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What’s the best place to find Spanish grammar exercises?
In all my years of learning Spanish (way too many), finding good Spanish grammar exercises have definitely been at the top of the list of things that are really, really hard to do. And the thing is, this isn’t unique to me or you. Grammar can be the hardest part of language learning for most any learner.
The makers of Kwiziq and Babbel are smart, and have picked up on this. They know that providing great Spanish grammar exercises is valuable, and worth some money (which makes it harder for those of us without that kind of spending money, but I digress).
Do you need help with basic Spanish grammar?
One of the most important qualities of any language-learning resource (at least in my opinion) is whether or not they take into account what you’re already comfortable with. Using resources that don’t has held me back a lot, since I’ve learned basic Spanish grammar more times than I can count.
This means that those still at the basic Spanish grammar level have it a bit easier; it doesn’t matter to you if a resource makes you start from day 1, because that’s where you are anyways! It’s the intermediate/advanced crowd that cares. Those are the folks I’m talking to in this section!
Your first interactions with Babbel
Now, when you first load up Babbel, it’ll ask you whether you’re at a beginner or advanced level (which, by the way, totally skips the users who are at an intermediate level). Therefore, I went with ‘advanced’. These were my first “advanced” lessons.
If you can’t tell, those are definitely not advanced questions. Those are definitely basic Spanish grammar questions. If this were my first ever foray into Babbel’s content before they tried to get my money…it wouldn’t have worked.
Fortunately, with my prior experience with Babbel, I already knew they have lessons for advanced learners, but I can’t help wonder how many sales they’ve lost because of this.
Your first interactions with Kwiziq
When you go onto Kwiziq for the first time, it doesn’t ask you what your level is, it tests you. This is awesome! Whatever level you decide to call yourself doesn’t mean that you’ve necessarily conquered all there is to know about lower levels, and Kwiziq recognizes this.
So, the first thing you’ll be prompted to do is take a 53-question test, with questions ranging from beginner to advanced and no pressure to keep trying if you find yourself in a realm of questions that are clearly above your level.
Once you finish this intro test, it’s not hard for the Kwiziq bot to figure out what you’ve conquered, what you need to work on, and how much you need to work on it (more on that later).
Learning Spanish grammar with the Babbel approach
Let’s start with Babbel. Babbel is one of the fairly common language learning resources out there (certainly moreso than Kwiziq); one reason is because Babbel offers its courses in more than just Spanish (which I talk about more in my Babbel review).
Babbel makes learning Spanish grammar pretty accessible, as it has content for every concept you need, whether you’re a beginner or an advanced learner. The Babbel lesson format is as follows:
- Explain a concept, little by little
- Test you on said concept
- Drill you
- Drill you some more
- …and even more
If you’re learning a grammar concept for the first or second time, this drilling is very good. There’s literally no other way to figure out these concepts other than doing them again and again until your brain finally figures it out, and Babbel picks up on this.
This strategy is helpful for learners who may not be used to drilling these things for themselves (and therefore probably can’t seem to figure out advanced grammar concepts).
However, if you don’t need quite so much repetition – whether you’re not having such a hard time conquering a particular concept, or you’ve already done the hard work and just need a small review – Babbel can be super frustrating. It treats every ride the same way, whether you’re getting all the questions right or not.
So, if certain concepts are better cemented into your brain, Babbel might not be the best use of your time.
Practice Spanish grammar with the Kwiziq approach
Compared to Babbel, Kwiziq is much lesser-known. For starters, while Babbel has a bunch of languages under its belt, Kwiziq just has 2: Spanish and French. But one thing I always say is that the resources that only offer a few languages do so because they do them really well.
Kwiziq takes everything that Babbel does, throws it out, and sticks an Artifical Intelligence into it (which you can read more about in my Kwiziq review). Going back to those first initial interactions with Kwiziq, where you take a test and the bot figures out what you’re good at and what needs help, we push onward and practice Spanish grammar concepts that we need to.
While Babbel has a bunch of chapters and sections available to you for you to shop around and practice when you want to, Kwiziq takes the liberty of recommending what the AI thinks you need to practice. These concepts are presented to you with 10-question kwizzes.
You answer the 10 questions (or don’t, if you don’t know the answer), and Kwiziq will link you to lessons on the specific questions that you missed. The ones you get right? Well, Kwiziq will take that into account, and either stop showing them to you if you’ve proven that you have a good grasp on the lesson, or continue to drill you until you’re answering correctly more consistently.
So, basically, when Babbel does “ready, aim, fire”, Kwiziq does “ready, fire, aim”. The constant drilling and re-drilling that Babbel does that some may find annoying and monotonous? You won’t find it with Kwiziq! Kwiziq will test you just as often as it thinks it needs to and then will leave you alone.
Practicing the 4 language skills
How does each resource satisfy a language learner’s need to practice reading, writing, listening, and speaking (grammar’s great, but it isn’t everything). Clearly, you can’t depend on either Babbel or Kwiziq as your ONLY method of studying Spanish, but just how much can you do with them?
Both resources have a little bit of immersion practice on the side, which is nice. This immersion is very helpful for solidifying the grammar concepts that you’re learning, so I’m glad that they both make a bit of an effort.
Immersion with Babbel
As you go through your Babbel lessons, it’ll use a touch of immersion to help them really settle into your brain. These lessons use a mixture of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank questions to walk you through what you’re learning and show you what it’s like to actually use this new information.
Babbel has also been doing some work when it comes to catching up to the competition, and now has some conversations that you can contribute to. Now, they’re not quite up to the Mondly level of choosing your own answer (which helps your conversation feel more natural, like you have an actual part in it), but you do get to contribute to a conversation, and hear how you’re pronouncing your words.
In other words, it seems like Babbel is doing their due diligence to really help their members improve on and understand the lessons, but it’s nothing beyond that.
Immersion with Kwiziq
You know how I said resources that only do a couple languages do them really well? Kwiziq has dedicated sections just for all 4 of those language skills, and they have practice for every level. It’s honestly really wonderful.
These exercises are dedicated content that isn’t secondary to the lessons you’re learning but point you right back to the lessons you’re struggling with. For example, this very basic writing practice links you to the exact lessons it utilizes – even though I didn’t get it wrong! See those icons to the right of the lesson links? You can bookmark them for later in case you don’t have a minute to review.
Kwiziq is publishing new content all the time, for all language skills and all levels. If you’re a member, you’ll get a weekly digest, or Weekend Workout, of all the new content available for practice on the site. Of course, if you missed a weekend, you can always go back through their history of weekly content.
In other words? Kwiziq nails all the language skills! I would still recommend you look for more supplements, like reading books on the side, getting an online teacher, or even just language exchanges, but this is a good start!
The price to learn Spanish grammar
I alluded to this section in the beginning: prices. These products are valuable, so you’ll have to dip into your wallet a little. Neither one of these products are outrageously expensive (they’re no Rosetta Stone or BaseLang!) but they’re still worth comparing.
As always, let’s start with Babbel. There are a few options so you can pick the one that works out for you.
Especially if you’re at a beginner level and are more interested in having more control over what you’re studying at whatever time (if you’re supplementing a formal Spanish class, for example), the year-long commitment isn’t bad at all! Less than $100 for a year of grammar help. You can definitely conquer everything Babbel has to offer in a year!
Kwiziq, with its fancy AI and consistently new content, comes at these prices.
When comparing these two images, do keep in mind that they offer subscriptions at different rates: you can pay for Babbel every month, 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months; Kwiziq subscriptions are every month, 3 months, 12 months, and 24 months. A tad tricky, but whichever you choose is up to you!
Also an important asterisk to note is that these prices only account for one language on each platform. This isn’t such a huge deal with Kwiziq, considering there are only 2 languages and the content is incredibly comprehensive, but with all the languages that Babbel has to offer, that may just sway your decision.
Which is best for Spanish grammar exercises?
With these kinds of things, it’s not one-size-fits-all; if it were, we wouldn’t have nearly as many options available to us, because most of them just wouldn’t work!
There are definitely a few points to keep in mind with all of them: what price you’re willing to pay, how much control you want to have in your journey, what level you are, and whether or not you’ll actually use some of these immersion techniques.
Either way, both Kwiziq and Babbel are great options for Spanish grammar exercises. I might have a personal bias towards Kwiziq (sorry not sorry) but that doesn’t mean I’d throw Babbel out of the running!