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30 Best Online Spanish Courses: We’ve Tested Them

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Finding the right resource for learning Spanish is often a daunting task. With courses becoming more accessible and numerous every year, your options are seemingly endless. Many of the online Spanish courses out there are fantastic, quite a few are awful, and even more are probably best for some learners and not for others.

Whether you can’t find exactly what you’re looking for or are overwhelmed with choice, we’re confident that the right resource for you is out there — and this post will help.

We’ve taken the time to comb through our enormous library of reviews to single out the best online courses for learning Spanish and have detailed them in this list. Only resources that have received at least a 3.5/5 star rating on our site have made the cut.

We recognize that no two learners are exactly alike. Learning style, budget, skill level, and motivation all have a huge impact on what makes a resource right for you. That’s why this list doesn’t assume there’s one course that’s best for everyone. Instead, our aim is to provide you with enough information to reliably point you in the right direction. Happy hunting!

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4/5
Price: $297
I Will Teach You A Language Logo
Learn Spanish Through Stories

This course comes from Olly Richards, the creator of the I Will Teach You a Language blog. It’s designed for the beginner learner, but don’t expect it to start off slowly and ease you into things. Instead, you’ll jump right into reading a story. Interacting with somewhat lengthy texts right off the bat is part of the resource’s guided discovery learning method and is as challenging as it is rewarding.

While exercises in PDF format may not sound overly exciting, stories can make for enjoyable engagement as well as provide plenty of examples for how the language is used in context. Other perks of this course are clear instructions and grammar explanations that err on the side of being overly informative. You’ll also have the option of choosing between learning Castilian or Latin American Spanish.

Spanish Uncovered isn’t exceptionally cheap, and it will surely appeal more to some learners than others, but if you’re up for a challenge, are self-directed and enjoy stories, this course should provide you with a fantastic start.

Pros

  • The stories are engaging
  • Clear instruction
  • Plenty of practice opportunities

Cons

  • There’s sometimes too much grammar information
  • PDF activities aren’t super exciting
  • The review quiz is too short

You can try baselang out for one week for only $1. If you sign-up using the link below, you’ll get $10 off your first month.

If you end up purchasing a plan and later decide that it’s not for you, Baselang will pay you $20 as an apology for wasting your time.

4.5/5
Price: from $149/month
An Excellent Curriculum and Unlimited 1-1 Classes with Tutors from latin America

Baselang does an impressive job of marrying a thorough curriculum with the flexibility and personalization afforded by lessons with a teacher. It’s available for a monthly subscription that offers an unlimited number of online lessons with teachers — yes, unlimited!

This is especially noteworthy considering how easy it is to schedule lessons. You’ll be able to schedule lessons at any time of day, often with only a few minutes of advance notice. This makes it quite easy to take advantage of the subscription model and take as many lessons as you can comfortably fit into your schedule.

For anyone that’s serious about getting fluent in the shortest amount of time possible using one primary resource, Baselang is hard to beat.

Pros

  • Unlimited classes
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Well-structured curriculum
  • Quality teachers

Cons

  • No teachers from Spain
  • Occasional internet problems
  • You’ll need enough time to take advantage of the unlimited lessons

You can try baselang out for one week for only $1. If you sign-up using the link below, you’ll get $10 off your first month.

If you end up purchasing a plan and later decide that it’s not for you, Baselang will pay you $20 as an apology for wasting your time.

4/5
Price: $14.95 or $19.95/month
High-quality audio lessons that encourage active participation

Pimsleur courses have been around for quite a while, and they make a great solution for the right type of learner. Instead of dwelling on the intricacies of proper grammar usage or spending time teaching students how to read and write, Pimsleur places a heavy emphasis on developing aural and verbal skills.

The core lesson material is all delivered via high-quality audio — there’s a narrator that guides you through the lesson and multiple native speakers that teach pronunciation. You’ll also get to participate in conversations by frequently responding to the recording when prompted. There 

is both a Castilian and Latin American course to choose from.

Lessons progress logically and build on each other well, and there are some extra supplemental activities that provide practice in reading and recalling word definitions. This course is best for learners that want to get listening and speaking practice right away, but it won’t be the best option for those that have trouble learning with aural material.

Pros

  • Great lesson structure
  • Variety of native speaker voices
  • The platform is visually appealing and easy to navigate

Cons

  • Not ideal for visual learners
  • Lessons may progress too slowly for some learners
4/5
Price: Free audio lessons, $104 per season
A casual podcast-style course that offers a lot for free

Following along with Coffee Break Spanish lessons is a bit like listening in on a private class. The mood is fairly casual, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some seriously good instruction to be had here. The lessons feature Mark, the host and teacher, and a student that is learning with him. While the course supposedly contains a variety of Spanish meant to help you navigate any Spanish-speaking country, it’s worth noting that Mark has an accent you’d hear in Spain.

You will be provided with lots of translations, explanations, and examples of useful phrases throughout the lessons, but you won’t find the kind of interactive exercises you might in other online courses, especially if you’re listening to the free audio lessons. Paying for the extra materials means you’ll get videos to supplement the audio, which visual learners will likely appreciate.

The 15-20 minute lessons are ideal for convenient practice that takes about as long as a coffee break, and they build on each other nicely. There’s an emphasis on language that’s practical and likely to be immediately useful, which makes for a rewarding experience.

Pros

  • Lessons progress logically and build on each other nicely
  • Content could appeal to both aural and visual learners
  • Audio lessons are free
  • Plenty of examples and explanations

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for speaking and writing practice
  • There aren’t any interactive exercises
  • Full access to the courses is fairly expensive
4.5/5
Price: Private classes are $119/month, Group lessons are $49/month. Monthly prices drop for longer subscriptions.
Unlimited online classes and personalized study plans

SpanishVIP offers a huge amount of value for the right learner. A subscription to the platform unlocks up to six private lessons or unlimited group lessons per week with a qualified Spanish tutor. The tutors that work with SpanishVIP are very good at what they do, which is a significant draw, but note that they’re all from Latin America. If you’re bent on learning from a teacher from Spain, this won’t be the right platform for you.

What makes SpanishVIP different from an online tutor marketplace like italki or Verbling is that it offers personalized courses to learners. SpanishVIP is constantly developing new material and sharing with its teachers, and you’ll be able to get material that is specifically tailored to you and your learning goals.

Naturally, the value of unlimited lessons depends quite a bit on scheduling flexibility. Private lessons are scheduled weekly, meaning you won’t be able to schedule last-minute lessons like you can with group lessons. In our experience, scheduling difficulties would likely only cause potential problems if you live in certain time zones, as SpanishVIP tutors are located in the Americas.

Pros

  • If you’re able to fit enough lessons into your schedule, the value is amazing
  • Excellent teachers
  • Personalized courses

Cons

  • Some students could experience scheduling limitations

Mention ALR to get a free month of group classes with any private class purchase.

4.8/5
Price: $22.90/month
Much more than current events narrated at a slow pace

News in Slow Spanish does a little bit of everything, which is partly why it’s one of our highest-rated courses. It’s also entertaining and fun to use. There’s material that caters to the student of Latin American Spanish as well as those studying the Castilian variety, and there’s material for beginners, intermediate students, and advanced learners alike.

The course gets its name for lessons centered around news stories. The language in these lessons is level-appropriate, both in complexity and narration speed — understanding a news article even with a low level of Spanish is rewarding!

In addition to interesting news stories, there are plenty of grammar-focused lessons and those that teach useful expressions. The beginner material might not be ideal for absolute beginners, but it should quickly elevate your language skills. The intermediate level is where News in Slow Spanish really shines, expertly bridging the gap from beginner to more advanced material.

The advanced level might not be as impressive as at the other two levels, but the variety of practice activities, quality materials, and great lesson flow make this a resource worth considering.

Pros

  • Engaging material
  • Useful variety of lesson types
  • Excellent lesson progression

Cons

  • The advanced level isn’t as impressive as the other levels
4.2/5
Price: $12.95/month, less for longer subscriptions
A reliable course with solid structure

Babbel covers a lot of bases. For learners that don’t want to involve a bunch of complementary resources, Babbel could be a good place to get lots of practice in a variety of skills. Then again, it isn’t the flashiest resource out there, and it won’t be the perfect option for every learner.

The lessons in Babbel are well structured and include lots of useful explanations. Speaking and pronunciation practice happens through a voice recognition system and an exercise in which you get to listen to and take part in a conversation happening between native speakers. The voice recognition isn’t perfect, and the conversation activity is no substitute for actually speaking with someone, but it’s still valuable practice.

The activities might get repetitive with Babbel, and there might not be a whole lot of exciting practice to be had with the resource, but its no-nonsense approach does feel efficient. It’s certainly worth considering for learners that don’t need any bells and whistles in a course and want to get as much out of one resource as they can.

Babbel offers some additional materials and articles on the Latin American Spanish, but the main course teaches Castilian Spanish.

Pros

  • The material is well thought out and practical
  • There are plenty of explanations and examples
  • It’s easy to use

Cons

  • The exercises could get repetitive
  • Opportunities for grammar review are limited
  • Voice recognition isn’t the best way to learn pronunciation
3.8/5
Price: $8-$47/month
A podcast-style course for extensive listening practice

Most of the SpanishPod101 material is catered toward beginner learners, though there is material for learners at all levels. There’s also some attention paid to both Latin American and Castilian Spanish, though the majority of the material in SpanishPod101 is in Latin American Spanish.

Audio lessons mean that there’s the potential to get lots of listening practice with this resource, and the accompanying transcripts, lesson notes, quizzes, and vocabulary lists fill out the platform nicely. Lessons are centered around a dialogue that you’ll get to listen to before hearing the hosts break it down and then get to practice yourself. The model works well for presenting the language in context and getting learners used to hearing it.

The core material in SpanishPod101 is pretty useful, but there are also a bunch of extras that aren’t really worth much. You’ll also have to locate the most useful lessons yourself, as there isn’t a clear structure to the course.

Pros

  • There’s a ton of content at lower levels
  • Lessons are entertaining
  • You’ll get cultural information on a variety of different countries

Cons

  • There’s less material for intermediate and advanced learners
  • The website uses a lot of spamming techniques
  • There isn’t a clear lesson progression
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/month for Premium, $13.99/month for Premium Plus
A respectable course with a nifty social feature

Busuu has got quite a bit in common with courses like Babbel, Lingodeer, Fluencia, and others: its well-structured courses offer practice in a variety of language skills and should be able to provide beginners with everything they need to advance to an intermediate level. 

The Busuu Spanish course makes an attempt to cover the differences between Latin American and Castilian Spanish, though there may be a slight, negligible lean towards Castilian Spanish in terms of pronunciation.

One of the most exciting features in a Busuu course is the language-exchange function. Learners have the chance to submit their answers to questions for feedback from the Busuu community. You can either submit a written answer or a recording of yourself speaking — this is a great way to get meaningful feedback from real people, and this feature is free to use.

A potential drawback is that Busuu has less thorough grammar practice than similar resources. Our rating for this resource would be higher if it only considered the Spanish course, but the low quality of the Busuu Mandarin course forced us to lower the overall rating.

Pros

  • The language-exchange feature is great
  • The platform is visually appealing and easy to use
  • Conversation lessons provide good practice

Cons

  • Grammar practice isn’t the best
  • Some review activities could have been designed better
3.8/5
Price: $99.95-$259.90
A comprehensive course that could be right for some

The Rocket Spanish course teaches Latin American Spanish through audio lessons and very repetitive practice activities. The highly repetitive review activities and well-structured lessons mean that you’ll likely retain the majority of what you learn and you won’t be without useful explanations.

The biggest drawback of this course is probably that it can get extremely boring. You’ll review the concepts you learn in each lesson many times, which is good for retention but potentially bad for motivation. If you can make it through these lessons, you’ll probably learn a lot. Then again, some people may even enjoy the lesson activities.

The audio lessons provide good chances to listen to native speakers and practice listening skills, even if there is some cheesy English banter in them (especially at lower levels). You’ll also get some cultural lessons that expound on elements of life in Latin American countries, though it’s a shame they don’t do a better job of looking more closely at individual countries.

Pros

  • Well-structured, comprehensive course
  • Quality native speaker audio
  • There are lots of prompts to practice speaking

Cons

  • Lessons can be boring
  • Review activities are overly repetitive
  • The culture lessons aren’t very well done
4.2/5
Price: From $38.58 for three months
A high-quality course with lots of practice

One of the great things about Ouino is that its material may appeal to both visual and aural learners: lessons are presented in text form as well as read aloud, and important words are color-coded. In addition to this, practice activities incorporate both pictures and sound.

The 500 lessons in the Ouino Spanish course take an academic approach to language instruction. The resource isn’t very gamelike — instead, the lessons are more in-depth and are part of a detailed curriculum.

This resource might appeal more to serious language learners that are looking to get lots of focused practice or to those that already have some experience learning Spanish. You can jump around from one lesson to another out of order, which could be disorienting for a beginner, but is an advantage for learners past the beginner level.

Pros

  • Material that will appeal to both aural and visual learners
  • You can take lessons in any order that suits you

Cons

  • You’ll have to judge your own pronunciation performance
  • The lesson structure doesn’t vary much and can become overly repetitive
3.8/5
Price: $16 – $21/hour
Live Lingua Logo
Live lessons and specialized courses

Live Lingua is a little bit different from other online tutor platforms in that its service is more specialized. Before you’re hooked up with a tutor, you’ll have a chance to communicate your goals with a personal class coordinator. You also have the chance to choose between several different Spanish courses, including standard lessons, exam prep, Spanish for priests, and more.

The majority of tutors seem to be from Mexico, but there are teachers from nine different countries, meaning you’ll be able to get practice in whatever flavor of Spanish interests you. The teachers are all native speakers and receive extra support and training from Live Lingua.

The platform doesn’t offer the same level of scheduling flexibility you might find on other online tutor platforms, and it’s a little more expensive than similar options, but the extra personalization and course focuses might make it worth it from some learners.

Pros

  • You should be able to find lessons that meet your specific needs
  • Tutors are from a variety of different countries

Cons

  • Lesson scheduling happens via email
  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher
4/5
Price: Group classes from $56/month, Private classes from $132/month
The structure of a course with the guidance of a teacher

The majority of online courses have something in common: they fail to provide much in the way of real communication practice. Some employ simulated role-playing activities and speech-recognition technology to get around this, but these are still inadequate substitutes for the practice you can get with a real person. 

Lingoda, on the other hand, addresses the communication practice problem by getting real tutors involved. Lessons on the platform take place in either private or group classes where you’ll get a chance to speak aloud and get real-time feedback from a tutor. Tutors are from a variety of different countries, so you’ll get exposed to Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain as well as in Latin American countries.

With over 600 lessons, there’s content that should be suitable for just about every type of learner, and there’s no need to complete them in a linear fashion. This course could be a good option for learners that appreciate the structure afforded by a course but are also interested in practice with a native speaker tutor.

Pros

  • Tutors are from a variety of countries
  • There are lessons for many different levels
  • Tutor scheduling is flexible

Cons

  • The lesson materials are all fairly similar
  • Group lessons may not be ideal for everyone
4.3/5
Price: $14.95/month, less for longer subscriptions
Carefully crafted lessons for the dedicated learner

At first glance, Fluencia may appear to have quite a bit in common with popular apps like Duolingo or Lingodeer. Take a closer look, however, and it quickly becomes apparent that the Fluencia material was designed with remarkable care and is quite capable of providing exceptionally thorough instruction and practice.

Where other language apps take a gamified, casual approach, Fluencia is a full-on course that was designed specifically with Spanish in mind. For learners looking for a resource that’s a little bit more challenging, Fluencia could be a good fit. It’s certainly not an app that’ll enable idle time wasting.

While Fluencia offers in-depth grammar explanations and quality practice opportunities, it’s true that you may want to supplement your listening and speaking practice with other resources. Also, keep in mind that discounted monthly prices are available for longer subscriptions.

Pros

  • Instruction is very clear and detail oriented
  • Activities are appropriately challenging
  • Audio recordings are sourced from native speakers with a variety of accents

Cons

  • You may need to supplement speaking and listening practice with other resources like tutors or podcasts
4.3/5
Price: $11.99/month, less for longer subscriptions
Quick and convenient practice for beginners

Lingodeer could be ideal for learners that prefer gamified, bite-sized activities. While the complete Spanish course teaches the language as it’s used in Spain, the Lingodeer Latin American Spanish course is in beta development and available to users that already have a premium account.

Gamelike, short activities can sometimes be equated with a lack of in-depth instruction or courses that are otherwise rather poorly put together — that isn’t the case with Lingodeer. The lessons are quite thorough in their use of explanations and examples, and a variety of activities make for engaging practice in multiple skills. The native speaker audio is also good with Lingodeer and helps to make the course more valuable.

Some drawbacks with the Lingodeer course are that it doesn’t provide much in the way of speaking practice and that the material doesn’t always progress in the most natural way. For example, you may come across some words early on that aren’t very important for a beginner to learn. 

Overall, Lingodeer is a pretty solid resource for anyone looking for something that’s easy and fun to use.

Pros

  • There’s a wide variety of activity types
  • Grammar explanations are detailed
  • Quality audio
  • It’s fairly priced

Cons

  • You’ll need additional resources to get sufficient oral communication practice
  • The content doesn’t always progress in a logical manner
4.3/5
Price: Free
Learn to think in Spanish for free

The most notable things about Language Transfer are probably that it’s completely free to use (no catch!) and that it takes a unique approach to language instruction. Instead of drilling vocabulary and grammar rules into your head, the course places an emphasis on the relationship between English and Spanish. By pointing out patterns, similarities and differences, the course gives learners the tools to think their way through Spanish.

The format of the course is similar to a podcast in that the materials are purley audio lessons. You’ll listen along to someone else being taught Spanish by the host and creator of Language Transfer, Mihalis Eleftheriou. He even urges learners to just listen and refrain from taking notes.

This course would really only be valuable for beginning learners that speak English, and it won’t be ideal for visual learners, but a remarkable amount of care has been put into this free course. The host in the Spanish course has an Argentinian accent, and you won’t learn the vosotros form used in Spain, but the material should otherwise be useful for learners of either Castilian or Latin American Spanish.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • The course structure is well thought out

Cons

  • Visual learners may struggle with the audio-only format
  • Other than responding to cues in the audio lessons, there are no activities to work through
  • There are no native speakers in the course
  • The untraditional learning method won’t appeal to everyone
4.3/5
Price: Free, €49, €60
Quality courses with videos and quizzes

The founder of 1001 Reasons to Learn Spanish is Juan Fernández, an ex-professor of Spanish at the University of London who now dedicates himself to creating quality resources online. Juan is from Spain, and so his courses use and teach Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain, but the lower level material will be mostly relevant for all learners.

One of the greatest-value courses on Juan’s website is the Repaso 1 course. It’s designed to help learners make the transition from the elementary (A2) to pre-intermediate (B1) level by practicing for 20-30 minutes for 30 days. This course is totally free and makes use of videos and quizzes in the daily lessons.

Juan is an animated, skilled teacher, and he’s produced a ton of content for Spanish learners, including two other courses, a podcast, YouTube videos, and a graded reader series. His teaching is all in Spanish, but he uses props and gestures to make material that’s suitable for learners of all levels. 

Our impressions are based on the free content; we haven’t tried out any of the paid courses yet.

Pros

  • The Repaso 1 course is free and full of value for learners at the right level
  • Plenty of additional study materials on the website
  • Instruction is entirely in Spanish, videos and podcasts include transcripts
Cons
  • Doesn’t cater to learners specifically interested in Latin American Spanish

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Dated but thorough courses

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) won’t be winning any awards for exciting material or fun-to-use content, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive course for free. The courses were originally created to help diplomats quickly reach professional working proficiency in foreign languages. They’re now available for free on a number of different websites.

There are several different Spanish courses created by FSI, some with material specific to Spain and some with a Latin American focus. They’re all very thorough and include audio recordings and activities to complete. You’ll get plenty of practice with listening comprehension and will have opportunities to practice speaking by responding to audio prompts.

Similarly, courses developed by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are extremely thorough but not exceptionally engaging. They also place more of an emphasis on military terminology at higher levels.

Pros

  • Courses are well structured and comprehensive
  • They’re free

Cons

  • The courses are dated and not very exciting courses 
4.3/5
Price: Free
A free, comprehensive introduction to Spanish

Destinos is an award-winning Spanish video course made up of fifty-two 30-minutes episodes. It was produced in the 1990s, so the production value is a bit dated, but the subject matter is engaging — you get to follow a lawyer as he investigates a family secret.

The video series should prove useful to a variety of learners, as videos contain accents and cultural information from Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The episodes are 100% in Spanish, meaning beginners will be exposed to more than they understand, but this is all part of the method — learners should be able to follow the story well enough from context clues and the exercises that accompany each lesson.

More experienced learners might not get a ton of useful practice out of Destinos, but it could potentially make an excellent, free introduction for beginners.Learners in some countries may have to play the videos on YouTube or KET Education; the relevant activities are available through the Annenberg Learner site, where the videos are also accessible in some countries.

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Videos cover accents and cultural information from a variety of countries

Cons

  • It isn’t suitable for more advanced learners
  • The videos are dated
4.2/5
Price: Free podcast, courses start at $97
Free podcast episodes and an intuitive teaching method

There are hundreds of free, downloadable podcasts on the Unlimited Spanish website, all with useful transcripts. These podcast episodes provide a lot of value and serve as an introduction to the teaching method that Oscar, the founder, uses in his courses. There are four of these courses available for purchase, separate from the podcast.

Instead of using a traditional textbook-esque method of teaching a language, Oscar helps his students learn to think in Spanish. Podcast episodes include short stories with accompanying exercises that you can respond to while listening. Lesson narration happens at a slower-than-natural speed, but there is still vocabulary that would likely be new even to upper-intermediate learners. 

While we haven’t had the chance to test them out, the Unlimited Spanish courses appear to be of high quality. There’s a 30-day crash course for beginners, courses that intermediate learners can use to improve fluency, and a course that can help learners having difficulty with verb tenses.

If you’re concerned about interacting with Spanish from a particular country, note that Oscar is from Spain.

Pros

  • Podcasts are free and come with transcripts
  • The intuitive learning method may appeal to some learners

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for practice speaking to other people
4/5
Price: Freemium, $8.99/month
Fun flashcard platform with official SPanish courses

Memrise offers two main types of courses: free, community-created courses and official Memrise courses. While the free courses do provide some quality SRS-assisted vocabulary practice, the official courses are where you’ll get the most learning opportunity.

Official courses still offer a lot of content for free, and they include bonuses like videos of native speakers, quality audio, and some grammar explanations. There are seven levels in the Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Mexico) courses, and some advanced material is covered, but learners at lower levels will probably get the most out of the Memrise courses.

There are also a bunch of specialized courses among the community-created material covering everything from slang phrases to exam prep vocabulary. In short, you’ll need more than a Memrise course to become fluent in Spanish, but there’s certainly some value to be had for free.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • SRS makes for efficient practice
  • Videos of native speakers are engaging and informative

Cons

  • You’ll need to supplement with other resources to get well-rounded practice
4/5
Price: €49.90 for Spanish e-course
assimil logo
Phrase-based learning in a well-structured course

Known for its Sans Peine (With Ease) language courses, Assimil has long been a popular resource for learning languages. Originally offered as a physical book with accompanying CDs, the company now offers e-courses that don’t require any physical materials. Note that Assimil teaches Castilian Spanish, though most of the material will be applicable to any Spanish learner, especially at lower levels.

The Assimil course has a great structure and teaches the language in the context of useful phrases and conversations. The layout of the e-course is also intuitive and enjoyable to use. All of the practice you’ll get is based on translating between English and Spanish, which may not be ideal for getting you to think in Spanish, but you will get lots of listening practice, grammar explanations, and some handy extra features.

It’s likely that you’ll need to incorporate some extra study materials to reach the advertised B2 level with an Assimil course, but it’s one of the more comprehensive options out there.

Pros

  • Great audio quality
  • Culture notes add value to the course
  • There are lots of grammar explanations without becoming overwhelming

Cons

  • Exercises aren’t especially engaging
  • The pronunciation feedback isn’t amazing
  • The mobile app isn’t very intuitive
4/5
Price: $10.99/mo, less for longer subscriptions
Bite-sized lessons with a clear curriculum

WLingua seems to have quite a bit in common with apps like Duolingo and Lingodeer. Namely, it provides practice via short activities that are part of a clearly laid out course plan. This makes for focused, convenient practice that’s easy to pick up whenever you’ve got a few free moments.

One nice feature in the WLingua Spanish course is that it offers support for learners studying Lating American Spanish as well as those interested in pronunciation and vocabulary specific to Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain.

Unlike Duolingo, WLingua doesn’t offer all of its content for free and requires a paid subscription for full access. That said, you will still be able to get quite a bit of practice for free. WLingua also has some pretty great grammar practice — something you won’t find so much of with Duolingo. Though we haven’t had the chance to fully test the course, this grammar practice matched with the resource’s spaced repetition and logically progressing lessons make it worth considering.

Pros

  • Native speaker audio includes a variety of accents
  • Clear course structure
  • Quality grammar practice
  • Short activities make for convenient practice

Cons

  • Lack of speaking and listening practice
4/5
Price: Free
Convenient, gamified practice for beginners

It’s hard to think of a language resource that’s more popular than Duolingo. Its Spanish course is based on the way the language is used in Mexico and is available for free to anyone with an internet connection.

The highly popular Duolingo app provides practice in the form of engaging, short activities and quite a bit of gamification. It’s easy to pick up whenever you’ve got a spare moment, and the use of points and leaderboards don’t make it feel like study time at all.

If you’re struggling with motivation and are mostly interested in picking up some basic vocabulary in Spanish, Duolingo could be just what you’re looking for. That said, it’s good to be aware that the audio isn’t the best, the course teaches some sentences that likely won’t be useful to anybody, and you’ll need to look elsewhere to get good speaking practice.

Pros

  • It’s convenient and fun to use
  • The gamification element can be motivating
  • It’s completely free

Cons

  • You never get to create your own sentences
  • Audio quality is sometimes low
4/5
Price: $408 for the full course, $187 per level
A thorough, academic approach with video lessons

The Fluenz courses (one for Latin American Spanish and one for Castilian Spanish) simulate the experience of having a private dedicated tutor through the use of recorded video lessons. These lessons might not offer the personalization or real-time feedback you’d get with live lessons, but they’re surprisingly thorough. 

Fluenz isn’t the most exciting course out there: there aren’t really any gamification elements to speak of, and the lessons can feel repetitive. The tradeoff is that you’ll get lots of explanations that are specifically relevant to English speakers learning Spanish and practice in a variety of skills. 

The relatively slow pace and high price mean this certainly isn’t the right resource for everyone. If you prefer an academic approach, don’t need study time to feel like a game, and appreciate a course with solid structure, Fluenz might be worth looking into.

Pros

  • Concepts are explained thoroughly
  • Video tutorials contain a lot of good information
  • Great course structure

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Activities can become repetitive
  • The course has a fairly slow pace
4/5
Price: $34.99/month, less for longer subscriptions
Not the most exciting course, but lots of solid material

Learners getting started with Lengalia can begin by taking the resource’s placement test, which is one of the better free ones out there. Once you’ve received placement test results, you can choose from one of the many courses offered by Lengalia. They’re organized by level and subject matter, and there are courses appropriate for learners at any level.

Though it isn’t explicitly stated on the Lengalia website, the material in the core Spanish courses seems to place an emphasis on Castilian Spanish. There are, however, podcast courses available on the culture and language of Spain as well as of Latin America.

One unique feature of the Lengalia platform is that a subscription grants learners access to tutors that are available for consultation. This seems to be like a customer support service that can also help with language queries.

Activities can get repetitive in the Lengalia courses, the interface isn’t very visually appealing, and some learners may find the activities to be quite boring, but there’s some high-quality practice to be had for those that are willing to put up with this. Purchase of a yearly subscription unlocks access to all Lengalia courses.

Pros

  • Quality content for learners at all levels
  • Lessons are well-structured
  • The built-in translation tool works well

Cons

  • Practice activities can get repetitive
  • You’ll have to look elsewhere to practice oral communication skills
  • We noticed some mistakes in the material
3.8/5
Price: $99.95-$199.95/year
Low entertainment value but high instructional value

The video lessons that make up the Spanish With Paul course are chock-full of useful information — they just aren’t super engaging. For some learners, thorough grammar explanations that help them better understand how Spanish works is entertainment enough; for others, the rather bland aesthetic may be a turn off.

There are over 80 hours of video lessons teaching Spanish in this course, and they’re taught with the perspective of someone living in Mexico, but Paul stresses that the foundation you’ll learn in his course is applicable to Spanish anywhere.

If you enjoy video courses and are looking for a course that goes to great lengths to thoroughly explain grammar in a way that’s specifically useful for English speakers, this course could be worth checking out. Just keep in mind that it may not be the most engaging course you could find.

Pros

  • Quality in-depth grammar explanations
  • Logical lesson progression
  • Lessons teach you how the language works

Cons

  • Video lessons aren’t very engaging
  • You aren’t required to produce much Spanish
  • The course doesn’t feature any native Spanish speakers
3.7/5
Price: From $23/month
Live lessons and self-study combined

Chatterbug’s multiple subscription plans offer different numbers of one-on-one lessons with teachers. You can choose from 1, 4, 8, or an unlimited number of lessons each month, and these lessons will happen in tandem with the platform’s self-study material. You’ll progress through lessons with a teacher that are based on your progress through the Chatterbug curriculum.

The chance to get real speaking practice with a teacher is great for improving oral communication skills, and the structure of the course content makes for focused practice and measurable progress. This concept is amazing, but we weren’t blown away by any of the extra features. The live lessons were certainly a highlight of the resource.

Potential drawbacks to studying with Chatterbug include a cluttered interface, limited reading and writing practice, and some mistakes in the reading material. Chatterbug Spanish tutors are from a variety of countries, so you’ll be exposed to several different accents.

Pros

  • Live lessons are well structured and engaging
  • Scheduling live lessons is easy
  • Tutors are from a variety of countries

Cons

  • The interface is cluttered and not easy to navigate
  • Reading and writing practice are limited
  • We noticed some mistakes in the reading material
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99 for all languages
Course with a slick design for beginners

It’s important to note right away that a subscription to Mango Languages won’t be of much use to learners at the intermediate level and beyond — there’s just not that much content for more advanced learners. If you’re just starting out with Spanish, however, you should be able to get some quality practice with useful words and phrases that you’ll be able to start using right away.

There are two Spanish courses to choose from: Latin American and Castilian, each of which provide plenty of practice drilling useful bits of language. The Mango Languages platform is slick and easy to use. Lessons progress in a practical order and build on each other, but you can also skip around if you like.

Other notable features of a course with Mango Languages are language-specific cultural notes, grammar notes, and lots of drilling. The drilling will get you used to producing phrases rather quickly, but it can also feel repetitive.

If you’re interested in Mango Languages, be sure to check whether it’s offered for free in your local library.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use and has a nice design
  • Explanations and cultural notes are presented well
  • Lots of drilling means you’re likely to remember what you learn

Cons

  • The constant drilling can become overly repetitive
  • There isn’t much material for upper-level learners
  • Grammar explanations and practice are somewhat lacking
4.8/5
Price: $22.90/month
Much more than current events narrated at a slow pace

News in Slow Spanish does a little bit of everything, which is partly why it’s one of our highest-rated courses. It’s also entertaining and fun to use. There’s material that caters to the student of Latin American Spanish as well as those studying the Castilian variety, and there’s material for beginners, intermediate students, and advanced learners alike.

The course gets its name for lessons centered around news stories. The language in these lessons is level-appropriate, both in complexity and narration speed — understanding a news article even with a low level of Spanish is rewarding!

In addition to interesting news stories, there are plenty of grammar-focused lessons and those that teach useful expressions. The beginner material might not be ideal for absolute beginners, but it should quickly elevate your language skills. The intermediate level is where News in Slow Spanish really shines, expertly bridging the gap from beginner to more advanced material.

The advanced level might not be as impressive as at the other two levels, but the variety of practice activities, quality materials, and great lesson flow make this a resource worth considering.

Pros

  • Engaging material
  • Useful variety of lesson types
  • Excellent lesson progression

Cons

  • The advanced level isn’t as impressive as the other levels
4.5/5
Price: from $149/month
An Excellent Curriculum and Unlimited 1-1 Classes with Tutors from latin America

Baselang does an impressive job of marrying a thorough curriculum with the flexibility and personalization afforded by lessons with a teacher. It’s available for a monthly subscription that offers an unlimited number of online lessons with teachers — yes, unlimited!

This is especially noteworthy considering how easy it is to schedule lessons. You’ll be able to schedule lessons at any time of day, often with only a few minutes of advance notice. This makes it quite easy to take advantage of the subscription model and take as many lessons as you can comfortably fit into your schedule.

For anyone that’s serious about getting fluent in the shortest amount of time possible using one primary resource, Baselang is hard to beat.

Pros

  • Unlimited classes
  • Flexible scheduling
  • Well-structured curriculum
  • Quality teachers

Cons

  • No teachers from Spain
  • Occasional internet problems
  • You’ll need enough time to take advantage of the unlimited lessons

You can try baselang out for one week for only $1. If you sign-up using the link below, you’ll get $10 off your first month.

If you end up purchasing a plan and later decide that it’s not for you, Baselang will pay you $20 as an apology for wasting your time.

4.5/5
Price: Private classes are $119/month, Group lessons are $49/month. Monthly prices drop for longer subscriptions.
Unlimited online classes and personalized study plans

SpanishVIP offers a huge amount of value for the right learner. A subscription to the platform unlocks up to six private lessons or unlimited group lessons per week with a qualified Spanish tutor. The tutors that work with SpanishVIP are very good at what they do, which is a significant draw, but note that they’re all from Latin America. If you’re bent on learning from a teacher from Spain, this won’t be the right platform for you.

What makes SpanishVIP different from an online tutor marketplace like italki or Verbling is that it offers personalized courses to learners. SpanishVIP is constantly developing new material and sharing with its teachers, and you’ll be able to get material that is specifically tailored to you and your learning goals.

Naturally, the value of unlimited lessons depends quite a bit on scheduling flexibility. Private lessons are scheduled weekly, meaning you won’t be able to schedule last-minute lessons like you can with group lessons. In our experience, scheduling difficulties would likely only cause potential problems if you live in certain time zones, as SpanishVIP tutors are located in the Americas.

Pros

  • If you’re able to fit enough lessons into your schedule, the value is amazing
  • Excellent teachers
  • Personalized courses

Cons

  • Some students could experience scheduling limitations

Mention ALR to get a free month of group classes with any private class purchase.

4.3/5
Price: $11.99/month, less for longer subscriptions
Quick and convenient practice for beginners

Lingodeer could be ideal for learners that prefer gamified, bite-sized activities. While the complete Spanish course teaches the language as it’s used in Spain, the Lingodeer Latin American Spanish course is in beta development and available to users that already have a premium account.

Gamelike, short activities can sometimes be equated with a lack of in-depth instruction or courses that are otherwise rather poorly put together — that isn’t the case with Lingodeer. The lessons are quite thorough in their use of explanations and examples, and a variety of activities make for engaging practice in multiple skills. The native speaker audio is also good with Lingodeer and helps to make the course more valuable.

Some drawbacks with the Lingodeer course are that it doesn’t provide much in the way of speaking practice and that the material doesn’t always progress in the most natural way. For example, you may come across some words early on that aren’t very important for a beginner to learn. 

Overall, Lingodeer is a pretty solid resource for anyone looking for something that’s easy and fun to use.

Pros

  • There’s a wide variety of activity types
  • Grammar explanations are detailed
  • Quality audio
  • It’s fairly priced

Cons

  • You’ll need additional resources to get sufficient oral communication practice
  • The content doesn’t always progress in a logical manner
4.3/5
Price: Free
Learn to think in Spanish for free

The most notable things about Language Transfer are probably that it’s completely free to use (no catch!) and that it takes a unique approach to language instruction. Instead of drilling vocabulary and grammar rules into your head, the course places an emphasis on the relationship between English and Spanish. By pointing out patterns, similarities and differences, the course gives learners the tools to think their way through Spanish.

The format of the course is similar to a podcast in that the materials are purley audio lessons. You’ll listen along to someone else being taught Spanish by the host and creator of Language Transfer, Mihalis Eleftheriou. He even urges learners to just listen and refrain from taking notes.

This course would really only be valuable for beginning learners that speak English, and it won’t be ideal for visual learners, but a remarkable amount of care has been put into this free course. The host in the Spanish course has an Argentinian accent, and you won’t learn the vosotros form used in Spain, but the material should otherwise be useful for learners of either Castilian or Latin American Spanish.

Pros

  • It’s completely free
  • The course structure is well thought out

Cons

  • Visual learners may struggle with the audio-only format
  • Other than responding to cues in the audio lessons, there are no activities to work through
  • There are no native speakers in the course
  • The untraditional learning method won’t appeal to everyone
4.3/5
Price: Free, €49, €60
Quality courses with videos and quizzes

The founder of 1001 Reasons to Learn Spanish is Juan Fernández, an ex-professor of Spanish at the University of London who now dedicates himself to creating quality resources online. Juan is from Spain, and so his courses use and teach Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain, but the lower level material will be mostly relevant for all learners.

One of the greatest-value courses on Juan’s website is the Repaso 1 course. It’s designed to help learners make the transition from the elementary (A2) to pre-intermediate (B1) level by practicing for 20-30 minutes for 30 days. This course is totally free and makes use of videos and quizzes in the daily lessons.

Juan is an animated, skilled teacher, and he’s produced a ton of content for Spanish learners, including two other courses, a podcast, YouTube videos, and a graded reader series. His teaching is all in Spanish, but he uses props and gestures to make material that’s suitable for learners of all levels. 

Our impressions are based on the free content; we haven’t tried out any of the paid courses yet.

Pros

  • The Repaso 1 course is free and full of value for learners at the right level
  • Plenty of additional study materials on the website
  • Instruction is entirely in Spanish, videos and podcasts include transcripts
Cons
  • Doesn’t cater to learners specifically interested in Latin American Spanish

FSI and DLI

4.3/5
Price: Free
Dated but thorough courses

The Foreign Services Institute (FSI) won’t be winning any awards for exciting material or fun-to-use content, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more comprehensive course for free. The courses were originally created to help diplomats quickly reach professional working proficiency in foreign languages. They’re now available for free on a number of different websites.

There are several different Spanish courses created by FSI, some with material specific to Spain and some with a Latin American focus. They’re all very thorough and include audio recordings and activities to complete. You’ll get plenty of practice with listening comprehension and will have opportunities to practice speaking by responding to audio prompts.

Similarly, courses developed by the Defense Language Institute (DLI) are extremely thorough but not exceptionally engaging. They also place more of an emphasis on military terminology at higher levels.

Pros

  • Courses are well structured and comprehensive
  • They’re free

Cons

  • The courses are dated and not very exciting courses 
4.3/5
Price: Free
A free, comprehensive introduction to Spanish

Destinos is an award-winning Spanish video course made up of fifty-two 30-minutes episodes. It was produced in the 1990s, so the production value is a bit dated, but the subject matter is engaging — you get to follow a lawyer as he investigates a family secret.

The video series should prove useful to a variety of learners, as videos contain accents and cultural information from Spain, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Mexico. The episodes are 100% in Spanish, meaning beginners will be exposed to more than they understand, but this is all part of the method — learners should be able to follow the story well enough from context clues and the exercises that accompany each lesson.

More experienced learners might not get a ton of useful practice out of Destinos, but it could potentially make an excellent, free introduction for beginners.Learners in some countries may have to play the videos on YouTube or KET Education; the relevant activities are available through the Annenberg Learner site, where the videos are also accessible in some countries.

Pros

  • It’s free
  • Videos cover accents and cultural information from a variety of countries

Cons

  • It isn’t suitable for more advanced learners
  • The videos are dated
4.3/5
Price: $14.95/month, less for longer subscriptions
Carefully crafted lessons for the dedicated learner

At first glance, Fluencia may appear to have quite a bit in common with popular apps like Duolingo or Lingodeer. Take a closer look, however, and it quickly becomes apparent that the Fluencia material was designed with remarkable care and is quite capable of providing exceptionally thorough instruction and practice.

Where other language apps take a gamified, casual approach, Fluencia is a full-on course that was designed specifically with Spanish in mind. For learners looking for a resource that’s a little bit more challenging, Fluencia could be a good fit. It’s certainly not an app that’ll enable idle time wasting.

While Fluencia offers in-depth grammar explanations and quality practice opportunities, it’s true that you may want to supplement your listening and speaking practice with other resources. Also, keep in mind that discounted monthly prices are available for longer subscriptions.

Pros

  • Instruction is very clear and detail oriented
  • Activities are appropriately challenging
  • Audio recordings are sourced from native speakers with a variety of accents

Cons

  • You may need to supplement speaking and listening practice with other resources like tutors or podcasts
4.2/5
Price: $12.95/month, less for longer subscriptions
A reliable course with solid structure

Babbel covers a lot of bases. For learners that don’t want to involve a bunch of complementary resources, Babbel could be a good place to get lots of practice in a variety of skills. Then again, it isn’t the flashiest resource out there, and it won’t be the perfect option for every learner.

The lessons in Babbel are well structured and include lots of useful explanations. Speaking and pronunciation practice happens through a voice recognition system and an exercise in which you get to listen to and take part in a conversation happening between native speakers. The voice recognition isn’t perfect, and the conversation activity is no substitute for actually speaking with someone, but it’s still valuable practice.

The activities might get repetitive with Babbel, and there might not be a whole lot of exciting practice to be had with the resource, but its no-nonsense approach does feel efficient. It’s certainly worth considering for learners that don’t need any bells and whistles in a course and want to get as much out of one resource as they can.

Babbel offers some additional materials and articles on the Latin American Spanish, but the main course teaches Castilian Spanish.

Pros

  • The material is well thought out and practical
  • There are plenty of explanations and examples
  • It’s easy to use

Cons

  • The exercises could get repetitive
  • Opportunities for grammar review are limited
  • Voice recognition isn’t the best way to learn pronunciation
4.2/5
Price: Free podcast, courses start at $97
Free podcast episodes and an intuitive teaching method

There are hundreds of free, downloadable podcasts on the Unlimited Spanish website, all with useful transcripts. These podcast episodes provide a lot of value and serve as an introduction to the teaching method that Oscar, the founder, uses in his courses. There are four of these courses available for purchase, separate from the podcast.

Instead of using a traditional textbook-esque method of teaching a language, Oscar helps his students learn to think in Spanish. Podcast episodes include short stories with accompanying exercises that you can respond to while listening. Lesson narration happens at a slower-than-natural speed, but there is still vocabulary that would likely be new even to upper-intermediate learners. 

While we haven’t had the chance to test them out, the Unlimited Spanish courses appear to be of high quality. There’s a 30-day crash course for beginners, courses that intermediate learners can use to improve fluency, and a course that can help learners having difficulty with verb tenses.

If you’re concerned about interacting with Spanish from a particular country, note that Oscar is from Spain.

Pros

  • Podcasts are free and come with transcripts
  • The intuitive learning method may appeal to some learners

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for practice speaking to other people
4.2/5
Price: From $38.58 for three months
A high-quality course with lots of practice

One of the great things about Ouino is that its material may appeal to both visual and aural learners: lessons are presented in text form as well as read aloud, and important words are color-coded. In addition to this, practice activities incorporate both pictures and sound.

The 500 lessons in the Ouino Spanish course take an academic approach to language instruction. The resource isn’t very gamelike — instead, the lessons are more in-depth and are part of a detailed curriculum.

This resource might appeal more to serious language learners that are looking to get lots of focused practice or to those that already have some experience learning Spanish. You can jump around from one lesson to another out of order, which could be disorienting for a beginner, but is an advantage for learners past the beginner level.

Pros

  • Material that will appeal to both aural and visual learners
  • You can take lessons in any order that suits you

Cons

  • You’ll have to judge your own pronunciation performance
  • The lesson structure doesn’t vary much and can become overly repetitive
4/5
Price: $297
I Will Teach You A Language Logo
Learn Spanish Through Stories

This course comes from Olly Richards, the creator of the I Will Teach You a Language blog. It’s designed for the beginner learner, but don’t expect it to start off slowly and ease you into things. Instead, you’ll jump right into reading a story. Interacting with somewhat lengthy texts right off the bat is part of the resource’s guided discovery learning method and is as challenging as it is rewarding.

While exercises in PDF format may not sound overly exciting, stories can make for enjoyable engagement as well as provide plenty of examples for how the language is used in context. Other perks of this course are clear instructions and grammar explanations that err on the side of being overly informative. You’ll also have the option of choosing between learning Castilian or Latin American Spanish.

Spanish Uncovered isn’t exceptionally cheap, and it will surely appeal more to some learners than others, but if you’re up for a challenge, are self-directed and enjoy stories, this course should provide you with a fantastic start.

Pros

  • The stories are engaging
  • Clear instruction
  • Plenty of practice opportunities

Cons

  • There’s sometimes too much grammar information
  • PDF activities aren’t super exciting
  • The review quiz is too short

You can try baselang out for one week for only $1. If you sign-up using the link below, you’ll get $10 off your first month.

If you end up purchasing a plan and later decide that it’s not for you, Baselang will pay you $20 as an apology for wasting your time.

4/5
Price: $14.95 or $19.95/month
High-quality audio lessons that encourage active participation

Pimsleur courses have been around for quite a while, and they make a great solution for the right type of learner. Instead of dwelling on the intricacies of proper grammar usage or spending time teaching students how to read and write, Pimsleur places a heavy emphasis on developing aural and verbal skills.

The core lesson material is all delivered via high-quality audio — there’s a narrator that guides you through the lesson and multiple native speakers that teach pronunciation. You’ll also get to participate in conversations by frequently responding to the recording when prompted. There 

is both a Castilian and Latin American course to choose from.

Lessons progress logically and build on each other well, and there are some extra supplemental activities that provide practice in reading and recalling word definitions. This course is best for learners that want to get listening and speaking practice right away, but it won’t be the best option for those that have trouble learning with aural material.

Pros

  • Great lesson structure
  • Variety of native speaker voices
  • The platform is visually appealing and easy to navigate

Cons

  • Not ideal for visual learners
  • Lessons may progress too slowly for some learners
4/5
Price: Group classes from $56/month, Private classes from $132/month
The structure of a course with the guidance of a teacher

The majority of online courses have something in common: they fail to provide much in the way of real communication practice. Some employ simulated role-playing activities and speech-recognition technology to get around this, but these are still inadequate substitutes for the practice you can get with a real person. 

Lingoda, on the other hand, addresses the communication practice problem by getting real tutors involved. Lessons on the platform take place in either private or group classes where you’ll get a chance to speak aloud and get real-time feedback from a tutor. Tutors are from a variety of different countries, so you’ll get exposed to Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain as well as in Latin American countries.

With over 600 lessons, there’s content that should be suitable for just about every type of learner, and there’s no need to complete them in a linear fashion. This course could be a good option for learners that appreciate the structure afforded by a course but are also interested in practice with a native speaker tutor.

Pros

  • Tutors are from a variety of countries
  • There are lessons for many different levels
  • Tutor scheduling is flexible

Cons

  • The lesson materials are all fairly similar
  • Group lessons may not be ideal for everyone
4/5
Price: Freemium, $8.99/month
Fun flashcard platform with official SPanish courses

Memrise offers two main types of courses: free, community-created courses and official Memrise courses. While the free courses do provide some quality SRS-assisted vocabulary practice, the official courses are where you’ll get the most learning opportunity.

Official courses still offer a lot of content for free, and they include bonuses like videos of native speakers, quality audio, and some grammar explanations. There are seven levels in the Spanish (Spain) and Spanish (Mexico) courses, and some advanced material is covered, but learners at lower levels will probably get the most out of the Memrise courses.

There are also a bunch of specialized courses among the community-created material covering everything from slang phrases to exam prep vocabulary. In short, you’ll need more than a Memrise course to become fluent in Spanish, but there’s certainly some value to be had for free.

Pros

  • Lots of free content
  • SRS makes for efficient practice
  • Videos of native speakers are engaging and informative

Cons

  • You’ll need to supplement with other resources to get well-rounded practice
4/5
Price: €49.90 for Spanish e-course
assimil logo
Phrase-based learning in a well-structured course

Known for its Sans Peine (With Ease) language courses, Assimil has long been a popular resource for learning languages. Originally offered as a physical book with accompanying CDs, the company now offers e-courses that don’t require any physical materials. Note that Assimil teaches Castilian Spanish, though most of the material will be applicable to any Spanish learner, especially at lower levels.

The Assimil course has a great structure and teaches the language in the context of useful phrases and conversations. The layout of the e-course is also intuitive and enjoyable to use. All of the practice you’ll get is based on translating between English and Spanish, which may not be ideal for getting you to think in Spanish, but you will get lots of listening practice, grammar explanations, and some handy extra features.

It’s likely that you’ll need to incorporate some extra study materials to reach the advertised B2 level with an Assimil course, but it’s one of the more comprehensive options out there.

Pros

  • Great audio quality
  • Culture notes add value to the course
  • There are lots of grammar explanations without becoming overwhelming

Cons

  • Exercises aren’t especially engaging
  • The pronunciation feedback isn’t amazing
  • The mobile app isn’t very intuitive
4/5
Price: $10.99/mo, less for longer subscriptions
Bite-sized lessons with a clear curriculum

WLingua seems to have quite a bit in common with apps like Duolingo and Lingodeer. Namely, it provides practice via short activities that are part of a clearly laid out course plan. This makes for focused, convenient practice that’s easy to pick up whenever you’ve got a few free moments.

One nice feature in the WLingua Spanish course is that it offers support for learners studying Lating American Spanish as well as those interested in pronunciation and vocabulary specific to Spanish as it’s spoken in Spain.

Unlike Duolingo, WLingua doesn’t offer all of its content for free and requires a paid subscription for full access. That said, you will still be able to get quite a bit of practice for free. WLingua also has some pretty great grammar practice — something you won’t find so much of with Duolingo. Though we haven’t had the chance to fully test the course, this grammar practice matched with the resource’s spaced repetition and logically progressing lessons make it worth considering.

Pros

  • Native speaker audio includes a variety of accents
  • Clear course structure
  • Quality grammar practice
  • Short activities make for convenient practice

Cons

  • Lack of speaking and listening practice
4/5
Price: Free audio lessons, $104 per season
A casual podcast-style course that offers a lot for free

Following along with Coffee Break Spanish lessons is a bit like listening in on a private class. The mood is fairly casual, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some seriously good instruction to be had here. The lessons feature Mark, the host and teacher, and a student that is learning with him. While the course supposedly contains a variety of Spanish meant to help you navigate any Spanish-speaking country, it’s worth noting that Mark has an accent you’d hear in Spain.

You will be provided with lots of translations, explanations, and examples of useful phrases throughout the lessons, but you won’t find the kind of interactive exercises you might in other online courses, especially if you’re listening to the free audio lessons. Paying for the extra materials means you’ll get videos to supplement the audio, which visual learners will likely appreciate.

The 15-20 minute lessons are ideal for convenient practice that takes about as long as a coffee break, and they build on each other nicely. There’s an emphasis on language that’s practical and likely to be immediately useful, which makes for a rewarding experience.

Pros

  • Lessons progress logically and build on each other nicely
  • Content could appeal to both aural and visual learners
  • Audio lessons are free
  • Plenty of examples and explanations

Cons

  • You’ll need to look elsewhere for speaking and writing practice
  • There aren’t any interactive exercises
  • Full access to the courses is fairly expensive
4/5
Price: $408 for the full course, $187 per level
A thorough, academic approach with video lessons

The Fluenz courses (one for Latin American Spanish and one for Castilian Spanish) simulate the experience of having a private dedicated tutor through the use of recorded video lessons. These lessons might not offer the personalization or real-time feedback you’d get with live lessons, but they’re surprisingly thorough. 

Fluenz isn’t the most exciting course out there: there aren’t really any gamification elements to speak of, and the lessons can feel repetitive. The tradeoff is that you’ll get lots of explanations that are specifically relevant to English speakers learning Spanish and practice in a variety of skills. 

The relatively slow pace and high price mean this certainly isn’t the right resource for everyone. If you prefer an academic approach, don’t need study time to feel like a game, and appreciate a course with solid structure, Fluenz might be worth looking into.

Pros

  • Concepts are explained thoroughly
  • Video tutorials contain a lot of good information
  • Great course structure

Cons

  • Relatively high price
  • Activities can become repetitive
  • The course has a fairly slow pace
4/5
Price: $34.99/month, less for longer subscriptions
Not the most exciting course, but lots of solid material

Learners getting started with Lengalia can begin by taking the resource’s placement test, which is one of the better free ones out there. Once you’ve received placement test results, you can choose from one of the many courses offered by Lengalia. They’re organized by level and subject matter, and there are courses appropriate for learners at any level.

Though it isn’t explicitly stated on the Lengalia website, the material in the core Spanish courses seems to place an emphasis on Castilian Spanish. There are, however, podcast courses available on the culture and language of Spain as well as of Latin America.

One unique feature of the Lengalia platform is that a subscription grants learners access to tutors that are available for consultation. This seems to be like a customer support service that can also help with language queries.

Activities can get repetitive in the Lengalia courses, the interface isn’t very visually appealing, and some learners may find the activities to be quite boring, but there’s some high-quality practice to be had for those that are willing to put up with this. Purchase of a yearly subscription unlocks access to all Lengalia courses.

Pros

  • Quality content for learners at all levels
  • Lessons are well-structured
  • The built-in translation tool works well

Cons

  • Practice activities can get repetitive
  • You’ll have to look elsewhere to practice oral communication skills
  • We noticed some mistakes in the material
4/5
Price: Free
Convenient, gamified practice for beginners

It’s hard to think of a language resource that’s more popular than Duolingo. Its Spanish course is based on the way the language is used in Mexico and is available for free to anyone with an internet connection.

The highly popular Duolingo app provides practice in the form of engaging, short activities and quite a bit of gamification. It’s easy to pick up whenever you’ve got a spare moment, and the use of points and leaderboards don’t make it feel like study time at all.

If you’re struggling with motivation and are mostly interested in picking up some basic vocabulary in Spanish, Duolingo could be just what you’re looking for. That said, it’s good to be aware that the audio isn’t the best, the course teaches some sentences that likely won’t be useful to anybody, and you’ll need to look elsewhere to get good speaking practice.

Pros

  • It’s convenient and fun to use
  • The gamification element can be motivating
  • It’s completely free

Cons

  • You never get to create your own sentences
  • Audio quality is sometimes low
3.8/5
Price: $99.95-$259.90
A comprehensive course that could be right for some

The Rocket Spanish course teaches Latin American Spanish through audio lessons and very repetitive practice activities. The highly repetitive review activities and well-structured lessons mean that you’ll likely retain the majority of what you learn and you won’t be without useful explanations.

The biggest drawback of this course is probably that it can get extremely boring. You’ll review the concepts you learn in each lesson many times, which is good for retention but potentially bad for motivation. If you can make it through these lessons, you’ll probably learn a lot. Then again, some people may even enjoy the lesson activities.

The audio lessons provide good chances to listen to native speakers and practice listening skills, even if there is some cheesy English banter in them (especially at lower levels). You’ll also get some cultural lessons that expound on elements of life in Latin American countries, though it’s a shame they don’t do a better job of looking more closely at individual countries.

Pros

  • Well-structured, comprehensive course
  • Quality native speaker audio
  • There are lots of prompts to practice speaking

Cons

  • Lessons can be boring
  • Review activities are overly repetitive
  • The culture lessons aren’t very well done
3.8/5
Price: $16 – $21/hour
Live Lingua Logo
Live lessons and specialized courses

Live Lingua is a little bit different from other online tutor platforms in that its service is more specialized. Before you’re hooked up with a tutor, you’ll have a chance to communicate your goals with a personal class coordinator. You also have the chance to choose between several different Spanish courses, including standard lessons, exam prep, Spanish for priests, and more.

The majority of tutors seem to be from Mexico, but there are teachers from nine different countries, meaning you’ll be able to get practice in whatever flavor of Spanish interests you. The teachers are all native speakers and receive extra support and training from Live Lingua.

The platform doesn’t offer the same level of scheduling flexibility you might find on other online tutor platforms, and it’s a little more expensive than similar options, but the extra personalization and course focuses might make it worth it from some learners.

Pros

  • You should be able to find lessons that meet your specific needs
  • Tutors are from a variety of different countries

Cons

  • Lesson scheduling happens via email
  • Limited flexibility in choosing a teacher
3.8/5
Price: $8-$47/month
A podcast-style course for extensive listening practice

Most of the SpanishPod101 material is catered toward beginner learners, though there is material for learners at all levels. There’s also some attention paid to both Latin American and Castilian Spanish, though the majority of the material in SpanishPod101 is in Latin American Spanish.

Audio lessons mean that there’s the potential to get lots of listening practice with this resource, and the accompanying transcripts, lesson notes, quizzes, and vocabulary lists fill out the platform nicely. Lessons are centered around a dialogue that you’ll get to listen to before hearing the hosts break it down and then get to practice yourself. The model works well for presenting the language in context and getting learners used to hearing it.

The core material in SpanishPod101 is pretty useful, but there are also a bunch of extras that aren’t really worth much. You’ll also have to locate the most useful lessons yourself, as there isn’t a clear structure to the course.

Pros

  • There’s a ton of content at lower levels
  • Lessons are entertaining
  • You’ll get cultural information on a variety of different countries

Cons

  • There’s less material for intermediate and advanced learners
  • The website uses a lot of spamming techniques
  • There isn’t a clear lesson progression
3.8/5
Price: $99.95-$199.95/year
Low entertainment value but high instructional value

The video lessons that make up the Spanish With Paul course are chock-full of useful information — they just aren’t super engaging. For some learners, thorough grammar explanations that help them better understand how Spanish works is entertainment enough; for others, the rather bland aesthetic may be a turn off.

There are over 80 hours of video lessons teaching Spanish in this course, and they’re taught with the perspective of someone living in Mexico, but Paul stresses that the foundation you’ll learn in his course is applicable to Spanish anywhere.

If you enjoy video courses and are looking for a course that goes to great lengths to thoroughly explain grammar in a way that’s specifically useful for English speakers, this course could be worth checking out. Just keep in mind that it may not be the most engaging course you could find.

Pros

  • Quality in-depth grammar explanations
  • Logical lesson progression
  • Lessons teach you how the language works

Cons

  • Video lessons aren’t very engaging
  • You aren’t required to produce much Spanish
  • The course doesn’t feature any native Spanish speakers
3.7/5
Price: From $23/month
Live lessons and self-study combined

Chatterbug’s multiple subscription plans offer different numbers of one-on-one lessons with teachers. You can choose from 1, 4, 8, or an unlimited number of lessons each month, and these lessons will happen in tandem with the platform’s self-study material. You’ll progress through lessons with a teacher that are based on your progress through the Chatterbug curriculum.

The chance to get real speaking practice with a teacher is great for improving oral communication skills, and the structure of the course content makes for focused practice and measurable progress. This concept is amazing, but we weren’t blown away by any of the extra features. The live lessons were certainly a highlight of the resource.

Potential drawbacks to studying with Chatterbug include a cluttered interface, limited reading and writing practice, and some mistakes in the reading material. Chatterbug Spanish tutors are from a variety of countries, so you’ll be exposed to several different accents.

Pros

  • Live lessons are well structured and engaging
  • Scheduling live lessons is easy
  • Tutors are from a variety of countries

Cons

  • The interface is cluttered and not easy to navigate
  • Reading and writing practice are limited
  • We noticed some mistakes in the reading material
3.5/5
Price: $7.99/month for one language, $17.99 for all languages
Course with a slick design for beginners

It’s important to note right away that a subscription to Mango Languages won’t be of much use to learners at the intermediate level and beyond — there’s just not that much content for more advanced learners. If you’re just starting out with Spanish, however, you should be able to get some quality practice with useful words and phrases that you’ll be able to start using right away.

There are two Spanish courses to choose from: Latin American and Castilian, each of which provide plenty of practice drilling useful bits of language. The Mango Languages platform is slick and easy to use. Lessons progress in a practical order and build on each other, but you can also skip around if you like.

Other notable features of a course with Mango Languages are language-specific cultural notes, grammar notes, and lots of drilling. The drilling will get you used to producing phrases rather quickly, but it can also feel repetitive.

If you’re interested in Mango Languages, be sure to check whether it’s offered for free in your local library.

Pros

  • It’s easy to use and has a nice design
  • Explanations and cultural notes are presented well
  • Lots of drilling means you’re likely to remember what you learn

Cons

  • The constant drilling can become overly repetitive
  • There isn’t much material for upper-level learners
  • Grammar explanations and practice are somewhat lacking
3.3/5
Price: $9.99/month for Premium, $13.99/month for Premium Plus
A respectable course with a nifty social feature

Busuu has got quite a bit in common with courses like Babbel, Lingodeer, Fluencia, and others: its well-structured courses offer practice in a variety of language skills and should be able to provide beginners with everything they need to advance to an intermediate level. 

The Busuu Spanish course makes an attempt to cover the differences between Latin American and Castilian Spanish, though there may be a slight, negligible lean towards Castilian Spanish in terms of pronunciation.

One of the most exciting features in a Busuu course is the language-exchange function. Learners have the chance to submit their answers to questions for feedback from the Busuu community. You can either submit a written answer or a recording of yourself speaking — this is a great way to get meaningful feedback from real people, and this feature is free to use.

A potential drawback is that Busuu has less thorough grammar practice than similar resources. Our rating for this resource would be higher if it only considered the Spanish course, but the low quality of the Busuu Mandarin course forced us to lower the overall rating.

Pros

  • The language-exchange feature is great
  • The platform is visually appealing and easy to use
  • Conversation lessons provide good practice

Cons

  • Grammar practice isn’t the best
  • Some review activities could have been designed better

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