I have been teaching myself Spanish for the last 2 years and I have tried Platiquemos (basically FSI Spanish), Pimsleur, Rocket Spanish, Learning Spanish Like Crazy and Michel Thomas. By a close margin I would say my personal favorite is Platiquemos IF you are already at an intermediate level AND want to be fully fluent AND you don’t mind working an hour or so a day with the program for the next 6- 8 months (they all fit for me, maybe not for you). My second favorite and IMO the best for most beginners and intermediate learners is Learn Spanish Like Crazy.
If you already know a little (or even more than a little) Spanish, this is definitely the program I would recommend the most. Like Rocket Spanish, it’s available as an inexpensive download (I think it’s $97), or you can get it on CDs in a more expensive version. The multiple speakers have a variety of Latin American accents. You speak clearly, but at a normal conversational pace. The 30+ lessons are accompanied by PDF transcripts of the entire lesson so you can read what you hear if you like. You will also receive some written grammar lessons. When I bought the downloader, I was also able to download levels 3 and 4 of the FSI Spanish course (FSI is the Foreign Service Institute, the government institute that trains diplomats for the State Department) at no additional cost. Oh, two more things:
1) Like Rocket Spanish, Learning Spanish Like Crazy has a very useful web forum where you can ask questions and discuss things in Spanish or English.
2) Also, level 2 is already out, I have it and am very impressed – it’s a perfect complement to the first and picks up right where level 1 left off. It focuses on things like the subjunctive and more advanced sentence structures and grammar, taking you progressively closer to being able to converse at a normal pace with a native speaker.
When I completed level 1 of Learn Spanish Like Crazy I was way ahead of Pimsleur by the end of level 3! Pimsleur is probably the best known of the five programs mentioned. It’s also by far the most expensive (about $300 PER LEVEL – so $1200 for all 4 levels of Spanish), but it’s also available for free at many public libraries. That’s how I got it. When I tried Pimsleur I had already completed Learn Spanish Like Crazy. I found Pimsleur a bit disappointing. I thought it would be harder than it turned out to be. People speak surprisingly slowly, even at Level 3. You can’t hear a conversation at normal conversational speed. That’s fine when you’re starting out, but by level 3 the speed should be faster and the vocabulary and grammar should be more diverse. I had just progressed from Level 1 of Learn Spanish Like Crazy to a more advanced level.
Another thing I didn’t like about Pimsleur is that there are almost no written materials. If you don’t know what someone is saying, there is no transcript to refer to. You also don’t get a feel for how Spanish words look on paper, so your reading skills don’t develop as well. However, Pimsleur does an effective job of drilling Spanish into you. It makes good use of repetition. You’ll definitely learn some Spanish with Pimsleur, and if you can get it for free from your library, it’s worth a try.
Thanks to Andrew Kawaski | #Learn #Spanish #Crazy #Review #2nd #Choice