Learn Spanish for free: should you really do it?

When given the chance to have something for free, almost everyone takes it. But as the old saying goes, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. So when you are signing up to learn Spanish for free, are you really expecting to learn? We ventured into dozens of websites and apps who promised us Spanish fluency in just a few months… and here’s what we learnt from it!

Casi nada.

That’s Spanish for almost nothing. Free Spanish courses have zero guiding and zero tutoring, so you’re left to read years-old dusty classes that someone prepared without taking your needs into consideration. Free courses expect you to tutor yourself; there’s nobody to practice with. There is no one to help you through hard contents, to address your doubts or even to correct your pronunciation, for example.

For students in more advanced levels, one can expect a level of autonomy. But for real beginners, it’s almost impossible to believe someone can self-teach themselves. This is unless they have had contact with the language before or are in an immersion situation.

If you really insist on the self-taught route, do not shy away from finding a good tutor to help you out now and then; just someone who can guide you and help you through the hardest parts. Also, if I am allowed to give you a little advice, the best self-teaching Spanish guides (with more multimedia contents, so that you can get a well-rounded experience) tend not to be free.

There is yet another aspect of learning Spanish for free that we have to mention. None of them will give you a certificate. Or match your fluency level to an international standard. That’s a hard price to pay if you are counting on using your Spanish skills for a work application or to get ahead in your career. With Spanish Gurus, for example, we you receive a certificate at the end of each level matching you with CEFR - a globally recognized language evaluation standard.

While doing our research, we also found that many people signing up for free Spanish courses end up signing up for additional resources, whether they are paid study materials or expensive premium features. Every so often, these students also seek tutors offline to practice with, giving them the very first real contact with the language. Their reading comprehension level is invariably out of balance with their speaking abilities, and it’s easy to understand why.

Ultimately, if you’re thinking about enrolling in a free Spanish course or learning Spanish for free, this is what you need to take into consideration:

  • What can you expect from the course?
  • Does it give you all the tools you need to communicate?
  • Will you need to pay premium features at some point?
  • Are you planning on investing on additional resources?
  • Do you have the determination that a self-teaching course requires? Be honest with yourself!
  • Are you able to learn mostly by reading? Evaluate how you study and determine if it’s the right fit.
  • Will you have the opportunity to talk to any native speakers?
  • Do you need/want to formally use your Spanish skills in your career or academically?

We believe that once you weigh the pros and cons, you will see that nothing is as simple or as free as it first appears.

Not exactly free but… do you want to have a trial class for just 1$ with Spanish Gurus? Click here!