We are always looking for cheap and efficient ways to keep up with, practice and improve your Spanish. Here are a few of our favorite recommendations for free Spanish practice that can keep you thinking about your Spanish even when you have a busy schedule and no time to study!
1. Watch Spanish Movies with Spanish Subtitles
No cheating and watching with English subtitles! Watching with English subtitles usually means after the first 10 minutes you stop paying attention to the language and get used to just reading in English. If you’re Spanish level isn’t high enough to understand the movie, best to watch it once with English subtitles and once with Spanish subtitles. You could also read a description of the plot beforehand so you don’t get too lost.
See the previews below for some ideas on popular Spanish-language movies you may like or browse our Pinterest Board here:[hr] [one_half]
ABRE LOS OJOS
The original Spanish version of Vanilla sky with Penelope Cruz and directed by Pedro Almodovar
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DIARIOS DE MOTOCICLETA
Takes place in Argentina staring the beautiful Gael Garcia and a long roadtrip throughout Argentina
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2. Watch English Movies with Spanish Subtitles
It’s not the best option, but if you’re not a big fan of Spanish cinema, it’s a good alternative. It’s an easy way to keep your brain working in Spanish while you enjoy the latest flick. Hopefully your friends or significant other is tolerant and supportive enough of your language-learning goals to put up with them.
3. Spanish TV with Closed Captioning
If you live in the states and have cable, you most likely have access to several Spanish TV channels. Many of these channels also include closed captioning subtitles for the hearing impaired by either a button on your remote control or settings within your system. Find out how to turn them on and pick a few shows to enjoy. I have to admit I got hooked on a telanovela for a while – “Cuidado con el Angel” with Maite Perroni and William Levy — who I believe recently gained US fame as the hot Cuban actor on Dancing with the starts. Admittedly, the content is not everyone’s cup of tea, but you can bear it for the Spanish-learning cause.
The best type of shows to watch tend to be documentaries, as the subtitles are more accurate and in time with the audio. Particularly with talk or news shows, the subtitles aren’t word-for-word or have a significant lag, which makes it not ideal for practicing your Spanish. I will sometimes keep my laptop in front of me and quickly type in the words I don’t know into Google Translate, and afterwords I have a nice vocabulary list of words to work on.
4. Google News in Spanish
If you’re like me and check the news multiple times a day as a habit, you might as well add a bookmark to Google news in Spanish. It gives you quick headlines to read, and if you’re up on the current news you can use context to figure out many of the Spanish words. It’s a good, quick practice and involves interesting content. Google news has feeds from multiple Spanish-speaking countries, so you can choose whichever country you’re most interested in – including the US feed in Spanish!