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Friday, December 9th
Rocket Languages has a platform with unique features such as an accurate speech-recognition program that assesses your speech and pronunciation. It has plenty of audio for you to hear. This is great because when we learn a language it's so we can understand others, right? Their audio can help with that as there is quite a lot to listen to. They even have something they call a Survival Kit: a section with additional vocab and phrases that are helpful for conversing with others.
How does it work?
First choose your level, from 1-3. The lowest level, for example, has 8 modules, or units, with 134 hours of lessons. Each lesson provides about 15-30 minutes of audio instruction time. You'll then choose between three tabs: Interactive Audio, Grammar and Culture, or Survival Kit, which are additional helpful words and phrases.
In the Interactive Audio tab of the lesson, the lessons are event themed, like concerts, unforgettable moments, or cyberspace. Here you can read and listen to a dialog, then test yourself with flashcards, write the word you hear, read the Spanish and repeat aloud, and quiz yourself.
Grammar and culture combined
In the Language and Culture tab of the lesson, the lessons are grammar themed, like por/para, preterite, and words that change meanings. Here again, there's a lesson, and practice throughout, reinforcing what's taught. At the end of the lesson, there's a cultural component such as coffee in Latin America, or how to make small talk. The Language and Culture tabs also have practice for listening, speaking, reading, and writing the material, along with a quiz at the end.
Useful phrases and vocabulary
In the Survival Kit section, there are additional vocabulary and phrases. The free trial locked us out of all these activities, but other users have reported that these phrases are without context, and are in the same format as the other lessons: listen, repeat, read, write. It would be more attractive if this section were more exciting.
Improve your pronunciation!
Play it!, the interactive listening and speaking activity, is intended to prepare you for conversation. Listen to the word and speak it back. Rocket Languages will analyze your speech and give you a percentage score on your speaking! They'll also give you a transcript of what they hear, and mark your accuracies and inaccuracies in red or green font. It's a great feature, and we've found it works pretty well! You can also play the conversational dialog, line by line, repeat the lines, and listen back, also receiving feedback. We've found the assessment feature to be more accurate with single words, and less patient with sentences. It will stop listening, even if you're not done, and then give its assessment, albeit incomplete.
Which package should I choose? And what level?
In Rocket's pricing, all packages include Level 1. If you're not a beginner, and don't want to purchase Level 1 lessons, you can contact the company to purchase levels individually. Whichever route you go, expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $450 as a one-off cost, depending on what discounts are in place at the time you buy your Spanish lessons. It's always nice to have complimentary access to Spanish lessons, but Rocket Languages doesn't offer much for free. You can have a no-cost trial when you give them your email, but you will be getting many emails filling up your inbox.
60-day refund policy
Rocket Languages offers a 60-day money-back guarantee when you email them within 60 days of making your payment and creating your Rocket Languages account.
Effective, unique features, for a price
Rocket Language's Spanish program has thorough lessons, chock full of grammar and vocabulary in themed units of study. The pronunciation assessment is unique, and offers more than just the student listening to their own words and self-assessing. The dialogs mix up the lessons a bit, rather than just individual vocabulary words and conjugations. If cost is less important to you, Rocket Language's Spanish program is an excellent choice.
Have you always wanted to learn Spanish? Or have you learned some, but really want to improve your skills in order to be able to read Spanish newspapers or talk with native speakers? Do you have business associates or neighbors who speak Spanish, or have you wanted to talk in Spanish with the locals on your next trip? There are 460,000 people who are native Spanish speakers right here in the US, and 20 countries that have Spanish as their official language. No matter why you want to learn it, the question is which Spanish lessons are right for you.
With so much of our life going digital, from many of us doing our job remotely, to video chatting with our family or internet shopping, it's natural to want to explore online options for learning Spanish. There are many programs available online and through apps, and we can help you sift through them.
The first thing to consider is how much Spanish you already know. If you're just getting started, there are many programs whose focus is on the beginner, with lessons chock full of grammar, vocabulary, and practice. At the same time, the concentration is so heavy on brand-new students that many programs offer little to nothing for the intermediate or advanced learner.
Another important factor is your learning style and preference. Some learners like to go in the order that the experts have the lessons set up so that they can meet their language acquisition goals. Other students know that they want to pick and choose their lesson order based on their needs. For example, if the learner is going to travel in the near future, they want their first lessons focused on related vocabulary, like asking for directions and checking in at a hotel. Others are in the medical or business field, so they want to follow the language learning path best suited to their careers.
A major consideration is if repetition is okay with you, or if you will lose focus if the lessons aren't entertaining. Some learners are motivated to continue the day's lesson or look forward to the next lesson because of the fun and exciting apps that include gaming-like activities, points, badges, competitive leaderboards, and animation. Let's face it, if you're not motivated to learn, will you really stick with the program? Other students want to push forward with the traditional, square-shooting approach that feels comfortable as tried and true. Start with vocabulary and practice, add on grammar, preferably with detailed explanations in English, more practice, along with repetition and recycling of older material to solidify the knowledge base.
Once you know what level of Spanish learner you are, from beginner to advanced, your purpose of learning it, from travel to profession or just because, and if you like to be entertained or want "just the facts, Ma'am" , there are a few more aspects of Spanish lessons you may want to consider:
TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated, rated, and ranked the best choices for online Spanish lessons. We're sure that with this information, you'll have what you need to make the right choice for your goals in learning, acquiring, and becoming fluent in Spanish. ¡Ya vamos!
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