Are Free Online Spanish Courses a Waste of Time?

With the economy the way it is right now, everyone is looking for a good deal. So free online Spanish courses are looking pretty good to anyone who wants to study Spanish. But is it really true that you get what you pay for? Are free online Spanish courses a waste of time? Here is a mini-guide that covers the pros and cons.

Free Sometimes Is Free

Actually, for the skeptics, there are really some very good online courses that are free. Teachers, schools, or community organizations offer online sites because they really want people to learn Spanish, and post learning materials online for free. These sites may not have the best design or the latest interactive technology, but they do have the basics. And, when you are a beginner, the basics are what you need.

Free Sometimes Comes With Strings Attached

There are some online sites that offer free introductions to their courses. You may be able to download a free introductory lesson onto your computer, or they may send you a free introductory CD or DVD with a complimentary lesson. The site may also offer other items for sale that complement their course. These sites often are well designed and do have the latest interactive technology, but in order to use it, you eventually will be expected to pay for an entire level of study. In some cases, you will be paying for the entire course in advance, rather than paying as you progress to the next level.

Free Sometimes Has Only Part of What You Need

Some online sites dealing with learning Spanish offer just a part of what you need to learn the entire language. For example, you might find a free site that will teach you the Spanish alphabet and numbers. You might find a free site that explains the correct pronunciation of Spanish vowels and consonants. You might find a free site that will show conversation phrases for beginners. And some sites even offer entire vocabulary lists by themes, such as Family, Work, Meals, Greetings, Colors, Numbers, or Animals.

Free Usually Means You Will Organize Your Own Course

Ultimately, if you choose to go the free route, then you can expect to spend time organizing the different free offerings online into a course of study that is best for you. You must decide which elements of learning Spanish are important for you as a beginner. Then, you must go about organizing your schedule and sticking to it, so that you can continue to learn. Eventually, you may decide that you need more personalized help, or the attention of a tutor or a classroom Spanish teacher. And for that reason, you will eventually move up a level from free offerings and take on some kind of expense.

In the beginning, as you are making choices about learning Spanish, the free options available are really great to look over. You will most likely learn enough to decide if you wish to continue learning at a more intense level. So, these free resources are not a waste of time. Just use them wisely, and you will learn quite a bit of Spanish for free.