There are some awesome courses for learning Spanish online, along with more than a few that are terrible and cost far too much money. Luckily, I’ve tried most of them and can help you avoid those less desirable ones.
In this post, I’ll look at 28 popular Spanish courses. Most cost money, but there are some good free ones included as well.
They’ll be loosely organized starting with the one I think is the best, and ending with the worst. In many cases, a course could easily move up or down several spots. These are just my opinions as well, and I’m sure lots of people will disagree with me.
Without further ado…
Baselang is my favorite online Spanish course and the one that would lead to fluency the quickest. They offer unlimited 1-1 Spanish classes with tutors from Venezuela. They also have a good curriculum that will guide you on your path and teach you everything you need to know. Often times, I wanted to take a lesson without planning to do so ahead of time, and I’d be able to book one and get started only a few minutes later. Unfortunately, the $149 per month cost will be too expensive for some. So, it only makes sense to use Baselang if you’re able to put a lot of time into studying. Otherwise, you’d be better off using italki to find an inexpensive tutor. Review.
I used to never recommend Pimsleur because the cost of their courses was just too high. Fortunately, they’ve since added a subscription option which significantly lowers the cost – from $15 to $20 per month, depending on the plan. Pimsleur is a bit different than most other courses because it’s nearly entirely focused on the oral language – speaking and listening. At the same time, grammar and the written language are mostly ignored. Students who work through the course will likely end up with higher than average communication skills but have some weaknesses with grammar, reading, and writing which would need to be worked on later. Review.
Lingodeer is my favorite of the free courses. It’s a bit newer and not as well-known compared to other popular options but I like it more. The app teaches Spanish by having you complete lots of different exercises, not unlike other similar apps. The lessons are all bite-sized, making it easy to study in small chunks. I really liked the fact that audio sentences were all recorded individually, making the recordings sound very natural sounding. Additionally, throughout the lessons, there are lots of grammar explanations. The variety in types of exercises also helps keep things interesting. Review.
Fluencia came from the creators of SpanishDict. Unlike many courses on this list, it’s only available in Spanish and not any other languages. This focus has paid off and helped them put together a really quality course. While you may find the lessons somewhat similar to Lingodeer and other courses, on Fluencia, they’re definitely a bit more in-depth. The addition of cultural information also makes it more interesting to use. That said, it costs $15 per month, which I think is fair, but others may prefer a free alternative. Review.
News in Slow Spanish is definitely one of the more fun resources for Spanish learners. Previously they’ve only released materials for intermediate and advanced learners, but they’re beginning to add a beginner course as well, though it’s meant for those who already have learned some Spanish and not absolute beginners. As the title suggests, their lessons consist of news stories, narrated at a slower pace, making it easier for learners to comprehend. Their materials are available in either Spanish from Spain or from Latin America. Pricing varies a bit depending on the plan you choose but is between $16.90 and $26.90 per month.
SpanishPod101 is a course that teaches primarily using audio lessons, a lot like podcast episodes. There is a ton of content that has been added over several years. Because of this, it can be a bit confusing to navigate sometimes but you can also jump around to lessons more than with most courses. Lessons are suitable for absolute beginners as well as advanced level students and everyone in between. Typically, a couple of hosts will listen to a dialogue and then go through it line by line, explaining key vocabulary and important grammar. There are three different plans available with the basic plan starting at $8/mo and the most expensive plan costing $47/mo. Review.
Memrise is one of the most popular language learning resources online, and although there is a premium plan, most users will find their free option to be more than enough. It has a bit narrower of a focus than the other courses. I wouldn’t recommend using it to try and learn Spanish as a whole, but it’s really useful for helping you to remember words. It’s basically a gamified flashcard deck, where anyone can add courses. Their use of a spaced repetition system makes it so that you only spend time reviewing words that you haven’t yet mastered. Review.
Coffee Break Spanish makes all of their audio lessons available for free anywhere that you listen to podcasts. They also sell a premium course, with four seasons, each costing $104. The lessons are the same, but the paid version includes some extra features and videos. Coffee Break Spanish is excellent for students who feel a bit overwhelmed with the idea of learning a second language. The lessons are quite relaxed and feel sort of like you’re learning with a friend. In fact, one of the hosts is learning alongside the listener. They teach you words, sentences, and eventually put it all together into a dialogue. Review.
I wasn’t sure if I should include Speechling in this list, it’s not really a course so much as it is a useful tool that’s sort of organized like a course. With Speechling, it’s really easy to get feedback on your pronunciation. Their paid plan costs $19.99 per month and allows you to submit an unlimited number of recordings to a teacher for feedback. They also have a free plan that’s very useful. You’re able to record yourself mimicking sentences, practice dication exercises, use their flashcards, practice listening, and answer fill in the blank and multiple choice exercises. Review.
These two platforms offer free courses from universities around the world, including both lessons for those learning Spanish and for advanced Spanish speakers wishing to learn about a different topic. It’s free to enroll in the courses and access the materials, but if you’d like to receive a certification when you complete the course, that’ll cost extra. Not surprisingly, since the courses come from universities, most of them are a bit more formal than other options on this list.
Language Transfer is a resource that’s loved by lots of people and completely free. Besides just Spanish, the creator offers classes in several other languages. The Spanish course has 90 audio lessons with the majority lasting around ten minutes long. In these lessons, the host acts as a teacher and is joined by a student that learns alongside the listener. He explains the language in a very clear way, with lots of explanations that will help you understand how the Spanish language works.
Duolingo is one of the most popular resources for language learning around. Although they have a premium plan available, most users would be more than happy with the free version. They excel at making learning Spanish more fun and keeping students to come back and study a little bit each day. You learn the language through lots of exercises and repetition, and the website also includes some helpful grammar notes. One frustration I had is that the audio and sentences can sometimes be a bit unnatural. Still though, it’s a quality product and a good way to get started with Spanish.
The Foreign Service Institue of the US government offers free language courses, including six Spanish ones. They’re very dense and feel dated, but they’re free and overall really solid. The first of four volumes of the FSI Basic Spanish Course includes a pdf file with over 700 pages of instruction and 12+ hours of audio recordings, and that’s just the first volume of just one of the courses. Although it’s not the most exciting course, if you stick with it, you’ll learn a ton.
Lingoda is an online language school offering courses in English, German, French, and Spanish. They have lots of lessons around different topics for various levels that you can either schedule with a private teacher or as part of a group class. The monthly cost varies depending on the plan you choose, but the basic package, containing 10 group classes, costs $109 per month. You can also purchase a one week trial to see if it’s a good fit for you. Review.
Udemy is a platform where you can learn just about any skill imaginable, which obviously includes Spanish. The courses on Udemy are all user-created, so the content and quality can vary significantly. There’s also a wide range of prices but they regularly have site-wide sales which lowers the price for all courses to around $10. In fact, if you add a course to your cart and wait a day or two, you’ll almost certainly get an email with a discounted price. There are over 180 Spanish courses on Udemy, and around 15 that are free.
Babbel teaches Spanish in a way that’s pretty similar to Duolingo, Lingodeer, and Fluencia. It’s a paid course which costs $12.95 per month. Compared with Duolingo, I think it could be worth paying for as it takes things a bit deeper, explains grammar and cultural elements, teaches more useful language, and has better quality audio recordings. However, if I personally were choosing amongst these four similar courses, I’d choose Fluencia if I were willing to spend money and Lingodeer if I were looking for a free option. Review.
Rocket Spanish is an okay enough Spanish course. They teach useful language and provide tons of opportunities to practice every area of the language. However, I found the audio lessons to be very cheesy and the jokes to be a bit cringe-worthy at times. The review exercises also become too repetitive and are a bit old-school in the way you memorize items basically through brute force. You can learn a lot from Rocket Spanish but I’d personally struggle to stick with it long-term. It’s also fairly expensive with Level 1 costing $99.95 and Levels 1,2 & 3 costings $259.90. Review.
This beginner Spanish course from I Will Teach You A Language approaches learning Spanish a bit differently. From the first lesson, you’re thrown right into a Spanish story and will learn through a method called “Guided Discovery.” So, instead of learning grammar rules in isolation, you’ll first come across them in the story. It’s a pretty fun and unique approach to learning. In their section about cognates, you’ll realize you know much more Spanish than you thought. The course also comes with lots of practice exercises and worksheets. Unfortunately, the high price of $297 will scare most people away.
Glossika is an audio course that has a narrower focus than most other courses on this list. You won’t learn any grammar and there are no explanations. Instead, you practice Spanish by basically listening to lots of sentences and then repeating them. While it’s not terribly exciting, it’s definitely an effective way to improve your listening and speaking skills. Unfortunately, they charge $30 per month, which I think is too much for a fairly basic resource. Review.
Lengalia’s courses are available to everyone from the beginner up to advanced levels of Spanish. They’re split up into different topics such as grammar, vocabulary, business Spanish, podcasts, and so on. They do a great job of organizing content and giving you exercises to practice what you’ve learned. Interestingly, they often link out to other free material that has already covered the topic they’re discussing. You can also message their tutors with any questions you may have. One month costs $29.99 but the price per month lowers significantly if you purchase a full year of access.
The Mimic Method’s 39 Elementals Sounds of Spanish Master Class is a course that focuses 100% on pronunciation. It can be pretty dense and technical but if you really want to improve your pronunciation, it can definitely help. Unfortunately, the $197 is going to be too expensive for most people. Plus, most, if not all, of the information taught can be found elsewhere for free, but it’ll take some digging on your part. Review.
Live Lingua takes free Spanish courses from places like the FSI, DLI, and Peace Corps and arranges private 1-1 lessons over Skype. The lessons are actually pretty affordable, starting at $16 per hour and becoming cheaper if you purchase more hours. However, you could just as easily use these free materials, and go find a tutor on italki for about half the price. I haven’t yet had a chance to try Live Lingua, so maybe the fact that teachers likely have some experience with the materials could make it worthwhile. However, I tend to prefer the cheaper and more flexible options.
Mango Languages is another one of those courses that are pretty good, but probably not good enough to justify paying for, especially when compared with other Spanish courses. One major benefit is that for their $19.99 monthly cost, you’ll get access to courses for over 70 languages. The design is also nice, allowing you to switch between literal and understood translations, along with words being color coded to match the English translation. Review.
Busuu is another language learning website/app that’s very similar to Duolingo, Babbel, Lingodeer, and Fluencia. It costs $9.99 per month to access their full Spanish course, but I didn’t find it to be good enough to justify paying for. However, there’s one awesome feature and it’s available for free – their language exchange section. In this part, you can record yourself speaking or write a short passage, and then get feedback from a native Spanish speaker. They even offer picture and video prompts to help you think of a topic. It’s worth using Busuu for that section alone, but I wouldn’t recommend paying for the course. Review.
Mondly is another website/app that has courses for a bunch of different languages – sort of like Busuu, Babbel, Duolingo, and Lingodeer. It costs $9.99 per month but I don’t think it’s good enough to pay for. The design isn’t particularly good, the content is the same for all languages, and the lesson structure could be improved. It’s not terrible, but it’s a below average course when there are plenty of better options to choose from. Review.
Nearly everyone has heard of Rosetta Stone, and most would agree that it’s not a very good course for language learners. The exercises are too repetitive and basically amount to matching pictures and words without any explanations. Although it looks sleek, I would rather use any of the free resources I mentioned earlier. They’ve at least added a subscription option, making it more affordable. However, $79 for three months access is still too expensive. Review.
Marketed as a course for Spanish learners between the ages of 30 and 96 years old, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I don’t like it. Synergy Spanish just felt old, boring, and not worth the $67+ price. You’re given a lot of English to Spanish translations and are prompted to speak throughout the course. While you could definitely learn a great deal from this course, I think others courses do a better job. Review.
The fact that Fluenz so often tries to position themselves as a better alternative to Rosetta Stone should give you some idea as to why you shouldn’t use it. Whether or not it’s better than Rosetta Stone doesn’t matter – both should be avoided. Fluenz is an ancient feeling course and not as good as free alternatives. Worse still, it’s ridiculously expensive, costing $378 for levels 1-5. If you’d prefer just the first level, that’s still going to be $187.
I haven’t personally tried this course so it’s possible I’m misunderstanding things. But, from my research online, it appears that this course is nearly identical to the free FSI Basic Spanish course. From what I can tell, the dialogs and exercises are exactly the same, word for word. It seems like they’ve just repackaged the content and perhaps rerecorded some of the files. The fact that each level costs $99.99, or $199 for all three together, makes it a pretty terrible way to spend your money.
There are lots of good online Spanish courses to choose from, for all budgets and learning styles. But, there are also more than a few below average products that are overpriced and not at all worth using. Regardless of which course you choose, you’ll need to put in the time studying – but it’s worth the effort. Learning Spanish is a lot of fun and it really can open up so much of the world to you.