You want to learn Spanish, but you don't have the money to sign up for a Spanish class. People just like you are learning Spanish, and they aren't spending any money to do it. By taking advantage of free language- learning opportunities, a person can learn Spanish without signing up for intensive Spanish courses at a local language school. If a person is persistent and practices regularly, it's possible for him or her to pick up Spanish and speak with native Spanish speakers.
Check out books for learning Spanish from the public library. As long as you have a library card, you can borrow items for free. Many libraries also have Spanish courses on CD or cassette. It's most useful to borrow a combination of these items.
Find Spanish-speaking friends and hang out with them. When you speak with native Spanish speakers, you get used to hearing Spanish spoken quickly. You also learn new vocabulary. Friends who speak Spanish can correct your pronunciation and grammar as well. This is one of the best ways to learn Spanish.
Find a free Spanish course online. These tutorials often include basic grammar, vocabulary and useful phrases.
Seek out Spanish pen pals. Sign up through a service, either online or through snail mail. If you choose an online pen pal, you can not only practice writing Spanish but participate in voice chat as well. Using a voice-chat service such as the popular Skype will have you speaking Spanish with people in other countries.
Make Spanish flash cards. Write the Spanish word on one side of the card and its English meaning on the other. Study your flash cards when you have some free time---waiting in the doctor's office, standing in the checkout line at the supermarket or waiting for your kids to get out of dance class, for example.
- Take time to practice your Spanish every day. Listen to Spanish radio and watch Spanish television. You'll have the opportunity to listen to native speakers and train your ear to understand rapid Spanish. Try to find local Spanish conversation groups, which often meet at bookstores, libraries, coffee shops and community centers. These groups are usually free, and they meet regularly.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes when you are trying to speak Spanish. Making mistakes is the only way you can learn. Surround yourself with native Spanish speakers so they can help you perfect your accent and learn real-world Spanish. The Spanish we learn in high school isn't often the Spanish that everyday people speak.
K.T. Solis is a school librarian living in Kentucky. She has been a freelance writer for more than 10 years and holds a B.A. in English and master's degrees in library science and elementary education. Solis also writes for children. Her stories have appeared in children's magazines such as "Ladybug" and "Turtle." She ghostwrote a middle grade novel and has written for educational publishers.