If you are a high school graduate that took a couple of years, or even a semester, of Spanish, do you find yourself wandering, “why don’t I remember hardly anything from my Spanish class.” I constantly hear comments similar to these from people who have bought ‘teach yourself to speak Spanish’ products who were very unpleased with the results. Why? Well, there are several reasons why Spanish learning products do not work.
First of all, you have to have a product that allows you to hear the words you are reading. Once you become familiar with the different vowel and consonant sounds, pronouncing words becomes much simpler. Unfortunately, many products out there today do not have the listening component. Without the listening component, you take a big risk on whether or not native speakers are going to understand you. You just can’t learn Spanish by simply purchasing a book, you simply must also have an audio listening component.
Second, just hearing the vocabulary is not enough to be able to fully grasp the language. Once you hear a word or phrase, you must be able to use it in a variety of ways. For example, after seeing or writing the word/phrase, a listening component should ensue, and then a speaking activity should follow. Being able to use the word or phrase over and over in different ways will help you to retain the information much better. So, if you bought a bunch of tapes or CD’s that give you only the listening component, this will not allow you to develop reading or writing skills. If you have a product that has the book and the listening component, this will help you develop a fuller range of the language. It’s also extremely beneficial to have these multiple learning options such that you don’t get burned out on any one “style” or platform for learning.
For example, while the Rosetta Stone software is clearly the best selling Spanish learning system on the market, one of it’s biggest downfalls is the fact that there is no way to separate yourself from the computer. It only runs as a software application on your computer, there are no CD’s or books for you to use while away from home or during breaks from your computer. This is one of the main reasons that students fail to achieve their goals with this type of system: no matter how “great” the training might be, it simply becomes monotonous to repeat the same steps over and over without any diversity of learning style. This leads to boredom and eventual abandonment of the program.
Another reason why many people do not succeed in learning the language is because they are not practicing the skill. When we were born, we didn’t know all the words that we know today as adolescents or adults. Therefore, it is evident that our vocabulary increases over time. Our word bank continues to grow by reading, writing, listening, and speaking-the four main components of learning any language. If you practice each one of these components on a daily basis, you will succeed in learning the language. It really comes down to an individual’s desire to learn the language and your level of effort that will determine how rapidly one will grasp the language. Regardless of how great any one “learn Spanish” package may be, they’re all just kindling if you don’t put in the actual work to learn the language.
In conclusion, make sure to fully research the products available before buying. The most effective products available to teach Spanish are those that have either a book or a manual with a listening component, interactive games/software, and either a blog or a forum which you can use to ask questions that you may have about the product or the lessons. One of the best Spanish learning systems available online today is the Rocket Spanish program and you can view a full video review of the entire package as well as on-screen video demos of what’s included in the Rocket Spanish package by visiting the website link below.
Rating: 4 out of 5