The Internet As A Tool For Learning Spanish
The best way to learn Spanish from scratch is by receiving some form of external tutoring – this is undeniable, as only by learning from a Spanish speaker can you gain the essential feedback that lets you know where and how you are going wrong, what your weaker areas are and how to address these weaknesses. A qualified tutor is invaluable, and there is an argument to be made that this tutor should be someone who speaks your first language as a mother tongue themselves – the reason for this is that they will have encountered many of the stumbling blocks you yourself have run up against and knows best how they can be overcome.
Alongside this external tutoring, however, there is a strong case to be made for the Internet as a language resource. This applies not only to Spanish, but to any modern language, as the wealth of information on the World Wide Web provides an excellent reinforcement for what you learn in tutoring sessions. Unless you have unlimited wealth, it is simply not practical to have a tutor at your beck and call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. By judicious use of the Internet you can address areas of weakness identified by your tutor.
Of the many resources available on the Internet, the most useful are tutoring sites. A particular favourite in this case is www.about.com, which contains a wealth of games for the beginner, enabling them to test themselves in real time with a positive system of feedback. There are also subject-specific vocabulary and grammar lists which aid you in pursuits such as writing short pieces about yourself, your family, your job and any number of other subjects.
Last but not least, the advent of Interactive content has seen most of the world’s media outlets going online, with newspapers putting most of their content on their websites (a handy grammar and vocab exercise is to read a world news story in English and then in Spanish), and radio stations streaming online (allowing you to hear the language spoken perfectly, with the correct stresses and intonations.