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Living Language Spanish, Complete Edition: Beginner through advanced course, including 3 coursebooks, 9 audio CDs, and free online learning Audio CD – Unabridged, August 9, 2011
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Top Customer Reviews
This latest edition of the Living Language self-study language programmes is a modified and enhanced version of their "Complete: Basics" series. It seems to be part of a program by Random House to consolidate their language courses. Unfortunately, the vastly superior "Ultimate" series has been abandoned in the process. The new "Complete" edition is divided into three levels. The first level, "Essential", is drawn from the Living Language "Starting Out In Spanish". The second and third levels, "Intermediate" and "Advanced", respectively, are, for the most part, slightly modified versions of the previous "Complete: Basic Spanish". The Intermediate and Advanced books contain "Units", each of which covers a theme (Family, Work, Hotel, Restaurant, Medical Appointment, etcetera). The Units are divided into four "Lessons", the first three of which present the Words, Phrases, and Sentences that are used in the fourth lesson Conversations. Although the approach seems quite logical, it does take a little getting used to at first as, occasionally, some individual Phrases or Sentences seem a little odd because they are missing the context of the end-of-unit Conversation. Each Lesson also contains explanations of grammar. Despite the publisher's decision to label the second and third books as Intermediate and Advanced, be advised that this is STILL an BASIC self-study language course. Nonetheless, enhancements include: a vastly improved visual presentation, some much-appreciated additional exercise material, and access to some fairly simple on-line learning activities. Also, a glossary and a summary of grammar are included as appendices in all three levels.Read more ›
-Division of chapters is clear and the companion cds read almost every word on the page. (Which makes it easy to read along with the chapter or use it as extra practice on your drive to work as I do.
-The book is written in a way that seems more organic to learning conversational Spanish. Instead of just learning a bunch of words and how to conjugate them or just a set of general vocabulary each chapter is topic based. This means the the number section isn't just "uno, dos, tres." It also includes "Tengo dos gatos" and "Ella tiene tres perros." (I have two cats. She has three dogs.) Slowly interspersing new vocabulary, sentence structure, gender-dominance of the terms, and of course conjugation.
Negatives: (why I did not give it 5 stars)
-You have to come in with a basic knowledge of the Spanish alphabet and sometimes the pronunciation doesn't seem as clear in writing.
-Sometimes some of the most important/interesting vocabulary is thrown into the summary paragraph at the end of the chapter giving the reader only one chance to familiarize with that set of vocabulary before it is either not referenced again or thrown into another part of the following chapter. (The cd does read this chapter to you but does not give you the option to repeat those words.)
-The cd can really only be used after reading the chapter for extra study. I tried to use some of the lessons ahead of where I was in the book. (Only the next lesson, not far in advance.) And I found myself tongue tied.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great tool for reviewing and learning Spanish! I love that the CDs accompany the book exercises. The essential level is a great review if you've studied Spanish 1/2 in school -... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Shelby
Obviously still requires a lot of work from you. It is not as simple as listening to some cds while you drive.Published 2 days ago by Drewsuf3
A lot better than Rosetta Stone, but what's even better is Duolingo. It's a free app which you can get on your laptop/computer or phone. I have learned sooooo much. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Shadowsmom42
This was decent, but a little too basic. For more native style immersion i liked "Conversational Spanish: Intermediate Collection" much better. also way cheaper!! Read morePublished 11 days ago by SeanK
I am loving the learning process of the disks and activities!Published 15 days ago by Amazon Customer
Simple to listen to. Just listen to the cd and you will learn. This really helped me with my SpanishPublished 16 days ago by Jill