Finding the right online Spanish 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 online Spanish 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 Spanish courses definitely can 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’re looking to learn Spanish online, 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 immersion experiences.
Why Take an Online Spanish Course?
Getting your Spanish lessons online is endlessly convenient. Like other flexible learning tools, most online courses can fit into any schedule. 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.
These online courses aren’t just for total solo-learners—they can also give you a leg up if you plan to take an in-person course down the road. Learning a new language can be stressful. If you prepare yourself with online courses ahead of time, it’ll take a lot of the burden off once you get into a classroom.
A huge, unexpected bonus of taking online courses is that they’ll give you the skills you need to communicate effectively in Spanish. While you can use online courses to get down the basics, you can also use online courses to carry you straight through to fluency. So regardless of your communication goals, online Spanish courses can provide you with the necessary skills to achieve them.
10 Online Spanish Courses to Upgrade Your Learning
Duolingo is a popular, free program designed to help you learn the essentials of Spanish quickly.
Simply select how much time you want to commit each day (5, 10, 15 or 20 minutes), and you’re ready to go.
If you already know some Spanish, you can take a placement test to ensure your lessons start at an appropriate level for you. This makes Duolingo appropriate for anyone from a complete beginner to decent levels of Spanish proficiency. While it doesn’t go terribly in-depth into any given topic, it provides solid introductions to these topics and an excellent framework for you to manage your learning progress overall.
Duolingo’s approach is a unique quiz format that exposes you to text, audio and images. Duolingo’s use of images is particularly effective since it helps you associate the word you’re learning with the object in question rather than needing to translate to English first. The frequent repetition of words helps you pick up new vocabulary in a format that isn’t daunting.
And best of all, you only need to commit five minutes a day. Easy peasy.
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 is carefully annotated so that learners have plenty of support.
Every word comes with an in-context definition, image and multiple example sentences. You can even click on a word to see how it’s used in other videos across the site. 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 “learn mode.” Learn mode takes videos and turns them into Spanish learning lessons, and actually integrates 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.
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 lessons and one-on-one lessons you can virtually attend.
Babbel offers beginner and intermediate level Spanish courses on a nice array of topics including nouns, verb tenses, the subjunctive, pronunciation and culture. Conveniently enough, you can take a test to determine what level is best for you.
For $6.95 to $12.95 per month (depending on how long you subscribe for) you can have access to these courses.
Babbel presents a series of words with associated images for you to study. Then, you’ll be quizzed on the words’ meanings and spellings. Lessons are brief and focused, so you can easily pick what you feel like learning on any particular day.
Babbel also offers optional speech recognition so that you can practice your pronunciation.
You can even download Babbel’s iPhone app to learn on the go.
ALISON offers free basic Spanish lessons 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 offers an assessment to see how much you learned. If you complete with a passing score, you’ll even be able to print a certificate to show your achievement. Display it on your mother’s fridge. She’ll be so proud of you.
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 offers listening activities to provide you with the sort of well-rounded Spanish education you need and deserve. But online. And for free. You’re worth it.
Free MIT courses. Need I say more?
Yup—MIT OpenCourseWare offers more than a dozen free online courses related to Spanish language and culture. The intrepid learner can be anywhere from a beginner student to an advanced speaker.
In addition to standard level courses, there are also 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.
Transparent Language offers online Spanish programs for beginner through advanced students.
Transparent Language focuses on providing a flexible program that allows you to choose your own path—they 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 dynamics and the program is touchscreen compatible, so it’s an engaging option for any Spanish learner.
You can try Transparent Language’s Spanish program for free for 14 days or subscribe for $16.66 to $29.95 per month (depending on your subscription length).
Lengalia offers online Spanish courses covering a helpful array of topics.
You can try the free trial for 48 hours or pay a monthly subscription ranging from about $9 a month to about $27 per month (depending on your subscription and the current exchange rates—the website charges in Euros).
General grammar courses range from beginner to advanced. What makes this program more unique, though, is that it also offers professional courses in 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.
If you’re looking for an online Spanish course that can also give you college credit, look no further.
Oregon State University’s online Spanish courses are affordably priced at just $280 per credit, which is a bargain compared to many online college courses. 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. While this university is an accredited and high-quality option, you can take a full Spanish course on the cheap—and still get some kind of certification—from Coursera or Udemy. These are both online platforms loaded with courses on a range of subjects, including major world languages. Spanish offerings abound!
So give one of these online Spanish courses a try and watch your Spanish skills skyrocket.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.