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Old 24th February 2009, 09:31 AM   #1
Ben
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Default Complete Beginners - Learn Spanish like Crazy / Rocket Spanish?

As our lowest Spanish teaching level, Inspired Beginners, is for people who already have a tiny bit of Spanish (or are hugely motivated to jump ahead fast), we often get asked about online courses for 100% complete beginners.

Two I think of recommending are Rocket Spanish and Learning Spanish Like Crazy, but I'd rather recommend them if someone can tell me they have used them, and liked either one of them.

Anyone have any experience of these courses?
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:04 PM   #2
gastephen
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I'm afraid I haven't used either. I don't know how good the material is on Rocket Spanish, but two things always put me right off it:

Thing #1:

The internet is awash with "rave" reviews of it. Why? Because of its resale strategy — apparently affiliates earn 75% commission. (see here)

Thing #2:

I once read a page from the Rocket Spanish site that was perpetuating the total nonsense of the potential origin of the Spain Spanish "lisp" (which it isn't).
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Old 24th February 2009, 10:12 PM   #3
Acosta
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I have used the Learning Spanish Like Crazy intermediate lessons and I found them to be good.

The material is similar to the pismluer in structure and method, yet the dialogs used are done with update date (South American - Mexican Spanish).

I haven´t listened that much to the beginners lessons but I do think the intermediate lessons are good.

Again, the style of learn in is all audio based on reply and response.

With that said, if the beginners Learning Spanish like Crazy is like the intermediate then I would say it is most likely a pretty decent product.

Hope this helps

Last edited by Acosta; 24th February 2009 at 10:21 PM.
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Old 25th February 2009, 01:13 AM   #4
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I used the Learning Spanish Like Crazy last year when I was just starting to learn Spanish and I found it to be a great method. I begun with the first lessons, and I learned a lot, given that I knew barely any Spanish prior to starting with it. Even now I remember some of those early 'listen and repeat 5,000 times' sentences. The episodes are a perfect length for learning as much as possible without it being overkill, too. I'd been using the BBC's España Viva prior to that, but the audio on that didn't keep my interest. One downside to Learning Spanish Like Crazy is that, like Acosta mentions, it's Latin-American Spanish, though I assume that for a lot of people that won't be a problem. Sadly, I didn't remain interested enough to stay with the entire course, but I've heard that most people aren't motivated to stick with entire language-learning courses anyway.

I have the Pimsleur programmes too and I think Learning Spanish Like Crazy is better than those. Pimsleur seems very easy in comparison, but the vocabulary sections are good, and I especially like the idioms sections.

I recently purchased a Rosetta Stone Spanish course because I thought NIS had recommended it in a newsletter. In actual fact, it was Rocket Spanish that had been mentioned, but I have no experience with any of those at the moment anyway.

Anyway, rather than continue to ramble about methods you haven't even asked for, I should just reiterate that I think the Learning Spanish Like Crazy method is quite good, provided that the listener understands that it's predominantly Latin-American Spanish. Oh and that they prepare for the point where they're saying 'escucha y repete' even in their dreams. The courses are available on Audible subsciptions, too.
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Old 25th February 2009, 02:23 AM   #5
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i can't vouch for the beginners' lessons but i am using the intermediates' Living Language course online from Random House- http://www.randomhouse.com/livinglanguage/.
there's a beginner's course as well so i imagine it would be very similar to the intermediate.
it's only around $55 US and there are 10 lessons including vocab, grammar, and short spanish convos that you can download to your ipod. plus, it has a hugely helpful grammar guide that i printed out and refer to constantly. you can also customize the course to either travel, school, or general and the dialougues and vocab are directed to your interests. i really like it so far and say it is well worth the price. each lesson has 2 conversations and loads of grammar and vocab. once you pay the $50 you have access to the course online which is good for a year- and you can also print everything and download the audio of the conversations if you want.
it is the best course or materials i have found so far in terms of my level. i am somewhere in between beginner and intermediate right now and need to review the tenses so it really helps- in conjunction with the Notes in Spanish beginners' podcasts i feel like i am learning loads and the material is really being reinforced.
i just read this over and realize it sounds like i must work for random house or something, but i don't! just a normal girl trying to learn spanish on my own. so take my recommendation for what it's worth i guess the only word of caution i might have is that some of the material is not super in-depth. if you want a lot of practice material this course doesn't have a ton. it presents a good overview of grammatical subjects and vocab that are reinforced in the dialogues and allows you to quiz yourself with a few questions after each section. if you want more practice you can also do the free quizzes at studyspanish.com like i do.
anyways- good luck everyone- i am having a lot of fun learning spanish and i am hoping to get to spain in 2010!
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