Living Language vs Strokes International for April 2019

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Living Language vs Strokes International

See ALL of our Spanish Lesson Reviews

Would you like to learn another language? Do you have a need, for school or business, to learn Spanish? Many people every day find themselves wanting to learn Spanish quickly, easily, and inexpensively.

The need to read, speak, and understand Spanish is becoming more widespread every year. Spanish-speaking individuals are the number one source of immigrants into the U.S. They have needs ranging from government interaction to business dealings; the ability to converse and understand in Spanish makes you a more valuable individual.

LIVING LANGUAGE

Living Language's four-step approach to studying Spanish includes Build a Foundation, Progress with Confidence, Retain What You've Learned, and Achieve Your Goals. For over 65 years. The techniques they originally developed for the US State Department have been available for students to master a strong foundation of essential words and phrases, moving smoothly to full sentences and conversations, and eventually being able to use Spanish conversationally in a variety of real-world situations.

There are two primary approaches to learning Spanish with Living Language, and students can take advantage of both of them if they desire: Spanish Essential and Complete, which consist of lessons given through books and audio CDs, and the Spanish Online Course.

  • Spanish Essential Components - 10 Spanish language lessons in one book, with additional review exercises and dialogues; an extensive Spanish glossary; a guide to reading and writing Spanish; and, 3 audio CDs with example phrases, vocabulary, dialogues, and more. This sells for $22.99.
  • Spanish Complete Components - 46 Spanish language lessons in three books, 9 audio CDs, and the guide to reading and writing Spanish. This is priced at $49.99.
  • Spanish Online Course - based on the content included in the course books described above, the online course adds interactive activities such as games and quizzes to help strengthen your skills. It also includes access to an online community of language experts and other students, and e-Tutoring with native speakers of Spanish is also available. The program includes all three available levels of instruction, from beginner to advanced. Prices start at $39 for one month of access and go up to $150 for a full year; the 12-month package also includes two e-Tutoring credits, and additional credits can be purchased by students at any subscription level.
  • Spanish Platinum Edition - includes the features of the print/CD program in Spanish Complete along with full access to the online course, along with a total of 12 e-Tutoring credits. This package is the best value at $179.

Living Language has a free Language Lab available to all visitors to their website, with no credit card or email needed to access it. This Language Lab allows you to get a good overview of the topics in the Spanish lessons, and some simple games for practicing vocabulary. Although we enjoyed learning some basic Spanish phrases using the flashcards included in the Essential Expressions section (Lesson 1 in the Language Lab), it didn't give us a feel for how the lessons themselves are taught. We felt it would have been more useful to have access to a complete lesson, to see how Living Language approaches Spanish instruction as a whole. Because Living Languages currently offers no satisfaction guarantee or return policy, students may want to consider one of the lower-priced packages or subscriptions first, to see if the teaching structure is a good fit.

On the other hand, Living Language's e-Tutoring is a fantastic value-add to their Spanish lessons. Many reviews of Living Language's programs include praise for the flexibility and effectiveness of working one-on-one with a native speaker.

Whether or not Living Language is a good fit for your learning style may depend on your goals and motivation. While most of the programs in our review require mastery of one topic before moving on to a new one, Living Language lets you move around freely between subjects. If you're easily distracted - or discouraged - you may find that freedom less than helpful as you try to learn Spanish. But, if you prefer to have the freedom of learning any topic you need at the time - Asking Directions or At a Restaurant, for example - Learning Languages' Spanish lessons may be a good match for you.

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STROKES INTERNATIONAL

Strokes International Spanish claims that it meets European Union learning standards for beginning, intermediate, and advanced Spanish, including programs specifically for use in business settings. However, even at first glance, there are basic errors on the website itself - "dictionnary", "conjugation with 1350 verb" - and with zero details given on the page labeled "Program information", it is nearly impossible to determine if Strokes International actually meets those standards. Many of the images for the Spanish program's package are also in German ("Spanisch"), so it's difficult to tell if the instruction would be given in German as well.

Strokes does offer a three-lesson trial via download, but given our concerns regarding the program we opted not to install the file. Also, Strokes' free mobile app for Spanish has only one review, possibly because none of Strokes' apps have been updated since 2014. And, even the images for the apps show text in German. This adds to the overall impression that Strokes International is not likely to provide high-quality, comprehensive Spanish instruction.

Strokes International Spanish also falls short with respect to customer satisfaction and returns policies: looking at the "Shipping & Returns" section of the website, it only references the costs for shipping within and outside of Europe and makes no mention whatsoever of any kind of return policy or satisfaction guarantee, unlike most of the other Spanish language programs we reviewed.

If you're looking for an up-to-date, reliable way to learn Spanish, we recommend that you choose one of the more highly-ranked programs in our review. Strokes International provides too little information to determine whether or not their Spanish language program delivers results.

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Of course, it's also beneficial for children to learn Spanish as well. Kids can learn much faster than adults, and their ability to speak and understand multiple languages expands their minds and helps prepare them for the future. However, many schools don't offer Spanish until the later years; and even with those schools that offer Spanish early, the programs often lack in substance.

There are many programs available to help you learn Spanish. When looking at different programs, you need to consider a variety of factors. Some of these include:

  • Cost.  How expensive is the program, compared to others that offer similar content?
  • Effectiveness.  Does the program deliver on its promise? Will it teach you Spanish that you can actually use?
  • Materials.  Can you take the coursework with you if you want to learn while traveling?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Spanish Lessons available today. We hope these reviews help you learn Spanish right away!



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