I am attempting to level up in Spanish.  Compass Classroom and I want to produce something like Visual Latin, for Spanish.  It has been a dream for some time.

Unfortunately, my Spanish skills are the hold up.  I still have much to learn.

As I have studied Spanish, I have discovered many useful resources.  Here, I share them with you.  I hope they help you as much as they have helped me.

If you are learning Spanish, here are my top recommendations:

(Note: Some of the following links are affiliate links.)



Everyone hates grammar.  Language courses claim you can, and should, skip it.  I do not recommend you skip grammar.  Instead, I recommend you learn it.  Get it over with.  Rip the band-aid off.

For grammar, I highly recommend Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish, by Margarita Madrigal.  The book is fantastic.  In one volume, you will learn all the grammar you need to learn.  Because this book covers all of the important topics for Spanish grammar, I would count this book as two years of high school Spanish.

If you are ready to start reading right away, you can find a free digital copy of the book here on Internet Archive.

After I read the book for the first time, I posted a review on my site.  If you are interested, go here:

Some time ago, I took students through the book.  Those classes are still available here:  There are also tests available for each chapter.  Students simply take the test at the end of each chapter and this site will grade the test immediately.



Right away, you should start listening to Spanish.  Do not worry if you cannot understand what you are hearing.  You are getting the sound of the language into your head.

If you want to learn Spanish during your daily commute, you might enjoy the podcast Coffee Break Spanish.  This podcast is great for those just starting out, and for those who are further down the road.  The podcast is free.  Of course, you could always sign up for the premium podcast, but I find there is more than enough in the free podcast series.  You can even practice writing to other Spanish learners on their Facebook page:



I enjoy reading the Bible in Spanish.  You can both read and listen free here:  I have linked several more below.

If you are looking for more to read, check out your local library.  The library in my town has a rather extensive Spanish library.  I find kids books especially helpful.  My library has the Chronicles of Narnia, the Hunger Games, and the Harry Potter series in Spanish.  You may be surprised what your library has.  And, if they do not have what you are looking for, talk to the librarian.  Often, libraries share books among themselves using the Interlibrary loan system.



I really enjoy watching the videos on Dreaming Spanish.

Dreaming Spanish is a collection of videos on entertaining topics.  Taught by enthusiastic native speakers at all levels, it almost feels easy to level up in Spanish.  The site even tracks your progress as you learn.

Naturally, there is a premium version for a monthly fee.  I have not yet subscribed to the premium version.  At the moment, the free videos are keeping me busy.  There are videos for beginners, intermediates, and advanced students.

For conversational Spanish I recommend the Extra series.  This is a show for Spanish learners.  The story follows four friends in Spain.  One of the friends is attempting to learn Spanish.  It’s a little flirty at times, but it’s mild.  I recommend it for high school students and beyond.

Though my students roll their eyes at me, I highly recommend Peppa Pig in Spanish.  Peppa Pig is a popular show that follows Peppa and her family through daily life.  The benefit to the series is students learn all kinds of daily vocabulary in context.  Here is the official Spanish channel:

I have even more viewing recommendations on the Spanish resource page here:


The Quick Version

If I were starting over, I’d probably only do two things.  I would read Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish.  You can also take the classes on my site, if you would rather.  My site includes tests.

There are forty-five chapters in the book.  Reading one chapter a week, a student could be done in a year.  In my opinion, this book covers all of high school Spanish one and two.  An ambitious student could finish the book in a summer.

After reading  Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish, I would start binge watching Dreaming Spanish.

I suspect an ambitious student could be proficient (not fluent) in Spanish in eighteen months.

By the way, these two steps would easily count as Spanish one and two.  Because it is so comprehensive, I suspect the Madrigal’s Magic Key to Spanish alone counts as two years of high school Spanish.

Finally, linked below, you will find some odds and ends I recommend.

– Dwane

Almost as soon as you begin learning, I recommend listening to the New Testament in Spanish.  Don’t worry about understanding.  Understanding will come.  Listen to get used to the sounds of Spanish.  This is a fantastic, and free way to listen to Spanish for hours.  This version even includes video with the audio:

This is a non-dramatized reading of the New Testament in Spanish.

This is a dramatized reading of the New Testament in Spanish.  There are different voices for each character.  Unfortunately, there is some strange music playing in the background throughout the recording… and, quite often, the music does not match the mood of the story.  Here is the link:

Honestly, you could probably find a used copy of the Bible in Spanish at a local Goodwill/Thrift store. However, if you are having trouble finding one, or if would like to read in Spanish and English at the same time, you may find this side by side Spanish/English Bible helpful.

Ana is one of my Favorite YouTube Spanish teachers.  She covers all of the basics and more, and all of her videos are free on YouTube!  If you become a fan, and you want to support her, you can drop by her site and donate to her right here:

Her YouTube playlist is here:

Great for beginners and beyond.

SuperHolly is another of my favorite online Spanish teachers.  She has lots of videos on YouTube as well.  Her dad was an archeologist and she spent a lot of time in Central America.  Her skills in Spanish are unbelievable.  She speaks fast.  You may need to wait until you are intermediate or advanced before you start watching her.

The Extra series is pretty funny.  Unfortunately, it can be mildly inappropriate at times, but nothing major.  I would give it a PG, maybe PG-13 rating.  All in all, this is a really fun way to review what you have learned once you reach an upper beginner/intermediate level.  

This video instructional series for high school classrooms and adult learners teaches Spanish speaking and listening skills.

This series is dated, that’s for sure.  But, the storyline is good… and, if you are here to learn Spanish, this series is worth your time.  

One of the challenges with Spanish is the speed.  Spanish speakers really do talk fast.

In this series, the speakers speak slowly and clearly.

There are currently four seasons of Buena Gente and hopefully more to come.  This series is super helpful and is very well done!


As far as I can tell, Audible provides some free foreign language reading via Audible Stories.  It appears there are stories and fables available in multiple languages.  I have tried this site with Spanish and it has worked.  There is a lot here… in Spanish, German, French, and more!

Scholastic has turned many classic books into little cartoons.

Here, you can watch them in English, Spanish, and even Mandarin.

Here you can read famous fables and stories (there are about a dozen of them on this site) in Spanish, French, German, Italian and English.

It looks as though the stories are free to read, and are available as audio stories with a paid membership.

On this site, Unite for Literacy, you can read (and listen to) many books in English and Spanish… for free.  

Not great literature, but if you are just starting out in Spanish, or if you are trying to learn new words in a subject unfamiliar to you, then check out Unite for Literacy.