Learn Spanish Online: How to Find Effective Online Spanish Courses

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The endless supply of Spanish language websites and Spanish online courses

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and one of the most popular languages people learn as foreign language. At the same time, internet is fast becoming the most common tool for learning foreign languages. Naturally, there is virtually endless supply of Spanish language websites and Spanish online courses. This fact has two consequences for a Spanish learner:

  1. It is highly likely that a website or course which suits your needs does exist somewhere.
  2. Such website or course may be very difficult to find and choose, because there are so many options to check out.

Quality of Spanish online courses varies

On the internet you can find Spanish language courses made by native speakers and qualified teachers, applying effective and interactive study methods and providing an extensive support, even on a 1-1 basis. However, you can also find courses whose only purpose is to extract money from enthusiastic learners and offering little value in return. As you would expect, the majority of Spanish online courses falls somewhere between these two extremes. How to choose the great ones and avoid the scams?

How to choose a good Spanish online course

There are several things the good Spanish online courses tend to have in common. Some of the following points are more important than others. Of course, the importance of individual characteristics will also vary from person to person and depend on your strengths, weaknesses, and learning habits.

Content of a useful Spanish online course

  • Audio lessons, ideally downloadable in mp3 format. These are very important, especially in the online language learning world. Without practicing listening (and repeating aloud) you will only gain the ability to read, which is not enough for having live conversations with natives.
  • Explanation of pronunciation and stress rules and pronunciation exercises.
  • Explanation of grammar and grammar exercises.
  • Most common conversational situations and related vocabulary covered in detail.
  • Interesting lessons covering the culture and lifestyle in Spanish speaking countries (these will also provide additional motivation for learning Spanish).
  • Spanish language games for grammar and vocabulary training.

Other characteristics of a useful Spanish online course

  • The course matches your level in Spanish. Most Spanish online courses start at the beginner level, but if your Spanish speaking abilities are already advanced, you can try to look for intermediate or advanced courses.
  • Native speakers involved. Ideally there will be both a native Spanish speaker and a non-native teacher. Both of them provide useful perspectives – see Your Spanish Language Teacher: Is Native Speaker Better or Not?
  • Sequential learning. Make sure you know at least the very basics before learning advanced vocabulary and more complicated sentence structures in order to avoid getting confused and discouraged.
  • The course provider offers a kind of support, typically in the form of email contact or online forum.
  • The course provider offers a free trial version or at least a money back guarantee. Even when you do your research thoroughly, you will not know if a course is useful and suitable to your needs before you actually see what’s inside. Looking for courses with free trials will also eliminate the scams.
  • Interactive and fun form. The more entertaining the course is, the lower the probability that you will give up at some difficult point in the future.
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