Wouldn’t it be cool to have an on-demand Spanish tutor right in your home?
Whenever you have a nagging grammar question or don’t know how to pronounce a new word, you could just turn to your tutor and get exactly the info you need.
Sound like a language learner’s dream?
Well, all you need is internet access, and it’s actually pretty achievable.
YouTube can be this tutor!
Maybe you already use YouTube all the time for everything from movie trailers to news to funny clips while you’re procrastinating. But there’s a whole world of Spanish learning waiting for you on the famous video platform.
No matter what your proficiency level is or what skills you need to improve, there’s a Spanish lesson on YouTube that’ll help you reach your goals.
Why Use YouTube to Learn Spanish?
- Visual learning works. Videos may sometimes feel like less “work” than traditional Spanish materials, but studies have shown that visual or animated cues can enhance both the learning process and motivation to learn. This may be due to the fact that our brains seem to process visuals faster than text and remember them more easily.
- You can digest the videos at your own pace. In a formal classroom with many students, it’s usually the teacher who sets the pace: how much you learn and how quickly. But with YouTube videos, you control that.
And as a bonus, you also control the situation in case you didn’t understand something. You can go back and watch again, as many times as you need.
- You’ll benefit from lip reading. Though many of us may not notice, lip movements and hand gestures can be part of a language as well, and observing how people move their mouths can help with pronunciation.
Have you ever worked with a Spanish speaker who’s learning English? When you show them how to pronounce th, they’ll sometimes stare, perhaps unconsciously, at your mouth, in order to work out what to do. You can easily do the same with your YouTube teacher, without the awkwardness of staring at someone for too long.
- YouTube clips are often bite-sized. Unfortunately, our attention spans are getting shorter, generally speaking. But when it comes to learning, short and sweet can work in your favor. Bite-sized content lets us consistently learn a little bit at a time, rather than trying to absorb everything in one intense, long session.
Though everyone has a different learning style, language learning will always be a poco a poco (little by little) process, with steps building on top of one another. Short videos are perfect for that.
- YouTube clips are convenient. In a similar vein, these short videos can be watched for free, whenever it suits you and right on your computer, where you can have a document open ready for note-taking.
How to Get the Most out of YouTube for Spanish Learning
Set Clear Aims or Goals
Being clear about what you want to get out of the YouTube videos will help you focus your learning and your attention.
Let’s say your goal is to increase your vocabulary. That’s great, but where does that leave you? Increasing your vocabulary is a pretty big goal to accomplish; it’s hard to know where to start or what direction to move in.
What if, instead, your goal was to learn 10 new words a day? Now we’re cooking. With that specific goal, you’d be making measurable progress every single day, ultimately achieving your original goal of a bigger vocabulary.
The more concrete your goals are, the better. It’ll help you understand how you’re improving, what you’re achieving and what to do next.
Choose Videos According to Those Goals and Your Level
It’s easy to video surf on YouTube and to go from one clip to the next with little purpose. Don’t do that, though!
Instead, check out the YouTube resources covered later in this list and then do your own searching to find videos that are interesting to you and won’t either overwhelm you or bore you. Even better, bookmark some channels that engage you, and keep an eye on YouTube’s recommended videos for more clips you might be into.
Actively Participate in the Video, and Combine It with Other Types of Learning
The more engaged you are, the more you’ll get out of YouTube Spanish videos. The most obvious thing to do is to take notes, or to pause, listen and repeat what you hear (yep, out loud!).
But you’ll take it to a whole new level if, after you watch the video, you use your new vocabulary in your own sentences or try out pronunciations on a friend. It’s the difference between casually watching YouTube and actively learning from YouTube.
Review, Review, Review
Reviewing lists of words or textbooks can be a bit on the boring side of things, but it’s crucial for reinforcing what you’ve learned. Watch a video twice or three times in one sitting, and don’t be afraid to come back and review again weeks or months later.
By that stage, the content should be quite familiar and perhaps even too easy, but there’s always something we’ve forgotten. Multiple revisions are great for long-term retention.
12 Sensational YouTube Channels for Online Spanish Lessons
The Spanish Dude
If you are looking for a fun and stress-free way of learning Spanish, the Spanish Dude is your man.
He was in the same position you are now, so he really knows where learners of Spanish may need some help or which areas they should work on more thoroughly.
His grammar explanations are easy to understand and to the point, without containing a ton of that grammar jargon most people run from.
The channel includes playlists on vocabulary, grammar tidbits, conjugation and pronunciation, among others. I particularly recommend the playlist called “One Line at a Time,” where he analyses dialogues and the Spanish translations of certain excerpts from the series “The Good Place” (totally recommended).
Don’t miss his personalized T-shirts. You will want them all!
Like a master key that unlocks many doors, the FluentU Spanish channel divulges tips and techniques for getting the most out of authentic learning materials such as engaging Spanish-language podcasts and exciting feature films.
School yourself in the most effective ways to improve your Spanish through authentic content—real-world resources such as thought-provoking TED talks, scrumptious traditional recipes, informative Spanish-language news broadcasts and much more.
Get deeper cultural insights into how real people use Spanish, with topics like Mexican sayings and Mexican slang.
There are even videos of cartoon movie trailers broken down into pieces and analyzed in-depth to help you absorb as much Spanish as possible while you have the time of your life:
The curriculum on the FluentU Spanish YouTube channel is always expanding. Subscribe and enable notifications so you won’t miss out on any new lessons!
When you’re ready for some extra credit work, consider powering up your studies with FluentU’s interactive, customized learning plan.
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.
SpanishPod101 is a popular series of Spanish-learning videos with fun themes including “phrases your teacher won’t tell you” and “top 20 happy words in Spanish.” The videos here range from just a few minutes to 40 minutes.
No matter what skills you’re targeting, there will be useful videos for you. SpanishPod101 is a prolific resource featuring material made by professional teachers, covering everything from grammar to everyday conversations to Spanish-language culture.
You can sample the series through their YouTube channel, sign up for more videos and extra content at their website.
This is a YouTube Spanish learning channel for kids, but it’s a ton of fun no matter your age.
Spanish Playground was created to help Spanish learners learn the language in context. It includes a ton of videos with dialogues and stories in “slow Spanish,” which makes understanding them even easier.
The actors/teachers make use of gestures and objects to help you to understand what they are talking about, so you really feel like you understand everything from the very beginning.
The videos normally include a specific piece of grammar or vocabulary that is practiced in the form of dialogues. The channel also includes stories in the past and the present tense, some grammar videos, home activities (Actividades en casa) and even a mini-series called “Buena Gente” (Good people), which will help you learn new words and grammar structures in context while being entertained with the different standalone stories.
If you want even more, you can visit their site for free transcripts, translations and comprehension questions about “Buena Gente,” or you can have a look at and download their free printables.
If you want to start learning Spanish from scratch, you’re going to love Sugar Astronaut.
With hundreds of videos available, Sugar Astronaut will make sure you learn everything about the Spanish language, from the alphabet and the parts of the body to pronouns and the difference between ser and estar.
The videos are short (some of them even under two minutes), but they’re focused on very specific topics and will give you the vocabulary and grammar rules you just need.
Don’t miss the Word of the Day series. You won’t only get the words’ translation, but also examples, explanations and grammar info about them!
Spanish Academy TV
Spanish Academy TV is a part of Homeschool Spanish Academy, which is an academy dedicated to teaching Spanish as a second language with the help of Spanish native teachers.
The videos on the channel are simply amazing. If you have a look at some of the titles (“How to Tell the Time,” “Grocery Shopping,” “Talking About Clothing,” etc.) but don’t click on them, you may think Spanish Academy is just another YouTube channel dedicated to teaching English in the same boring way some other channels do.
However, if you have a look at the videos (and, especially, at the descriptions of each video below it), you’ll see Spanish Academy TV is different.
The videos not only contain vocabulary, grammar and cultural explanations with translations and subtitles, but they go a step or two further and show real Spanish native speakers giving examples about the topic in question, learners of Spanish actually putting into practice what they’ve learned at the Academy (like going with a teacher to a restaurant and ordering food in Spanish), anecdotes, personal stories, tips and tricks for learning (there’s a whole episode dedicated to teaching you how to write Spanish accent marks in your English keyboard)—and so much more!
You’re going to love this one.
Spanish Like a Pro!
There’s a sin fin (unlimited/a lot) of videos on this channel, making it possible to learn specific, complicated grammar topics like indirect object pronouns or the present subjunctive really well.
The vocabulary videos teach essential words and leave you time to repeat after the narrator or absorb the relevant imagery. The grammar videos are a bit faster but include some animated text and a bouncy yellow dot so you won’t get lost. This is an interesting channel because it goes beyond beginner Spanish while remaining engaging, due largely to the accompanying diagrams and drawings.
Best of all, as you can tell from the screenshot, the videos are hosted by puppets!
Real World Spanish Lessons
Although most videos on this channel are audio-heavy (rather than having a strong video presence), Real World Spanish Lessons allows you to have just that: Spanish lessons that feel like they’re happening in the real world.
Perfect for beginners (and not so beginners), Real World Spanish Lessons will help you to understand those grammar rules you have been struggling with and those Spanish words that have been causing you trouble.
You’ll also get tips on how to learn a language, how to learn while driving and even how to learn while sleeping! Yeah, learning and sleeping can be done simultaneously!
If you want to learn Spanish (or any other language, for that matter) easily, fast and from scratch, Real World Spanish Lessons is for you. The creator is a language learner herself, and you will be able to feel her passion and love for languages from the very first second.
Spanish and Go
Spanish and Go is a super useful YouTube channel! It teaches you basic Spanish regarding topics like greetings, ordering food, shopping or renting a car, but it also tells you how to apply your knowledge when you travel to a Spanish-speaking country.
Besides, thanks to Spanish and Go, you’ll also learn about the history, culture and tradition of different South American countries, and you’ll get tips for traveling and a list of the favorite places the creators have been to.
Get ready to travel the Spanish world with this super entertaining couple!
Aprender Idiomas y Cultura General con Rodrigo
This amazing channel (which translates to “Learn languages and general culture with Rodrigo”) has hundreds of 10-minute lessons, organized by theme, including grammar structures, vocabulary sets and phrases or pronunciation drills. If you want to home in on your Spanish weak spots and improve them with quick tutorials, this is a great option.
The teacher, Rodrigo Ferreira, was born in Uruguay but has lived in various countries. He believes in the importance of “learning how to communicate with people from different cultural backgrounds.” His style is clean and gimmick-free, with a lot of whiteboard use, which is helpful for creating that classroom feel wherever you are
Check out this video about Spanish possessive adjectives for a taste of Rodrigo’s teaching style.
This channel takes a fun approach to language learning. The videos are structured but entertaining and digestible, often taking a listicle format such as “10 Ways to Ask ‘What’s Up’ in Spanish.”
You’ll find grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation fundamentals here, but it’s especially useful for improving your everyday and conversational Spanish. You’ll learn how to hail a cab, talk about your job and order food from a food truck.
These videos run from 10 to 45 minutes, and the teacher Ana is expressive and funny, and usually accompanied by a whiteboard.
These videos are a little bit strange, but they show you some interesting graphics of characters who have conversations using essential Spanish words and phrases. The focus is primarily on conversational Spanish.
The advertising for the main website can be a bit distracting, and there isn’t a lot of consistency between the different videos, but the conversations and phrases taught are useful. They’re also straight from real life rather than a textbook.
This channel no longer updates but it still has plenty of content for learners!
There’s definitely a lot out there to chose from, and you might bounce around the different channels a bit before landing on something that’s just right for you, but it’s worth it!
Tamara Pearson is a journalist, teacher and language lover who has lived in Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela and now Mexico. She is also the author of The Butterfly Prison.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.