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Spanish Resources

Rassias Center
4.3 
Price: $200/3-week, 9-class online session
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Originally an in-person school, the Rassias Center now offers online semi-intensive classes. The classes prioritize spoken language and understanding the culture of the language being studied.

The Rassias method aims to make students feel comfortable speaking a language within a short time frame. The teaching techniques are both dramatic and structured; you will find yourself in a creative, fast-paced, and enthusiastic environment with teachers who are passionate about your success and will positively reinforce your learning. You can be sure with the Rassias technique that you will quickly feel at ease no matter how hesitant you are to join a group class.

It should be noted that online classes may offer less opportunity to speak as there would be in a live setting.

The virtual courses are 3 weeks long, meeting 3 times per week for 1.5 hours and within groups of 5-12 students.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Extr@ (Extra)
4.3 
Price: Free
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Extr@ is a beginner French, Spanish, German, and English series that portrays the life of Sam (or Hector, in the English version) arriving in a new country to learn the local language. Programs like Destinos and French in Action will probably help you develop a stronger foundation in your target language than Extr@, but if you are nearing the intermediate level, Extr@ can be an enjoyable watch.

The exaggerated gestures will give context when you don’t understand the dialogue, and the drama will keep you wondering what’s going to happen next. Unfortunately, the characters follow clearly defined gender roles, and some of the script is a bit sexist — make sure you take the cultural information with a grain of salt, as some (or much) of it may be outdated.

Every language’s episodes were filmed in the same apartment with more or less the same script, although the English storyline goes 17 episodes further than the rest. You can find the show with extra comprehension activities with a Yabla subscription. Otherwise, this Youtube channel and this Youtube channel combined have all of the French episodes, this one has most of the English Episodes, and this one has most of the Spanish and German episodes. 

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Coursera
4.3 
Price: Free, with some courses starting at $39/month
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Coursera has several paid and free online language courses developed by accredited universities. The quality of the courses varies, but the following recommendations have been well received — these courses are primarily for beginners who want an introduction to a new language.

You can choose from a series of individual courses, or take a beginner specialization in RussianSpanishMandarin, and Chinese HSK 1-3 (with additional individual HSK 4-6 courses). 

If you have just started, or haven’t yet started, learning Korean, Yonsei University has one course for absolute beginners, and another for those who have a basic grasp of Hangul. 

Saint Petersburg State University’s beginner Japanese course is probably not as effective as other resources that we might recommend instead, such as JapanesePod101 or Pimsleur.

École Polytechnique offers the only French course on Coursera; it’s technically for B1-B2 learners, although B2 learners may find it too easy. 

Lastly, English learners can enjoy a specialization in intermediate grammaradvanced grammaracademic speaking and listening, or business English

If you are starting a language and enjoy structured courses with a (flexible) weekly schedule, Coursera is a great option — especially since Coursera offers financial aid for those who can’t afford to pay the course fees. Pair your studies with a tutor from italki or Verbling for speaking practice and you’ll be good to go!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Lingodeer
4.3 
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Lingodeer may not be as well known as other language learning apps, but it’s actually better and cheaper than most of them. You’ll practice the language by completing lots of different types of exercises. They also include plenty of grammar explanations and opportunities to review what you’ve studied. All in all, it’s one of the better options for getting started learning a language.

Yabla
4.3 
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Yabla is a language-learning platform that uses videos with interactive subtitles and language games to help users learn a language. It’s currently available on the web and for iOS, with an Android app in development. Its videos are of varying difficulty levels and types, and are either sourced from the internet or originally produced, but all videos use native speakers.

Babbel
4.2 
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Babbel is an online language-learning platform with over 1 million active users. It’s available on the web, for iOS, and for Android. The app aims to get learners to a conversational level as quickly as possible through the use of a variety of exercises and spaced repetition for review. The courses are well put together and relatively inexpensive; there are 14 different languages available.

Gritty Spanish
4.2 
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Gritty Spanish is a resource for learning real-world Spanish with audio lessons. The lessons employ voice actors from various Spanish-speaking countries and the dialogues are very informal and realistic. Transcripts in both English and Spanish, along with notes on certain language items, are provided to help with your study. It’s available on the web, for iOS, and for Android.

My Language Exchange
4.2 
Price: Freemium, Gold Memberships start at $6/mo
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My Language Exchange has been growing since 2000. Although the website seems out of date, it still has an active community of millions of language-learners who speak almost 200 native languages (including less commonly studied languages).

You can choose a pen pal by reading their bios, or there is a chat room available for you to instantly connect with a language exchange partner — note that if you create a Gold account, you can initiate chats with other users, but as a regular user, you will have to wait to be contacted.

Using the Cormier Method, the website provides tools to help intermediate speakers effectively practice with other learners. It advertises a Chat Companion with lesson plans to accompany your exchange, or lesson plans developed by teachers (although the quality of these resources varies drastically). 

You can also find language teachers on the site, but given that the transactions take place directly between you and the teacher, you may feel safer using a 3rd party platform like italki or Verbling

Although there are outlines on how to participate in language exchanges, how these outlines are followed depends entirely on you and your partner(s). My Language Exchange will help you build connections with other learners, but it’s up to you to plan how to practice. The concepts can also be used with any language exchange platform, such as Lingbe, italki, Tandem, and Amikumu.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Unlimited Spanish
4.2 
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On his website, Oscar, the founder of Unlimited Spanish, provides hundreds of downloadable podcasts with free, well organized transcripts. The podcasts provide an introduction to his teaching method and are separate from his four purchasable courses.

Oscar avoids the traditional textbook methods of learning Spanish and helps his students learn to think in the language. His episodes include short stories with accompanying exercises for you to respond to while you listen. Although he speaks slightly slower than a natural speed, he still introduces vocabulary that would be new even to the upper-intermediate learner.

If you have no background in Spanish, his 30 day course will help you learn the foundation of spoken Spanish from scratch and teach you grammar intuitively rather than through drilling exercises. He also has courses for intermediate learners to improve fluency, and a new course for those struggling with verb tenses. Many of the courses include Point of View Lessons that help make grammar more intuitive; these lessons tell the same story in different tenses or from different perspectives

Judging by the quality of his podcasts, it seems like the courses would be a solid investment to improve your Spanish. Listen to a couple (or couple hundred) free episodes to see if it suits your learning style!

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.

Real Fast Spanish
4.2 
Price: Live courses cost $300/12-weeks, Self-guided study costs $15/mo or $149/year
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Real Fast Spanish aims to improve your conversational skills and get you speaking Spanish without having to use English. Usually people who use Real Fast Spanish are false beginners, meaning they already have a basic foundation of Spanish.

The program has a structured approach that will reduce the time and effort you put into learning Spanish by pre-determining the most useful Spanish words, phrases, and grammar. The products available include free Spanish tips podcasts, live classes, and an online self-study program. While the self-study program focuses on vocabulary and memory techniques, the live classes focus on grammar.

After applying to Real Fast Spanish’s live classes, you will do a live placement test to determine which of the 4 levels is right for you. Live classes have 4 different levels that are each 12 weeks long; you will learn how to communicate without English, tell stories, have more complicated conversations, and deepen your understanding of most of the Spanish grammatical structures and phrases. It seems that by the end of these four levels, you should be communicating at an upper intermediate level of Spanish.

It should be noted that not all the teachers for the live classes seem to be native Spanish speakers.

The current rating is our best estimate. We haven’t had the opportunity yet to more thoroughly evaluate this resource, as we do for our full reviews.