List of Free Online Spanish Courses and Classes
Learn about Spanish language and culture with these free online courses and classes. See the full list of free Spanish language resources to find the one that's right for you.
Online Spanish Classes for Credit
Many free online Spanish courses allow students to peruse lessons and video presentations at their own pace, though they're generally offered as non-credit classes.
Students interested in online content that can lead to college credit might want to consider the affordable course options offered by Education Portal. For significantly less than the cost of enrolling in a traditional class, registered members can access video lessons and self-assessment quizzes. Online courses also feature free lesson transcripts. Resources in the Spanish 101: Beginning Spanish course present students with basic vocabulary terms, conversational phrases and grammar tips. Topics of discussion include:
- Greetings & Introductions in Spanish - In addition to basic greetings and conversational phrases, instructors discuss the Spanish alphabet and outline the differences between formal and informal grammar.
- AR Verbs in Spanish: Present Tense Conjugation and Vocabulary List - Learn the meanings of some of the most common AR verbs and find out how to conjugate them.
- Spanish Interrogatives - Practice answering and asking questions using Spanish interrogatives with practice lessons and listening activities.
- ER and IR Verbs in Spanish - Study tips for conjugating regular and novel IR and ER verbs and learn how to use the personal 'a'.
- Spanish Numbers - Spanish numbers up to 1,000 are the topic of this chapter. Instructors also discuss numbers and gender agreement.
Free Online Non-Credited Spanish Classes
Annenberg Learner is associated with the Annenberg Foundation, and the organization's educational videos are designed to serve as professional development tools for K-12 teachers, students and home viewers. While the company charges a fee for course materials like audiocassettes, books and CDs, students can access the online videos for free.
Destinos: An Introduction to Spanish is a Spanish soap opera with 52 episodes. The program is designed for high school, college and adult learners. The series can provide students with the chance to develop comprehension and speaking skills while immersing themselves in the cultures and dialects of Argentina, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain.
The British Broadcasting Company maintains a number of online reference pages that can provide students with access to audio and video tutorials, pronunciation and vocabulary guides, activities, grammar instructions and tests. Additional site resources include a Spanish version of the BBC news, a Facebook page, international public broadcasts and interactive crossword puzzles.
Students can begin with A Guide to Spanish, an introductory resource that includes ten easy-to-grasp facts about the Spanish language, an alphabet pronunciation guide and 20 commonly used words and phrases. In addition to viewing the information on the website, users can access the materials through MP3 and printable downloads.
Mi Vida Loca is a 22-episode soap opera for beginners that can be completed in 12 weeks. This dramatic approach to language learning can teach students how to order food, book hotel rooms, function in a social situation, shop and tell time. In addition to the online videos, course materials include printouts and a teacher's guide.
Students in a hurry can use the Spanish Quick Fix to learn a variety of phrases that might come in handy during a vacation trip. Some of these phrases include those associated with beaches, celebrations, transportation and skiing. At a more advanced level, Talk Spanish: A Video Introduction to Spanish can teach students how to ask for directions and answer questions about their family, home and jobs.
Fairfax County Public Schools
The Fairfax County public school system in Virginia provides free information for online students of Spanish. Course formats include grammar and vocabulary lessons, exercises and review activities. Links to additional language training sites are provided.
The Spanish Tutorial and Review Site (STARS) has been designed as a supplement to Prentice Hall's Realidades textbooks for Spanish I, II and III, and the content is organized according to chapter or grammatical topic. At the Spanish I level, students can learn how to greet others at various times of the day, count, tell time and converse in the classroom. Spanish II teaches students how to use descriptive adjectives, conjugate the verb ser and work with regular -ar, -er and -ir verbs. Topics in Spanish III include the use of, among others, irregular, possessive and reflexive verbs.
Penn State Berks (Pennsylvania State University)
This tutorial is a product of the university's Center for Learning and Teaching, and technology requirements include proper configuration of Firefox or Internet Explorer Web browsers.
The Spanish: Tutorials and Practice Exercises provides online learners with access to audio lessons and self-check practice exercises. Students are able to review and test their knowledge of the imperfect, present and preterite tenses, the verbs ser and estar, commands and the subjunctive mood. The lesson also includes tutorials and exercises in the combined use of the imperfect and the preterite tense, as well as direct and indirect objects.
At the Prentice Hall site, students can supplement their textbook learning with free audio, video and Web-based materials. The site offers a browser tune-up that can help online learners work with the interactive resources, and additional software requirements include Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave and RealPlayer.
Trato Hecho is an introductory Spanish program that emphasizes conversational Spanish and Hispanic culture. The materials can be viewed by chapter, and online learners can use the fill-in-the-blank and multiple-choice activities to test their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary. The automatic feedback feature lets students know if they've entered the correct response, and other instructional tools include flashcards and an online soccer game.
The Open University
The Open University in the United Kingdom is the only academic institution in the country devoted to distance learning, and the school's Learning Space offers over 600 free classes. Students do not need to sign up to view the materials, but advantages to registration include the option to participate in the online learning community. The courses can take anywhere from 1-50 hours to complete, and can include self-directed activities delivered in a print and/or audio format.
Espacios Públicos is one of two classes designed to introduce students to some of the university's language courses. It includes topics in basic communication and culture. This is a 20-hour, introductory class that emphasizes public spaces in Hispanic cities.
Trent University in Ontario, Canada offers an interactive language resource that includes audio clips, color illustrations and vocabulary assistance.
The Más Arriba resource is organized according to both a lesson index and a topical index. Conversational topics include those related to academic subjects, the family, parts of the body and professions. The exercise index also teaches students how to conjugate common Spanish verbs and how to work with the present indicative, progressive and subjunctive tenses. Other audio clips include commands, comparisons and the use of negative words.
U.S. Foreign Service Institute
The U.S. government developed these electronic classes for use in the public domain, and course formats can include audiotapes, PDF-based texts, instructor's manuals and workbooks. Although some print materials may have initially been published over 50 years ago, recent updates have taken place during the last five years.
The Basic Spanish class is a 4-volume, 55-unit audio and print course that emphasizes pronunciation and useful phrases. It's based upon an instructional method known as guided imitation. In light of this, students who pursue this dialog-based course of study may want to work with a native speaker or one with a minimal English accent.
Spanish FAST is a text-based course with 38 lessons that was originally intended for use as a 10-week intensive course led by an instructor. The lessons are designed to help students function in a Spanish-speaking environment, and conversational topics include those that might occur when arriving in a new country, talking on the telephone or becoming acquainted with new people. It's strongly recommended that students collaborate with a native speaker to complete this course instead of just studying it on their own terms.
University of California
The Agricultural Labor Management page at the University of California's website provides free access to MP3 audio downloads that can be burnt onto a CD. Although the materials provide instruction in neutral Spanish, emphasis is on the language as spoken in Mexico and is based upon an agricultural vocabulary. Along with the audio version, students can used a site-based link to access the transcripts.
The Spanish Language Audio course was originally intended to help business owners communicate with Spanish-speaking employees. The audio materials stress a correct and not a slang-based approach to Spanish and provide students with a general approach to learning a new language. In addition to the Spanish alphabet and sounds, the conversational topics include those associated with farming and everyday life: greetings, polite expressions and the weather.
University of Iowa
The University of Iowa's phonics resource is a series of animated libraries that can help students pronounce the consonant and vowel sounds associated with, among others, the Spanish language. Technical requirements include the use of Flash 7 with a Firefox browser.
The Spanish component of the Phonetics Flash Animation Project includes a drawing that illustrates vocal anatomy, a PDF file of linguistic equivalencies and an audio-video that shows students how to correctly articulate the consonant and vowel sounds used in Spanish. By clicking on individual letters in the audio-visual component, students can view both an illustrated and a photographic visual of the sound while hearing how it is pronounced.
University of Michigan
The Open.Michigan program is an online resource that allows alumni, faculty and online users to create and access openly licensed educational content. These are non-certificate, non-degree programs, and students are not able to interact with instructors.
Spanish 277: Reading, Grammar, and Composition is an undergraduate class that originally served as a prerequisite for students pursuing a concentration or minor in Spanish. The course format includes an online, self-directed study of the Spanish language, and it covers topics like the difference between the verbs ser and estar and proper use of the subjunctive tense in noun, adjective and adverbial clauses. Through the online version, students can access audio lessons, handouts, PowerPoint presentations and self-correcting exercises.
Utah State University
Utah State University's OCW initiative can run on the Linux, Macintosh (OS X) and the Windows operating systems.
Computer Assisted Language For Non English Speakers was originally designed to help illiterate native speakers communicate in their own language. The nearly 100 lessons in the course consist of verb and phrase charts and fill-in-the-blank exercises, and students will need QuickTime and Windows Media Player to view and hear some of the course files.