTube and hello to focusing on actually learning valuable Spanish lessons.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect of FluentU is its adaptive testing system. Quizzes take videos and turn them into Spanish lessons by integrating pictures, video clips and example sentences into exercises and flashcards, making for truly memorable in-context learning experiences.

The lessons are fully personalized so that the learner’s history is taken into account when presenting questions. FluentU’s algorithm sets learners up for success by teaching them based on what they already know.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes App store or Google Play store and enjoy FluentU’s innovative features on any of your Android or iOS devices.

LingQ

spanish-online-course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Monthly fee with discounts for paying ahead. Free trial available.

If you’re having trouble deciding on what type of material you most like to learn with, LingQ might be the place for you.

LingQ offers a huge library of audio and video materials, plus it lets you import any other Spanish materials you love from around the web.

You’ll have an entire community of language learners to fall back on for support and advice, and there are both group classes and one-on-one lessons you can virtually attend.

Michel Thomas Method

spanish online course

Best for: All levels.

Price: One-time fee. Free sample lesson and booklet available.

There are four different Michel Thomas Spanish courses: “Start,” “Total,” “Perfect” and “Masterclass.”

These classes aren’t technically taken online: Each original course is available on CDs and “close equivalents” are available to be purchased over iTunes, which makes them even more convenient than strict online learning for some learners.

Michel’s no books, no writing, no memorizing method is delivered in a way that makes you feel like you’re in a virtual classroom. It’s all audio-based, so just download it to your smartphone, plug in your headphones and go.

He encourages students to not get stressed with the language and actively promotes not trying to remember what you’re learning. The key is to relax while studying Spanish!

From the very beginning, this course teaches you to speak Spanish by understanding and constructing your own sentences. This gives you the confidence to create proper Spanish sentences in any practical situation.

The course eases learners into the language using cognates (words that are similar in Spanish and in English) like absoluto (absolute) and satisfaccion (satisfaction). These little tricks really help you feel like you’re winning from the start. Classes also teach verbs in their different tenses and how to use them in sentences.

All material is presented in a simple, easy-to-remember way which is hugely inspiring even for those of us with the foggiest of memories.

Being an audio course, it’s great to listen to in the car or on your iPod at the gym—you won’t even feel like you’re studying! But this course really needs to be supplemented with other learning material if you want to move on from beginner or intermediate level.

Transparent Language

spanish online course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Monthly fee or discounted yearly fee. Free trial available.

Transparent Language offers online Spanish programs for beginner through advanced students.

This is a flexible program that allows you to choose your own learning path—the lessons just give you a starting point.

With activities to practice typing, speaking, writing and reading, you’ll learn the skills you need to understand and communicate in Spanish.

Transparent Language even uses game-like learning methods and the program is touchscreen compatible, so it’s an engaging option for any Spanish learner.

Lengalia

spanish-online-course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Monthly fee with discounts for paying ahead. Free trial available.

Lengalia offers Spanish online courses covering a helpful array of topics. General grammar courses range from beginner to advanced.

What makes this program more unique, though, is that it also offers professional courses on specialized Spanish topics including business Spanish, medical Spanish, negotiating and more!

Additionally, if you’re thinking about vacationing in a Spanish-speaking country, you’ll benefit from their “holiday” courses that are designed for tourists.

The listening, reading, speaking and writing practice will help prepare you for any situation you might encounter.

Oregon State University

spanish-online-course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Fee is per college credit received.

If you’re looking for a Spanish online course that can also earn you college credit, look no further.

Oregon State University’s online courses are affordably priced per credit, but you should check with your college or university ahead of time to see if the credits will transfer.

Courses include first- through third-year Spanish, third-year Spanish for native speakers and special topic courses in subjects ranging from culture to literature.

The university is an accredited and high-quality option where you can take a full Spanish course on the cheap. What could be better?

MIT OpenCourseWare

spanish online course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Free.

Free MIT courses. Need I say more?

Yup—MIT OpenCourseWare offers more than a dozen free Spanish online courses related to language and culture. The intrepid learner can be anywhere from a beginner student to an advanced speaker to get the most from these courses.

In addition to standard level courses, there are also specialized courses focused on oral communication, advanced conversation and composition and Hispanic literature.

Best of all, these are real MIT courses. You can download course materials, do assignments and learn just like the students who took this course for credit did. But you’re doing it for free. From home. Because life is good.

Open Learn

spanish-online-course

Best for: All levels.

Price: Free.

We’ve seen a massive growth of incredible online resources for the independent learner in the form of free university-level educational courses in recent times. And it’s only been for the better!

The Open Learn University is a British online charity that provides access to a number of educational subjects, including an extensive Spanish “syllabus.”

The Spanish courses are flexible, groundbreaking and, most importantly, free. Each level is prefaced with a recommendation of expected previous experience to ensure that you’re choosing the optimal course for your learning needs.

With most courses focused around the beginner to intermediate level, it’s a great way to squeeze in some useful and practical study just like this course on essential beginner’s Spanish for getting around. In addition to this, you have access to a wide array of secondary courses which may be incredibly beneficial to your Spanish acquisition, such as this general course on how to learn a language.

Some courses even come with free letters of participation and badges of completion, in case you’re looking for something to document your learning.

Collins Dictionary

spanish-online-course

Best for: Complete beginners.

Price: Free.

Perhaps best known as one of the main publishers of the English dictionaries, Collins also provides a handy free online resource for the Spanish Learner as well as well-known textbooks and grammar resources. Cool, right?

While not technically a course, the materials follow a logical structure, covering basic content like nouns, numbers and everything in between. The materials are completely free and accessible to anyone who’s just starting out with Spanish learning.

This means you can create your own course focusing on basic areas to ensure a solid foundation for continued learning. Conversely, if you’re feeling like your Spanish needs a little touch-up, then simply jump on to the page and scroll through the table of contents to find an appropriate topic.

I particularly recommend the section on asking questions, as it utilizes modern examples, key takeaways and a simple breakdown of the question form in Spanish.

Language Transfer

spanish-online-course

Best for: Complete beginners.

Price: Free, though donations are appreciated.

Language Transfer, known as “the thinking method” is the brainchild of linguist Mihalis Eleftheriou, who once described his job as “pummeling my brain with languages.”

The course is wholly listening based and revolves around the simple concept of transferring your English capabilities to the Spanish language. Because of this innovative method, the course itself would suit beginners who are either native English speakers or fluent in English and are looking to learn Spanish from day one.

The concept is rather novel, natural and highly effective: You take Spanish cognates and verbs and simply transfer them from English to Spanish. In this way, the program is digestible, easy to listen to on the go has the added benefit of encouraging your brain to make connections rather than attempting to download a completely new language from scratch.

I’d recommend this course as the first thing you do on your Spanish learning journey as it serves as a great foundational resource and basis.

By using this method, you’re not only learning but also building a deep sense of motivation and accomplishment as you slowly uncover just how much Spanish you already know (even if you’re a complete beginner).

The course is entirely free, but you might consider making a small donation, as it’s the product of many years of one man’s work and a handful of volunteers.

Memrise

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners.

Price: Free, with the option to upgrade to a subscription for more features.

Memrise is a course that aggregates flashcards, quizzes, questions and useful interactive resources such as natural speaking clips. With this combination of methods, you’re able to achieve that native tone, boost your memory and sharpen your listening skills. Take a look at this short clip of two Memrise polyglots shifting between languages and discussing their work for a little boost in motivation and inspiration!

Founded by a memory expert and a neuroscientist, the content is memory-focused and you’re able to access ample content with a free account. It serves as a great supplementary resource to your Spanish learning and is a popular choice for many beginner to intermediate learners who are seeking to establish a solid basis in Spanish vocabulary.

NoComprendo

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners.

Price: Free.

NoComprendo offers a flexible, free course that allows you to follow the lessons in order or simply jump in with whatever lesson you feel you need.

The course is designed for beginners, but the lessons also provide a great way for more advanced learners to brush up on the fundamentals.

Lessons appear a lot like a textbook, offering helpful vocabulary lists, lessons and exercises. But unlike a standard textbook, NoComprendo also has listening activities to provide you with the sort of well-rounded Spanish education you need and deserve. But online, and for free.

Quizlet

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners.

Price: Free.

Do you want to play cards? Quizlet offers a free online resource of games and flashcards for a dynamic and memory-focused learning outcome. With seven study modes, learners are able to alternate their input, keep things fresh and, most of all, have fun with the online platform.

Basically flashcards on steroids, Quizlet takes this traditional method of learning and lifts it to the next level with spelling, pronunciation and customizable learning options.

Simply register for free to access and create study sets to boost your Spanish learning and vocabulary. The courses are short, user-focused and generally accessible with a free account (you could also consider upgrading to a teacher account for full access and benefits).

Best of all, rather than following any set course outline, the learner is in control and is free to select the materials and flashcards that are most beneficial to them.

The course would suit a beginner or intermediate learner. It’s highly recommended for students who are preparing for an exam or an upcoming test. Just remember to study those materials and treat this course as a supplementary resource or as a review and not a last-minute cramming session!

ALISON

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners.

Price: Free.

ALISON offers basic free Spanish online courses for beginners. You can choose between a general introduction to the Spanish language or restaurant vocabulary.

Each course lasts one to two hours and offers helpful audio to assist you in learning the basics of reading, listening and pronunciation.

The course comes with an assessment to see how much you’ve learned.

If you complete with a passing score, you’ll even be able to print a certificate to show your achievement. Use it on your resume, or just display it on your mother’s fridge. She’ll be so proud of you.

Coursera

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners.

Price: Free.

Like Udemy (described below), Coursera offers several Spanish online courses for learners. Although there is not as much variety, you can access some excellent courses from reputable institutions on this platform.

One of the best is the University of California’s basic course for beginners, which is broken up into five stages.

Despite offering courses from top universities, Coursera gives you more flexible learning than an actual college course, as you can move through the materials at your own pace.

Udemy

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners and intermediate learners.

Price: Some courses are free, others are a one time fee.

In addition to the courses above, you can find a variety of affordable Spanish courses at Udemy that provide hours of content you can access on a computer or mobile device.

Course topics include everything from conversational Spanish for beginners, to more advanced grammar courses so much more, so you can search until you find exactly the right course for you. These courses are great for targeting specific areas of your Spanish knowledge

Best of all, some of the courses available on Udemy are completely free! And although the regular prices range from double to triple digit prices, the website frequently has special sales that knock the prices down to extremely affordable prices, sometimes as low as $10 per course. So keep an eye out!

Live Lingua

spanish online course

Best for: Beginners and intermediate learners.

Price: Free.

If you’re ready to hear Spanish from what sounds like the voice of a 1960’s film voiceover artist, then this is the resource for you!

With the United States of America Department of State tick of approval, the FSI (Foreign Service Institute) course was used to prepare diplomats, foreign service workers and international representatives for their roles abroad. Live Lingua has taken the courses and enhanced them for learners.

With over 50 hours of free online Spanish content and a recommended course time of six months, this resource is great for a crash course in Spanish, especially if you’re planning to visit or move to South America, as Latin American Spanish tends to be the general focus of the recordings.

The aim of the recordings is to provide useable, digestible and ready-to-go phrases that would be perfect for a beginner- to intermediate-level learner who’s seeking a free Spanish course that’s applicable in the real world.

I must admit it can be a little boring and, of course, old-fashioned but the resource is great to use when you’re looking to learn and learn quickly. I would advise getting a speaking partner either on Tandem or a similar app and supplementing your studies with a little grammar practice for a more holistic approach to the language, so you can put your learnings into practice.

Coffee Break Spanish

spanish-online-course

Best for: Beginners and intermediate learners.

Price: Free, with the option to upgrade to a subscription for more features.

It wouldn’t be a complete list of resources without at least one podcast, so why not end with one of the best?

A personal favorite, the Coffee Break Spanish podcast offers audio materials for beginner to intermediate learners in easily consumable doses of 15 to 20 minutes (more or less) per episode.

The award-winning resource is incredibly well known in the Spanish learning world and extensively covered online already, so if you haven’t done so yet, then it’s time you stuck those earphones in, went for a walk and let Mark and Cara (the presenters) guide you from simple vocabulary to complex sentence structures, step by step.

Mark and Cara are engaging, humorous and, best of all, entertaining. This makes for an enjoyable and entertaining listening experience, episode after episode. Like all the previously mentioned resources, the podcast follows a logical structure, meaning you’ll nail the key details from the very first listen.

 

So give one of these Spanish online courses a try and watch your Spanish skills skyrocket.
 

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