So you are in need of/interested in learning Spanish. First thing you need to do is download a Spanish dictionary on your phone and NEVER use Google Translate again. Seriously. Stop. I personally like www.wordreference.com and www.spanishdict.com They both have apps, and both give multiple definitions with examples in context.
So, traditional Spanish classes are generally expensive, and they don’t really put enough emphasis on actual speaking. If you are moving to Chile (or any Spanish speaking country) you need to develop both your speaking and listening skills. It’s not necessary to spend a bunch of money on classes or expensive language learning software. Of course, everyone learns in a different way but I think for most people, especially those looking to move to Chile, online lessons with teachers/tutors is the way to go.
Online lessons with teachers/tutors:
I 100% recommend this method for learning Spanish. If you are an absolute beginner, you can still use this method. Just be sure to find a teacher who works with beginners (and one who speaks English might be helpful). Most classes you take in person or online you won’t get enough speaking practice. There are 2 websites I specifically recommend, which are Verbling and Italki.
With Verbling or Italki you can find tutors starting at $5/hour. There are lots of options, although there are fewer options for Chilean tutors (and they are generally more expensive). If you have the extra money to spend on a Chilean tutor, do it. If not there are plenty of tutors from other Latin American countries with good prices. Try out a few different ones from different countries and price ranges to find what works best for you. Again, I HIGHLY recommend practicing speaking this way. When there is a little money on the line you are much more likely to 1) actually show up to the lesson and 2) actually learn and spend the time practicing. Most people are not good at self-studying and procrastinate until it’s too late. Schedule lessons at least once a week for a few months before your move. If you’re a good self studier and aren’t shy, there are language exchange apps that are free.
Verbling vs Italki
Verbling and Italki are almost the same but there are a few differences. Verbling requires all teachers to be professional teachers, so the prices are generally a little higher than on Italki, which has “Community tutors” who do not have any type of degree or certificate in teaching. I have taken many good quality lessons with community tutors on Italki though. Italki lessons are done through Skype, while Verbling has its own teaching platform. The Verbling platform gives the teacher more options for teaching, as you can access documents, photos, and videos together. Italki teachers can still do those things, it’s just not integrated into the platform. Because of this difference, sometimes there are connection issues with Verbling as it requires a higher internet speed than Skype. It’s really a personal preference though, as I find both platforms useful with good tutors/teachers.
Another option I have used for speaking practice is Baselang. With Baselang you pay a monthly price (as of February 2019 it appears to be $120/month) and you can get unlimited online Spanish tutoring. The lessons are about 25 minutes and you can follow their curriculum or just have conversation practice. In my experience it’s difficult to get the same tutor for all your lessons, but it’s not difficult to schedule a lesson for the time you want. The constant changing of teachers was a bit of a negative for me, but they all keep notes on you so they can see what you have already covered/talked about. It’s easy to schedule and cancel lessons. If you are planning on taking a lot of lessons, this may be a better deal than doing individual lessons on Verbling or Italki, but it’s up to you and how frequently you are planning to take lessons. They do offer a trail for $1 and you can cancel if you don’t like it.
Below are links to the websites I have mentioned, along with some referral codes to get you (and me) some free credits.
https://www.italki.com/i/CBECGE?hl=en_us This link will give both you and me a free $10 in credits after you make your first purchase of Italki credits and take your first lesson. Many teachers offer a discounted trial lesson if you are new to the platform.
https://www.verbling.com/ti/88187086374743386066 This link will give you $30 in credits after you buy 10 lessons.