There are so many resources out there to help you either learn or brush up on Spanish that are either free or very cheap, and are very easy to get your hands on. I graduated from college with a minor in Spanish a few years ago and did very well, however as the time went by I forgot more and more of the language. When I set out to familiarize myself with it once again I found many wonderful resources that are great for beginners and intermediate level learners.
First I will start with the freebies. The best free resource I have found is the BBC Online Language School for Spanish www.bbc.co.uk/languages/spanish/. This website is loaded with useful information for both beginners and those at the intermediate level. What’s great about this website is it has everything from audio clips, written translations to videos. They have different sections that have common phrases for categories such as shopping, food and drink, and meeting new people. They also have worksheets that you can print out to test your knowledge after you’ve spent some time listening to and reading the translations. There is also a course called 12 steps with a goal to complete their online beginner’s class in 12 weeks. After you have completed you will also receive a BBC certificate of completion.
Another great website called Learn Spanish www.lingolex.com/spanish.htm has lists of different things such as computer terms and Christmas vocabulary with the Spanish translations. They also have some tutorials for things such as the two different verb forms of “to be.” In Spanish there are two different verbs for “to be” and this guide helps understand when to use which one. You can also search through Google for different lists of vocabulary that you want to focus on such as internet terms, jobs and professions, and public places and find really comprehensive vocabulary with translations.
Now that I’ve covered the freebies here are some things that are a real bargain. I found several college Spanish textbooks from thrift stores like the Salvation Army and the Goodwill for only about a dollar piece! I highly recommend trying to find one at your local thrift stores because not only are they cheap but extremely useful in learning Spanish. Each book I bought started off with the basics such as the alphabet, numbers, and basic greetings and works its way up to writing paragraphs in Spanish. They have detailed information on pronouns, verbs, tenses and the different forms verbs should take based on the pronoun being used. Also it goes in depth with sentence structure and they normally have activities to help you practice.
Another thing I’ve found is the Berlitz audio CD set. I found this at Target on sale for only $15. These come with several different disks, and each disk has several lessons which are on average 12 minutes each. They work on different questions and answers in Spanish to things such as ordering food, introducing yourselves and others, and how to give your address.
Just remember it doesn’t take a lot of money or a hectic schedule in order to learn Spanish. You can learn it on your own time with little or no cost.