August 18, 2017

Online Spanish Courses

These days, there are tons of online language courses available to language learners. Some of these courses are free of charge while others vary in cost. For me, online courses are just ONE of the large number of tools that are available to help people learn a foreign language.

I find that online courses tend to specialize in one or more aspects of language learning, e.g., listening, vocabulary building, speaking, etc., but rarely will one program fulfil all your language learning needs. Consequently, you may have to take a few different courses to strengthen specific parts of your language development. Below is my list of online courses with which I am familiar:


 Fluent Spanish Listening is designed to help improve listening comprehension. The course is spread across four modules each containing several dialogs. After listening to the dialogs, you are given a set of practice questions designed to increase your comprehension. A full transcript for each audio and answers to the practice questions will be made available on the following day. There is also daily grammar and vocabulary tips to help prepare you for the recordings in the lessons.
Transparent Language Online offers unfettered online access to a wide range of language courses. If you do not want access to the entire package, you can register for individual programs. The courses take users through vocabulary building using spaced repetition technology, grammar, listening comprehension, and opportunities for speaking and writing. In addition, users have access to an array of online language and cultural resources including one-click access to Facebook and Twitter language communities and language blogs.
Easy Languages…Learning Languages from the Streets is a non-profit video project that aims to help people learn languages through authentic street interviews. Easy Languages videos are subtitled in the local language and in English. I use Easy Language videos to strengthen my listening skills. By replaying videos over and over and and making use of the subtitles, I am able to increase my knowledge of everyday Spanish considerably.
Notes in Spanish provide authentic listening practice for beginning, intermediate and advanced Spanish students via conversations and interviews about news, Spanish culture, current affairs, and travel. The free podcasts are accompanied by worksheets (which must be purchased), and other essential supplementary material designed to back up and help you to remember what you learn in the videos. Many of the conversations are also available on YouTube.
  Duolingois a free web-based language-learning platform that allows you to take several language courses in a series of graded lessons. Duolingo also has an App and a forum to support their courses. The app is available on iOS, Android and Windows 8 and 10 platforms. I use Duolingo to reinforce my vocabulary and writing skills.
 Memrise is a free web-based language-learning platform that allows you to learn foreign languages as well as other subjects. I use Memrise mostly for vocabulary building. I like the various techniques it uses to help you memorize lots of difficult words.
 Vocabulix.At the intermediate level of language learning, vocabulary building is crucial if you want to improve your listening and speaking skills. My personal goal for intermediate level is 10,000 words. Vocabulix is a great resource for helping Spanish, German, and English learners to build vocabulary. You can also practice verb conjugations, create your own lessons, and find language friends. I have learned lots of new vocab using Vocabulix. Access to this resource is free.
Listening Resources. This is not a course. Rather, it is a set of links to listening resources that I use to help me improve my ability to understand spoken Spanish.
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