I’ll be exploring two free tools that have been around for quite some time but are still as relevant today as they were in the past. These “vintage” resources from the last century have stood the test of time, providing an excellent starting point for those looking to learn Spanish.
Despite their age, these materials are still available for anyone to access and use for free. I’ll delve into why they are still worth your time and how they can help you on your Spanish learning journey.
Foreign Service Institute (FSI) Spanish Language Courses (circa 1950)
This resource will help you with your listening and reading comprehension in Spanish.
Don’t be turned off by how ugly this website is. Or how old it appears. It is one of the most extensive resources available. And it’s free.
If you’ve never heard about FSI, the letters mean Foreign Service Institute. This is the school for diplomats in the United States, where people go to learn how to represent the US abroad and to improve their skills. As part of the training there, they teach over 70 foreign languages. Over the years, the FSI has created a series of language learning modules which are shared freely on the internet. This is the most complete program to learn Spanish you will find for free, and one of the most complete programs, paid or not, available.
The program includes a 700-page textbook with accompanying audio for your practice lessons. If you follow this program, spend time every day with it, and finish, you will be speaking Spanish at the end. I promise. No more complaining about your tax dollars never got you anything.
Destinos Telenovela (circa 1992)
This resource and its support materials will help you with your writing, listening, and reading comprehension in Spanish.
Who can’t resist learning Spanish WHILE you watch a soap opera. This is a brilliantly developed Spanish learning tool. Not only do you learn the language, but you also learn about the history and culture of several Spanish-speaking countries.
As the soap opera progresses, they include more Spanish until by the end of the series, the episodes are 100% Spanish. The website even includes basic exercises to practice the lessons in each episode and a quiz at the end of every episode to measure how well you understood what you heard.
Both free resources and provide an excellent foundation for anyone looking to learn Spanish. With a little time and effort, anyone can take advantage of them and start their journey towards mastering this beautiful language.
Click here for more on how to learn Spanish.