I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can come to for all your Spanish-learning needs. I'll add to it as I learn more and use different tools. I recommend bookmarking it for easy future reference. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you. For those links, I will earn a commission or receive credit if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I personally use all of these products, and recommend them because they have been helpful to me and my Spanish goals, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. These affiliates help keep the site running, but please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel they will help you achieve your goals, as they have mine.
There are many audio-based Spanish lessons out there today, and I have sampled most of them. They range from expensive and helpful to expensive and useless.
For my money, Rocket Spanish is hands-down the winner. The audio session quality plus the additional resources they provide easily matches the best out there, but at less than half the price.
I personally used Rocket Spanish Levels 1 and 2 to bootstrap my Spanish learning many years ago. I wish they had all the additional web resources back then that they now have. The smartphone app alone makes life easier!
I stand by Rocket Languages so much that I am currently using Rocket Hindi as the starting point for learning Hindi.
While you of course pick up vocabulary in conversation, to really accelerate things you should use a dedicated flashcard app, and there's none better now than Anki, which uses Spaced Repetition to maximize your efforts (similar to Maestro Spanish).
Anyone can easily add 5 new words every day or two. That's 400 - 800 words in just six months! In my opinion that's enough to let context-specific learning take over.
If you do not know where to begin, and have not already, now is a good time to suggest picking up my FREE Anki flashcard deck of 50 words, to get things started for you. They are all images so you are really learning, not translating in your head.
Once you have some basic vocab and sentence structure (or even before), you should try to focus as much time as possible on conversation, and iTalki is hands-down the best resource for doing this.
iTalki connects language learners with both teachers and conversation partners across the globe. Not only can you learn from native speakers, you can often do so for an incredible bargain.
There are three "tiers" of iTalki: 1) professional teachers, who are required to show teaching certifications. These teachers take a more curriculum based approach, and may show more patience, but are more expensive. 2) casual language partners are normal people looking to meet new people and make some extra cash. They will talk about whatever, whenever. This is what I used. 3) Language exchanges. In these, you pair up with someone trying to learn your language, then spend half of each session in each language. These are free, but in exchange you must help someone learn English.
I really cannot overemphasize what a breakthrough a site like iTalki can be for rapidly growing your skills in the comfort of your home.
Click here to join now, and feel free to let me know how it's going here!