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Old 4th December 2008, 06:35 PM   #1
xemxie
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Default Real Spanish Control

Dear Marina, Ben (and Leo)
Congratulations on the safe arrival of Leo - may your lives never be the same again

I have followed you through the Beginners, Inspired beginners and Intermediate Podcasts and have bought the Real Spanish Phrases units. I still find the Advanced podcasts very difficult but will soldier on.

Now I have just finished working through Real Spanish Control and want to say how good it is. I enjoyed the topics you chose, agree with and tried to implement the learning tips and - what can I say about the "real Spanish" phrases except to say that my (Spanish) neighbours are soooooo impressed with some of the things I can "come out with" now (often after referring to "mi libro pequeño"!


I do have a couple of suggestions for future recordings that I feel would make the lessons even better. The first 3 are to do with when you introduce a new word or phrase:
  • Ben asks Marina what it is and nearly always says something like "Yes, that's right" - as if surprised! Well, of course it is! Marina is the "guru"/native speaker! (I did find this very irritating ) Maybe Marina should ask Ben, then the same reply might be justified!
  • Marina gives (obviously) the perfect pronunciation but then Ben repeats it before moving on. As I'm sure you know, being language teachers, it is best to leave the learner with the best pronunciation as the "last heard" one, so please could Marina say it twice instead?
  • And following on, as you did in Inspired Beginners, could you leave a pause between Marina's turns to give us time to say it too- especially with the Real Spanish phrases?
On a different tack:
  • When Marina says what's going to happen (in English), Ben (nearly) always repeats it. May be worth editing out one set?
  • And, you may find this totally unimportant, but, please, correct Marina's English pronunciation of "audio".
I do realise you may have produced these podcasts while Marina was otherwise occupied with the impending arrival so hope you don't take these suggestions as criticisms. As I said - I have found the podcasts invaluable and have recommended them to my English neighbours!

Regards
Xemxie
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Old 4th December 2008, 09:14 PM   #2
Margot
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xemxie View Post
I do have a couple of suggestions for future recordings that I feel would make the lessons even better. The first 3 are to do with when you introduce a new word or phrase:
  • Ben asks Marina what it is and nearly always says something like "Yes, that's right" - as if surprised! Well, of course it is! Marina is the "guru"/native speaker! (I did find this very irritating ) Maybe Marina should ask Ben, then the same reply might be justified!
  • Marina gives (obviously) the perfect pronunciation but then Ben repeats it before moving on. As I'm sure you know, being language teachers, it is best to leave the learner with the best pronunciation as the "last heard" one, so please could Marina say it twice instead?
  • And following on, as you did in Inspired Beginners, could you leave a pause between Marina's turns to give us time to say it too- especially with the Real Spanish phrases?On a different tack:
  • When Marina says what's going to happen (in English), Ben (nearly) always repeats it. May be worth editing out one set?
  • And, you may find this totally unimportant, but, please, correct Marina's English pronunciation of "audio".
  • As I said - I have found the podcasts invaluable and have recommended them to my English neighbours!
Hi Xemie....
Your post struck a chord with me - NOT because I agree with your complaints; I don't at all!...But because I did empathize with your sense of mounting annoyance and exasperation:

That is - I don't happen to feel any of the discomfort you've described regarding the NIS podcasts. But - I have often had similar feelings when listening to another wonderful podcast to which I subscribe thru ITunes. Certain elements or mannerisms drive me crrrrazzzzzy...like fingernails on a blackboard. But I strive to overlook it because the content is so good.

What your post demonstrates, for me, is that these things are, in the end, highly subjective; they certainly vary from person to person. And so - if your suggestions aren't adopted - I hope you'll realize that perhaps others aren't bothered by (or may even like) what seems so obviously maddening to you . It's what I do re: the ITunes podcasts mentioned above.

......sometimes itchy wool for one just feels like soft silk to someone else.
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Old 4th December 2008, 09:37 PM   #3
Ben
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xemxie, thanks for the feedback, we really do like to get as much as possible, whether it be all good, or bad, or a bit of both! I fully appreciate what you say about the repetitions and so on, and promise we'll make an effort to improve on that in future endeavors. Still, I'm really happy to hear that on balance Real Spanish Control was so useful for you, that's made my day!

And thanks Margot, you are right too, it's all subjective!
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Old 4th December 2008, 10:46 PM   #4
calentita
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ah, I'm looking into buying this or the other one, but haven't worked through the free mp3s and worksheets yet - so much to do. Isn't there 2 different packages ? Control and Real?? How are they different from each other and from the NIS notes? Is it just download or do you get a book through the post as well?

Anyway please keep posting your reviews of what you found helpful with these two packages, i need a fast way to learn good modern slangy spanish - and weighing in, i always prefer to hear the native speaker last, as that's the one that sticks. What bugs me most in other teach yourself cds is when they try to get you to repeat too early or do too much english, ie. its your turn now say this after the gap - durr - obvious and breaks the flow - i want the least english poss
from the 2 mp3s i've heard i really like the friendly affectionate tone, but the advanced one, oh my gosh, they talk sooo fast!
And thanks Ben and Marina for your efforts in setting this up, you've obviously put a massive amount of work into it so you deserve to do well.
oh, and congratulations by the sound of it...
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Old 4th December 2008, 11:37 PM   #5
richardksa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calentita View Post
...i need a fast way to learn good modern slangy spanish - and weighing in, i always prefer to hear the native speaker last, as that's the one that sticks. What bugs me most in other teach yourself cds is when they try to get you to repeat too early or do too much english, ie. its your turn now say this after the gap - durr - obvious and breaks the flow - i want the least english poss...
And what you get with RSC is a few minutes of explanation of the Spanish you are about to hear ---- and then you hear it. Complete, in full, without interuptions. Rewind a few times and you can make it yours!!
But don't knock the listen and repeat stuff. That's how you learned your native language. After listening to long passages for a while, it's nice to go back to the short easy stuff. Learning should be a mixture of techniques and resources.
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