You tube is probably now one of the best places to go for free language learning resources. If you are stuck on a grammar point, having difficulty with pronunciation, or want to hear how the language is used in a real world setting, YouTube has it all. Below are some channels that you may find useful for learning Spanish.
This is a great channel with lots of videos and great explanations. The host speaks slowly and provides plenty of examples all in a fun and enthusiastic way. She covers all of the basics of grammar and vocabulary as well as some cultural and situation based phrases. A lot of her videos use a white boards so you can follow along and take notes on points that need further practice.
This channel is really amazing. They produce tons of content on a regular basis in many languages. They are set in a variety of Spanish speaking countries so you get a feel for different accents and are always discussing new and current topics with everyday speakers. Although it may seem overwhelming at first as the speakers do not adjust their speed or vocabulary for a beginner, these videos are a great way to learn the pace, inflections, and rhythm of the Spanish language. They also have a collection of “super easy” videos which are more suited to beginners. Another great feature of these videos is that they all include subtitles in both languages which helps you to follow along.
The Spanish dude presents comprehensive language lessons in a unique way. The host is not a native speaker and this actually seems to be an asset. Having learned the language later in life, he is aware of a lot of the issues that are encountered as a learner of Spanish as a second language. He presents a lot of tricks and tips to remember and overcome some of these common barriers and mistakes that are often made as a native English speaker learning Spanish. He focuses a lot of the videos on verb comparisons and explains which is best used in each situation.
Pimsleur audio course have been around for many years making them one of the more trusted and reputable audio courses available. Their systematic approach and gradual introduction of vocabulary and concepts are quite effective for a lot of people. Audio courses are a great supplement to your language learning routine as it affords you the ability to study almost anywhere. Long commutes to work in the care or on the train can be filled with audio lessons to help you learn and improve quickly. Although some courses can be a bit expensive, you can often find introductory courses via CD on amazon for as little as $50. Also check your local library to see if they stock a course for you to borrow. The Pimsleur method uses science and research to introduce and review concepts at appropriate times to ensure that what you learn is transferred to your long term memory allowing you to progress at a steady rate.
The Michel Thomas series is another highly respected audio course that offers a range of products for each level. Although they only offer their courses in about 12 languages, they present the information in a unique way that many find very useful. The Michel Thomas method puts you, as a third student, in an imaginary class. You will learn alongside two other students who will pause and make mistakes at a lot of the same points you will. What makes this particularly useful is that you have the ability to participate in real time with the speakers as part of a group. This helps your brain assimilate information as part of an experience and not just simply listening to audio. We are more likely to remember pieces of information if our brain has context to store it in. The Michel Thomas courses do an excellent job of gradually introducing and reintroducing these pieces of information in a contextually relevant manner. Some of the courses can be expensive, but again, check your local library or used bookstore for copies.
Podcasts are an amazing way to help you learn a language. You can listen to them anywhere and they help you familiarise yourself with the sounds, tones, and rhythm of the language. Additionally you can often learn about current events, cultural points and idioms and expressions that you can’t get from audio courses. If you have some knowledge of a language already you can quickly acquire new vocabulary and grammar points and if you have no knowledge of a language, you can often reduce the speed of the podcast to hear clearly the pronunciation of each word. Be patient and with time you will be surprised on how much you understand!
|SpanishPod101||SBS Radio Spanish|
|BBC Radio Spanish||Coffee Break Spanish|
|Notes in Spanish||News in Slow Spanish|