When should/will I use Spanish?
At what level will I be able to use Spanish outside of this website? Or put another way, at what point should I try to find a Spanish speaking person to talk to? Where online is a good place to do this?
Any level is a good time to find other native Spanish speakers to aid you in your language fluency. My sister took Spanish all through school and then went to Mexico and found out that she knew nothing. Depending on where you live, perhaps find a local charity that assists local migrant workers. That's what I've done. I actually volunteer with some of them and we work and talk together. I've always thought it would be a good idea for a local Mexican food restaurant to have language night where people come and eat and practice Spanish. Get creative. You might be able to find a Spanish group on google and you can pull together a hangout room (Google's version of Facebook) and have weekly sessions. The possibilities are endless.
My son recommended Inspired beginners Spanish. You should find it by googling. It is a site with free weekly podcasts by an Anglo-Spanish family living in Madrid. Not for complete beginners but I enjoy the podcasts.
There's LiveMocha, a site specifically for people to connect via Skype with native speakers of other languages. Meetup.com might be a place to find locals who want to get together in a group to chat in another language. A good way to practice your pronunciation is to read aloud, especially from a play or a novel with a lot of dialogue. That way only your dog will know if you mess up. ;)
What JulieW said. If you want to learn Spanish, you have to speak Spanish. I have been fortunate to find two wonderful friends who I feel comfortable speaking with, which means making tons of mistakes and accepting their corrections without feeling self-conscious.
Places like Craigslist, or the noticeboard in your local college or shop often have people looking for conversation exchanges. You speak English they speak Spanish and you both learn. All the usual caveats about responding to ads placed by strangers apply. If you genuinely can't find a native Spanish speaker to have a conversation with you could try www.glovico.org It's an online service that matches language teachers to students via skype.
Monica, I did just that and found a Spanish English group that meets weekly about 17 miles from my home. Thanks for the tip!