Customer Review

102 of 110 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Audio Backbone for Studies in Espanol., July 7, 2001
This review is from: Learn in Your Car: Spanish : Complete Language Course (Listening Guides and 6 Cassettes) (Audio Cassette)
I'm a third of the way through Level 2 and am just starting to be able to construct/speak with useful sentences and understand very basic Spanish if they talk slow. My reading is much better. I do not enjoy a natural talent for languages - especially in listening comprehension. I have tried all sorts of media aids, including interactive CD ROMS and several tapes and books. First off I think it is neccesary to learn a language by engaging as many of the faculties of your mind as possible so I do not subsribe to this CD as the sole means of learning the language. Most people will need to do a lot of reading, memorization, listen to Spanish TV shows/movies, writing excercises and if they are lucky some interaction with Spanish speaking people. Find a good text book as the backbone of your studies. Also you will not learn the language in 30 days with this or any other aid - think in terms of months and years depending on how well you want to know the language. Probably 6-12 months and 6 hours a week for a very basic but functional level of conversational skill. So I recommend a good book, something fun and not too academic - for example: Asi Es by Nancy Levy-Konesky, Karren Daggett (this also includes an audio CD - but it is completely inadequate).
For a supplement to the main structure of your course work these CDs are the best audio aid I have come across, particularly assuming that this work will be done in your car where you will not be able to look at a book. The CD is not a massive vocabulary dump without sufficient practice in gramatical structure (such as The Complete Idiots Guide to Learning Spanish on Your Own), rather it slowly builds vocabulary as it trains you to compose simple phrases and sentences, not by gramatical rules, by example. Nor does it have any superfluous introductions to each lesson, "amusing" anecdotes or explanations that will drive you absolutely nuts when you have to play the CD tracks repeatedly to learn the Spanish - another fault of the Idiots Guide. The recordings are done in a studio with good pronunciation so you can clearly hear the words.
It comes with a small book which has the printed dialogue and very succinct explanation of the grammar as it is introduced. You will only need to refer to it occasionally. The Spanish and English are on seperate tracks so you can alternately test your listening comprehension and speaking by turning down the left or right speaker.
The 3 levels of the course will give you all the basic elements of the language so it is indeed a reasonably comprehensive audio course in basic Spanish. The total vocabulary is limited but you will pick up many more words in a text you should buy and will get lots of practice from these CDs putting together properly structured sentences. It can only help to listen to other audio aids (Idiot's Guide tape does have lots of vocabulary) to add variety of structure, accents and rhythm, but I recommend this as the main audio learning tool.
Note: You can buy these CDs one Level at a time. If you choose to do this, of course you will get Level 1 first. But after you complete Level 1 you should buy both Level 2 and 3 because at this point you may need to skip between Levels to use the material that complements your main course of study, in particular to work on the same verb tenses you are studying in your text.
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