Language Challenge 180: Spanish

by Corey · 68 comments

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants only. Sign up now to join this event!

This is the Language Challenge 180 page for Spanish. If you are working on this language, please leave a comment below letting other speakers know a little about you and your language skills. Also tell us who will be working on this language (you, your child, etc.) and what you hope to achieve.

Please leave comments with resources that you recommend in this language (online language learning, fun websites, good books in the language, online TV programming, audio programs, online stores where products in the language can be purchased, etc.).

We’ll be updating this page based on the suggestions you make in the comments section below – so add a comment today!


  • Coming soon! Tell us what resources you recommend for learning this language (in the comment section below) and we will add them here!

This page is for Language Challenge 180 participants only. Sign up now to join this event!

{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kenneth March 2, 2012 at 6:04 am

I feel that I’m at the beginner/intermediate level and I am working on improving my listening comprehension. I am currently using Learning Spanish Like Crazy Level 1 and I feel that’s its been a big help. I am also reading El Viejo y El Mar. I try to read aloud for an hour each day.


2 Lisa March 2, 2012 at 6:05 am

Salsa for Children from Georgia Public Broadcasting

Sesame Street like episodes complete with non-Spanish speaking teacher resources. Great fun!


3 Mary March 6, 2012 at 9:28 pm

That sounds great! We are big Sesame Street fans around here… can’t wait to try it out!


4 Laurie May 22, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Thanks so much for sharing these resource. My kids are LOVING this program.


5 Lesley Johnson March 2, 2012 at 6:12 am

I actually started my daughter on Speekee at recommended via the Multilingual website and she LOVES it!! I wasn’t too sure if she would get into it but my god does she love it. She always says to me, “mummy, I want Speekee”. so that is a fantastic resource I am glad I checked out. She also repeats and sings the songs so I am really happy.

We also have (for those brushing up and/or trying to strengthen the language like we are doing) have some DVD’s in Spanish which are fab: JimJam y Sunny, Caillou and Dougie are er favourite. They have learning songs at least JimJam y Sunny and Dougie do.

My computer keeps freezing so will post any other resources I use another time! :o)


6 Terra March 2, 2012 at 6:46 am

Both my six year old son and I are learning Spanish. I’m hoping to improve what I already know. I run a Spanish-English Conversation Group bi-weekly. This keeps me practicing adult conversation twice a month, but I’d like to do more! I highly recommend finding or starting a conversation group. I’m also hoping to keep my son more interested and motivated in learning the language to better communicate with his grandparents. We love Ana Lomba’s resouces, especially the iPad apps, and Spanglish baby.


7 Simon March 2, 2012 at 7:18 am

My sister and I are beginners and are trying Mango and Livemocha through our library. They are both free (through the library) and online.


8 Sean Austin March 2, 2012 at 7:37 am

I am learning spanish because I was always fascinated by persons who switch flawlessly between languages. I want to be like that because is becoming more and more popular throughout the Caribbean. I am at the advanced beginner/intermediate level now. Since I am on the road most of the time I use the Michel Thomas CD Course. I love his teaching style. Its a bit radical but works great if you spend a lot of time in your car.


9 Petra March 2, 2012 at 8:58 am

I think this is a very good self-study page for adults. I especially like the vocabulary section (divided by topics with flash cards and quizzes).


10 bolanle March 2, 2012 at 9:26 am

I am at the beginner level and find visiting might be a good place for me to start.


11 Dominick March 2, 2012 at 9:52 am

I have been studying Spanish as a third language for about a year now and feel that I am at the cusp of fluency. I am looking forward to driving myself comfortably into the advanced level throughout these next 6 months. I am currently raising my son bilingual English / Italian, but my wife insists that he learn Spanish as well. I go to the local Half Price Books on a semi-weekly basis and peruse the Spanish children’s book section. They usually have a lot of good stuff there. As for myself, I have been using the main sponsor, LingQ for a long time now. I love it because it is the only product I know of that in of itself can take you from zero knowledge to advanced fluency in a language. I also watch a lot of Telemundo. I can’t stand court tv shows in English, but for some reason I find Caso Cerrado absolutely captivating. I used Michel Thomas at the beginning of my Spanish Journey, but now I download radio podcasts and also audio content from LingQ (such as the Guillermo and Mariano podcasts from Argentina) and listen to them on my mp3 player while I’m in my car, at the gym, doing house chores, etc.


12 Reina March 2, 2012 at 11:43 am

We are growing up our twins with Dutch and Spanish. I am Spanish but after many years of not using it everyday, it was kind of rusty. I have brought it back to his old level by reading blogs in Spanish of things that interest me. I use googlereader and read everyday a few. This way my spanish was and keep on being on track while I read things that interest me.

For the kids I use a lot youtube. There are many many cartoons in Spanish that they love. Also it is easy to control tv time as they do not know yet how to put another video by themselves 😉 Favorites now are (boys 4 years old)
– Caillou
– Pocoyo
– Manny Manitas
– La casa de Mickey mouse

We also watch DVDs of movies in Spanish I got from my family and read books in Dutch in Spanish (i have become really good in translating on the way).

A favorite game now is “how does pappa say this? how does mamma sat this?”.

At the moment both boys have the same level in both languages although one of them is lagging behind in pronunciation. each one has his own rythm.

Nos vemos por aqui 🙂


13 Veronica March 5, 2012 at 12:11 am

Hei Reina,
We have two toddlers (2 and 4), who are bilingual Spanish-Norwegian. We live in Norway, so Norwegian is becoming the dominant language. My husband and I are both fluent in both languages, and that does not make it any easier as the children usually choose in which language to communicate with us (usually Norwegian). I’m here to get more inspiration to maintain/strenghten their Spanish 🙂
I also use you tube with the boys. Pocoyo i a favorite right now. They watch in in Norwegian on the TV, and in Spanish on internet.


14 Bridgette March 2, 2012 at 11:49 am

Spanish News Bites ( is a great website for learning Spanish. They have articles about current events at different levels (beginner, intermediate & advanced). Key vocab/phrases are in bold and you can click on them for a translation into English or German, and each article has an MP3 recording of the article read aloud, a PDF copy of the transcript & glossary, and an online exercise to practice the new vocab. Best of all its FREE!


15 Tom Pinit March 2, 2012 at 2:38 pm

My son is a first-grader in our district’s one-way Spanish Immersion School. I grew up in a bilingual household (Thai/English) and have studied many languages along the way (French, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese). Now it is time for me to tackle Spanish so I can keep up with my son! I’ve been helping him with his homework, plugging things into the translator app (who needs a dictionary?!) for words he doesn’t know, etc. It has been very satisfying seeing him learn so much at such a quick pace, and enjoying it simultaneously.


16 Antonia March 2, 2012 at 4:10 pm
…is a good website for more advanced learners or speakers of Spanish.


17 Dominick March 3, 2012 at 11:27 am

Does anyone know where I could find podcasts out of Mexico? I am NOT looking for language learning ones, but more like talk radio programs about culture, travel, technology, science, food, news, etc. Thanks!


18 Antonia March 3, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Dominick try:
not exclusively Mexican but from all countries where Spanish is spoken.


19 Wendy March 4, 2012 at 11:44 am

I’m working on my Spanish with my twin girls, who are in 1st grade. They have an after school Spanish class and a tutor, but I’m looking for a good program to use with them. We have two books with Spanish words and phrases that we like: Ana Lomba and Marcela Summerville’s Play and Learn in Spanish and a Disney Spanish picture dictionary. I’m planning to get some Junie B. Jones or other beginning chapter books out of the library for them in both Spanish and English.


20 Jamye Stowell March 5, 2012 at 6:03 pm

Check out Salsa . My 6 year old is loving it!


21 Wendy March 12, 2012 at 11:30 pm

Thanks for the tip, Jamye. Pocoyo, as others have suggested, also seems like a good resource for their age.


22 Craig March 4, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I have been trying to learn Spanish for awhile now. I believe Im at the intermediate level but would love to increase my flunecy. I have used many books and websites over the years but im currently using I would love and help or suggestions that anyone might have. Thanks


23 Bridgette March 4, 2012 at 3:05 pm

I am working to strengthen my Spanish and begin my son’s journey into bilingualism. He’s 4 months old now so I love Mama Lisa’s World ( I did not grow up with Spanish so I don’t have much of a repertoire of lullabies and fairy tale stories in the language. She has hundreds, maybe thousands of children’s songs and traditional folk tales in hundreds of different languages. Great for those of us with very young children. 🙂


24 Bridgette March 4, 2012 at 3:21 pm

O yeah, Tumblebooks is an online website with great storybooks animated and read aloud in English, French, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. It’s free to use if you click the link at the bottom of this page: otherwise many other public libraries have subscriptions as well. Once you get to the home page click ‘Language Learning’.


25 Karen March 4, 2012 at 4:42 pm

We’re working on more active Spanish – speaking and some writing. We’re working on a cooking unit right now since both my boys love to cook. So we’re going through the vocabulary, practicing during the week and by Friday, we are going to make chocolate chip cookies – in Spanish. I try to read daily in Spanish and speak to them of course. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my blog for free/low-cost resources for learning/teaching Spanish.


26 Dominick March 5, 2012 at 9:28 am

Hello Karen,

You have a new subscriber. Your blog seems wonderful. Thank you.


27 Karen March 7, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Thanks! Any suggestions for blog posts are welcome. 🙂



28 Shannon March 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm

My 7-yr old loves to read, so I’m having her read aloud to me 1 or 2 Spanish books each day from the local library. We signed up for Ana Lomba’s Spanish books program, and she was repeating along with it before the end of the 1st story! Love it!
Another super simple activity my daughter came up with on her own was to toss a ball back and forth and to say a word in Spanish each time you catch the ball.
Oh, and we’ve also used an online program called GoGo Lingo.


29 Tye March 5, 2012 at 12:35 pm

My two children and I will also be working on Spanish. I still have yet to decide on resources.


30 Jennifer March 5, 2012 at 4:01 pm

I speak and teach Spanish and have my 2-year-old enrolled in an immersion pre-school. My 9-year-old has taken Spanish classes for two years now, but we have moved to a public school system where the elementary language program is non-existent for her age. I have signed her up for livemocha and she is able to manipulate this program on her own.


31 Jamye Stowell March 5, 2012 at 6:05 pm

I am currently using the Spanish 1 online program through MIT (free!) which uses Destinos . They have many different languages, and all MIT online classes are free (except for books if you need them)


32 Elizabeth March 5, 2012 at 10:47 pm

I’m starting Spanish with my 4th grader who already studies Mandarin. We’re trying with the discount (Thanks!) as an introduction to Spanish.


33 Adriana Ross March 6, 2012 at 4:22 am

Hola- here is a website that I found useful for Spanish for the early years. It is also a great place to go for mum and dad to learn nursery rhymes, songs and finger plays. Best of all, it is free!


34 Seana Parker-Dalton March 6, 2012 at 6:14 am

I have just taken two semesters of beginning Spanish (one on-line, so not much conversational work). I skipped this semester because I just had a baby, but I have been trying to keep up with textbooks and workbooks we have around the house. For my kids, we have two albums/books by Jose-Luis Orozco, and a handful of books, although I’m not too comfortable reading them, since my Spanish isn’t great. I know a mom in town from Mexico who offered to help me with conversational skills, I just need to work up the courage to call her and try to set something up (I really want to learn Spanish, but practicing with a native speaker terrifies me. I know it will be the best thing for improving my skills, and I’ve even taught ESL English, I don’t know why I’m so anxious.)


35 Shannon March 7, 2012 at 6:08 am

Hi Seana,
CALL HER! I speak Japanese, Spanish, and Mandarin and had native-speaking tutors in all 3 along the way, all in exchange for also helping them with their English. Granted, this was before becoming a mom, and I had time to study independently and make lists of questions to ask in the tutoring sessions. But still, it will be a HUGE help and, as a bonus, it will give you the accountability to stick to your language learning plan. It will give you some adult interaction at a time when you may (?) be lacking it, too. 🙂 Suerte!


36 Seana Parker-Dalton March 7, 2012 at 6:33 am

Ha! You’re right! Thanks for the nudge!


37 Amy Miller March 6, 2012 at 10:55 am

Thank you all for the great online resources! I am a beginning/intermediate speaker in Spanish and my 2 year old recently started attending a spanish immersion pre-school. I taught her all the Spanish I know over the last year and gave her a great head start but now we’re at the point where I really need to improve to keep up with her!
I don’t have any new online resources to add, we’ve used GoGo lingo as well as Leading to Reading. We also watch movies together in Spanish. Almost any movie you rent has a Spanish track. Our favorites are Winnie the Poo movies in Spanish. Mostly, I have improved and learned the most by forcing myself to converse with my daughter in Spanish most of the day. Once you get in the habit, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Good luck everyone!


38 Chris March 6, 2012 at 10:04 pm

My wife and kids mainly speak spanish in the house so I have lots of exposure but have never really put in the time to get proficient. I’ll be using the following resources:

* Anki for flashcards ( It’s able to sync with a mobile device which is great for studying periodically throughout the day.
* – I’ve listened to some of Ben and Marina’s podcast’s before and enjoyed them. I’ll probably create audio clips from the podcasts and use those to make audio flashcards in Anki.
* This looks promising:
* news in spanish: and
* various kids Spanish books
* – I followed this link when Corey posted it and worked through a few lessons. Lots of fun.

My plan is to work through new material a few times a week and create flashcards for anything I don’t know, sync with my phone and review daily. Good luck!


39 Heather March 7, 2012 at 8:16 am

Hi. I taught 1st grade Spanish/English immersion 8 years ago and now I’m trying to teach it to my 3 and 5 year-old sons. I’m not a native speaker, and I have to admit, it was much easier teaching other people’s children than my own! To maintain my own language skills, I try to read in Spanish as much as possible. For my kids, I try to introduce new vocabulary every day and then practice it throughout the day and reinforce it with books. Scholastic book publisher has a fantastic selection of affordable children’s books in Spanish. If you are a homeschooler, you can register with them to order from their catalogs. In larger cities they have a warehouse booksale twice a year with a great selection of Spanish books.


40 Karen March 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

Another good source is News in Slow Spanish: My older son listens to this and picks up on the vocabulary since he also watches CNN Student News on a daily basis.


41 Tracey March 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Hi I live in Bolivia and have been here for 7 years with my family – we are pretty fluent spanish speakers – my older two (19,20) are often mistaken as Bolivians and my younger two (4) choose to speak spanish to each other as that is what all their friends speak. We speak spanglish in the house and have no english speaking contacts here. I need to change my speaking with the littlies to almost completely spanish as in a few months I move to NZ where I will become almost their only spanish input (other than Sunday School maybe). English they will begin to use more as it becomes their community language. I have learnt from CDs, books, school, and real life immersion – the best way is the last one but I can help others to find their way if they need it.


42 LindsRose March 11, 2012 at 3:08 pm

Hi everyone! I am hoping to teach my 2 year old son Spanish. Neither of us are native speakers but I have been studying Spanish for over 12 years and am a bilingual first grade teacher in a transitional bilingual program. Currently I spend about 8 hours a day speaking Spanish with my students. My goal when my son was born was to raise him bilingually. My plan was to have my husband speak English with him and I would speak Spanish, however that was easier said than done. Currently my son knows some vocabulary words in Spanish such as body parts and animals. It has also been difficult because he often gets frustrated with me when I try to speak Spanish with him. He doesn’t really watch much t.v. so streaming videos is something that we will use minimally. He does love to read and we have a lot of kids books in Spanish so I am planning on reading at least one book a night with him in Spanish. We have many books in our house where we have the English version and the Spanish version. I’m wondering if it would be best to read the Spanish version once he is familiar with the English or should we start with the Spanish? Does anyone have any suggestions?


43 Heather March 11, 2012 at 3:19 pm

Your post describes my situation exactly, except I don’t teach at a school anymore, just stay home with my two sons. In my opinion, start reading the Spanish books, if your son will allow it. Kids that age can easily pick up the meaning of the book from pictures. Especially if you’re helping him out by pointing to pictures. Good luck!!


44 Mary March 11, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Wow, we are in the same boat too! My son is two and, like yours, knows some Spanish but not as much as he should. He gets irritated at me when I speak to him in Spanish and he refuses to respond. Argh!

I also want to limit screen time so watching Spanish t.v. is out. I’m hoping to hear of lots of great ideas to integrate Spanish into my daily routine with the little! One thing we love to do is speak Spanish in the car. We count to ten, over and over again! We also talk about the cars and trucks we pass and their colors.

Please share your ideas with me!


45 Mikayla March 12, 2012 at 7:50 am

Hola! I’m a K-12 Spanish teacher. I joined the challenge because I love the Spanish language. I hope to learn more Spanish and find out about some of the great resources that all of you are using and that I might be able to use in my classroom.


46 Maria Jesus March 12, 2012 at 12:59 pm

Hola a todos,

Algunos ya habéis hecho referencia a Pocoyo. Es uno de los programas de TV favoritos de los niños (muy pequeños) en España. Espero que os guste:


47 Rashauna H June 16, 2012 at 8:51 am

My 2 year old daughter is absolutely addicted to this show! I enjoy watching it with her!


48 Seana Parker-Dalton March 12, 2012 at 2:18 pm

I would hide the English versions of the books! We have several books that are in French and Spanish, and I just read them, sometimes with an explanation if asked.


49 Julie March 19, 2012 at 10:45 am

I use Spanishpod101 podcasts. You can download the most recent 10 ones free from iTunes. I also use which is a blog that explains different aspects of Spanish.


50 Dominick March 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Hey all,
I created an open spreadsheet on Google Docs, editable by anybody even if they don’t have a Google account, where people can add their sentences and translate sentences that others have added into their native language, I have included about 60 English sentences with Italian translations already, I think it could be a good collaborative effort among everyone…

Original url:

I was inspired by this open document of “conversation connectors” translated into many languages:



51 Maria Jesus March 20, 2012 at 3:55 pm

Gracias, Dominick!! Qué buena idea!!

He añadido algunas traducciones en español.



52 Linda M March 24, 2012 at 4:13 pm

I love this! Thanks for setting it up!

I added Norwegian 😉


53 Maria Jesus March 20, 2012 at 4:05 pm

Language exchange

I’m looking for a family interested in language exchange. We are Spanish and are learning English. My daughter is 5. We (adults and children) could use Skype.

Let me know if you are interested:
It can be fun!



54 Flor C. M. March 22, 2012 at 11:54 am

I’m from Mexico, married to an American. My husband and I are raising our daughter to be bilingual. We have used the one parent-one language approach, but mainteining the need to use Spanish is challenging at times because we live in a predominantly English environment. I read to her a lot, we play Mexican games and listen to music in Spanish, which works well for us.
I’m a Spanish teacher and with my students I use a few of the resources mentioned above, for older students and adults I would recommend,which has a collection podcasts on a variety of topics. I hope yuo’ll find this site helpful.



55 Wendy March 25, 2012 at 1:26 pm

Looking for family with small children for a Skype call in Spanish/English

We live in the San Francisco Bay Area and have two 7-year-old girls. I’m trying to revive my high school Spanish and help teach it to them. If another family with young children is interested, I’d like to arrange a Skype call for them to interact with other kids who speak Spanish or need help with English. You can reach me at


56 Jamye Stowell March 26, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Hooray! Mango language library edition now has an iphone app! Which languages are offered depend upon your local library, but mine has Italian, French Russian and Spanish. I have been struggling with my 180 day challenge due to internet connectivity issues, but I can use my phone any time. Very excited. My 6 year old is plodding right along with her weekly class and the Salsa program.


57 Gabriel Wyner March 31, 2012 at 11:26 pm

Nice timing! 🙂 I just finished the Spanish section of my language blog (linked above!). It’s free, and the method is really effective – I learned C1 French in about 5 months using it (currently learning Russian). It should be of use to anyone trying this!


58 Wendy April 6, 2012 at 11:55 am

Where is the link to your language blog? I don’t see it.


59 Gabriel Wyner April 6, 2012 at 11:57 am

On my name.

(Or I guess you could type it: ) Spanish is under the Languages section


60 Wendy April 6, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Thanks for the quick response, Gabriel. I’ll check it out.


61 Gale April 24, 2012 at 6:41 am

For helping kids learn Spanish (and for learning yourself) I really like this free website:

It’s completely in Spanish, but has some games that kids can figure out themselves while learning the language. I think this is best for kids though that have some vocabulary under their belt already. But if you understand even a moderate amount of Spanish you can help guide them through it. That’s what I did with my kids. They wanted to play it…I didn’t have to force them.


62 Seana Parker-Dalton April 30, 2012 at 6:03 am

we have Netflix streaming only. I’ve tried to do a search of Spanish Language films, but so far haven’t figured it out. anyone know how to do that, (without scrolling through all the foreign language films) or have any reccs for good Spanish movies available on streaming?


63 Mollie June 13, 2012 at 10:27 am


If you pick one (or more) movies in Spanish, Netflix will start giving you options to see even more, and even give you “suggestions” for Spanish language movies that you might enjoy, based on if you click on the stars to let them know that you like a movie. Some Spanish Netflix streaming titles are:

El Juego de la Verdad (Spanish)
From Prada to Nada (English/Spanish) *good movie*
Recien Casados (Spanish) *my fave! I really liked this one, cute romantic/comedy*
No Eres Tu, Soy Yo (Spanish)

When you are done watching a movie, just make sure to click on the star ratings to show you liked the movie (even if you don’t like it), that way Netflix will automatically start to give you more movie suggestions that are in Spanish. Enjoy! 😀

I haven’t been able to find any tv shows or movies on Netflix in Spanish for children yet though. If you ever stubble across anything in Spanish for children, please let me know! Thanks!


64 Dominick June 13, 2012 at 10:44 am

I have seen a few Spanish films on Netflix, and they have a decent selection of French and Italian ones as well.

If you don’t have netflix though, you may just find what you are looking for on Youtube. just search for “documental” to get a slew of spanish language documentaries about various subjects. One good one I’ve seen recently is “Los Secretos de los Manglares”


65 Seana June 17, 2012 at 5:04 am

Thank You! I will try to check these out! There is a beautiful French movie that is appropriate for Children (a little older maybe 8+) It’s called The Butterfly. There’s also a crazy stop motion movie made with toys called “A Town Called Panic” (also in French). These are things my kids like, but not necessarily “for” them, otherwise, Netflix would have dubbed them, I’m sure!


66 Seana June 19, 2012 at 1:28 pm

I’ve been listening to the Inspired Beginners podcasts from Notes in Spanish, and I was wondering 1) if anyone has purchased the worksheet packet, 2) What you thought of it (was it worth the price?).


67 Eugeanne Mcvin @ AP Spanish October 16, 2012 at 1:39 am
68 how to learn spanish online March 13, 2013 at 12:19 am

I am seeking methods to learn spanish on-line for countless years now.
We have tried out rosetta jewel, private tutoring,
and a lot of different programs.
Skyrocket The spanish language was the only system containing proved helpful for me.
This bought us conversing just like a native within just half a year.


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