The Best Online Spanish Classes for the Whole Family

·26 min read
Young boy learning online
Young boy learning online

Unsplash / Compare Fibre

Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the United States, but that's not the only reason it's useful to learn the language; several studies have shown learning a second language can help children improve their cognitive skills. For example, children who speak more than one language are better problem-solvers and more creative than those who speak only their native dialect. What's more, as the world continues to become increasingly more connected, a second language will prove beneficial for future employment opportunities.

Choosing an online Spanish course depends on a number of factors. The best classes to learn Spanish will have an ample and varied curriculum covering a range of topics, from how to introduce yourself to how to communicate at work with Spanish speaking coworkers. They'll also offer live classes with tutors who can teach you about the cultural side of the language, give you feedback on your pronunciation, and provide additional material, on top of lessons, to help you or your child master the Spanish language as quickly as possible.

There are numerous companies offering online courses of varying qualities and prices, which can make the process of finding a good online course a little overwhelming. To help make the process a little easier for you, we have compiled a list of the best online Spanish classes, including options suited for complete beginners, intermediate, and advanced level students.

Best Spanish Classes of 2022

Best Overall: Babbel

Key Specs

  • Price: $67 for 6 months to $90 a year

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Babbel offers a well-rounded curriculum for Spanish students, which covers topics including business, culture, and travel. The lessons feature a variety of spoken and written exercises to test your knowledge. Its premium Babbel Live tier also offers live classes, taught by certified teachers, so you can practice your conversation skills in real time.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Short and engaging lessons in a wide range of topics

  • Unlimited live classes included in Babbel Live subscription

  • AI speech recognition tool assesses your pronunciation

Cons

  • Live classes subscription plans are significantly more expensive

  • Free trial is limited to the first lesson of the course

  • No certification available

Overview

Founded in Berlin, Germany in 2007, Babbel offers an expansive curriculum for its Spanish classes. The program is designed to help both beginners and more advanced learners brush up on their Spanish and improve their mastery of the language.

There are a variety of exercises, including fill in the blanks, word banks, matching words, and speaking and listening practices. Students receive "tips" throughout their lessons reminding them of grammar rules, differences between Latin American Spanish and Castilian Spanish, and other useful tidbits meant to reinforce the concepts they are learning.

Signing up on the site gives you access to a limited free trial where you can complete one lesson for free, take a look at its live class offerings, and book up to three free classes. The Babbel Live subscription plans, while more expensive than its regular app plans, lets students book as many classes as they want. The sessions are hosted by certified teachers who are also native Spanish speakers.

Babbel Live subscriptions run from $67 for six-month or $90 per year. The Babbel app subscription, which do not have access to the live classes, cost an aditional $7per month with an annual plan.

Babbel Logo
Babbel Logo

Best for Beginners: Duolingo

Key Specs

  • Price: Free to $7 per year

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Duolingo provides a low-stakes, budget-friendly introduction to the basics of Spanish for beginners with an ad-supported free tier. Its lessons include speaking, reading, and writing exercises, and they are set up in a gamified way, encouraging people to stay engaged and competitive.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free plan available

  • Gamified lessons keep people engaged and invested

  • AI speech recognition tool grades your pronunciation

Cons

  • Free plan contains ads

  • Doesn't offer education on Spanish culture

  • Uses computer-generated voices instead of native speakers

Overview

Duolingo offers a valuable introduction to basic Spanish grammar and vocabulary for free. The platform is designed as a game, meaning that you earn points every time you complete a lesson and compete with other learners from across the globe. This encourages you to keep coming back to the service and complete more lessons.

Moreover, a research paper commissioned by the company found that beginner-level students who reach the end of unit five perform as well on reading and listening tests as students who have completed four semesters of college-level instruction.

Lessons are completely self-paced, so you can spend as much or as little time as you want on them, and they include a variety of listening, speaking and writing exercises. The content is available both online via a web browser and through a mobile app. In the web version, however, you also get access to a variety of free and paid classes hosted by fluent or native speakers to help you practice what you've learned.

An ad-free paid version of Duolingo, which runs  about $7 per month prepares customized lessons based on common mistakes you've made to help strengthen your learning.

Duolingo
Duolingo

Best for Intermediates: Let's Speak Spanish

Key Specs

  • Price: $29 to $219 per level (24 levels total)

  • Platforms: Online

  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

A cadre of native Spanish teachers located all around the globe make Let's Speak Spanish a great resource for intermediate students looking to practice their pronunciation and advance their skills. At the end of the 24-level course, you will be fluent in Spanish and test at a B2 level in the European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR), according to the company.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free placement test places you at the right level

  • Includes a community forum where students can ask questions

  • Book tutoring sessions with certified teachers who are also native Spanish speakers

  • First lesson is free

Cons

  • Pricey

  • No refunds for tutor sessions

  • Doesn't have a mobile app

Overview

Let's Speak Spanish offers intermediate level students two great options to continue their studies: one-on-one tutoring sessions and online courses. The tutoring service uses Google Meet and boasts 45-minute and 90-minute sessions with native Spanish speakers who are also certified teachers.They can help you practice your conversational skills or prepare for a DELE exam, the official certification that measures your competence and proficiency in Spanish.

You can browse tutor bios before committing to someone and book individual sessions for as little as $25 or buy them in bundles, lowering the price-per-session to $20.

In terms of courses, Let's Speak Spanish uses a 24-level methodology that aligns with the European Framework of Reference for Foreign Languages (CEFR) and the American Company for the Teaching of Languages (ACTFL), two well-known and established guides that all but guarantee a solid, high-quality curriculum.

Students receive a free placement test to determine their level before starting any courses or tutoring session. If you're placed at level five or higher, you'll notice that all lesson instructions and explanations are given entirely in Spanish with the goal of getting you to fluency faster. Each course level is sold separately and can cost from $29 up to $219, with the latter including eight one-on-one tutoring sessions in addition to the course.

Lets Speak Spanish
Lets Speak Spanish

Best for Advanced Speakers: BaseLang

Key Specs

  • Price: $149 per month

  • Platforms: Online

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

For one set price, students get unlimited one-on-one tutoring classes with native Spanish speakers to improve fluency and get answers to all their language questions. Students also receive access to the more advanced curriculum for free, which helps prepare them to take the official Spanish certification exam known as DELE.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Unlimited tutoring sessions with Spanish native speakers for one fixed price

  • Can book last-minute sessions

  • DELE program for advanced learners

  • Can try a week for $1

Cons

  • Costly

  • Have to sign up to browse available teachers

  • Focused on Latin American Spanish, not Spanish from Spain

Overview

Inspired by its own co-founder's journey to learn Spanish in a month, BaseLang's program promises to make anyone conversational "for the real world." For $149 per month, the Real World program gives you access to unlimited 30-minute tutoring sessions with Spanish native speakers and core lessons on subjects such as direct and indirect speech, and active and passive voices for the more advanced learners.

Teachers can help you improve your pronunciation, practice your conversational skills, answer your questions, and teach you about Spanish culture. Booking a session every day lowers the price per unit to under $5. Although you have to sign up to the service before you can browse tutor profiles, the site offers a one week trial for $1 or you can also get a refund within 35 days if you're not satisfied with your experience.

Subscription includes an advanced course specifically designed to help you prepare for the DELE exam, the official certification for Spanish as a foreign language.

Base Lang
Base Lang

Best for Kids Under 12: MyLingoKids

Key Specs

  • Price: $13–$27 per lesson

  • Platforms: Online (Skype)

  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

MyLingoKids helps children as young as 3 years old learn how to speak Spanish with a curriculum specifically designed for kids in collaboration with child psychologists and language experts. Tutors are native speakers and comfortable teaching kids, and the lessons are tailored to the student's age group and interests.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Tutors are certified teachers and native speakers

  • Lessons are tailored specifically to the kids' age and interests

  • Parents can monitor their kids' progress with their own account

  • First 30-minute session is free

Cons

  • Tutors are assigned automatically and can't be selected

  • Payments are split between the website's fees and the teacher's fees

  • Lesson prices increase slightly at higher levels

Overview

Designed with the help of child psychologists and language experts, MyLingoKids is a program tailored to teach kids ages 3 and up how to speak a foreign language. Parents open up an account and create profiles for each child in the parent dashboard, where they can also monitor their child's progress as reported by their teachers.

Lessons, which are delivered via Skype, are sold in bundles of 10, 15, or 20 sessions of 30- or 60-minutes each. Shorter lessons are recomended for kids younger than 10.

While you can't browse through the tutors, all teachers are certified and native Spanish speakers. The classes are tailored to your child's interests, age group, and fluency level, ensuring an engaging learning experience. You can try one lesson for free to get a feel for the program, although it's not guaranteed you will be matched with the same teacher after that.

Lesson package prices increase depending on the number of sessions, duration, and difficulty level. A package of 20 30-minute lessons for an A1 beginner level runs $260, the equivalent of $13 per session, while the same package for an advanced C1 level costs $300, or $15 per session. Note that the payment is split between website fees and tutor fees and those require separate transactions. Prices on the website are listed in euros, and may be subjected to foreign transaction fees.

My Lingo Kids
My Lingo Kids

Best for Teens: FluentU

Key Specs

  • Price: $30 per month to $240 per year

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Students learn a foreign language by watching video clips of news, music, tv shows, and other engaging content. The immersive program provides video transcripts and competent explanations of words, verbs, and phrases as well as their use in different scenarios. The use of a spaced repetition system and quizzes help cement the new vocabulary in young learners' minds.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Immersive learning experience

  • Video content ranging from novice to advanced levels

  • Spaced repetition and quizzes

Cons

  • Platform doesn't offer speaking exercises

  • No tutors available

  • Pricey

Overview

FluentU takes an innovative, tech-driven approach to teaching you how to speak a foreign language. Instead of reading piles of documents about grammar and punctuation, students are immersed in the Spanish language by watching video clips of news, tv shows, music videos, and other video content that is arranged by difficulty level. Teens who are already glued to their phones will especially appreciate the mobile app.

Each video comes with subtitles in English and Spanish, so you can follow along as you watch. Students can learn more about a word and how to use it by clicking on it when it shows up on the screen. FluentU will even pull up other video clips using that word so you can have real-world examples of its use.

In addition to quizzes to test your progress periodically, lessons employ a spaced repetition system, a method shown to improve long-term memory retention. Subscriptions start at $20 per month or an annual subscription runs $240.

FluentU
FluentU

Best for Families: Rocket Languages

Key Specs

  • Price: $100 to $260 (adding a family member costs $50 per language per level)

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Offering one of the best values for families, Rocket Spanish promises to get you from beginner to conversational in its first level. The audio-heavy lessons feature native speakers and are designed to get your ears used to the foreign language. An AI speech recognition tool also helps grade your pronunciation so you can make sure you're speaking properly.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Audio lessons featuring native speakers

  • AI speech recognition technology grades your pronunciation

  • 60-day money-back guarantee

  • Free trial

Cons

  • Not really suited for visual learners

  • No tutors available

  • Students' discussion forums are mostly inactive

Overview

Rocket Spanish, the name for Rocket Languages' Spanish course, teaches complete beginners how to be conversational by the end of the first level. It's a good choice for families because you can add family members to your account for less than $50 per person per language per level. So if you've already purchased the bundle of levels one, two, and three for $250, your family member would only need to pay $150 to have access to the materials from their own separate account.

The heart of the program lies in 15- to 40-minutes audio lessons during which an English-speaking guide helps translate a Spanish conversation featuring native speakers and asks you to repeat words out loud so you can start memorizing them. Exercises include writing and translating words you just learned, practicing your pronunciation with the help of an AI speech recognition tool that grades your performance from 0 to 100, and working with flashcards.

A free trial gives you access to a sample lesson and the platform, so you can get determine whether it's a good match for your needs.

Rocket Languages
Rocket Languages

Best for School Tutoring: Homeschool Spanish Academy

Key Specs

  • Price: $8 to $22 per class

  • Platforms: Online (Google Meet)

  • Certificates: Offers high school credit

Why We Chose It

This great one-on-one tutoring service features native Spanish speakers for children ages 5 and up. The curriculum is focused on helping children speak and understand Spanish, and because Homeschool Spanish Academy is accredited, high school students can earn school credit after completing one semester.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Certified teachers who are native Spanish speakers

  • Classes include homework and quizzes to track students' progress

  • Eligible for high school credit after completing one semester

  • First class is free

Cons

  • Must sign up for the service to browse tutor bios

  • Can't buy individual classes

  • Classes are limited to two students at once

Overview

Based in Antigua, Guatemala, Homeschool Spanish Academy (HSA) employs a roster of local certified teachers to deliver its curriculum. The program encompasses Spanish instruction for every school year from preschool to high school. Classes include comprehensive grammar lessons, as well as listening, writing, reading, and speaking exercises.

Although HSA is not accredited itself, high school students who complete its programs qualify to earn school credit thanks to its partnership with the North Atlantic Regional High School (NARHS), an independent accreditation agency. Parents can track students' progress through a report card filled out by the teacher, where grades are made up of 10% homework assignments, 40% quizzes, and 50% exams.

Classes are either 25 or 50 minutes long and sold in bundles of 15-, 30-, and 60-lesson packages. You can book one free lesson to see if the program meets your needs. After your trial, expect to pay $8 to $22 per class.

Homeschool Spanish Academy
Homeschool Spanish Academy

Best for Comprehension: Pimsleur

Key Specs

  • Price: $15 to $21 per month

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Pimsleur's 30-minute audio lessons immerse you in a conversation spoken by native speakers and make you an active participant by asking questions throughout the lesson. Quizzes and flashcards are also available to continue practicing your vocabulary.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Audio lessons featuring native speakers

  • Lessons use spaced repetition to help you retain lessons

  • Lessons take less than an hour

  • 7-day free trial

Cons

  • No speech recognition technology to grade your pronunciation

  • No 30-day money back guarantee for subscriptions with free trial

  • Lacks reading and writing exercises

Overview

Based on a teaching method created by Dr. Paul Pimsleur after extensive scientific research, Pimsleur's Spanish course contains 30-minute audio lessons featuring native speakers and an English-speaking guide to help you navigate the conversations. The lessons employ spaced repetition, meaning new words show up at increasingly longer intervals, to boost your understanding and long-term memory retention.

In each audio lesson, you will hear a brief Spanish conversation, which will be translated and broken down word by word. Then, a speaker will repeat each word syllable by syllable to help you learn how to pronounce it. This technique ensures you are fully comprehending the material taught.  Lessons are accompanied by quizzes, flashcards, and other speaking exercises to practice what you've learned. However, be mindful that the platform does not have any speech recognition technology.

A single language subscription costs $20 per month, while access to the full language library (51 languages) runs $21 per month. The company also offers a basic subscription for $15 per month, but this one only includes the audio lessons and does not provide any other visual aid. You can sign up for a seven-day free trial for the level you are interested in to see if it works for you.

Pimsleur
Pimsleur

Best for Conversational Skills: Italki

Key Specs

  • Price: $5 to $80 an hour

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Italki is a marketplace where you can find a multitude of language tutors at different price points. Students can browse through the tutor bios and choose a teacher that fits with what they're looking for. Since it's a one-on-one tutoring service, it lends itself well to practicing your conversational skills.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Thousands of native Spanish teachers available

  • Hourly rates that work with most budgets

  • Large community and free features like quizzes and podcasts to keep you practicing

Cons

  • Quality of teachers varies

  • No free trials

  • May take a while to find a good tutor match

Overview

With nearly 3,000 native Spanish speakers in its platform, Italki is a marketplace that helps you find professional or community teachers to practice your conversational skills one-on-one. There are also free quizzes and podcasts to help you continue practicing on your own.

A professional teacher must have a teaching license and an accredited Spanish teaching certificate to make sure you will receive a solid curriculum and materials. Community teachers, on the other hand, are native or near-native speakers who can help you practice your vocabulary and sentence structure.

Given that it has an extensive catalog of teachers, Italki helps you refine your search with filters including lesson price, type of lesson (conversational or DELE exam prep), country of origin, and type of teacher. Students can browse through all the tutor profiles, see how many classes they've taught, and read reviews by other students about their experience. Spanish tutors specifically have an hourly rate that starts at $5 and can go up to $80. There are no free trials, but you can take a trial lesson at a discounted hourly rate with your preferred tutor.

italki
italki

Best for Visual Learners: Rosetta Stone

Key Specs

  • Price: $8 to $12 per month or $179 for lifetime subscription

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: No

Why We Chose It

Visual learners may enjoy this classic immersive course that does not provide any English translations and instead relies on auditory and visual cues to teach you how to speak Spanish. It also offers an AI speech recognition tool to assess your pronunciation and tutoring sessions to practice your skills and build up your confidence.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Free trial available

  • Lessons use a combination of auditory and visual cues

  • Live coaching sessions with native speakers

Cons

  • Lessons don't provide English translations

  • Grammar rules taught intuitively rather than explicitly

  • Platform can run a bit slowly sometimes

Overview

One of the better-known language programs out there, Rosetta Stone uses an immersive technique to teach you Spanish. Through audio and visual cues, students are able to grasp the meaning of the words displayed on screen, and gradually build their vocabulary and understanding of the language's grammar rules. This method is best suited for visual and auditory learners who are comfortable learning through contextual cues.

Each lesson is composed of a series of exercises that rate your mastery of the language.The program will ask that you complete them with a 100% rating before continuing to the next one. Additionally, students are provided phrasebooks and short stories that they can use to practice reading, listening, or speaking the language. Using speech recognition technology, the platform will assess your accent and pronunciation.

As a bonus, students can also tune in to watch live lectures by a variety of tutors and book one-on-one tutoring sessions with a certified teacher to go over lesson materials. Subscription plans are available for either three months or a full year, or you can also purchase a lifetime subscription for a one-time payment of $179. You can sign up for a three-day free trial to test out the system.

Rosetta Stone
Rosetta Stone

Most Affordable: Busuu

Key Specs

  • Price: Free to $84 per month

  • Platforms: Online and app

  • Certificates: Yes

Why We Chose It

Although it requires an annual commitment, Busuu boasts one of the lowest prices per month for a premium tier from a language provider. Its lessons cover an extensive range of topics from the very basics to speaking about cybercrime and cryptocurrencies in Spanish. It also features a community feedback tool in which native speakers assess your written and spoken exercises to help you improve your skills.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Lessons cover beginner to advanced levels

  • Big community of native Spanish speakers to give you feedback

  • Less than $7 per month when billed annually

  • Free plan

Cons

  • Live classes cost extra money

  • No refund after 14 days

  • Community feedback varies and may not always be useful

Overview

Founded in 2008, Busuu offers an extensive Spanish curriculum that covers basic topics, such as how to introduce yourself all the way up to more specialized lessons including how to speak about cybercrime and cryptocurrencies in Spanish.

Its annual subscription plan, while it is charged as a one-time payment, is as low as $5.95 per month, which is the most affordable price we've seen for a 12-month premium course. A free basic plan grants you access to the platform and its contents, though all lessons except the first one on each level are locked; they become available as you complete lessons.

Lessons are made up of a variety of exercises including speaking, listening, writing, multiple choice, and true or false statements, to name a few. Grammar explanations are sprinkled throughout the lessons, and once you reach an intermediate level, the platform starts to transition to Spanish-only instruction.

One of Busuu's most innovative features is its community forum, where native speakers give you feedback on your writing and speaking exercises and you can also give feedback to other learners who are studying your native language.

Busuu Live, the company's most expensive subscription tier, includes the app subscription and adds two, four, or eight group tutoring sessions per month with certified teachers to help you practice your skills.

Busuu
Busuu

Final Verdict

Learning a new language like Spanish can seem daunting at first, but you shouldn't let that discourage you. There are plenty of online resources and courses to help you master it in no time.

Out of all the options out there, Babbel offers the most well-rounded curriculum suited for a variety of learning styles at a reasonable price. Its unlimited classes provide good value for your money if you intend to take at least one class every week. If you're not ready for an annual commitment, you can always use Italki to find a tutor that can help you meet your learning goals. And if you're looking to dip your toes into the Spanish waters, try providers like Duolingo and Busuu which offer free plans that don't require any credit card commitment.

Compare the Best Spanish Classes

Guide for Choosing the Best Online Spanish Classes

Are Spanish Classes Worth It?

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the United States, which borders Mexico, the largest Spanish-speaking nation in the world. Thanks to the prevalence of the language, taking online Spanish classes is easier than ever. Most, if not all, language providers offer Spanish courses at very reasonable prices, and some even do it for free. Even if you're a complete novice, there are plenty of beginner-friendly classes that can help you take the first step. Speaking a second language has also been shown to help improve performance on native-language vocabulary and reading tasks, so you'd also be improving your English as well.

Comparing Online Spanish Classes

Given the number of online Spanish course providers, it can make the process of finding one that meets your needs a little overwhelming. Here are a few elements to consider during your search:

  • Pricing: Does the monthly or yearly price make sense for your budget? Some companies that have cheaper annual rates may require payment upfront, while others may let you pay in installments or offer a payment plan.

  • Free Trial: Testing the service or platform you're interested in before committing to a purchase will help you make sure you are comfortable with the content and teaching style. Some free trials may require you to put down a credit card, but most won't.

  • Experience Level: Is the course best suited for beginners, intermediate, or advanced speakers? If you're already an intermediate or advanced speaker. the program you choose should have an appropriately matched curriculum.

  • Range of Classes Offered: What are the topics covered during the lessons? Sure, it's important to learn the basics like how to introduce yourself, order food at a restaurant, and ask for a bathroom. But think about your interests and activities. Do you need a program that teaches you how to speak about cryptocurrency in Spanish? Make sure your curriculum covers a broad range of topics.

  • Access to one-on-one tutoring sessions: Sometimes you need the human factor to help cement the new vocabulary you're learning. Check if your program gives you access to one-on-one tutoring sessions with native speakers. If this elevates your subscription cost, you can always turn to other services like Italki.

  • Progress reports: When learning a new language, it's crucial to understand just how much progress you've made. Check for platforms that provide you with periodic reports where you can assess how well you're doing, and which areas need improvement.

  • Flexibility for busy schedules: Many people choose online classes because it affords more flexibility than in-person classes. Make sure your program lets you do things like book last-minute sessions or cancel classes at least  24 hours before start time without penalty.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Learn Spanish Online?

Yes, it is absolutely possible to learn how to speak Spanish online. There are many providers that employ different teaching methods so you can choose the one that works the best for you.

Is Spanish Easy to Learn?

Spanish can be complex, grammatically speaking. However, that shouldn't discourage you from trying to learn it. With a good teacher and a solid curriculum, anybody can learn how to speak Spanish.

What Is Taught in Spanish Classes?

Spanish classes teach you vocabulary, grammar, and punctuation rules, as well as how to speak and write Spanish. Some teachers and programs also include cultural education, so students can learn about the history and customs of Spanish-speaking countries. In general, classes are made up of short lessons followed by a variety of exercises meant to reinforce the concepts discussed.

How Much Do Online Spanish Classes Cost?

There are many companies that offer Spanish courses online, so the cost varies depending on the provider and your language goals. You can start learning Spanish for free or by spending thousands of dollars; it all depends on your budget, needs, and willingness to learn. Chances are you will be able to find one that fits your parameters.

How Can I Help My Child Learn Spanish?

Exposing your children to Spanish music and TV shows will help familiarize them with the language and improve their vocabulary recall. You can also hire a tutor to help them learn the language if online classes only take them so far. Speaking a few phrases of Spanish at home and reading bilingual books are also helpful activities you can do together.

Methodology

We analyzed dozens of providers and evaluated them based on their curriculum, tutor availability, ease of platform use, user reviews, platform technology, instruction approach, use of native speakers, and value for money. These factors helped us assess the full scope of each program and how well it delivered on the promise of teaching Spanish. Companies offering free trials, refunds, and money-back guarantees were also favored.