The Ultimate Resource List for Beginners Learning Spanish
Have you decided that you want to learn Spanish? Congratulations! This decision will change your life for the better!
Now, you must be wondering where to start. Learning Spanish for beginners, like learning any language from scratch, is a challenge. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or discouraged by resources that are too difficult or too numerous.
I’m here to help you by showing you where to start.
Read this article for a list of the best resources for beginner Spanish learners, divided into sensible categories. I’ve also hand-picked other articles to help you go deeper into your areas of interest. You’ll also discover tips on how to learn Spanish effectively as a beginner.
Remember to bookmark this post and share it with your friends. This is the ultimate resource list to start learning Spanish!
Table of Contents
- Best Online Dictionaries for Spanish Beginners
- Best Textbooks for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Best Books for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Best News Sites for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Best Apps for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Best Podcasts and Audio Resources for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Best YouTube resources for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Social Media for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Tips for Beginner Spanish Learners
- Give Your Spanish a Boost for Free!
Let’s start building your collection of resources!
Best Online Dictionaries for Spanish Beginners
Don’t underestimate a good dictionary.
While Google or DeepL translators are popular, they don’t help you learn or provide sufficient grammar information. Proper online dictionaries are more comprehensive and deliver additional special features, such as synonyms, examples, conjugation, and word usage.
Although I personally love the online dictionary by RAE (Real Academia Española), it may give too much information for beginner Spanish learners, and you’re not there yet to make such choices.
Let me show you something in between—online dictionaries ideal for beginners learning Spanish.
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1. Cambridge Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionary is perfect for English speakers who start learning Spanish. It’s my absolute favorite Spanish-English and English-Spanish dictionary.
It gives you the translation into English, definition in Spanish, pronunciation, example of usage, and synonyms. If you scroll down, you’ll find idiomatic expressions and real examples from trustworthy websites.
If you want to quickly find the translation in context, Lexico dictionary is helpful. It won’t overwhelm you with many examples, or idioms but gives you all the possible options.
If you type in gato, for example, you’ll instantly learn that it means “cat” in English, but it can also refer to a person from Madrid in Spain.
It’s a bit more complicated, but Reverso Dictionary works for ambitious beginner Spanish learners.
If you want to check a Spanish word, choose whether you want a Spanish definition or a translation into other languages. You can also check Spanish conjugation or link to the complete Real Academia Española entry.
Best Textbooks for Beginner Spanish Learners
Although in the modern world, we tend to rely on online resources, a printed manual to highlight, annotate and even take to a beach with no internet access is useful.
Let me show you my favorites that I use with beginner Spanish learners.
1. Preparación al DELE A1
Preparación al DELE A1 provides the necessary structure to tackle the A1 beginner level. Another benefit is that it prepares you to take an official Spanish DELE Exam to certify your knowledge.
It comes with downloadable audio files. Buy the accompanying answer book if you’re studying without a tutor.
Spanish Made Easy Level 1: An Easy Step-By-Step Approach To Learn Spanish for Beginners
Spanish Made Easy Level 1 introduces Spanish language concepts and gradually builds up the information. Explanations are in English, which is useful for absolute beginners. It comes with many exercises to practice in a workbook.
3. Uso de la Gramática Española Elemental (Spanish Edition)
Uso de la Gramática Española is my favorite grammar series (they also offer intermediate and advanced level textbooks). The beginner version comes with 22 basic grammar topics that teach you all the grammar intricacies needed at this level.
If you’re an absolute beginner, you might want to wait a bit, as it’s written completely in Spanish. However, if you have a general understanding from high school or college, this textbook will help you organize your grammar knowledge.
4. Vocabulario A1 Español
VocabularyA1 Español provides all the necessary vocabulary for your first year with Spanish.
It is divided into basic topics such as family, home, classroom environment, weather, and transportation.
What’s more, the book comes with exercises, songs, games, audio, and links to online materials.
Hand-picked for you:
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Best Books for Beginner Spanish Learners
Reading in Spanish is beneficial for your learning. You get exposed to new vocabulary and grammar structures in an entertaining and stimulating way.
It’s key to choose books based on your personal interests and preferences. However, you should start with books that are either short or divided into short chapters. It will help you go over a complete and logical chunk without spending too much time. It will also be easy to go back and look for a specific word or structure.
Check out 20+ Free Online Spanish Books for Self-Motivated Beginners to choose something specific for you
See 20 Free Spanish Books, Novels, and Stories in PDF and Printables to find Spanish reading material.
Try audiobooks to boost your listening skills. Alternatively, buy paperback books online if you prefer them printed.
- Enola Holmes y el misterio de la doble desaparición (Enola Holmes. La novela gráfica 1): La historia de la película – Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novel: The Case of the Missing Marquess
Easy-to-follow graphic novel about Sherlock Holmes’s younger sister.
- El Principito – The Little Prince
If you know this classic and whimsical story, it will be easy to comprehend in Spanish.
It’s an adaptation of classic Hispanic stories with English translations.
Best News Sites for Beginner Spanish Learners
Reading newspaper articles is also wonderful for beginner learners, as they teach you the current language. No archaic words!
1. Hola Qué Pasa
Hola Qué Pasa is a website with daily news in easy Spanish to read or listen to. They come with highlighted phrases translated into English and additional vocabulary related to the topic. Take a short comprehension quiz after you finish reading.
2. News in Slow Spanish
News in Slow Spanish provides simple news content for beginner Spanish learners. However, it’s not free; a monthly subscription costs $22.90.
3. Spanish Language Newspapers
If you want to jump into original news content, try these links that take you to the most important newspapers in Spanish:
Recommended reading: 10 Spanish Articles for Beginners: Learn to Read the News
Best Apps for Beginner Spanish Learners
Learning Spanish for beginners with apps and Chrome extensions is fun. My students love them!
Toucan is a perfect app and Chrome extension for absolute beginners. It chooses some words while you browse in your language and shows them to you in Spanish. It starts with a few easy words and gradually increases in difficulty. Use the free version or upgrade to premium for more options.
2. Lyrics Training App
Lyrics Training helps you learn Spanish
Memrise helps you memorize words and grammar. It uses local videos for pronunciation and spaced repetition. The main benefit? Learning on-the-go.
Duolingo is a super popular language app. It’s fun for beginner Spanish learners but can get a bit annoying if you’re on a higher level.
It is based on “implicit learning,” meaning that it teaches you a language the way you learned your mother tongue when a child. You learn grammar structures without knowing the whole grammar science behind them.
6. Netflix Learning App
Netflix Chrome Extension, also known as Language Reactor, takes learning languages by watching movies to a new level. It lets you watch movies with two sets of subtitles—for example, in your mother tongue and in Spanish.
Choose between automatic and human translation and save new words and expressions.
This app lets you watch Spanish movies and series for intermediate and advanced learners and adapt the new language content to your level. Learn how to use it.
- 12 of the Best Spanish Vocabulary Building Apps for Adults in 2021
- Top 5 Reading Apps to Improve Your Reading Skills in Spanish
- 8 Chat Apps to Practice Speaking Spanish with Your Phone
Best Podcasts for Beginner Spanish Learners
Podcasts train your brain to think in Spanish and give a boost to your listening skills. You listen to natural native language flow with typical interjections and filler words.
1. Notes in Spanish
What will you hear? SImple Spanish-English conversations on different topics. To accompany a podcast with a transcript, translation, and worksheet, you’ll need to pay for the premium version.
2. Spanish Obsessed
Spanish Obsessed offers a series for beginners called Spanish from Scratch. There are more than 30 lessons for this level of a total of six and a half hours. With the premium version, you get worksheets to download and interactive exercises.
3. LightSpeed Spanish
LightSpeed Spanish is another website with excellent podcasts. At the beginner level, you’ll learn greetings, Spanish sounds, and how to conjugate common verbs. There are 32 audios at this level. You listen for free but must pay for worksheets.
Hand-picked for you: 5 Spanish Podcasts for Beginners
Best YouTube Resources for Beginner Spanish Learners
If you are a visual learner and prefer to watch while listening, there are tons of interesting YouTube channels for beginner Spanish learners.
These resources help you with all kinds of language aspects—pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary. Here are my favorites.
1. Spanish Academy TV
Spanish Academy TV creates content about grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation—as well as culture and travel.
Access interesting beginner playlists such as “Explain it like I’m six” and “Spanish Immersion Series.”
2. Easy Spanish
Easy Spanish – Learn Spanish from the Streets offers videos in many Spanish accents. All the episodes provide language content and cultural information. For example, learn about Latino stereotypes.
SpanishPod101 supplies beginner learners with a multitude of free resources adapted to their level. For example, learn basic Spanish vocabulary or basic Mexican Spanish.
Social Media for Beginner Spanish Learners
Have you ever thought that social media can be a great language tool for beginner learners?
1. Instagram Spanish Language Accounts
Start with interesting Instagram accounts. Visual content makes it easier to understand the text.
Spanish Academy also has an Instagram account with language content, cultural insight, grammar tips, and quick quizzes.
Recommended reading: 10 Influencer Accounts To Follow on Instagram in Spanish
2. TikTok Spanish Language Accounts
Everybody loves TikTok videos. What if I told you that you can learn Spanish with their help?
SpanishTeacher offers fun tips on how to learn Spanish and shares cultural information. If you want a Latin American account, check Spanishfeedback. Cecilia will teach you new phrases and explain grammar concepts.
Hand-picked for you: 10 TikTok Accounts to Follow If You’re Learning Spanish
3. Facebook Spanish Language Accounts
If you use Facebook, these top-notch pages publish daily content for beginner Spanish learners.
Practicamos Español publishes language posts with content-enhancing images. From time to time, they provide easy exercises to print like vocabulary word puzzles.
Learn Spanish (A Word a Day) teaches you a Spanish word each day and asks you to interact with the posts in the comment section.
If you want to know more about how to use social media for language learning, don’t forget to read 10 Secrets to Spanish Immersion Using Social Media.
Tips for Beginner Spanish Learners
What can you do to steadily advance on the beginner Spanish level?
You need a learning routine.
Choose the best moment every day to spend at least five minutes learning and reviewing. Look for time slots when you have longer learning periods and stick to the plan.
Diversify your resources.
Choose your favorite apps, books, podcasts, and YouTube videos. Buy one textbook and use it.
Aim to immerse yourself in Spanish.
Even if you’re not actively learning or reviewing, play Spanish songs or a Spanish podcast. Choose Spanish movies and series to watch and put either the subtitles or the audio in Spanish. Sign up for a free class to immerse yourself in Spanish today.
Use the language as soon as possible.
Use Spanish words in your diary, sing and record yourself in Spanish, and practice imaginary conversations.
Give Your Spanish A Boost for Free!
Whatever you choose for learning Spanish for beginners, find something to motivate you in the long run. Your initial excitement may not be enough to stick to the commitment.
Why did you start learning Spanish in the first place? To travel? To meet new people? To read books in Spanish and watch Spanish movies?
In addition to these worthy goals, knowing Spanish gives you tangible benefits such as a higher salary! According to a study conducted by The Economist, a person can earn anywhere from $50,000 to $125,000 extra just by knowing a foreign language alone.
Let Homeschool Spanish Academy assist you! Sign up for a free trial class to start learning Spanish and conquer the beginner level in a 1-to-1 conversation! Check out our affordable pricing and flexible programs!
Join one of the 40,000 classes that we teach each month and you can experience results like these
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one on one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
– Erica P. Parent of 1
“HSA offers very affordable, quality, one-on-one classes with a native speaker. My son has greatly benefited from taking classes. We have seen his confidence increase as well as his pronunciation improve, because he learns from a native Spanish speaker. HSA has quick, personal customer service. I have appreciated the one on one interaction and teaching that my son gets from his teachers. He has gotten to know his teachers, which has increased his confidence in speaking Spanish. Our family has been very pleased with our experience so far!”
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“I love that my children have the opportunity to speak with a live person. They get to practice Spanish in a 1-1 setting while improving their speaking, writing and reading skills during their lessons. HSA is a great way to learn Spanish for all ages! My children are 6, 9 and 11. My oldest two (9 and 11) have been taking classes with HSA for almost 2 years now. They love seeing their teacher each week. They understand the importance of learning several languages. I’ve seen them grow and learn with HSA. I’m excited to see how they will improve the more classes they take. I highly recommend them. You can’t bet learning and speaking with a live teacher. I’ve tried other programs. It’s just not as motivating.”
– Karie Ann, Parent of 3
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