There are two websites I have come across recently which I have been absolutely eating up.
Both help you learn Spanish. Both are free.
And the best part is, this is NOT any kind of sponsored post. I write this post only to pass them along to you.
1. University of Texas Spanish Proficiency Exercises
One of the problems I have run into in this trip abroad is being able to understand native Spanish speakers when they are talking at a normal pace. (People say that Spanish speakers talk fast, but I think English speakers probably speak just as fast at their normal pace, respectively.)
So, naturally, one of the things I had been looking for is a way to practice listening to native speakers talking at a regular pace, but being able to hear their words over and over again until I understand.
Then, I came across the University of Texas Spanish Proficiency Site which totally fit the bill. It’s a totally awesome resource because you get to view short videos of Spanish speakers from different parts of the world– Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and even Spain. This sharpens your listening skills immensly and helps move you toward a fluency that is accent-agnostic.
Most importantly, there are transcripts of the videos and grammar explanations to help you understand what you hear. I have been spending significant time here, and will continue to do so in order to train my listening abilities.
One of the first apps I downloaded for use in Colombia was the SpanishDict app, which includes a solid Spanish-English dictionary, word-of-the-day, and vocabulary games packaged with it. It wasn’t until recently, however, that I actually visited the SpanishDict.com website and signed into their course.
One of the things that has frustrated me learning Spanish only by asking the people around me is that they often don’t have any clue what the correct grammar rules are.
For example, when a verb form changes I often ask if it is subjunctive. I can’t tell you how many times the person I ask has incorrectly said either “yes” when it wasn’t subjunctive, or “no” when it was subjunctive.
Thus, I really like the course at SpanishDict.com because the teacher in the video explains certain grammatical concepts very well, so that you can understand the reasoning behind certain forms of expression, rather than just the expression itself.
I am spending a good bit of time on SpanishDict in order to get a better grasp of Spanish grammar fundamentals.
How This Helps You
If you are currently learning Spanish, make sure to bookmark the two sites above as they are some of the best free resources I have come across– and I have spent many hours online trying to find good resources to learn Spanish. I wish I had known about them when I had started.
Note: If you have used Spanish resources you’ve felt particularly helpful, let me know about them in the comments. I am especially interested in Spanish videos with accurate subtitles or transcripts. (American movies dubbed over into Spanish typically do not have matching subtitles.)