Spanish Classes Online: How Do You Choose the Right Fit?
There are tons of online classes available to help you learn Spanish. But how do you choose the right fit for yourself as a student?
Maybe you’ve taken Spanish classes online in the past, only to have a negative experience. Turned out, the noise quality was poor or the teachers were disorganized. In short, they didn’t know what they were doing.
Want to avoid being in a situation like that again? You’re in the right place! Use our expert checklist with the essential criteria as your guide.
Criteria for Spanish Classes Online
Online courses are flexible enough to teach you from zero or start at your level and gradually carry you all the way to fluency. This is your mission, should you choose to accept it.
The internet has become a popular vehicle for learning Spanish. Tons of options are available at your fingertips. Almost too many options. Use this checklist to ensure that you find a high-quality class to enroll in!
- Quality curriculum
- Is it at your level?
- Pre-recorded courses vs live classes
- Teaching staff
- Personalized attention
- Cost/Benefit analysis
Let’s take a closer look at each of these key factors to look for when shopping for online Spanish classes.
Low-quality curriculum may be overly basic, too repetitive, or confusing to follow. It emphasizes reading and writing over listening and speaking, resulting in an academic Spanish precision but an inability to understand spoken Spanish or engage in a conversation.
Online Spanish classes with high-quality curriculum include helpful grammar lessons and meaningful vocabulary meanwhile incorporating the four key skills of reading, writing, listening, and speaking in every lesson. The key to a good curriculum is providing students with plenty of opportunities to speak the target language in class!
Before you enroll in a Spanish class online, be sure to choose a school that uses a set curriculum and many years of experience. Here are some additional questions to consider:
- Does your course have an established curriculum?
- Does the Spanish course mix all four language competencies (reading, writing, listening, and speaking)?
- How does the school or the teacher teach these four competencies in their online classroom?
- Can you take a sample class for free with no obligation?
- Does the course offer supplementary materials or “homework”?
- Does the course provide students evaluator feedback through regular testing?
Is It at Your Level?
An additional question to consider is: does the Spanish course offer the right material for your current level of Spanish? If not, you may feel like you are wasting time. As you search for the right fit, you’ll notice that some classes offer placement tests while others are specifically tailored for a certain level. Ensure that the course has the level you need before you sign up.
Pre-recorded Courses vs Live Classes
Online Spanish courses can really work—if you put in the time and effort required to get the most out of them. Online courses include both self-paced computer courses, as well as live classes with a Spanish teacher. Many courses for all levels (especially beginners) are available for download, on Spanish learning focused websites, and on YouTube.
Naturally, a pre-recorded online course pales in comparison to live interaction, but you can easily learn sentence structure, vocabulary, and pronunciation through use of memory aid tools like flashcards and audio files of native Spanish speakers that you can imitate.
With “self-paced” online learning, there is no teacher other than the course material itself. You’re on your own, so you’ll need some serious motivation and dedication. A few benefits of pre-recorded Spanish courses including logging in to your course whenever you feel like it and going entirely at your own pace. They suffice in teaching you basic conversational skills and verb conjugation, while giving you a chance to practice writing and speaking common phrases. If you’re lucky, the course will provide an introduction to Spanish and Latin America culture.
Having your own live teacher, on the other hand, offers a great opportunity to improve your Spanish skills. Your teacher will focus on your learning style and goals and develop a plan to move you forward. Consistently taking online Spanish classes is the most economical and productive way to learn the language.
When you do choose a live Spanish course, figure out whether you are dealing with a school or a freelance teacher. Tons of superb independent online instructors are teaching Spanish online—but beware, so are some flat-out bad ones.
Good online Spanish teachers will find shortcuts for you. They understand the workings of the language. One way to feel certain that your online Spanish tutor is adequately trained to teach you is to enroll with an online Spanish school. The school will have vetted and perhaps even trained the teacher.
Here are some questions to research as you look into different online Spanish class options:
- Are the teachers native Spanish speakers from Latin America or Spain?
- Are they certified teachers?
- Are their accents clear and easy to understand?
- Are they well versed in many aspects of Spanish and Latin culture, history, politics, and society?
- Will they tailor the classes to your needs and interests?
Investing in personalized lessons keeps you accountable. The teacher is always there to help you with anything you have trouble understanding. An experienced teacher or tutor will create customized lessons to fit your specific strengths, challenges, and goals. The most effective online Spanish class will focus completely on you, your skills, and your improvement since, after all, you are the reason for the class.
The best way to compare the costs and benefits of the courses you’re choosing between is first to know exactly what you expect from your Spanish course. Ask yourself: what benefits are you seeking by taking Spanish classes online? Are you looking to enroll in an introductory course or a refresher? Academic Spanish courses? Preparation for travel to Latin America or Spain? Professional development? Grammar instruction? Conversation and communication development? Or maybe you want to learn Spanish just for fun? Consider your goals for yourself to properly manage your Spanish expectations.
In addition to your goals, consider what price range suits you best. What is the cost of the Spanish classes you are considering? Of the countless online Spanish courses in today’s market, some are free while others charge a monthly subscription or a one-time fee.
Here are some more questions to consider when seeking Spanish classes online:
- Is it affordable for you?
- What’s the success rate?
- What do the user reviews of the course say?
- How successful were others in completing it?
- Does it cover the subject matter you’re interested in learning?
- Does the course teach vocabulary that’s relevant to you?
- Does it focus more on business, travel, formal, or informal Spanish?
Complete the Checklist
In summary, before choosing an online Spanish class, do thorough research of several options and take these key points into consideration. Choose well and you will be on the path to learning Spanish. Good luck and happy learning!
Try Online Classes at Homeschool Spanish Academy!
The best way to master your target language is to use a combination of various methods of online learning. The more you can immerse yourself in Spanish, the faster your skills will increase! The one key element missing from most online language learning resources is the opportunity to speak the language. It’s impossible to learn a language unless you start to speak it! Are you ready to start now? Our certified, friendly Spanish teachers from Guatemala want to give you a risk-free opportunity to see if they’re the perfect fit for you! Sign up for a free trial class at Homeschool Spanish Academy to start speaking Spanish today.
Learn more about us at HSA! We look forward to serving you.
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