Hola, amigos y vecinos. As with any language, if you want to learn to speak Spanish, it can be very challenging. But there are several useful resources that can help you get started, or are useful if you”˜re taking a Spanish course or need a refresher. These resources are a mix of websites and Apple mobile apps that are very accessible, especially if you”˜re planning a trip to a Spanish-speaking country.
Apple’s iTunes Store has more than a few resources for free that can help you learn to speak Spanish.
The 24/7 Tutor site provides two free language learning applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPad. These apps teach the language using a variety of methods, including games, multiple choice quizzes, and flash cards. The interactive lessons include audio pronunciations of selected Spanish words. While the app itself is not very appealing in its design, the lessons are direct and easy to follow. The included lesson categories””Food and Dining, Town and Country, Opposites, Basic Phrases, Questions””are great for tourists and as a refresher course.
Learn to Speak Spanish Podcasts
For a little more extensive resource than 24/7 Tutor, Learn to Speak Spanish with Discover Spanish [iTunes link] has posted over 25 ten minute podcast lessons which are a mixture of tutoring, conversational Spanish, and games. The pace of the recordings is good and clear, and the lessons cover various topics, from greetings and the names of family members, to what do you do for a living. These lessons, which are broken up in units, are great for tourists and beginners.
Spanish A+ and Spanish Pod
Edufone’s Spanish A+ [iTunes link] podcasts feature over 30 recorded lessons on varied topics such as directions to the dentist office, discussing your favorite drink, holiday, and when to use certain verbs. I would say these podcasts will be more useful for those wanting a refresher course. The lessons are basically set up as listen, learn, and repeat. They are a little fast paced, but you are instructed to pause your device and repeat what you hear.
SpanishPod [iTunes link] is similar Spanish language podcast, featuring about 20 lessons. The presenters and teachers use a conversational style in both English and Spanish, with a mixture of direct lessons. It sounds great for beginners.
StudySpanish.com has hundreds of traditional lessons for learning Spanish words, phrases, and parts of speech. The interactive lessons consist of speak and repeat, but you can jump around and focus on topics that you want to practice. This site is great for self-learners or for students taking a course in Spanish. The site includes free and paid membership, but the former has plenty of useful tools including quiz generators, grammar tutorials, and verb drills. The site is also set up so that lessons can be printed directly or emailed. Signing up for a free account enables you to take tests and record grades, as well as receive the site’s newsletter.
Let us know if you find any of these resources helpful, or tell us about websites and tools that help you learn to speak Spanish.