Learning Spanish is one of my main focuses for 2015 – partially because I’ll be traveling through Central America this year and partially because it’s something that I’ve always said I would do. Languages fascinate me and I believe that learning Spanish is going to be only the beginning for me.
However, while I can dream about learning six other languages, right now I’m just trying to figure out Spanish. It’s not the easiest thing to do but I’m getting there. I’ve found the following to be essential Spanish learning resources which are helping me to expand my knowledge, even in between my immersion Spanish course.
1.) Duolingo. Duolingo is definitely my #1 essential Spanish learning resource. It turns learning Spanish into a game, one that I can play anywhere on my computer or phone. What I love most about Duolingo is that it turns everything into bite-sized pieces – there’s no memorizing huge chunks of vocabulary or difficult grammar rules all at once. Duolingo breaks everything down step-by-step. My second favorite thing is that it uses all sorts of learning techniques – listening, translating from English to Spanish, translating from Spanish to English, and even a talking function. It keeps things interesting and also helps you learn in whatever way is best for you.
2.) LearnSpanish.com. This site offers a TON of free Spanish learning resources. However, what I’ve found to be the most helpful is the Verb Drills. They’re great quiz-like assignments that allow you to practice proper conjugation for all the different verb tenses and also teach you some vocab along the way.
3.) iTalki. Italki is a great source. Their biggest draw is the opportunity to take online lessons from natives, which makes iTalki an essential Spanish learning resource if you are not able to practice with others in-person. The teachers set their own prices but most of them are quite reasonable. Additionally, you can also connect with other language-learners for a language exchange and ask others to correct your grammar in a notebook entry.
4.) Practice Makes Perfect. Of all the Spanish language workbooks I’ve tried, the Practice Makes Perfect series is by far my favorite. The workbooks range from Beginner’s Spanish to more advance grammar so no matter what stage you’re at, it’s a great opportunity to learn. They offer a variety of activities and break everything down into bite-sized chunks so it’s easy to learn whenever you have a few minutes.
5.) Lonely Planet Phrasebook. The Lonely Planet Phrasebook has been my best friend so far on my adventure through Central America. If you’re traveling and don’t have a ton of time to learn the language, definitely pick this up. Everything is broken down to the sections you’ll like need while traveling – getting through customs and the airport, ordering in a restaurant, navigating the bus system, etc. I keep it tucked in my purse for those moments when everything I know slips from my brain.
Though I’m constantly searching for new sites and books, these are the five that I would consider to be absolutely essential Spanish language resources. Whether you’re at the beginning of your journey or have already started learning the language, I highly recommend all of the above sites and books.
Are you learning another language? What are your favorite resources? Share in the comments below!
(Please note – several of the links above are Amazon affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the above links, I will receive a tiny commission at no cost to you.)
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