As you know if you’ve been following this website for the last few months, I’m really interested in learning and teaching languages. I’d like to be able to give my little boy a somewhat-bilingual home, and I’m passionate about teaching ESL. (ESL – English as a Second Language) Most of the resources I’ve listed on our website up to this point have been multilingual, but in this post I’m focusing on Spanish. Free Spanish lessons are easy to find for us English speakers in the United States, just north of many Spanish-speaking countries. (PSA: Not all Spanish speakers are Mexicans.)
Since I’m not a native Spanish speaker, I have to work hard to keep up what I learned during my time volunteering in Central America. If you live in an area where you hardly ever meet up with a Spanish speaker–or if you’re trying to learn some Spanish for a new friend, neighbor, or coworker–you’ll enjoy this list of 21 online sites/podcasts that offer free Spanish lessons.
Free Spanish Lessons Online: 21 Resources
BBC has a website with interactive lessons, a video drama (geared more toward college-age and above than small children), and collections of resources for all ages.
2. Learn Spanish with Rodrigo
Practiquemos, a teaching channel by Catalina Moreno, is an excellent resource for those who want a Spanish-immersion type class. Subtitles below the videos are very helpful for those (like me) who have better Spanish reading comprehension than Spanish listening comprehension. Occasionally she provides English translations for words that may be unfamiliar. She also dresses up as her own students to make her videos more entertaining. 🙂 For example, this video about funny Spanish errors made by students (good to watch if you’re an adult learning Spanish and wanting to avoid some common errors, but contains errors with words you may not want your children to hear).
4. 123 Teach Me
123 Teach me has a placement test (here’s a link to the test) and quizzes/activities to help you improve your Spanish.
Duolingo is a lot of fun. You can take a placement exam, learn new vocabulary, practice listening comprehension, etc. Unfortunately, it can give you a false level of assurance about your actual level of Spanish. I met a homeschooled boy a couple of years ago who was using Duolingo to learn Spanish. He thought he was at a fairly advanced level because he had worked his way through the levels on Duolingo, but he had no idea how to answer when I asked him, “¿Cómo estás?” So don’t fully rely on Duolingo. 🙂
6. Practicing Spanish
PracticingSpanish.com offers help with practicing grammar.
7. Spanish Checker
I have used this website so many times! If you’ve written something in Spanish and would like to check its grammar, Spanish Checker is an extremely useful (although not infallible) resource.
8. Online Textbooks
You can sometimes find them in the library, of course. But here’s a level one textbook online for free. Do a Google search for “Spanish workbook pdf” or similar phrases to find entire books that companies have been kind enough to share online.
9. Modern Spanish Textbook
Another textbook for those who like worksheets! Here’s the link.
10. Spanish Games
Spanishgames.net has options for the worksheet-hater! Simple games are more fun with others–but if you’re bored and want to practice your Spanish, try this website out.
FluentU uses real videos to teach Spanish. (Music videos, etc.)
12. Professor Jason
Professor Jason offers structured classroom-type lessons on his YouTube channel.
13. The Spanish Experiment
The Spanish Experiment offers children’s stories like the 3 Little Pigs in Spanish (with options to translate to English). It also gives a few free beginner’s lessons.
“Speak a language in 10 minutes a day,” claims Busuu, a la Duolingo. Will you really speak a language well with that little effort? Probably not, but Busuu’s app and website allow you to quickly begin building sentences.
15. Study Spanish
StudySpanish.com has practice sections for pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, and verbs. It’s a good place for people who enjoy drills for mastery of a concept or word. It’s probably not a good place, however, to start out if you’re someone who fears the process of language learning.
Yabla has a plethora of articles to help you clear up questions you might have about Spanish (like “when do I use “cuál?“). They also explain how to sound like a native when you’re making everyday comments about life. How do you express disgust? Ask Yabla. Adults may find some of their videos useful. (Navigate with care.)
17. Lightspeed Spanish
Enjoy podcasts? Lightspeed Spanish may be your favorite resource yet for free Spanish lessons, with podcasts explaining everything from grammatical concepts to words to avoid. (Again, proceed with caution if you’re learning along with children.)
18. Coffee Break Spanish
19. Insta Spanish Lessons
Another podcast for learning Spanish is Insta Spanish Lessons. These podcasts are short and to the point (for example, there’s a 9-minute one on Spanish slang).
Rockalingua is geared for kids (although there’s no shame in playing these games if you still need some help with learning your colores). Games, worksheets, songs, and videos make learning new Spanish words fun for kids.
I’m also planning to collect resources just for kids who are learning Spanish, so stay tuned! 🙂
21. Your Library’s Website
Don’t forget about your local library when you’re looking for free resources. Your library card number often unlocks access to free language learning resources equal to the much-advertised Rosetta Stone. For example, I had access to Mango Languages when I had a library card with the Houston library system. My current library system allows access to Pronunciator, which is less exciting but still useful.
More Free Spanish Lessons Online
Remember to check out this article for teaching ESL to adopted kids–many of the same websites have Spanish language resources. And when you’re checking out the YouTube videos and podcasts I’ve given links to, you’ll find more options online than you’ll have time to listen to or watch. Spanish is such a beautiful language, and it’s so rewarding that first time you are able to have a conversation in your new language!