The gold standard of learning Spanish is one to one, face to face teaching from a native Spanish speaker (preferably a Spanish course in Spain). Given that this is hard to organize or prohibitively expensive we must sometimes take advantage of other methods to increase our knowledge.
There are many online Spanish courses, some with just written texts, some with pre-recorded study material, and some with live interactions with teachers via video chat. Regular practice of any kind is a positive thing, but a course featuring the opportunity to speak live with a native Spanish speaker is a pretty good substitute for in person learning.
A variety of different teaching styles and materials is important. Some people prefer textbooks and grammar lessons, while others prefer to immerse themselves in real life, reading, speaking and listening to Spanish-language media.
An online course with a live native speaking teacher covers all of the areas of Spanish language study. Listening, speaking, reading and writing.
Community learning is a powerful tool in language learning, and online courses can provide a great way to connect with other Spanish learners and practice speaking with native speakers. You probably know yourself well enough to decide between courses that are one-on-one and those that feature group learning. Cost considerations may influence your decision but the most important factor should be the suitability and effectiveness of the learning structure for your own personality. Be honest and go with what works.
But by just doing an online course on its own you are missing out on the chance to combine learning techniques and have them feed off each other. Doing a class, plus reading around the subject matter covered, plus listening to Spanish language radio or YouTube, plus studying a chapter of your preferred Spanish grammar book will all reinforce each other and make your understanding and knowledge retention much more robust.
Like any other method you must actually follow through and do the work involved. An online Spanish class is not just an excuse to use the internet for an hour without feeling guilty. To extract the full value you must do any preparatory work required, pay attention during the lesson, try your hardest to interact fully and follow up with homework and complimentary study that will help the lessons stick. The purpose is not to do just the class, it is to learn Spanish.
Online learning requires self-discipline. Unless the course has fixed times for you to learn, you must actually put in the hours, just as with any other more traditional method of learning a foreign language. It’s important to find a course with a structure and curriculum that works for you. Some courses are self-paced, while others have fixed schedules and specific goals.
Some people find that having paid for a course makes them more likely to follow through and get the most out of the new resource, so as not to feel like they have wasted their money. Perhaps the effect is not so strong if a parent has paid for the course, but that situation has its own particular advantages. In any case, an online course is a more convenient option than actually living and working in Spain, and maybe even cheaper than traveling to in-person classes each week. This really is the crux of the issue; how much are you willing to pay to get the benefits of an online Spanish course.
I always recommend supplementing online classes with real-life practice, such as talking with native Spanish speakers, watching Spanish-language TV and Youtube, or reading Spanish books and newspapers. The more exposure you have to the language, the easier it will be to pick up new vocabulary, grammar and cultural nuances.
FAQs about online Spanish courses
What are the advantages of online Spanish courses compared to in-person learning options?
Online Spanish courses offer several advantages over in-person learning options. They provide flexibility and convenience, allowing you to study at your own pace and schedule. With live interactions with native Spanish speakers via video chat, online courses can serve as a suitable substitute for face-to-face teaching. Additionally, online courses often feature community learning, enabling you to connect with other Spanish learners and practice speaking with native speakers, creating a powerful tool for language acquisition.
How can I make the most of an online Spanish course to ensure effective learning?
To make the most of an online Spanish course, you must actively engage in the learning process and follow through with the work involved. It is essential to do any preparatory work required, pay full attention during lessons, interact actively with the materials and the teacher, and complete any homework or complementary study. Supplementing online classes with real-life practice, such as conversing with native Spanish speakers, watching Spanish-language media, and reading Spanish books and newspapers, will reinforce your understanding and knowledge retention.
How can I choose the right online Spanish course for my learning style and goals?
When selecting an online Spanish course, consider your learning style, goals, and level of self-discipline. Some courses may offer self-paced learning, while others have fixed schedules and specific objectives. Determine whether you prefer one-on-one instruction or group learning, and evaluate the course’s curriculum and structure to see if it aligns with your preferences. Additionally, consider the benefits of courses that feature live interactions with native Spanish speakers, as this can significantly enhance your language learning experience.