Last updated: January 9, 2023

Coursera

Coursera is great if you’ve ever done a Massive Online Open Course before, since it’s basically the same thing. It has an incredibly easy user interface to navigate and access, and if you become interested in other languages while learning Spanish, you’ll be able to browse a range of courses developed by accredited universities. Some courses will require payment, though, and if you want to add this credit to your CV you’ll need to pay for the certificate- Coursera also tends to have simple language content.

Pros:

  • Easy UI 
  • Other languages available
  • Courses developed by accredited universities

Cons:

  • Some courses require payment
  • May be simpler content compared to others 
  • Certificates require payment

Duolingo

Duolingo is cross-platform, and you’ll be able to access your data and your account through browser as well as on mobile. The best feature of it is that you can track your progress against a bunch of other people, competing to complete the most lessons in order to rank top each week. You can also add your friends in order to see how they’re doing, and give each other encouraging emoticons as you both complete your language learning journey. A downside to using their free version is the constant advertising and constant notifications reminding you to upgrade, and Duolingo tends to have more simplistic content compared to other interfaces.

Pros:

  • Cross-platform
  • Social networking available
  • Variety of learning methods

Cons:

  • Adverts and constant reminder of upgrade
  • May be simpler content compared to others

EDX

EDX is very similar to Coursera. Unlike its counterpart, it has a few extra advantages though- all access to the courses you get here will be completely free. The content is also more comprehensive, meaning you’ll get more bang for your buck, although you’ll still need to dish out money a little in order to obtain access to your certificate. The courses are developed by accredited universities, and you can be sure to have a quality time as you learn.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive content
  • All courses free
  • Courses developed by accredited universities

Cons:

  • Certificates require payment

OpenLearn

OpenLearn comes directly from The Open University, which is completely free and open to anyone, from novices to the language or those looking for something more intermediate. However, some users believe that you might want to take this course if you already have a little knowledge. The content is comprehensive and detailed, albeit always focused on a specific topic rather than jumping into all the general tips and tricks of a language, so you might want to look elsewhere if you’re not looking to learn Spanish in that way.

Pros:

  • All courses free
  • Variety of difficulties available
  • Comprehensive content

Cons:

  • May be for more advanced learners
  • Courses have limited focus

Lawless Spanish

Lawless Spanish is a site with plenty of free resources. This means you’ll be able to use them for yourself or for teaching. It’s particularly great for those new to learning Spanish, since it provides lessons geared towards people who want to get to grips with the basics of the language. The lessons are downloadable and accessible wherever and whenever you want them. If you’re looking for more intermediate skill level Spanish, Lawless Spanish is not the resource you want, but it’s a good place to start for others.

Pros:

  • Free resources
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Lessons downloadable

Cons:

  • May be too simple for some

Flow Method

This site was produced by Idahosa. Flow Method focuses on how people learn based on listening to the pronunciation of words and sounding through the phonetics of them. It’ll allow you to focus on applying your verbal Spanish skills, which is key if you’re looking to start working on your conversational skills immediately. Flow Method will helpfully break things down for the beginner before moving onto more detailed nuances of speaking. It can be a little limited learning this way, but this method will work great for some.

Pros:

  • Focuses on applying of verbal skills
  • Detailed lessons
  • Perfect for beginners

Cons:

  • Limited to certain learning methods

FSI

The Foreign Services Institute, an official institution, created this extremely thorough Spanish course that’s completely free for your personal use. With its attention to detail and downloadable PDF lessons alongside some audios which’ll help you get used to seeing and hearing Spanish, this is not a resource you’ll want to pass up the opportunity to learn from. The user interface for the website can be a little less streamlined since it was created such a long time ago, though, and FSI will also have some outdated content for the same reason.

Pros:

  • Officially produced by Foreign Services Institute
  • Comprehensive content
  • Lessons downloadable

Cons:

  • UI can be obstructive
  • Some outdated content

DLI

DLI, standing for Defense Language Institute, is a very similarly detailed and comprehensive course to FSI. It’ll give you clear practice strategies and downloadable lesson content alongside a few other media to work with. As you advance into this course, you’ll find yourself running into language that may be less appropriate for everyday use- since it was developed by the DLI, it’ll have military vocabulary inside it. On top of this, the interface is a little obstructive and difficult to navigate.

Pros:

  • Comprehensive content
  • Clear practice strategies
  • Lessons downloadable

Cons:

  • UI can be obstructive
  • Vocabulary can be less versatile

Butterfly Spanish

Speaking of free methods of learning, YouTube is always a fantastic resource to find and support creators who will engage with the audience they teach. Butterfly Spanish is a youtube channel that’s completely free and perfect for beginners. She makes use of emphasising the nuances of Spanish pronunciation and giving grammar tips as she speaks into the camera and also writes on the whiteboard. It feels like an immersive school experience! Like school though, you may find this is a limited learning method that only trains you to learn Spanish in a specific way.

Pros:

  • Completely free
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Detailed pronunciation, grammar tips

Cons:

  • Limited learning method

Dreaming Spanish

Dreaming Spanish is a website and pet project of its creator Pablo who wished to create a platform where you can learn Spanish in an efficient manner. There are videos to teach you Spanish which are sourced by authentic Spanish speakers and aim to provide you with a uniquely realistic learning experience. It’ll have the labels for different difficulties on the video thumbnails, meaning you can choose to only consume the content that you feel is appropriate for you. You’ll have to register to enjoy this website to the fullest, and just as with the youtube channels, this could be a limited learning method.

Pros:

  • Authentic spanish experiences
  • Unique inclusion of content
  • Variety of difficulties

Cons:

  • Requires account registration
  • Limited learning method

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