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Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101
A complete cd set, online course, and books.
Why learn Spanish?
The Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. is growing rapidly and speaking Spanish is becoming an increasingly desired job skill - in all fields. Some jobs even require it. Learning Spanish is a great way to beef up your resume and increase your effectiveness at work too.
Spanish can also be useful for travel. People in over 28 countries speak Spanish! Spanish is the second most commonly spoken language in the world with an estimated 332 million speakers. By learning Spanish, you make world travel possible - and more enjoyable!
If you've decided you want to learn Spanish, the next decision is "how?" There are books, classes, software, podcasts, CDs, DVDs, and online courses.
Which method will work for you? Only you can discover the answer to that question, but here's a review of SpanishPod101.com to help you decide if this podcast-website combo is the right tool to help you master Spanish.
What is SpanishPod101.com?
It's a podcast and website focused around helping you learn to speak proficient Spanish. From beginners with little or no exposure to the language to intermediate and advanced speakers, SpanishPod101 offers something for everyone.
What does it offer?
This website offers a lot of audio, video, cultural information, learning resources, and reference material for its users. There are a lot of features, but I'll give a detailed description of the main ones.
Audio Podcasts: The audio archives include over 4 days worth of continuous audio in podcast lessons. There are lessons split into seasons for Absolute Beginner, Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. There are also bonus lessons which feature regional variations.
The episodes are upbeat and enjoyable. The hosts are actually a lot of fun to listen to. It feels like you're listening to a favorite radio show instead of trying to memorize weird irrelevant phrases like, "the boy is next to the chair." None of the monotony I remember from the CDs that came with my textbooks from high school and undergraduate. I look forward to listening to the podcasts during my morning commute.
They also teach very relevant Spanish - including slang phrases. I feel this is unique and extremely helpful in becoming truly fluent.
Video Podcasts: The video podcasts are rather simple slideshows of pictures with Spanish vocabulary and Spanish audio. These would be useful for visual learners and those who need to see the word in writing and spoken at the same time. They aren't particularly exciting or fun to watch, but they are useful.
Printer Friendly Lessons: There is a printable lesson for each audio podcast. These are great. They're sleek-looking PDF files that include the dialogues, vocabulary, grammar points, and cultural notes. I could imagine printing each one out and keeping a folder for future reference and review.
Word Bank: This feature allows you to add vocabulary to a list that you can then review using interactive flashcards. I like this in theory, but in practice I imagine it would take quite a bit of work to get this started for an intermediate or advanced user unless you simply used it for new vocabulary.
Reference Materials: A dictionary, grammar bank, verb conjugator (personally I prefer Verbix.com), iPad, iPhone, and Android apps, Spanish word of the day, and Spanish core list.
Spanish Core List: This is a new feature and I love it! This gives you up to 2,000 essential Spanish words and phrases depending on your subscription level. And you can add them to your word bank!
App: ios and Android - available for phones and the ipad.
There are 3 levels of subscription to SpanishPod101. Basic, Premium, and Premium PLUS.
There is a Free 7-day Premium Subscription Trial so you can test it out and decide if it's right for you.
Basic - $4 /month with 2 year subscription
A Basic subscription will give you access to the complete audio and video archive, printer friendly lesson notes (PDFs), 100 Spanish core words/phrases, and basic access to the app.
Premium - $10 /month with 2 year subscription
A Premium subscription includes everything from the Basic subscription PLUS season vocabulary, custom word lists, Spanish language suite, verb conjugation sheet, Spanish-English dictionary, line-by-line audio transcripts, interactive lesson quizzes, pronunciation and accent review, vocabulary slideshow, custom word bank, flashcards, grammar bank, and video vocabulary.
PremiumPLUS - $23 /month with 2 year subscription
The PremiumPLUS subscription includes everything in the Premium subscription PLUS: 1-on-1 professional assessment, personalized self-study curriculum, and 1-on-1 instruction.
- You can test it out for free for 7 days with the free trial - and you get to try out all the Premium features!
- The Audio Podcasts are wonderful. They are really enjoyable and fun to listen to - which is always helpful when you're trying to learn something new.
- If you're an audio learner, you'll do great with this program since so much of the valuable content is audio.
- The monthly fee isn't too bad if you're serious about learning Spanish and if you sign up for basic for only 1 month and decide you don't like it, you're only out $8.
- If you want all the features, it'll cost you a monthly subscription fee. So it's not a one time buy. (Unless of course, you become fluent in that time period).
- If you learn by doing review exercises (think: workbook), this doesn't have those types of lessons. Even the printable lessons do not have "exercises" - they are just notes.
- If you are a visual learner, the audio podcasts won't be as helpful so you'd have to subscribe in order to enjoy the printable lesson guides, video podcasts, flash cards, etc.
SpanishPod101 is a great Spanish learning podcast. For audio learners or those looking for a "learn-N-commute" program, this is really an awesome program. For those who are more visual or hands-on learners, this might not be the ideal program, but with a FREE 7-day trial of the Premium subscription, what have you got to lose?
If you're looking to learnSpanish, for your job, for travel, or just for fun, head over to SpanishPod101.com and find out if it's the resource for you!
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