As we’ve mentioned before here at All Languages we firmly believe that, when you want to improve your skills in a foreign language, you can’t beat structured learning with an inspiring and insightful tutor (we would say that, wouldn’t we?).
But today’s connected world does throw open a whole lot of opportunities to support your classroom learning with practice of your chosen language in the areas that matter to you.
So today we’re going to take a look at six of the best online resources available to supplement your Spanish learning. We looked at French online language resources earlier this year and we’ll take a look at some of the online resources available to support some of our other popular language classes soon.
It is kind of traditional, after all, that we should start these lists with an online dictionary – after all it is probably the most useful online resource for a language learner, whatever your ability. This site has particular advantage of also offering dictionaries for three of Spain’s other languages: Euskera (Basque), Gallego (Galician) and Catalán, in addition to Castellano (Castilian). It also comes ‘con la garantía de Vox y La Rousse’ which as you may remember from ‘Six Choses’ are great dictionaries…
Ok, so perhaps this site isn’t exactly full of new vocabulary to learn, but it is certainly one of my favourite Spanish sites to browse and, especially at this time of year, I can spend many dreamy minutes navigating through the various historical gems on offer. The first menu option asks ‘Adónde quieres ir?’ My answer: cualquier Parador… todos los paradores!
3. El País
If you fancy something a little more serious and current to get your metaphorical teeth into then this national newspaper has plenty of gristle to chomp your way through. The pink economía pages might make for gloomy reading, but deportes are an interesting diversion – if you can avoid the Verdasco grimace… although this will be much less gloomy for a British reader!
4. Mérida Archaeological Museum
Mérida, in Extramadura, North-West Spain, is a UNESCO world heritage site (and has been since 1993). Back in the day, it was one of the most important towns in the Roman Empire. As well as the site around the Theatre and Amphitheatre there are various Roman edifices around the town, plus this amazing museum, which boasts four ‘plantas’ of artefacts, art and mosaics. Classical theatrical events are hosted outdoors in the ruins of the Theatre every summer, but you can enjoy these archaeological delights any time of year by taking a ‘visita virtual’ online.
5. Brasil 2014
It seems like any list about Spanish websites should include at least a nod to football. But do we go Camp Nou or the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium? After last Sunday’s Confederations cup match, perhaps it is best to avoid such distinctions and look forward to a rematch where old scores can be settled…
Obviously, we should include some Flamenco in any list about Spain… but where to start? The touristy caves of Granada? Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto? Paco Peña? Or Teatro la Cuadra? You won’t find much to read on the Ojos de Brujo (eyes of the Sorcerer) website but their flamenco-hybrid style does offer some great options for getting some listening practice in …