When it comes to learning something new, it is most effective to immerse yourself in it.
Along with using my main language learning course I like to supplement my language learning with supplemental material to really get the most out of my experience.
Below is a list of some of the most helpful Spanish resources I have enjoyed using to supplement my language learning online.
Remember that not every resource is for everyone. Some tools may resonate with some types of learners while different resources will resonate with others.
Feel free to check them out and find what works for you.
A.) Spanish Audio Books:
One thing that really helps me in studying Spanish is listening to audio when I’m driving or going for a walk. Personally, I’m more of an audible learner and whenever I have the chance to listen to something new that I am interested in I soak it in.
When I’m on the go I use Audible to access my audio books. The thing I love most about audio books is how they give you a chance to repeat what you just heard and compare your own pronunciation to the instructor in the lesson. This is greatly beneficial if you are interested in learning to speak a new language.
If you are an audible learner like me, one helpful audio book I recommend for beginners is Pimsleur Digital Spanish. It is a great intro to the essentials of Spanish conversation. I find it to be a great way to feel productive when I’m driving or going for a jog.
B.) Spanish Ebooks:
If you’re more of a visual learner ebooks can be another great weapon in your second language-acquisition arsenal. I say why not incorporate both into your learning experience. Integrating multiple avenues of learning can only help, not hurt you.
If you are interested in learning key phrases and questions you can find many free Spanish ebooks for beginners on Amazon. And if you don’t have a Kindle, don’t worry, I don’t either but Amazon’s free reading app works on all mobile devices and tablets.
If you are traveling to a Spanish speaking country anytime soon I would definitely recommend checking out some of the top Spanish ebooks . Most ebooks are free on Amazon or very cheap. Ebooks provide a quick crash course guide on fundamental Spanish phrases, questions, statements, etc.
C.) Mobile Apps for Android & iOS
With so many people on their cellphones today why not use it’s power to your advantage. One interesting free mobile app I found that’s helping me learn Spanish is DuoLingo. It’s a colorful mobile app you can use to test yourself while your away from home.
The app has many levels covering Spanish vocab, phrases, words, and more. Another cool feature is you can sign in with Facebook and compete with friends and family to keep Spanish learning fun. I would recommend it for language learning on the go in your spare time:
D.) Online Spanish Translator
SpanishDict.com is another great resource for beginners and even semi-intermediate speakers alike. It is a fully functioning English to Spanish translator and visa versa. Not only does it allow you to look up the translation to a word or phrase you may not understand but it also has playback options where you can hear a Spanish speaker pronounce the word or phrase clearly and accurately.
On the go? SpanishDict also has a completely free mobile app available for Android and IOS devices. I personally like to have this awesome app always on me for circumstances where I need a quick translation or definition for a new word I just heard.
E.) Language Exchange Communities
There are many language exchange communities out there but iTalki is one of the very best for one-on-one teaching sessions. You can speak with language teachers and interact with members of the language exchange community. In essence, a native speaker of another language helps you practice their language over a Skype like interface while you help them practice English. This is called “language exchange,” and is very helpful in learning the nuances of a new language when paired with a program.
I personally recommend utilizing iTalki once you have already begun a language learning course because you will already have learned the basic fundamental words and principles. However, it never hurts to give iTalki a try at even an early stage because a native Spanish speaker can help correct any errors in your pronunciation early on before it becomes a bad habit. You can check out my full review on this new language exchange community here.
F.) Spanish Podcasts
Podcasts are an amazing resource that you could be missing out on. Similar to audio books language learning podcasts give you complete freedom to learn on your own pace anytime, anywhere.
A great collection of language learning podcasts can be found at SpanishPod101, a cool app that helps you learn by covering culturally relevant topics while exposing you to native Spanish speakers from different regions of the world.
From my experience I highly recommend listening to language learning podcasts before you begin listening to Spanish music and watching Spanish movies. The reason for this is because these podcasts are specifically designed for helping you to learn the new language in a fun way. You can read my full review on the innovative podcast app here.
G.) Spanish Cartoons & Comics
Never doubt the basics. Remember back when you were a child learning English, the language you fluently speak now? I know I do. And I remember how I learned too.
After learning the alphabet I read children’s’ books and watched children’s cartoons. The reason this worked is because these simple forms of media are designed with obvious visual cues to help your mind make word and object associations.
And from those simple associations early on you can now read best selling novels, consume media, and enjoy fine poetry and music in English. But you see, it all started with children’s cartoons and books.
Likewise, you can’t expect to start of reading a native Spanish speakers finest novel or romantic poetry on day one. But if you implement cartoons or comics into your toolbox it will help the language learning process (by means of word and object associations) move a lot faster.
You can find several Spanish cartoons on YouTube. As for Spanish comics, I found GoComics.com to be a great resource for free Spanish comics of popular favorites such as Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, the Peanuts, and more.