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Spanish Resources

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Lengalia is an online resource for learning Spanish. It offers extensive material at all levels and across a wide variety of focuses. There are courses for those learning Spanish for business, for travel, and general Spanish. Lengalia also offers official CEFR certifications for students that complete a course.

Interlinear Books
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Interlinear Books is a project for intermediate language learners from the creators of Cooljugator. They sell individual e-books in their original language, but with English translations between each line of text. Instead of translating full sentences that capture the spirit of the language, professional translators use literal (but understandable) translations to support you in understanding the original language’s sentence structure.

Another technique that the authors use to support your learning is to highlight cognates between languages. You may find translations for words whose English counterpart looks almost identical to that of the target language, even when those English translations are not the most commonly used. The authors suggest that you don’t read the translations as full sentences, but rather that you refer to them only when you encounter words or expressions that you don’t understand. Each purchase also comes with a unilingual version for you to try out for extra practice (and sometimes they even come with an audiobook!).

For intermediate learners who are tired of looking back and forth between a dictionary and their book, Interlinear may be a good intermediary to support you in the transition to unilingual books. Chinese is not supported yet, but check out Du Chinese or the Chairman’s Bao for graded reading material.

Price: Free
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Conjugemos is a website that drills verb conjugations, vocabulary, and grammar. You can choose to either drill different skills through typing the answers in a flashcard-like system, or through various games such as crosswords, memory, word search, and multiplayer games.

While it is free for anyone to use, additional resources are available to teachers through a paid plan.

It should be noted that although the site technically supports Korean learners, the Korean section only has one activity in the present tense.

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Assimil is a French company that has been selling language-learning resources since 1929. Assimil materials are available as books, CDs, and downloadable e-courses; there are a variety of available course types, and instruction is based on interacting with phrases in the target language. The popular Sans Peine or, With Ease, courses are for absolute or false beginners that would like to reach the B2 level, but we think you’ll need to incorporate some other study materials to make this happen.

Accelerated Spanish
Price: Freemium, Paid plans start at $87/mo
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Accelerated Spanish is unique to other programs in that it emphasizes learning through mnemonic techniques, helping organize Spanish vocabulary in a ‘Memory Palace’ and fitting every word you learn into a natural sentence construct.

The program itself consists of 12 free comprehensive beginner lessons in neutral Latin American Spanish, with quizzes, practice materials, flash cards, and a workbook. At the end of these lessons, there is an option to pay for more personalized content with their coaching program, which provides pronunciation feedback, assignment corrections, and custom lessons.

The Coaching program will help you develop concrete goals, guiding you to expressing yourself like a native speaker, even if you do not yet have an extensive vocabulary. This may seem counterintuitive, but the program provides you with a strong enough foundation that you will be able to use Spanish to describe the words you have not yet learned.

Accelerated Spanish is part of Master of Memory, which researches effective learning methods and sharing their discoveries with the world.

Price: Freemium, $10.99/mo, $21.99/quarter, $64.99/year
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Wlingua relies on two methodologies for learner success: staggered repetition and progressive exposure. Staggered repetition seems identical to typical spaced repetition methods, while progressive exposure ensures that all new words and concepts are based on what you have previously learned. This ensures that there are no gaps in knowledge when it comes to tackling more advanced lessons. Additionally, each lesson focuses on one concept at a time in order to avoid overwhelming the learner, and there is a clear path for what you will be learning from beginner to the end.

Each new word is “linked to its precise meaning or use” so that you can use them in context. The program consists of new vocabulary, grammar, exercises, reading practice, and audio by native speakers with different accents. The downside is that there seems to be more focus on reading and comprehension than on listening and speaking.

Only Spanish and Russian are currently available from Beginner to Upper-Intermediate. Other languages are available at the beginner and elementary levels.

You can use the app without registering for an unspecified number of days. There is limited basic content available for free, while the premium plan offers unlimited access, practice reviews tailored to your learning, and downloadable PDF lessons.

Price: 10.49€/quarter, 20.99€/half-year, 41.99€/year
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Lingolia is a reference site that supports you in understanding grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and punctuation for school or work; it can be used as a tool to support your language studies when you require clearer explanations of these concepts. English and German are currently the only languages that contain additional sections on vocabulary with listening and reading exercises, although it’s possible that the Spanish and French sections will develop these in the future.

Each page provides a simple explanation of your chosen topic, and then an exercise (or more if you get the premium plan) to practice your comprehension. The best part about the exercises is that they give you immediate feedback about whether or not your response was correct, providing you with the opportunity to reflect on your mistake and correct it. If you don’t want to invest in a premium plan, you can use Lingolia’s free exercises and then check out other resources that provide similar exercises for free, such as SpanishDict or Conjuguemos.

Unfortunately, there is no audio on the site to train pronunciation, but Lingolia does seem to fulfill its mission of providing simple explanations to support your learning.

Price: Freemium, Premium subscriptions start at $9.99/mo
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Brainscape is a flashcard app that uses a Spaced Repetition System, also often referred to as ‘adaptive flashcards’, to help you memorize new vocabulary and facts. It has a team of scientists, engineers, and education experts working to optimize their program for effective learning.

Brainscape is quite similar to Anki, but has a more modern and colourful interface. They also have Certified Classes, which are decks that seem to have been developed by experts in the chosen topic. The app adds what they call Intelligent Cumulative Exposure (ICE) to some of their Certified Classes; it seems to combine a Spaced Repetition System with gradually introducing new concepts, increasing the difficulty of the concepts, and providing context so you can build your own sentences.

It has several Certified Classes for various languages (and other topics), and many more decks created by users. Unlike Anki, edits that creators make to user decks seem to sync up even after you have downloaded the deck.

With the free version, you have limited access to premium decks but unlimited access to user-made decks.

Language learning with Netflix
Price: Freemium, Free Trial, $4.95/mo
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If you want to make language learning more accessible while watching Netflix, this chrome extension is for you.

The free version allows you to skip subtitles forward and backward in case you didn’t catch what was said, and you can also choose to automatically pause the movie or show after each subtitle. The full transcript is also displayed on the side. By hovering over a word you can see a short translation and hear an audio pronunciation, or you can click on the word for more context and further links to various dictionary sites.

With a Pro membership you can save words or phrases, receive translations that are closer to the meaning in the original language, and create subtitles for dubbed movies.

LLN’s catalogue can help you find Netflix movies or shows with high-quality subtitles to improve your experience,

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Storyling solves the problem of looking for reading content appropriate to your language level. Each story has been written, translated, and narrated by native speakers, and are divided into beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. They cover a variety of topics, including stories, history, news, and trivia.

You can click on each word in the story for a translation, or you can reveal a full translation of each paragraph as needed. You can also save unknown words to review in a flashcard section, although it is unclear whether the flashcards use SRS or are sorted randomly.

The Spanish section already contains over 150 stories, while the other languages are still developing in the Beta phase. Compared to other products, it is a bit pricey for what is offered, but they do have a very simple, intuitive, and attractive user interface with quality content.

For more reading or listening that is concentrated on current events, check out News in Slow; for more dialogue-based listening and reading, check out LanguagePod101.