When it comes to learning languages, the Internet is your oyster. Take a peak at my top tips for the best websites for improving your Spanish skills.
These are sequential online programmes in the form of audio, video or document files and they are based on interesting topics that can help you through your Spanish language learning process. For example, why not visit Radio Lingua for Coffee Break Spanish or Showtime Spanish – two fantastic culturally engaging podcasts that you’ll be hooked on in no time.
The BBC is a great resource for lower level learners. Check out “Mi vida loca” an interactive video learning soap opera, GCSE bitesize explanations and revision, interactive games on pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary, essential holiday phrases as well as a guide dedicated to “street Spanish”. If you’re level is a bit beyond the BBC, there are numerous authentic news websites from a Spanish-speaking country itself – for example, El Mundo is one of the main Spanish online newspapers, along with El Tiempo from Colombia, El Clarin from Argentina and La Nación from Chile. If you can, make it a habit to read an article or watch a news video daily.
There are many online dictionaries for Spanish and other languages, but my favourite by far is Word Reference, which not only has a vast array of definitions for specific words as well as expressions which include that particular word, but its best feature is the forum which is accessible to all – learners, teachers, native speakers – you name it. Because of this, word reference is a great resource for finding specific meanings, unusual idioms and expressions as well as discussions on the best way to translate a certain text.
Fluentu – if you don’t mind investing in some Spanish learning materials, fluentu is a great one to do so in. With real world videos, you can really make your Spanish come to life. You can start and stop the videos, click on words and receive explanations about a particular grammar point or the meaning of a new word, for instance. It is available for all levels, from the newest of newbies to a near native speaker level, and you can create your own homepage by letting Fleuntu suggest to you particular topics that are of interest to you, focusing on your strengths and weaknesses. Furthermore, it is updated every day with new content.
So don’t sit still – get into a rhythm of using the world wide web to enhance your Spanish skills and complement your private Spanish tuition and you’ll feel more confident in no time! Written by Evie Oswald