Don and some of his youngest students of Spanish
at the Odessa Christian School 

In 1981 at the age of 34, I began my study of Spanish with THE BEST self-teaching Spanish textbook I have ever seen: Spanish Made Simple. This delightful text of 40 chapters is written in the form of a continuous story about a business man in New York who is preparing to visit his agent in Mexico City. The answers to all the exercises are in the back of the book.This year (2016), I am using the book with my Middle School Spanish Students. I will be publishing audio instruction throughout the year. You can order this wonderful book right here on the Internet at: Spanish Made Simple: Book  Read my review on Amazon. Within a few months of starting this book, I was conversing with native Spanish speakers about every topic under the sun. Within two years of self-study, I tested out of one whole year of Spanish at the local community college. I was certified by The Texas Education Agency to teach both secondary Spanish and elementary bilingual classes. I was a bilingual teacher for fourteen years, and taught junior high Spanish for two years. This book worked for me, it will work for you.  Click on the Chapter to hear the audio. ¡Buena Suerte! Good Luck! 

 Several years ago, I taught a course to business people here in Odessa using Margarita Madrigals' Open Door to Spanish I. This is a wonderful, fast paced course especially useful for teaching conversation classes. There is a second volume which covers more advanced grammar including the subjunctive mood. It is the perfect textbook for jr. high, high school, and college conversation classes. You can purchase them at:  Open Door to Spanish: Vol. 1, or Open Door to Spanish: Vol. 2. Late Professor of Spanish at Abilene Christian University, J. W. Treat, once told me that Margarita Madrigal's earlier and larger one volume work, Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish, was an excellent volume for learning Spanish quickly. You can order a copy at Madrigal's Magic Key to Spanish: Spanish

When I started my Spanish studies, I made a lot of use of A Practical Grammar for Border Patrol Officers (1970) by John G. Friar & George W. Kelly. It is an excellent grammar that will help you speak more like a native Southwest Spanish speaker. Unfortunately, this book has been removed from ERIC. I hope it will be come available again soon.  

Spanish Grammar 

Free Lessons from Donald L. Potter

If you are studying Spanish on your own, you will find Spanish Grammar (1942, 1943) by Eric. V. Greenfield very helpful. I found this book very helpful in my early Spanish studies, it is also good for basic vocabulary and comprehensive grammar review. It built around a graded reader that teaches high frequency words and comprehensive college level grammar. This is the program I use to teach Spanish to our Middle School Students. Here is a link to a pdf of Greenfield’s Spanish Grammar

Click on the Lessons below to hear a native Spanish speaker reading the stories at conversational speed. Frequent listening will hasten the day you will become a fluent Spanish listener and speaker. 

First Semester 

Introduction. Alphabet and Pronunciation 
Lesson 1. First Conjugation Verbs AR (Present Tense) 
Lesson 2. Estar (Present Tense)
Lesson 3. Second Conjugation Verbs ER (Present Tense) 
Lesson 4. Ser (Present Tense)
Lesson 5. Subject Personal Pronouns
Lesson 6. Third Conjugation Verbs IR (Present Tense)
Lesson 7. Possessive Adjectives 
Lesson 8. Radical (Stem) Changing Verbs
Lesson 9. Personal Pronouns after Prepositions - Negation
Lesson 10. Present Tense of Some Irregular Verbs 
Lesson 11. Personal Pronouns (Indirect and Direct Objects)
Lesson 12. Preterite Tense (Definite Past)
Lesson 13. Preterite Tense of Some Irregular Verbs
Lesson 14. Past Tense (Continuity, Description) - Imperfect Tense
Lesson 15. Tener and Its Idioms
Lesson 16. Relative Pronouns
Lesson 17. Present Subjunctive 

Second Semester

Lesson 18. Some Irregular Present Subjunctives 
Lesson 19. Commands 
Lesson 20. Demonstrative Adjectives
Lesson 21. Future Tense - Present Conditional 
esson 22. Reflexive Verbs
Lesson 23. Time of Day 
Lesson 24. Present Perfect Tense - Participles 
Lesson 25. Comparison of Adjectives and Adverbs
Lesson 26. Numerals
Lesson 27. Past Perfect Indicative 
Lesson 28. Days - Months - Seasons 
Lesson 29. Figure Perfect Indicative - Perfect Conditional 
Lesson 30. Survey of Moods and Tenses 
Lesson 31. Past Subjunctive 
Lesson 32. Demonstrative Pronouns - Possessive Adjectives 
Lesson 33. Simple Conditionals - Present Unreal Conditionals 
Lesson 34. Past Perfect Subjunctive 
Lesson 35. Past Contrary-to-Fact Conditionals 
Lesson 36. Passive Voice 

A Practical Spanish Grammar for Border Patrol Officers (1943) by John G. Friar and George W. Kelly, Spanish Instructors, Border Patrol Training School, El Paso, TX. I made extensive use of fine grammar when I was teaching myself Spanish. 

It is VITAL to listen to as much Spanish as possible. World famous linguist Eugene Nida recommended that beginners spend 50 percent of their study time LISTENING to the language. Here is his chapter on "Learning by Listening." 

Here is an excellent, up-to-date Spanish Grammar (2003) by Juan Kattán-Ibarra and Christopher J. Pountain. 

Learning Spanish Wiki has a lots of great material for learning Spanish.

Online Learning: Spanish Resources. There is a variety of programs here. 

There is a lot of free Spanish material available at 

VOCES is my favorite Spanish a cappella singers.  

The Easy Spanish looks like a good program from a Christian perspective. 

Here is one of my very favorite intermediate Spanish Readers. I have two copies, which I have read many times and profited much. Noche Oscura en Lima

Another great intermediate reader is Tesoro de la sSerra Madre

Foreign Service Institute Spanish (FSI)

Teaching yourself Spanish just got easier, more powerful, and less expensive. In the 1960's the Foreign Service Institute of the United States Government developed a series of foreign languages courses for the major languages of the world. Top flight linguists analyzed these languages and developed courses using the best audio-lingual methods available. These courses are in-depth presentations which will develop high levels of fluency. They are public domain since they were developed with taxpayers money. Several publishers have made the available for purchase; BUT this site is making them available for FREE. This includes the books, teachers' manuals, and even the audio recordings. Here is the link to the Spanish materials: FSI Spanish Here is a very good YouTube explaining how to get FSI Spanish for free

Visual-Link Spanish

Recently a friend send me information on Visual-Link Spanish with the recommendation that I should make a link to it on my web site. I immediately investigated the program and discovered that it is one of the best programs for learning Spanish using a computer that is available. I will be using it with some of the students at my school this year. You can order the program at Visual-Link Spanish.

Journey into Spanish

by Elloitt Glass

Elliott is one of the most innovative and successful Spanish teaches of our times. I taught his Everyday Spanish with great success.Journey into Spanish is an updated version of Everyday Spanish. It is a comprehensive course in college level Spanish. The textbook is in an interactive workbook format. It has a very interesting story line about a group of teenagers visiting Spanish speaking communities around the world. Audio instruction is available. Unfortunately, this book seem out of print. That is very sad since there is nothing available that can compare with it for a strong beginning Spanish textbook. His El Politico Honesto was a fabulous second year book and video. There are used copies available on Amazon: Journey into Spanish

Spanish Language Training. This website is loaded with great information on learning Spanish. 

Listen to the Spanish Bible on the Internet

The very best  book for learning any language is none other than the Christian Scripture. To read and hear a good modern scholarly version of the Spanish Bible, click on the following link: La Biblia de las Americas. Just type in the Book, chapter and verse. You can also listen to Biblia Reina Valera Edicion 2000 at this web site: Reina Valera.

For a advanced students of Spanish, the University of Iowa has superb pronunciation course: Phonetics.

The Combined Spanish Method: A New Practical and Theoretical System of Learning the Castilian Language by Alberto De Tornos. This 1869 Spanish Method book, although very old, has some very excellent features for those teaching themselves Spanish. The is free from Google Book.

Here are two books for teaching children Spanish using the natural method: Primer libro de español segun el método natural (1884) by J. H. Woman. Segundo libro del español (1916). 

Libro primero de lectura de Appelton by William T Harrison, Andrew J. Rickoff, and Mark Bailey. This is a beginning reader that couples beginning Spanish and English Lessons. I  have never seen anything like it. It is very interesting. 

A Text-Book of Modern Spanish by Marathon Montrose Ramsey. One of the all time classics grammars of modern Spanish. Highly recommended for advanced students. Here is an even better copy of A Text-Book of Modern Spanish. I have found it very helpful. The section on accent is dated, but most of the rest is accurate and useful. 

Short Spanish Review Grammar and Composition Book (1923) by David Hobart Carnahan. This is a really fun review grammar. 

A Brief Spanish Grammar with Historical Introductions and Exercises (1899) by A. Hjalmar Edgren. Despite its age, I have found this grammar very interesting and helpful. The historical introductions are especially noteworthy, referring back to Latin. 

Reading, Writing, and Speaking Spanish for Beginners (1921) by Margaret Caroline Dowling. Inspire of its age, this is a lovely and very useful grammar. I have enjoyed studying it, and highly recommend it. 

Poco a poco: An Elementary Direct Method for Learning Spanish (1922) by Guillermo Hall. The direct method for learning languages was very popular at one time. 

Program for dividing Spanish words into syllables. And conjugate verbs

Elementary Spanish (1929) by Patricio Gimeno and Stephen Scatori. An attractive grammar for review and gaining a sensitivity to the language. 

Learn Spanish On Line

I recently found this helpful web site that uses material similar to the Foreign Service Institute which proved very valuable to me during my early attempts to learn Spanish. Perhaps you will find them of value. There is a special section on pronunciation that will prove especially valuable to beginners Here is the Link: Learn here is the BBC Spanish course. BBC also has courses in two other Romance languages: Italian and French 

Here is a wonderful Spanish Poetry web site: Anthology of Spanish Poetry.

Free Grammar Instruction and Practice, mostly in Spanish: CALL

The Cortina Method

 (1911). This method has been around for a long time.  

Easy Spanish Reader  (1919). A superb work. Very helpful.     

Libro primario: arreglado al español  (1887) by Hubert Howe Bancroft. This delightful little book was written to teach Spanish speaking children to read Spanish.        

Spanish Simplified (1890) by Augustin Knoflach. A very fine grammar for beginning learners. Some of the orthography is dated, but the essence of Spanish hasn't changed any since then so it is still a good book for those wanting to grasp the essentials of the language. I would love to see an updated edition someday.                          

Primer libro de lectura  (1919) Gertrude Margaret Walsh. This book makes good use of cognates and has very interesting stories and delightful poems. 

Harmonic Method for Learning Spanish (1916) by Doctor Luis a. Baralt. A unique method for advanced student presented in a conversational format with the teacher talking naturally to the student. 

Spanish Practice Exercises: Exercises.

When I started my studies of Spanish, I listened to the Voice of America (VOA) every day. You can listen to the news, music, and commentaries at The Voice of America

Spanish Flash Cards: A super fun way to learn Spanish vocablary and grammar. 

Learn Spanish: A site loaded with FREE information on Spanish vocabulary and grammar. 

Spoken Spanish (1945, 1946) by S. N. Treveño. Published for the US Armed forces. This is an excellent introduction to Basic Spanish based on Basic Sentence Patterns. 

Invitation to Spanish Poetry by Eugenio Florit. Here is the link to the audio, which can be downloaded. I have spent many pleasant hours with this book and recording. 

1. Spanish Flashcards. This is a fun way learn basic vocabulary and grammar.
2. Learn Spanish: Start with their fantastic Pronunciation Exercises. 
3. Teachers of Spanish (maybe kids too) will enjoy this comprehensive web site: Center for Spanish Studies
4. Here is a wonderful, free Online program that will allow you to practice and master the conjugation of the Spanish Verb. Every study should regularly visit this site.You can even learn to conjugate verbs in Latin, German and French! Conjuguemos.
5. Spanish Learn It On Line: Here is another must-visit site: SPALEON
6. Here is another link for learning Spanish: Quia.
7 . If you want to "Learn Spanish Like Crazy," here are some excellent free lessons: Learn Spanish Like Crazy Lessons
8. More free Learn Spanish materials. 
9. I was recently visiting the Alliance Hospital here in Odessa. One of the nurses, a mother of a former Spanish student of mine, asked me if I could help her and other
is on the staff to learn some medical Spanish to enable to them to better help their Spanish speaking patients. Here is a link to some good, free material on Medical Spanish
10. More Spanish Flashcards. Excellent material! 
11. Spanish Grammar Exercises by Barbara Nelson 

12. Diccionario de la lengua española por la Real Academia Española. 

Thousands of Free books for you to read in Spanish at: Libros Tauro

TextKit has some good Spanish material for free: TextKits. 

Get practical information on how to learn a language: Language Impact
Success with Foreign Languages: Seven who achieved it and what worked for them