When you first start out on your Spanish-learning journey, you’ll be faced with hundreds of online courses, apps, podcasts, and a plethora of other resources to choose from. But, since each of them claims to be the best, it can be difficult to decide which option to go for. So, to make things easier, we’ve done the hard work for you! Below, you’ll find our list of the 5 best programs to learn Spanish.
These choices cover multiple stages of learning, from beginner to advanced, and can take you on a journey from basic phrases to holding entire conversations in Spanish. So, whatever your current level in Spanish, you should be able to find the right resource for you below.
What features should a Spanish course have?
Before we start looking at each of the five best programs to learn Spanish, let’s take a quick moment to look at what features a good Spanish course should have.
The first thing it should be able to do is to break down the many aspects of Spanish grammar. This includes such things as the subjunctive mood, reflexive verbs, and the differences between preterite and imperfect tenses.
While you won’t have to worry about these things too much when you first start out, learning the intricacies of Spanish grammar will help you become fluent in a much faster time.
A good Spanish course should also contain a wealth of Spanish vocabulary that you can use straight away. This makes it easier to get an immediate feel for the language, as well as how sentence structure works.
These words and phrases can then be used as building blocks to help you learn how to extend sentences into full paragraphs, and therefore hold a conversation. On the other hand, a bad Spanish course will, ultimately, teach you stock-phrases that you’re unlikely to use in the real world, such as “The girl has a dog”.
Finally, any good Spanish course will be able to teach you all aspects of the language. While being able to speak Spanish is the ultimate goal, it’s also really useful to be able to read and write in the language as well.
By learning the four aspects of language (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) together in one course, you’ll be able to pick up new words and understand them much quicker.
Now, let’s take a look at our top 5 programs for learning Spanish!
Rocket Spanish offers you a fully comprehensive course that will guide you through the very basics into an intermediate level of learning. The entire course is designed around interactive audio lessons, with each one breaking a conversation being held between native Spanish speakers into small parts.
This allows you to pick up grammar and vocabulary, and then use them yourself as you repeat what you’ve learned.
While listening and speaking are the main emphasis of Rocket Spanish, reading and writing exercises are also incorporated along the way. This makes it an ideal, all-around course for learning the four language-aspects of Spanish.
Spanishpod101 makes it easy to learn Spanish beyond conversational level when you’re on-the-go. It’s designed in the form of a podcast, with each episode being a separate lesson and featuring a conversation between two native Spanish speakers. It also contains lesson notes and examples of sentences taken from the audio dialogue.
The hosts do a really good job of explaining difficult vocabulary and concepts, as well as sharing some interesting facts about the Spanish language and culture.
As extra learning-aids, Spanishpod101 also contains extra resources including flashcards, slow playback, and vocabulary lists. There is also a recording function that allows you to record your own voice and play it back to check for pronunciation.
This is a really great program if you’re looking for a way to learn conversational Spanish, while still picking up grammar, reading, and writing skills along the way.
This is arguably the most famous language-learning program in the world, and if you’ve been thinking about learning Spanish for a while there’s no doubt that you’ll have come across it at some point.
Duolingo is an interactive learning program that uses a game-like format to teach both grammar and vocabulary. It’s smooth, easy-to-use, and generally problem-free.
If there is a downside to Duolingo, it’s that it may not be quite as comprehensive as some of the other programs on our list. The vocabulary you’ll learn isn’t always practical either, but if you’re looking for a way to learn basic Spanish in a quick amount of time, or simply practice what you’ve already learned, it’s a great option.
Pimsleur Spanish is a Spanish course that is based entirely around audio. It features a unique question and response technique that gets you thinking in Spanish and replying to sentences in the same way as you would if you were having a real conversation.
There are five levels to this course, and you can choose between Latin Spanish and Castilian Spanish. Bear in mind, there is only one level of Castilian, but you can transfer directly into Latin when you’ve completed it.
As you work through each lesson and progress through the levels, you’ll pick up Spanish grammar and there are a few written exercises that accompany it.
This is a good program if you’re preparing for a real-life Spanish conversation, rather than just picking up the occasional useful phrase for a vacation. However, the one downside is that it focuses more on informal pronouns than formal. This isn’t a huge issue though, and you’ll just sound super polite when you’re having a conversation.
Our fifth and final choice of the best programs to learn Spanish is Glossika. This program teaches you how to actually use a foreign language, rather than simply repeating grammar and vocabulary over and over again.
You’ll be presented with whole phrases and sentences that allow you to learn Spanish in context. This means there’s less of a need to think about how to string sentences together, and the flow of your vocabulary will feel a lot more natural.
Each training session is presented successively, and you’ll be required to work on your speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills before you can move on to the next.
This is a fantastic Spanish-learning program for anybody that wants to be able to quickly answer questions in Spanish, without having to search their brain for a standard response. With Glossika, you’ll simply learn how to speak Spanish in a natural way, which makes it much easier to become fluent.
Each of the five programs we’ve listed above is ideal for teaching you how to speak, read, and write in Spanish. They are also fantastic resources for helping you learn how to hold a real conversation in Spanish, rather than simply teaching you the common phrases that a lot of other language programs offer.
One thing to bear in mind when you’re learning any language is that you need to be able to dedicate a good amount of time to it. Often this comes to us in the most unexpected ways, such as the commute to work or while we’re doing household chores!
This is also what makes each of the above programs ideal for learning Spanish. Their listen and repeat functions allow you to practice your vocabulary while you’re on the go, and then concentrate on the written exercises when you’ve got some downtime.