An understanding of the Spanish language is fascinating, opening learners to opportunities that would otherwise be unavailable. With more than 20 countries of the world having Spanish as their primary language and a dozen other countries largely populated with Spanish speakers, learning the language definitely gives you an edge.
Many people can speak a second language, and you might be missing out on a lot of fascinating and fun experiences if you can’t. Thankfully, you can do something about it without necessarily going back to school for more education, hiring a Spanish tutor or native teacher, or investing in a Spanish book. Online Spanish classes are an excellent option for learning Spanish on your terms and at your pace.
Finding the right online Spanish courses can be quite challenging but not because there are not enough options. Instead, there are way too many to pick from, which can be overwhelming. However, here is everything you need to know about online Spanish classes, including what to expect from the courses, average costs, and the best options you can choose from.
Who Would Benefit From Taking an Online Spanish Class?
Whether you are planning to visit a Spanish-speaking country or you want to communicate better with your Spanish friends or neighbor, learning a new language can be quite beneficial to:
- Any student looking to earn a Spanish degree
- Frequent travelers to Spanish-speaking countries
- Native English speakers who plan to work abroad
- People living in Spanish-speaking neighborhood
Many people in the US and around the world have “travel to Latin America and Spain” on their bucket list, which explains why there is a lot of interest in learning the language. But beyond chatting up your Spanish neighbor and planning a more fun vacation to Spanish-speaking countries, there are other super important benefits of taking an online learning course in Spanish.
Why is Spanish a Useful Language to Learn?
When you commit to learning a new language, you automatically improve your communication skills and give your memory a boost because you have to do a lot of memorizing and remembering. Learning a foreign language also improves your language skill, allowing you to broaden your understanding of words and grasp concepts pretty quickly.
But here are more specific reasons why learning Spanish as a second language is useful:
- Spanish is one of the most spoken languages in the world, with more than 475 million native speakers worldwide. There are nearly 50 million people in the United States who speak Spanish as a second language or native language. This fact alone gives lets you communicate with a vast number of people from nearly all the continents of the world.
- Learning Spanish can help you get a better job, whether you plan to work in the US or abroad. Being fluent in a foreign language gives you an edge and boosts your employment prospects in today’s global marketplace. Many employers consider employees who can facilitate international trade as assets. With the Spanish language being one of the most commonly spoken languages across the world, being a Spanish speaker is considered highly valuable, whether you are a native speaker or speak it as a second language.
- Learning a widely popular foreign language sets you apart from people who can only speak one language. The Spanish grammar and vocabulary are relatively easy to learn, making it easy to grow as a person instead of limiting yourself to only the English language.
- You can learn about the Spanish culture by learning the language, whether you learn it from an online Spanish tutor, using an app, or meeting face-to-face with a Spanish teacher.
- Learning a second language, such as Spanish, can improve your grasp of English or your first language. That’s because you will pay more attention to the Spanish grammar, syntaxes, rules, and sentence structures, which will eventually improve your overall language skills.
Why Should Students Consider Taking Online Spanish Classes?
Both high school and college students can enroll in online Spanish classes for credits. Specific advantages for taking online Spanish classes include:
- Convenience: the traditional classroom setting can be distracting for some students. On the other hand, online classes allow the student to choose the noise level, the brightness of the room, comfortable sitting and set the tone for the type of environment that enables them to learn best. Besides, students can also take online lessons just about anywhere they are at their own pace.
- Less stress: The flexibility of online classes improves the relationship between the tutor and student, and at the same time, reduces stress. Students don’t need to be seated in a physical classroom for long hours. Instead, each learner designs his or her schedule. Having a patience Spanish teacher puts less stress on the student. Because there are usually no peers (at least physically present), there is less peer-pressure, allowing the learner to focus more on what is being taught.
- More free time: Learning Spanish online allows students to have more free time to do other important things. For example, students who need to participate in competitions can have all the free time they need to go about their practice and events without worrying about missing classes. They can simply log in to the online platform and take their lessons, as long as they have an internet connection from wherever they are.
- Custom learning: Typical classroom teaching methods are not usually tailored to meet individual student’s needs. Students can benefit from custom learning approaches that offer them an education based on their learning style, capabilities, and needs with online Spanish classes. For example, students with certain learning disabilities can have lessons that focus more on methods to help them learn better.
What Careers Benefit from the Knowledge of Spanish?
Learning Spanish as a foreign language improves your verbal skills, reasoning, and reading skills and helps your career. That’s because it gives you a better understanding of other cultures, helps you multitask, and network with Spanish-speaking workers and clients. Little wonder, some students put in the effort to study linguistics at the master’s level.
But even if you don’t have a job yet, here are specific careers that your Spanish skills can give you an edge over others and get you hired.
- Medical Professional: Knowledge of the Spanish language comes in handy in places with large Hispanic populations. It will allow for hassle-free communication between medical personnel and patients who speak only Spanish. While a job as a doctor or nurse may not directly require the Spanish language specifically, the knowledge will make you a preferred candidate.
- Translator or Interpreter: Whether it is in written or spoken form, translators and interpreters can work in various settings to aid communication between people who don’t speak the same language. Translators and interpreters can work in the court, customs and immigration services at airports, and other government agencies.
- Teacher: Bilingual education and jobs that require ESL often prefer candidates with Spanish skills.
- Customer Service Representative: Customer service representatives who are fluent in Spanish often get higher pay because of their additional skills. That’s usually because of their ability to assist more clients than someone who speaks only English.
- Sales Professional: Negotiating sales and purchases with companies and individuals who can speak only Spanish is a huge advantage for sales professionals.
- Social Worker: The job of social workers puts them in very sensitive situations where they need to work closely with individuals and families, often at intimate levels. Being able to communicate in a language that clients are comfortable with goes a long way in encouraging them to open up. Spanish-speaking social workers have a higher chance of employment in communities with a larger Hispanic population.
Other careers where Spanish-speaking skills can greatly enhance your chances include Writer, Teller or Personal Banker, Receptionist or Administrative Assistant, and Law Enforcement Professional.
What Is Taught in an Online Spanish Class?
An online Spanish class’s content will vary depending on the specific course and the target learners’ level. However, you can expect to find the following concepts in most Spanish online classes:
- Basic vocabulary
- Conversational words focused on meeting people (greetings), how to be polite, making small talks, and more
- Expressions used in various Spanish-speaking regions
Many Spanish online courses are effective, but that will depend largely on your commitment – the time and effort you put in to get the best out of the online class. As with every other online learning, there is no one looking over your shoulder. Therefore, you need a healthy dose of dedication and motivation to make the online learning course have a meaningful impact, regardless of how great the content is.
How are Lessons Structured in an Online Spanish Class?
The lesson structure for online Spanish classes depends on the specific course. For example, the Rock Spanish course is an online Spanish course made up of classes offering audio lessons for about 30 minutes. The total number of hours comes to 120 for a complete lesson for each level.
Other courses offer video content (news items, inspiring talks, movie trailers, etc.), pictures, quizzes, tests, and some can be personalized to deliver tests based on the learner’s lesson history.
Some of the very easy-to-grasp online Spanish courses, such as Language Transfer, are structured to help the native or fluent English speaker make seamless connections between Spanish and English verbs by merely listening to simple concepts.
Many other courses are designed to look like typical Spanish textbooks, offering the learner a list of vocabularies, lessons, and exercises. Learning Spanish this way gives you access to great resources that can quickly build your knowledge.
What Aspects of Spanish Culture are Taught in Online Spanish class?
Authentic cuisines, art, literature, and other aspects of culture that come directly from another country are what you should be learning if you want to get the best value. This is no different for the student interested in learning Spanish, especially those aiming to earn a higher qualification, such as a bachelor’s degree or a master’s in Spanish.
This explains why many learners prefer hiring an in-person native teacher for private lessons or an online Spanish tutor for group classes. A native speaker won’t only improve the students’ language skills but give them first-hand and authentic education about the Spanish culture.
While many online Spanish classes include content covering reading, writing, pronunciation, Spanish grammar, and vocabulary, a touch of Hispanic culture is usually incorporated in the lessons. Depending on the specific course, you can expect to learn about the history, society, and politics of the Spanish and Latin cultures.
These aspects of the Spanish culture are usually presented in the form of reading materials, Spanish-language movies, Spanish-language advertisements, and educational videos about Spanish-speaking countries.
How Can You Practice Conversation with Online Spanish Classes?
Many prospective Spanish students who prefer learning through online Spanish classes worry about conversation practice. After all, fluency is not just about how much you understand a language but how much of it you can speak.
Focusing on grammar and syntax is great, but without putting enough time into speaking the language through conversations, the language student will only end up with many memorized Spanish verbs that he or she can’t use conversationally.
Practicing conversation means creating material instead of solely absorbing materials through passive language activities, such as listening and reading.
Here are ways you can practice conversation with online Spanish classes:
- Chat Sites
One of the best ways to practice and improve your Spanish-speaking skills is finding chat platforms with native Spanish speakers. Chatting doesn’t only let you know and make new friends, but it also translates into conversations that improve your language skills. Some excellent chat sites for chatting with native Spanish speakers include El Chat, ChatForFree, and Espanglish Chat.
It might seem obvious but playing games can considerably improve your ability to quickly learn a foreign language. This is particularly true for games that target native speakers of the language you are interested in learning. Games are entertaining and fun, which removes the feeling that you are trying to learn something different from what you are used to. They can be addictive, too. In your quest to outdo your previous performance or score, you are likely to keep playing the game over and over. This allows you to practice your Spanish quite often, even when you are not trying to make an effort. Some great games you try to practice your Spanish are RockAlingua and Digital Dialects.
- Join Online Spanish-speaking Forums and Groups
The internet is crawling dedicated-Spanish forums with millions of native speakers from all over the world. Consider joining one or a few of these forums to interact and contribute to forum discussions instead of merely observing others. Joining in forum discussions gets you immersed in the conversation, and before long, you would have considerably improved your Spanish speaking skills. You can browse and join online business groups, gaming forums, Reddit, and language groups such as meetup.com.
Average Cost of Online Spanish Classes
Even though the Spanish language is comparatively easier to grasp for many people, still learning a language can be challenging for some people. You don’t want to add to that the worry of huge costs, which is why pursuing a Spanish degree might not be an affordable route for many people.
If you must take an online college course to learn Spanish, consider getting college credit using free online college courses. Some of these options are completely free, others allow you to pay for credits after you pass the course, and some require the student to pay a very low subscription fee to study.
A generally feasible route for many people is to enroll in an online Spanish class or hire a tutor (preferably a native teacher) to for a Spanish tutoring service.
The cost of hiring an online Spanish tutor varies from one Spanish teacher to the other. Typical pricing will depend on where you live, class length, course content, and whether you are hiring a native teacher.
Generally speaking, hiring a Spanish tutor for a Spanish lesson will cost you around $15 to $25 per hour for private lessons. Mini-group classes can cost anywhere from $12 to $15 per lesson, while large group classes are priced around $9 to $13 per lesson. Typically, the more the number of classes a student takes, the lesser money they can expect to spend per lesson.
However, some Spanish learning platforms are accessible for free, with course offerings available as self-paced, downloadable applications. The average costs of paid online classes are usually in the range of $150 to $300 for a complete program. Other online Spanish tutoring services and classes offer monthly subscriptions at a lower rate.
Best Online Spanish Classes
Learning a second language comes with plenty of advantages, including cognitive benefits that help a person to process information better, improve attention to details, and protect against some age-related decline of cognitive functions. Teachers can also increase their marketability by obtaining a secondary education degree, focusing on one of the widely spoken languages in the world – Spanish.
But whether you are looking to increase your employability, marketability, or simply want to improve your Spanish, you need to choose a good online Spanish course to do this effectively.
What Makes an Online Course a Good Course?
Enrolling in a Spanish degree program can be a costly endeavor for many people. A more affordable option is to sign up for a good online course where Spanish is taught as a second language.
The good news is there is no scarcity of language classes, particularly online Spanish classes. But the bad news is it gets tricky to figure out which of the Spanish language courses are worth investing your time and possibly money.
An online Spanish course is only good if it meets the following criteria:
- Course Content: The course content must be of the highest quality and should be easy for learners to understand.
- Track Record: Students who received this type of education should be fluent in the language. There should be a proven track record of competent learners.
- Price: The course should be reasonably priced for the content it delivers. In many cases, an overpriced online class or course indicates a focus on making a profit instead of delivering quality.
- Learner Satisfaction: How satisfied are students who took the course? While opinions will definitely vary, a significant percentage of those who have received the education should be satisfactory, or else the course might not be worth taking.
How to Determine which Online Spanish Courses are Right for You
The market is rife with countless language courses, specifically Spanish courses. Some are quite pricey, and you have to pay for them outright; some offer a monthly subscription, and others are free.
However, whether a Spanish course is expensive is not a guarantee that it suits every student. If you are thinking of learning a new language in an online format, the following questions can help you determine if a specific online Spanish course is right for you.
- Is the course content suitable for your current level of Spanish? Some online Spanish lessons are designed to suit specific learning levels, while others offer placement tests. Be sure that the course content meets your current level before you sign up.
- What is the success rate of the Spanish course? Check the reviews from other users to find out what they have to say about the course. What is the overall assessment by other learners? Were they successful in completing the course? Was the Spanish lesson useful for a specific level or too easy it made no meaningful impact? While it is true that some user reviews are not honest, you can read between the lines if you spend some time reading a considerable number of user evaluations.
- Can I afford the course? Some courses cost good money while others are free. As mentioned earlier, an online Spanish language course’s price or cost is not a reliable determining factor for judging its effectiveness or suitability. It is best to decide on your budget and look for language classes that fall within what you can afford.
- Does it offer portability? Consider the flexibility offered by the course. Where can you take the class or study the course? Do you need to be in front of a computer to use it? Is it a more portable course? These days, some online lessons can be downloaded to mobile devices and used offline (unlike some college courses that are only available online. Consider the option that suits you best.
- Does it cover the specific language skills that you want to learn? If the course does not teach the Spanish vocabulary that is relevant to you, it won’t help you no matter how expensive, and user-friendly the course is. When you are learning a second language, it is best to choose a course that improves your grammar in specific subject matters, such as the informal or formal use of the language, travel, business, and more.
Finding the Best Online Spanish Classes
The following online Spanish courses meet the criteria listed above, making them some of the best options available. Consider your current level and the specific subject matters you are interested in learning before making a choice.
- Rocket Spanish
- Suitability: All levels
- Price: Free trial, one-time fee at different tiers
- Course Content: Focus on grammar and vocabulary
- Suitability: All levels
- Price: Free (certificates costs a fee)
- Course Content: Can be customized to suit individual needs with a focus on pronunciation, grammar, and sentence structure
- Suitability: Beginners
- Price: Free (certificates may cost a fee)
- Course Content: Free online courses from the University of California, Davis, and other top institutions covering a wide range of topics in basic Spanish vocabulary (meeting people, cultural experience, social events, and more)
- Suitability: All levels
- Price: Free and paid subscription
- Course Content: Interactive language lesson (listen and speak Spanish)
- Suitability: Beginners and Intermediate learners
- Price: Paid and free courses
- Course Content: Grammar courses for advanced learners and conversational Spanish for beginners
- Live Lingua
- Suitability: Beginners and Intermediate learners
- Price: Free
- Course Content: Ready-to-go and everyday phrases
- Suitability: Beginners
- Price: Free
- Course Content: General introduction to pronunciation, reading, and courses on Spanish vocabulary commonly used in restaurants.
- Language Transfer
- Suitability: Complete novice (excellent for those fluent in English or native English speakers)
- Price: Free (donations are encouraged)
- Course Content: Listening-based course with a focus on transferring English skills to the Spanish language.
- Study Spanish
- Suitability: All levels
- Price: Free and paid tutorials
- Course Content: Pronunciation keys, verb drills, Spanish vocabulary, grammar charts, quizzes, and tests.
- Suitability: Beginners
- Price: Paid tutorial
- Course Content: Grammarless courses allow natural language learning, and Real-World courses offer unlimited one-on-one Spanish classes (similar to hiring a tutor).