In this post: My top recommendations for self-paced Spanish language courses for adults (personally tested). Courses for all learning styles and budgets!

Whether you’re starting from scratch or wanting to invest in your language proficiency, self-paced courses can be an excellent tool to support you in learning Spanish.

With so many options out there for a variety of different learning styles and levels, it can be a little overwhelming narrowing down the options.

Here you will find my top recommendations for Spanish self-paced courses, all tried and tested!

>> Looking for live Spanish immersion classes with native speaking tutors? Find the best options in this post.

woman with headphones learning Spanish on her computer

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Who would benefit from a Spanish language course?

Personally, as a work at home busy mom, I really love the freedom that self-paced courses provide. But did you know that 90% of people that sign up for an online course never finish them?

I can certainly name a handful of courses I have purchased over the years only to lose focus after a few days, or even hours, and forever leave the progress bar at the 20% completion mark. I’m sure you can relate.

Before investing in a course, be sure to set realistic goals and set aside time in your daily schedule to work on it. This might be one night a week, or even every evening for 30 minutes.

Don’t forget to reward yourself upon completion of each milestone (lesson/module etc). Starbucks coffee is always a motivator for me.

Spanish language courses are an excellent option for language learners wanting input through private study.

Although I do recommend speaking with native speakers for the most immersive and authentic language learning experience, I totally understand the lower pressure, more flexible choice of a self-paced Spanish course.

Let’s face it~ speaking to native speakers can be super intimidating until you reach conversational fluency. With the following courses you can take your time and get to grips with the basics like grammar and essential vocabulary before jumping into speaking classes.

What’s Included in a Spanish course?

After trialling dozens of options, I have realized that every online Spanish course is unique in its approach and methodology, however a well-rounded course should include a range of activities focused on the four key language learning skills: reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Some courses will focus more heavily on traditional grammar worksheets, while others will be more story or video based. So it’s a good idea to figure out what style of learning you prefer.

With the advancements in technology, there are now even courses hosted on apps that gamify learning, attracting Millennials like myself with our ever reducing attention spans!

Without further ado, let’s jump into the round-up of self-paced online Spanish courses for adults!

Spanish Uncovered

Samples of the Spanish Uncovered course with course overview page

Spanish Uncovered was one of the first online Spanish courses I ever completed. And yes- I did actually complete this one!

It helps you learn Spanish quickly — through stories, not rules! Developed by polyglot Olly Richards, this is a really great option for bibliophiles.

Forget memorizing grammar rules, rote learning, and boring textbooks. Spanish Uncovered is the fun, natural, and brain-friendly way to learn a language through a story broken down into chapters.

Slowly as you make your way through the chapters, new grammar and vocabulary is uncovered and explored through a series of lessons and activities, keeping it all in context.

For beginners: There is a Spanish Uncovered Beginners Course for levels A1-A2.

For intermediates: In 2022 they released their Spanish Uncovered Intermediate Course for learners wanting to break through the intermediate plateau- which I also got my hands on and let’s just say, if you love a good ol’ murder mystery, this story-based course will not disappoint!

>> Read my deep dive review here

In summary:

  • Story-based approach to language learning
  • Great for grammar in context
  • Lacks conversational Spanish
  • One time payment only (no subscription)

Try it FREE for 7 days!

Fluent U

Perhaps the wild card choice in this round-up: for visual learners, Fluent U is a really great video platform for language learning.

It has a massive collection of short, entertaining YouTube videos and songs that teach you Spanish in bite-sized chunks of vocabulary and phrases.

From learning the Disney song ‘Let it go’ in Spanish to watching short clips of cooking shows, cartoons and popular dramas, there is an abundance of content waiting for you!

The activities build off the video and support the memorization of the new vocabulary through gamified learning (think quizzes, fill in the blanks, copycat speaking practice etc).

Although I had a lot of fun on this app, it does not provide a solid foundation in grammar, nor a sequential form of learning. For this reason I would label it as a ‘supplementary‘ tool which is certainly fun to use, but doesn’t provide a complete ‘language course’ framework.

In summary:

  • Great for visual learners
  • Gamified learning– great supplementary tool
  • Lacks complete language course framework
  • From $19.99 a month as a subscription.

>> Try it FREE for 14 days


Babbel app sample on cell phone. Learning Spanish phrases

Babbel is another fantastic option for a more gamified Spanish course for beginners or lower intermediates.

It includes a series of short, 15 minute lessons with a variety of drills like matching pictures to statements, completing the gaps, and many more.

I love that they include all four essential language skills in this app (reading, writing, listening and some speaking) and really keep you engaged through their interactive and fast moving activities.

Another great feature is the English support. This is not always the case with other language apps, but Babble does offer explanations and hints in English to support you in wrapping your head around the rules and language patterns.

I am a huge believer in the power of immersion for fast language acquisition, but in the case of an app I think this feature keeps students engaged longer, increases their confidence and reduces frustration.

Finally, grammar is introduced through dialogues in the app, so it is rather subtle and ‘light’, prompting the learner to choose the correct answer from the options given.

>> Read my deep dive review here

In summary:

  • Great for beginners and engaging for younger generations
  • Gamified learning with all four skills
  • Interactive and engaging activities
  • From $7 a month as a subscription.

>> Get up to 60% off here.

Rocket Languages

Rocket Languages spanish course sample

The Rocket Spanish course seemed like the underdog of Spanish courses next to their bigger, more established competitors like Rosetta Stone and Babbel. Yet I was extremely impressed with the platform!

It is a very comprehensive course and focuses on interactive audio where a moderator speaking English sets the scene and takes you step by step through a series of conversations.

This is a very interactive course where you are kept on your toes and made to respond frequently. It feels like a guided conversation that is more authentic than simply matching words to pictures like other apps.

One really impressive feature is the voice recognition technology that rates your pronunciation each lesson. Before moving on to the next lesson, you are also taken through a series of review activities such as flashcards and quizzes.

Another clear advantage is that the audio allows you to listen on the go, instead of being stuck to your screen like many other apps. Think of it more like a podcast in that sense, but one that gets you speaking back!

If you are too shy to complete live online classes, the Rocket Spanish course is the best substitute since it is so heavily focused on the listening and speaking skills.

In summary:

  • Great for practicing speaking and listening
  • Audio on the go
  • One time payment (no subscription)
  • 60 day money back guarantee

>> Start your FREE trial today.

La Mariposa Spanish Lessons

La Mariposa Spanish Lessons Alas Beginners

For those of you, like me, who enjoy a traditional, sequential approach to language learning, La Mariposa Spanish Lessons could be the best fit for you!

Language coach and teacher Dominique Cordero provides outstanding, grammar focused lessons through video tutorials and worksheets.

She has courses for both beginners and intermediate learners and I was able to review her Alas 1 course.

Beyond the high quality instruction, Dominique also provides excellent coaching for language learning- like staying consistent, motivated and achieving your goals.

This is a great option if you want a more bespoke learning experience, since she grants her students access to her private Facebook support group.

>> Read my deep dive review here

In summary:

  • Systematic course to gain a solid foundation in Spanish grammar basics
  • Highly personalized coaching unlike any other course
  • Traditional worksheets and video tutorial lessons
  • One time payment (no subscriptions)

>> Visit La Mariposa Spanish Lessons

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta stone spanish course

Perhaps the most globally recognized brand and established provider of language courses for adults is Rosetta Stone.

Founded in the early 90s, Rosetta Stone still remains a popular option today with other 20 languages available on its site and app.

The courses are very immersive and ideal for beginners as they set the foundations of basic phrases and vocabulary in context.

That said, I found the lessons to be longer in length and do not have as much variety in activities so they became a little monotonous.

You can expect a very established and logically designed Spanish course with Rosetta Stone, with lots of features including stories, a phrasebook and the most accurate speech recognition software that I tried.

In summary:

  • Great for Spanish immersion
  • Very established course and ideal for more mature students
  • High quality speech recognition software
  • Slightly monotonous activities
  • From $11.99 a month as a subscription.

>> Visit Rosetta Stone

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