Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. As a result, there are many people interested in learning or improving their knowledge of the Spanish language. Since there are many options available in the market, it’s difficult to know what are the best online Spanish courses.
For that reason, I did some research and, after reviewing and comparing many different options, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best Spanish courses that I believe can help you accomplish your learning objectives. All of these products are great options but have different approaches.
So in order to help you make an informed decision, I’ll provide you with a brief description of the contents of the course as well as some advantages and disadvantages that I found. If you want more in-depth information about one of them, I encourage you to read the individual reviews that I wrote (you can find links to my individual reviews in each course’s section below).
- Best Course to Learn Spanish Fast: Spanish Uncovered
- Best Self-Study Spanish Course: The Great Courses Plus
- Best Audio Course to Learn Spanish: SpanishPod101
- Best Course to Speak Spanish: Pimsleur Spanish
- Best Program to Learn Latin American Spanish: Gritty Spanish
- Best to Learn Spanish Vocabulary: Rosetta Stone Spanish
- Best Interactive Spanish Course: Rocket Language Spanish
Best Course to Learn Spanish Fast: Spanish Uncovered
When it comes to language courses, it’s very likely that at some point you’ll hear about I Will Teach You a Language. This website is owned by a guy that speaks 8 languages. So, his course Spanish Uncovered teaches his method and different techniques to learn Spanish.
Just like many other courses, the purpose of Spanish Uncovered is to help learners to build solid foundations so that they can learn and speak Spanish. But unlike other products, this course doesn’t follow a traditional approach. In fact, it’s based around a story.
If you’re already reluctant to studying Spanish through reading, bear with me for a second: the story is the means to an end. The purpose is to immerse you in Spanish so you can learn it faster, more naturally, and easier.
To start, the story is very entertaining, simple, and uses basic grammar and vocabulary. So once you get the course, you’ll have access to a dashboard with 20 chapters or units. Each one of them starts with a listening and reading section (the story) and continues with other sections designed to develop your Spanish skills:
In addition to the reading, you’ll have videos with grammar or pronunciation training, quizzes, and PDFs with tables, examples, and exercises so you can practice what you learn. To be honest with you, you have a ton of content that will help you learn Spanish.
Something that I really like about this course is that its platform is very easy to use and you have everything you need inside of it.
Content, advantages, and disadvantages
Olly Richards, the creator of this course, has different Spanish courses. Spanish Uncovered is most suitable for beginners and even people with some basic knowledge of Spanish.
To give you an idea if this course is for you, here is a quick overview of its contents.
- Spanish ‘rr’ sound
- Basic vocabulary
- Introduce yourself
- Present and past tenses
- Future and conditional
- Spanish connectors
- Articles and nouns
As I said this course is very complete and comprehensive. If you like videos and audio recordings, then this course is great for you. If you’re like me and you struggle with recordings and videos, you may find some of the videos too long especially because they were about grammar.
Speaking about grammar, the videos are very helpful for beginners because Olly provides explanations in English. However, they’re not very structured and he’s jumping from one concept to another.
On the bright side, I really loved that this course worries about developing your speaking skills. At the end of the day, that’s the goal: being able to communicate and Spanish Uncovered will provide you with guided conversations appropriate for your level.
That said, you’ll need to find a partner or private tutor to do this part of the course. I truly believe that you should do the conversation activities because on top of the conversation worksheet, you’ll also have pronunciation activities. So if you’re practicing right away, you’ll make a lot of progress.
Another cool thing about this course is that, unlike other courses, all the resources have a Castilian or Latin American Spanish version. So you can actually choose what’s the best option for your learning objectives.
If yo want to know more about the pricing, contents, and structure of this course, you can find more in-depth information about this course in my Spanish Uncovered Review.
Here you can get a 7-day free trial to check Spanish Uncovered for yourself!
Best Self-Study Spanish Course: The Great Courses Plus
If you haven’t heard of them, The Great Courses Plus is a streaming video service that offers a lot of cool and interesting courses. As a result, it’s not surprising that they also have two Spanish courses.
When I first saw these Spanish courses, they reminded me of a university class. And that’s basically what they are: lectures with a Spanish professor teaching you all the foundations and techniques to develop your Spanish skills.
These Spanish courses are video-based. This doesn’t mean that all you do is sit and watch. In fact, the video is divided into three sections:
- Explanation: presentation of the grammar topic.
- Audio glossary: listen and repeat activities.
- Speaking activity: activities to improve your conversation and pronunciation.
Each course contains 30 video lectures, each 45 minutes long. In addition to the video, you’ll also have access to a workbook with hundreds of exercises so you can practice your reading and writing skills. To be honest with you, I like this class because the professor knows a lot of Spanish and his explanations are easy to understand.
But I have to admit that it’s not nearly as interactive as other courses that you can find on the market. Still, you can get a lot of value from these Learn Spanish courses. As I mentioned before, there are two courses.
- Learning Spanish: How to Understand and Speak a New Language – beginner level
- Learning Spanish II: How to Understand and Speak a New Language – intermediate level
Unlike Spanish Uncovered that includes resources for Castilian and Latin American Spanish, the Learn Spanish courses focus only on Latin America. Despite this, the vocabulary and grammar presented are standard Spanish, so you can use them in different countries.
This is a very quick overview of the contents that you’ll learn in these courses. If you want more detailed information, you can check my review of this course:
- Regular and irregular verbs
- Present tense
- Negative expressions
- Reciprocal verbs
- Past tenses
- Using ‘se’
- Future tense
- ‘Ser’ vs ‘estar’
- ‘Por’ vs ‘para’
Pros and Cons
As you may have noticed, there are a lot of grammar topics. So in order to present these topics as smoothly as possible, the videos contain some visual aids such as tables, images and examples.
Despite the fact that the design is not very attractive, the video fulfills its purpose. And if you actually take the time to complete the workbook activities, you’ll have very good reinforcement from what you’re taught in each lecture.
As I mentioned before, the big problem with the Spanish courses from The Great Courses Plus is that they don’t have a lot of interactive activities and they’re quite simple compared to other courses that you can find. Additionally, I think that they could do a better job creating a more immersive experience.
Aside from this, the course is very clear and since the beginner level covers the content that you’ll learn in one semester of university, it’s very appropriate for college students and adults.
Best Audio Course to Learn Spanish: SpanishPod101
When it comes to audio courses, SpanishPod 101 is one of the most popular options to learn Spanish. The purpose of this course is to help you speak faster in a natural way through different videos and audio.
In order to give you a more complete approach to Spanish, the audios contain both Castilian and Latin American accents. One of the things that I like very much about SpanishPod 101 is that, unlike other audio courses, their episodes include some simple grammar explanations and some links to their resource center so you can learn a more in-depth explanation on the given topic.
So no matter what level you’re in, each lesson consists of a recording (sometimes a video) of Spanish speakers having a conversation. Based on that, you’ll learn different vocabulary and grammar.
In addition to this, you’ll have a vocabulary section where you can check the most important expressions used during the recording and you can add them to your personal ‘word bank’. Just like many other audio courses, you’ll also have access to English transcription.
Unlike other Spanish online courses where you have to pay for each level, by getting a SpanishPod101 subscription you’ll have access to the following levels:
- Absolute beginner
In other words, you’ll be able to use their huge video/audio library with hundreds of lessons, quizzes, flashcards, recording tools, vocabulary list,s and more. If you want to learn more about this program, I wrote a more in-depth review for SpanishPod 101.
Since SpanishPod 101 contains audio lessons for 5 different Spanish levels, the contents will vary depending on each level as well as the group of audios and videos that you want to follow. Overall, you’ll learn:
- Spanish for business
- Common phrases, vocabulary and expressions
- Using Spanish to describe different situations
- Small talk expressions
Pros and Cons
One of my favorite things about SpanishPod 101 (and that I think that a lot of audio courses are missing) is their grammar explanations and learning center. In other words, when needed, a lesson will include a short grammar or vocabulary explanation that will help you understand the topics that you’re learning.
These grammar sections contain links to a learning center where you can find a more in-depth explanation. So for people like me that need to learn a little bit more about grammar this feature is perfect.
As I mentioned before, another advantage of SpanishPod 101 is that you have access to all 5 different levels and if you don’t know where to start, the platform will help you determine what’s the best level for you. And if you get a premium plus membership, you’ll have access to a personalized program and a teacher that will help you through your learning.
Even though I liked SpanishPod101 a lot, I have to say that navigating through their platform wasn’t very easy: they have so many resources and audio lists that it can be confusing knowing where to start. Also, I found that the advanced content is not nearly as helpful as the beginner or intermediate levels.
Despite this, I still think that this is a great resource to learn and practice Spanish. The cool thing is that you can start for free and, if you like it, you can upgrade your account.
Best Course to Speak Spanish: Pimsleur Spanish
If you’ve been looking for a Spanish course, it’s very likely that you’ve come across Pimsleur’s Spanish course since they’re a very popular language learning company. Pimsleur is an audio-based course and it has the goal to help learners to speak, read and understand Spanish in a fast easy way.
So how does it work? Each Pimsleur level has 30 audio lessons of 30 minutes each. Even though it is an audio course, the Pimsleur Spanish course is very interactive. In other words, the lesson consists of a 30-minute conversation with pauses and interventions so the learner can listen, repeat and participate in the conversation.
One of the coolest things about Pimsleur is that you’re not dealing with random conversations. Instead, you’re actively listening to common situations and expressions that can be easily applied in your daily life. Since I’ve worked with different audios that don’t have a practical application, I found Pimsleur very useful in that sense.
In addition to the audios, you’ll also have access to some online activities such as flashcards, games, quizzes and reading activities to reinforce your vocabulary. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of audio courses, so these tools were very refreshing for me.
If you wonder if Pimsleur actually works, I have to tell you that my Canadian friend uses Pimsleur and he’s able to understand and keep basic conversations in Spanish. And to be fair, sometimes he doesn’t do his daily lesson or practice with the other tools.
So, based on his result, if you’re more consistent, I’m sure you’ll see great results. If you still need to know more information about Pimsleur, here is a more in-depth review that I wrote and where I give you more details about this course
The Pimsleur Spanish course has 5 different levels that you can purchase in a package to save some money or that you can get individually. As you may imagine, each level will have different content. But overall, here is a quick overview of the topics that you’ll learn:
- Small talk
- Business and social activities
- Ask and give directions
- Work and travel
- Reserving a room or a table
Pros and Cons
One of the main advantages of Pimsleur is that it only focuses on teaching you vocabulary and situations that you’re very likely to use. Since the most common and basic Spanish vocabulary is made up of surprisingly few words, I found this approach very useful and practical.
In addition to this, these courses are based on the Pimsleur method whose purpose is to help you acquire a language in a more natural way. So in short, Pimsleur is a good Spanish course that will help you develop your listening, pronunciation, and comprehension skills.
When it comes to the disadvantages, the Pimsleur Spanish may not be the best option for visual learners or people who want to learn grammar since it’s an audio-based course and they ask you not to use external resources.
Additionally, when buying the course, you have to choose between Latin American and Castilian Spanish. Although this is good for staying focused on one accent, the truth is that other courses include both Spanish accents for the same price.
Finally, Pimsleur is slightly more expensive (you can check the current price here) than other Spanish courses and they don’t have an onboarding process to determine what level is the best for you. Despite this, I have seen firsthand that Pimsleur actually works, so if you’re willing to commit, Pimsleur will be a good Spanish course for you.
Best Program to Learn Latin American Spanish: Gritty Spanish
If you’ve been using the internet to learn more Spanish, at some point you’ll find (if you haven’t yet) the Gritty Spanish website. Although you’ll find a blog with free information, Gritty Spanish also offers its own audio course to help you learn and understand Latin American Spanish.
The Gritty Spanish course has one main goal: to help learners understand real-life Spanish conversations. So, in order to do this, you’ll listen to conversations held by native Spanish speakers and you’ll have a Spanish-English transcription so you can follow the recording.
As you may imagine from the name, the conversations from Gritty Spanish use a lot of slang expressions and vocabulary (in some cases, they include profanity and curse words). I loved this approach.
As a teacher, I had to teach formal Spanish and I discovered that the students weren’t able to understand or communicate with native speakers because in real-life conversations we use a lot of slang expressions that you won’t learn in a ‘formal school’ setting. So, finding this resource in Gritty Spanish was amazing for me.
In Gritty Spanish you’ll find levels for beginners and upper-intermediate learners. But in my opinion, if you’re a beginner, you do need to have some basic knowledge and Spanish foundations.
Overall, Gritty Spanish is a good resource to develop your vocabulary, listening, and comprehension skills. If you want to know more information about this course, here you’ll find a more detailed review that I prepared.
Like I mentioned before, Gritty Spanish is mainly focused on Latin American Spanish. Unlike other Latin American Spanish courses, with this program, you’ll actually hear and learn vocabulary from different countries such as Costa Rica, Argentina, Mexico, Chile, etc.
Since the Gritty Spanish course is based on real-life conversations for beginners and intermediate students, you’ll learn:
- Slang vocabulary
- Common phrases and expressions
- Conjugating verbs
- Basic grammar
- Vocabulary for different Latin American Spanish speaking countries
Pros and Cons
One of the things that I liked the most about this course was their transcripts because they contain the nationality of the people involved in the conversation, so you can be aware of and get familiar with the accents that you’re listening to.
In addition to this, the transcripts also include clickable words and expressions so you can get further information about the meaning or grammar structure of one phrase. As a result, this extra information can be useful for your learning process.
When it comes to disadvantages, Gritty Spanish doesn’t seem to follow a structure or a grammar program: it’s just a list of conversations that you need to listen to. Unlike other audio courses, Gritty Spanish doesn’t use the ‘listen’ and ‘repeat’ technique and doesn’t include other exercises to practice your conversation skills.
Additionally, all the Spanish you’ll learn will be slang and informal and even though this is good for street conversations, you’ll need to be careful in more formal situations.
Aside from this, Gritty Spanish is a good Spanish course for those people interested in focusing on Latin American Spanish. If you’re interested in this course, here you can check its current price.
Best to Learn Spanish Vocabulary: Rosetta Stone Spanish
Rosetta Stone may be one of the most famous software programs for language learning. Although Rosetta Stone is not actually a Spanish course, it’s a great tool to work on your vocabulary, listening, reading, and pronunciation skills.
During my career as a teacher, a lot of Spanish students asked me about the proficiency of Rosetta Stone. The truth is this program won’t make you fluent, but it will give you a nice boost in your vocabulary and will help you understand simple sentences.
Something that I liked about Rosetta is that the platform is very interactive. So for instance, you have a lot of pronunciation exercises and corrections to improve your Spanish accent. You’ll also find grammar sections and readings where you can see the grammar and vocabulary in a more complex context.
As you may already know, Rosetta Stone is based on listening to a word and choosing the correct image. In some cases, the images are very useful to understand complicated concepts. However, don’t expect to find other types of exercises or huge grammar explanations.
In addition to the resources that you’ll find on the platform, Rosetta Stone also provides you with offline content, games, reading activities, and short videos about grammar. Due to its content, in my opinion, Rosetta Stone is better suited for children and absolute beginners that want to improve their vocabulary.
If you want to know more information about this program, in this article, you’ll find a more in-depth review about Rosetta Stone.
Contents, advantages and disadvantages
When buying the Rosetta Stone Spanish course, you’ll have the opportunity to customize the program according to your learning goals. In order to have a good understanding of the contents presented in this course, I didn’t customize my program. Here is an overview of the topics covered:
One of the main advantages of Rosetta Stone is that the program is completely immersive. So since you’ll be reading and listening to Spanish all the time, you’ll get very familiar with the language. In addition to this, the platform is very easy to use and you’ll find some extra resources (videos) to support your grammar knowledge.
Another cool feature is Rosetta Stone’s voice recognition system. As part of the review process, I and my Canadian friend did several pronunciation exercises. The program didn’t make any corrections in my exercises ;), but my friend did have some small corrections to perfect his accent. But make sure to refresh the page constantly since the program may get a bit glitchy.
Although I personally used Rosetta Stone a while ago and saw some improvement, I have to say that the program is very limited because it’s more like a Spanish vocabulary course. This means that you’ll need to find a way to apply the vocabulary in real-life situations and use external resources to learn and practice grammar.
Additionally, Rosetta Stone Spanish includes levels for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners, but I didn’t see a big difference between them. If you’re aware of the limitations of this program and you use it as a way to improve your vocabulary, Rosetta Stone could actually be helpful for you. Here, you can check their current prices.
Best Interactive Spanish Course: Rocket Spanish
When it comes to Spanish online courses, in my opinion, Rocket Language Spanish is one of the best options on the market. Why? Because their goal is to help learners become fluent in Spanish by following a course with a comprehensive approach to language learning.
This means that, unlike other courses, Rocket Language Spanish has activities to work on your reading, listening, grammar, writing and speaking skills. In other words, they provide you with exercises to work with different parts of the language.
When learning, I personally liked a structured approach where I can see a pattern and a program to follow. In Rocket Language Spanish, you’ll find 3 very-well organized levels that start with easy topics and progress to more complex ones:
- Beginner: Rocket Spanish Level 1
- Intermediate: Rocket Spanish Level 2
- Advanced: Rocket Spanish Level 3
Most of the lessons start with a 15-40 minutes audio where you’ll learn vocabulary and expressions. Based on the content, you’ll have to complete different activities to develop your Spanish skills and reinforce the knowledge presented in the lesson.
Since grammar is an important part of your Spanish learning process, you’ll find different lessons dedicated to this skill. The grammar explanations are very thorough and include a lot of exercises to practice the concepts.
Without a doubt, Rocket Language Spanish is one of my favorite Spanish courses. So in order to give you more information about it, I wrote a detailed review about this product. I encourage you to read it before making any decisions.
As I mentioned before, Rocket Language Spanish is divided into 3 different levels. Therefore, the contents will be different for each one of them. Here is a quick overview of some of the topics you’ll learn with this program:
|Rocket Spanish Level 1||Rocket Spanish Level 2||Rocket Spanish Level 3|
|Subject pronouns||Review of ‘ser’ vs ‘estar’||Uses of subjunctive|
|Regular and irregular verbs||Spanish commands||Perfect tenses|
|Object pronouns||Future tense||Conditional tense|
|Pronunciation||Past tenses||Uses of ‘se’|
|Present tense||‘Por’ vs ‘para’||Passive voice|
Pros and Cons
In my opinion, one of the main advantages of Rocket Language Spanish is that the course has activities for all your Spanish skills and it follows a structured program. This means that you’ll learn all the necessary topics to be proficient in Spanish.
Additionally, the platform is very interactive and user-friendly and on top of the activities, you’ll have access to a forum where you can share questions and answers with other Spanish learners.
Each lesson has its own goal which is great since you’ll know which type of situations you’ll be able to apply the knowledge presented. Unlike other courses, you won’t need to go to external exercises to reinforce your knowledge.
Although I love the course, it’s not perfect. So here are a few disadvantages that I found: the 15-45 minute recordings can get very long and boring. The lessons include some cultural sections in English that are not very useful and feel like fluff.
Despite these disadvantages, Rocket Language Spanish is a great Spanish course. You can purchase individual levels or, to save money, you can get a package with a 60-day refund guarantee. Here you can sign up for a free trial and check Rocket Spanish for yourself.
If you’re interested in learning Spanish, you may have noticed that there are a lot of Spanish online courses available. As a result, for some students, it’s always difficult to know which is the best option for their learning process.
For that reason, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best Spanish courses that you can find. Even though all of them are great resources, you have to keep in mind that, depending on your learning goals and style, one approach will be better for you than another.
So for instance, if you’re looking for a full approach or a more complete course, Rocket Language Spanish and Spanish Uncovered are definitely the best choices for you. Pimsleur is good if you like audio courses, want to learn basic vocabulary and improve listening and conversation skills in a controlled environment.
If you like the idea of audio courses, but you need some grammar, SpanishPod 101 will provide you with amazing resources. On the other hand, Gritty Spanish is perfect for learners or tourists that want to learn daily-life Latin American Spanish (slang and informal expressions we use daily).
Finally, Rosetta Stone is an excellent program for children or absolute beginners that are coming into contact with Spanish for the first time and want to improve their vocabulary or learn simple structures.
Hopefully, now you have a better idea of what these courses offer you and which one is the best option for your learning objectives. Good luck!