If you're thinking about learning Spanish, then there's a chance you've come across Duolingo's Spanish course.
Spanish is one of the most popular and widely spoken languages on the planet. It is considered over559 million people in the world, and it is far awaythe most popular language on Duolingofor English speakers.
It was also the first language I tried on Duolingo back in 2014.
The course has changed a TON since then, to the point that it's now easily one of Duolingo's best courses. Not only because it's so long, but because it gets all the latest and greatest features before most other Duolingo courses.
Does this mean Duolingo is good for learning Spanish?
In this article I will give you all the essential details such as:
- How Duolingo's Spanish course is structured
- A closer look at the special characteristics of the course
- Other features you should be aware of
- Advantages of the Duolingo Spanish course
- The disadvantages of Duolingo's Spanish course
Are we getting there?
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What you will find on the Duolingo Spanish course
If you're new to Duolingo, it's worth noting that all Duolingo courses are structured pretty much the same way.
There may be one or two slight differences depending on the platform you are using. But for the most part, they all look and act the same.
Below is what you'll currently find in Duolingo's iOS app!
The Spanish course follows what is calledlearning path.
The course is divided into a seriesunits…
Each unit has a setlevels…
Each level has an orderlessons…
And all this is organized in a setsections…
The main goal is to work your way through the journey by completing each lesson... at each level... in each unit... in each section.
From March 2023, Duolingo's Spanish course has a total216 units, spread over8 different sections. The parts range from beginner to intermediate.
As you move through the course, you will have the opportunity to complete sometime-bound challengesby knocking on the neighborsign…
After completing a level, you will get the chance to tackle an extremely difficult challenge to make him legendary…
The exercises in the Spanish course are largely the same as in all other courses. Some of the common exercises you will encounter include:
- Complete the translation
- Tick the correct meaning
- Picture card
- Choose the missing word
- Changing sentences
- Say this sentence
- Say the correct answer
- Pressure pairs (standard and audio)
- Touch what you hear
- Fill in the blanks
- Listen and answer
You can see some of these exercises in action in the video below:
Special features of the Duolingo Spanish course
Although English speakers can learn nearly 40 different languages on Duolingo, it's important to note that not all courses are created equal.
Some courses have special features that others do not.
Some of them includestories, thatmatch the madnesstimed challenge and AI-powered features (exclusive to Duolingo Max).
From March 2023.Spanish is one of Duolingo's courses with the most features.There are currently 288 stories, match madness, and is one of only two courses to take advantage of Duolingo's new AI features.
Duolingo Spanish Stories
Duolingo's Spanish stories are designed to improve your reading, listening and speaking. They are exclusively in Spanish and most of them last a few minutes at most.
They are written for students of all levels and come with the usual tips you will find in regular lessons.
Every now and then you'll have to answer a question to make sure you understand what's going on, which is a great way to gauge where you are with your understanding.
Watch this video to see one of Duolingo's Spanish stories in action!
Match Madness is one of Duolingo's main time challenges.
It's basically a fancy matching exercise where you have to match a Spanish word with its English equivalent.
In Match Madness, however, you have to do it against the clock, and the time you have to finish gets shorter and shorter with each round.
It's a great test of your comprehension speed and has quickly become one of the best features of the Spanish course!
Spanish is currently one of only two courses that take full advantage of Duolingo's newest subscription level - Duolingo Max.
Max is built on GPT 4 - the latest release of OpenAI - to provide students with a more complete learning experience.
The two main features that Max adds to the Spanish course are Explain My Answer and Role Play.
You can find out more about them atDuolingo blog post.
As exciting as these features are, it's important to note that Max is still in its early days and is currently only available to select users. It's also a paid plan, which means the Max features don't come with the standard Spanish course.
Duolingo Spanish podcasts
Although they are no longer available in the app, you can still access Duolingo's Spanish podcasts on a wide variety of podcast platforms.
These podcasts also offer a great way to practice your Spanish when you have your hands full.
They are described as "fascinating stories in easy-to-understand Spanish." They are divided into healthy measures of Spanish and English, so they are quite easy to follow, even for beginners.
Podcasts are a great addition to a standard Duolingo course and do wonders for your listening comprehension.
Duolingo Spanish podcasti dostupni su na Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, PocketCasts, iHeartRadio og Overcast.
Other features of the Duolingo Spanish course
Duolingo's Spanish course is built on the same principles as all other Duolingo language courses.
We won't go into too much detail here, but some of the features worth knowing include:
- XP– As you work your way through the Duolingo Spanish course, you earn experience points, better known as XP. You will earn XP for almost everything you do. Some lessons, tasks and exercises will give you more XP than others.
- just- Every week you will be included in a league with other Duolingo students. It is necessary to pass 10 leagues, starting with bronze and ending with diamond. Leagues are basically leaderboards - simply earn more XP than others in your league for a chance to win.
- Precious stones- XP isn't the only thing you earn while learning Spanish. You'll also earn gems to use in DuolingoStore. There isn't really much to buy here, but you can use your gems to pick up things such asThe array freezesIBoost timerto timed challenges.
- Friends- Duolingo is a social experience, so you can follow other users and compare your progress. The guys at Duolingo reckon you're 5x more likely to complete a course if you follow people! For starters, feel free to follow me - my username isDCiiieee!
- Duolingo Plus/super– This is Duolingo's premium membership. Pay for Plus/Super and you get access to some useful features, including unlimitedhearts, without ads andExercise Hub.
Is Duolingo good for learning Spanish?
Now it's time for the main event:
Is Duolingo good for learning Spanish?
To answer this question, let's weigh some pros and cons.
Suitable for beginners
Learning a new language can be quite daunting, especially if you only speak one language.
Therefore, one of the best things about Duolingo is its accessibility and hospitality.
Whatever language you're learning, Duolingo presents its courses in a really warm, lively and inclusive way. So whether it's your second language or your tenth, you can immediately feel comfortable!
This is the case with the vast majority of Duolingo courses, but this applies especially to the Spanish course.
It's easily one of the best supported courses on the app, getting new updates regularly with plenty of support from start to finish.
Custom textbooks are a big selling point for a Spanish course because they generally do a good job of unraveling the complicated aspects of the unit. This is very important because it helps you understand Spanish grammar, which can be a bit tricky at times.
And like all its courses, Duolingo's Spanish course comes with a standard placement test when you first start, so you can relax knowing you're starting your journey from a place you feel comfortable.
RELATED:The BEST way to learn Spanish for beginners
Duolingo's Spanish course has had many updates over the years,to the extent that it is one of Duolingo's elite courses.
With an incredible 216 units of Spanish levels and lessons, the Spanish path is certainly one of the largest in Duolingo.
This will take you a LONG TIME. And that's a good thing!
Some of Duolingo's courses are very short, so you can go through them fairly quickly but not feel like you've learned much.
But rest assured, it is unlikely that you will experience this with a Spanish course. Not only is it packed with vocabulary, each unit comes with a custom tips section to help you understand the tricky aspects of Spanish grammar.
Duolingo has also completely revamped the voices of many of its characters, making them more alive and interesting.
The Duolingo Spanish course has more special features than most other Duolingo courses.
And one of the most important is the story element.
Duolingo's Spanish stories are among the best in the app. The Spanish course has one of the largest libraries of stories, numbering a whopping 288 as of July 2022.
They all have authentic, animated voices, so they sound real and engaging. They are really fun and binge-worthy!
This doesn't just apply to Duolingo's Spanish course, it's the same for ALL of them!
One of the best things about Duolingo is that it's more than just a language learning tool.
It's also a game. And while not everyone likes this, it's a big part of why so many people show up every day to do their daily classes.
For everything you do in Spanish, you will earn XP, which contributes to your ranking in the weekly leagues.
It's not something you have to dothis hereseriously (you can read more about whyher), but if you take it easy, it will definitely make your Spanish a lot more fun.
Because in the end, the more you enjoy something, the more likely you are to do it. Learning Spanish will take up a LOT of your time, so the more fun the better - and Duolingo definitely has you covered here.
Another great thing about Duolingo is thatthe Spanish course is 100% free.
There is a premium subscription — Duolingo Plus/Super — but it's not something you need to complete the course. Everything is completely free; Plus/Super just adds a few features that make things smoother.
This is great if you're just messing around with Spanish and aren't ready to commit yet. But also if you want to get started with the language, but don't want to shell out for special software or teaching.
I think you saw itowl meme?Spanish or disappear!
Yes, the owl can be a *bit* of a stalker at times, pestering you all the time to go to Spanish class!
But relax, contrary to popular belief, he is not going to kidnap your family right now!
joking aside,Duolingo is brilliant for keeping you motivated.
Learning Spanish takes time. It's not something you pick up overnight.
According toUS Foreign Service Institute, it takes approximately 600 "hours of instruction" to achieve "professional proficiency" in Spanish.
So yes, if you're going to learn Spanish, you're in it for the long haul!
It means creating an unbreakable habit. And Duolingo is great for that.
Let's put it this way - my current streak (ie the number of consecutive days I've used Duolingo) goes all the way back to May 2016.
And not just because I'm a bit obsessive! It's thanks to Duolingo, which is a great way to keep me motivated!
If you've read any of my other articles, you'll know that one of the things I don't like most about Duolingo right now isthe heart system.
Hearts are basically lives or opportunities. You start with 5 and then lose one each time you make a mistake.
If you lose all your hearts, then you are not allowed to progress through your course until your hearts are restored.
You can watch an ad to get it back, do an exercise, spend gems or wait 5 hours.
It is far from idealit renders the point of punishing mistakes useless.
Which, as far as I know, is funny because mistakes are absolutely essential and inevitable when learning a language.
Not good at speech
Spanish is probably one of Duolingo's best speaking courses thanks to the size of the course and the stories.
However, it still fails to reach a solid conversational level. At least by himself.
The main problem is thatsayingexercises are notconversationexercises. You get some practice talking about the stories (if available), but it only involves reciting what the characters say. You don't really come up with your own answers.
Speaking is a skill in itself and to learn it you will need to practice it regularly, ideally with a native speaker or at least using a program that has extended conversation scenarios (such asSpanishPod101).
Not everything is gathered in one place
A common mistake people make with Duolingo is expecting it to take them all the way to fluency.
Of course, fluidity is ridiculous to define. Everyone has their own interpretations.
And while Duolingo believes that a Spanish course can get you all the way to B2 on the CEFR, this doesn't tell the whole story.
Learning a language requires more than just an active learning tool (which Duolingo mostly is). You must also add a corresponding degree of passive learning to your linguistic diet.
Passive learning is what you do outside of the classroom (or in this case Duolingo). It is watching TV shows, listening to music, reading books and having conversations in real life.
Although the Spanish course does much more for passive learning than most other Duolingo courses, it is still not a complete solution for learning Spanish.
No matter what stage you're at in your Spanish learning journey, Duolingo's Spanish course is undoubtedly one of the most well-rounded and well-rounded courses currently available.
The track is so packed and full of cool new features that it's easy to see why Duolingo thinks it can get you up to B2 on the CEFR scale.
You learn the most important aspects of the language, get a handle on pronunciation and gain a large amount of useful vocabulary.
You'll be able to see the language in action in over 280 mini-stories.
You'll also enjoy working through the course while competing in weekly leagues and with your friends!
By the end of the course, you will definitely be more advanced than at the beginning.
As far as active learning tools go, Duolingo is one of the best for Spanish. And even better - it's 100% free!
For the best results…
But if you really want to reach a decent level of Spanish, Duolingo is only part of the solution.
A good tool to use - either with Duolingo or after you finish the course - is thatSpanishPod101.
SpanishPod and Duolingo complement each other nicely as they both target areas that the other lacks. Duolingo is great for reading and writing things, while SpanishPod focuses more on improving your listening and speaking skills.
It basically keeps the wheels turning once you've maxed out a day's Duolingo session, but it also helps you feel comfortable speaking Spanish from the get-go.
With SpanishPod you also get basic resources like grammar packs, cultural insights and learn 2,000 of the most common Spanish words - so you should be able to understand as much as 80% of all Spanish conversations by the end of the course.
If you are new to Spanish
I would highly recommend taking the Duolingo proficiency test, determine what level you are at, and then go through the first part of the units. This will introduce you to the basics of the Spanish language.
At the same time, I would recommend taking advantage of itFree trial version of SpanishPodto familiarize yourself with how the language sounds, pick up some useful expressions and cultural insights and practice speaking as quickly as possible.
Once you've gone through a Duolingo course (this can take a while), I recommend coming back to it every day to keep the streak alive (habit is VERY important when learning a language) and start moving move up from the intermediate to advanced packages on SpanishPod.
Finally, make sure you have enough passive exposure to Spanish as well. It's really important to experience the language in an authentic environment - so things like TV shows, music, books, real-life conversations - so you can see how everything you learn on Duolingo and SpanishPod works in the real world .