The number of English speakers who want to learn Spanish is growing. For many Americans, it is because they find that Spanish is rapidly becoming accepted as the second language all over the country. The’ Latin invasion’ is no more confined to areas around Miami and LA. For this reason, interest in learning Spanish is growing in the United States especially for children, as most adults feel that they have passed the age where they can acquire a new language. For most of us, cost or time is the issue. This shouldn’t be the case.
Begin any attempt to learn a new language with the idea that it is going to take time (probably years). You are not going to be speaking Spanish fluently in a month or two (although some language learning programs make that claim). It is better to spend just half an hour a day than spending 3 hours a day for a few days and then taking few days off. Not only will you get burned out very quickly but it is also not the most efficient way of going about it.
Today, just about anything you want to learn is available somewhere on the internet for little or no money. Although most sites are trying to sell you a product, many offer some basic Spanish lessons for free to get you interested with the hope that you will check out their product. It’s important to read reviews of any Spanish language learning software or Book/CD packages a company is selling. The site itself will always claim that they have the perfect product for you and that they can get you speaking Spanish in no time. It is always better to check reviews on sites like Amazon.com to see what people who have bought the product think of it.
The best way is to begin with sources that don’t cost a lot of money. Check out a few books (try to get something with CDs or tapes) from your local library, just to get a feel for what to expect. You may get lucky and find a couple of really good language learning packs there. After you have a good feel for what exactly you would like to learn, go online and do a search on language courses. You will literally get thousands of results (if not hundreds of thousands). Most adults want a learning methodology that is more practical, i.e. they want to learn practical spoken Spanish.
So rather than just searching for keywords like ‘spanish’, ‘online’, ‘free lessons’, you should use keywords like ‘practical Spanish’ or ‘learn practical Spanish online’ in order to avoid sites that just focus on grammar or the technical parts of the language. Some sites like the grammar section at Wikipedia, give you a good technical explanation of grammar but not a lot of examples on practical usage. You want to find sites that will acquaint you with the way the language is actually spoken, not just the grammar rules.
To get started, try About.com for some free Spanish lessons. They have plenty of material for beginners as well as some great articles about how to get started. Plenty of Spanish books are available to be downloaded for free from sites like Ebookee.com. There are some restrictions but you could get quite a few good books along with the audio portion for free.