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Why Learn Spanish Through an Online Site?

Online Spanish websites offer many more options than learning the language through the traditional classroom and lab options. And the websites are a much better option than downloading Spanish activities to your desktop. Today students can get access to vocabulary lists, exercises, podcasts, videos and online tutors by subscribing to a Spanish learning website. To learn more, read our articles about learn Spanish online. Three providers emerge among the best: NuLengua, Living Language and Instituto Exclusivo.

When selecting the right Spanish learning website, you will need to make these decisions before selecting a Spanish learning website:

First determine your Spanish learning level. Consider a website that offers a placement test so you know whether you’re beginning, intermediate or advanced.

Decide how much time you can set aside to study Spanish. When learning a language, it isn’t good enough to simply look at something once a week for several hours. The smartest thing to do is to set a small amount of time aside every day. You’ll learn faster that way.

Select the particular dialect you want to learn. If you’re going to Spain, don’t study Spanish from Central America. You’ll find the language and culture are different.

Start immersing yourself in the Hispanic world. Go down to the local bodega and practice the Spanish vocabulary you know. Also, consider buying some Spanish music to play. Try to understand the words.

Before enrolling in a class at the local community college, consider the benefits of learning Spanish from a website that combines lots of wonderful options. All of the Spanish learning websites give you an opportunity to sample lessons. Choosing the right one for you will depend on the type of instruction you require. Some use video so you are watching a person talk while you go through the various learning exercises. Try out a few before deciding which to buy.

On many of these sites, you can get:

Instruction at your own pace – You don’t need to worry about your instructor’s schedule and availability. Spanish learning websites enable you to start at the appropriate place, regardless of the abilities of other students. In addition, you can study in the middle of the night, early in the morning or while on vacation. You set your schedule and if you want to study six hours a day one day and only half an hour the next, it is all well and good.

One-on-one instruction – Instead of sharing your teacher with 30 other students, get someone who can give you individual attention and answer questions. This enables you to make the most of your time when you are using a tutor.

Tutor selection – Spanish has many dialects. Not only is there the difference between Spanish from Spain vs. the Spanish from Latin America, even with Spain and Latin America there are differences in the way people speak and sometimes in the vocabulary they use. If you choose the correct Spanish learning website, you can choose the dialect you’re interested in learning.

Practice with other students – Just because you’re not in a classroom doesn’t mean you can’t talk to the others in your classroom. Many Spanish learning websites offer forums and chats and audio components where you can communicate with other people learning Spanish.

Specialized vocabulary – Some Spanish learning websites offer the option of focusing on certain kinds of vocabulary and structures that have to do with fields such as healthcare, construction, and many others. If you’re a nurse or a carpenter, you can learn the kinds of words that will help you.

Television shows in Spanish – A few Spanish learning websites feature the option of learning Spanish through watching an interesting telenovela. You can learn the language as you keep up with a television show.

Newsletters – Some Spanish learning websites produce newsletters and RSS feeds that are sent to you periodically. This is a wonderful way for you to be reminded that you need to get back to studying Spanish if you haven’t been dedicating yourself to it lately. Remember also that a fun-to-read newsletter or article will pique your interest in the language and culture.

What to Look for in Online Spanish Learning Services

Now that you have made some decisions, you can start looking for the Spanish learning website that fits your particular needs. These are some things to consider:

Supplemental Material
Some Spanish learning websites offer stories and newsletters. Naturally, you are serious about learning Spanish or you wouldn’t have read this far. But we all need a prod or reminder sometimes. A Spanish learning website that pushes information out to you will keep you on the path to becoming fluent in Spanish, which is why newsletters are so important. Stories allow you to watch a show that uses everyday language in context, helping a student acquire Spanish more readily. Many students say that watching something with a plot and cultural information is highly enjoyable.

Audio
In order to perfect your pronunciation, it’s important to be able to hear and be heard. You may prefer to have your pronunciation corrected by a native speaker via audio interaction. In lieu of audio interaction with a tutor, some Spanish learning websites have you record your own voice and then compare what you have said to the voice of a native instructor. Some learners may prefer this since they won’t be embarrassed at having to repeat the same line over and over.

Tutoring
Although many exercises can be completed without assistance, when there is a question it is helpful to have the assistance of a dedicated tutor. Most of the Spanish learning websites give you some sort of access to a live instructor (not all however), but some Spanish learning websites permit you to choose the particular tutor you would like to work with.

Learning Options
Through forums, students can participate in a dynamic community. Access to other students who are learning Spanish just like you may be beneficial. Additional specializations are also available, such as job-specific training. Since many students study Spanish so that they can do their jobs better, specializations in various careers are available so that the specific vocabulary is covered to help students succeed in their careers.

Levels Available/Scope
Some Spanish learning websites have everybody start at the same level. This can be very frustrating for someone who already knows some Spanish. Try to find one that gives you instruction at the level you need it.

To start your search for the best online Spanish websites, read our reviews below.

NuLengua

For anyone wanting to learn Spanish, NuLengua is a great solution to learning the Spanish language.

The NuLengua system is easy to learn, but what made it doubly easy to use is the Live Help available from the About NuLengua page. Any question you might have will get answered immediately.

NuLengua boasts of having all native Spanish speakers as tutors and all of them are certified in teaching Spanish. In addition, all of the instruction is done one-on-one in the immersion-style. NuLengua’s curriculum is not locked into a predetermined program. If the tutor or the student decides to skip part of the lesson, this is not a problem. This also means that the student has control over their own instruction.

To participate in the NuLengua program, students are walked through how to set up Skype and then they register with NuLengua. Students are then set up to converse with their tutors as if talking via the phone.

With NuLengua, students pay for a certain number of credits and when they have used those credits, they simply purchase new ones. When the students are ready, they schedule lessons with the private tutor. If a student prefers a different tutor than the one they are assigned to, they can simply request a different one.

Tuition reimbursement is something that some students may be eligible for. NuLengua has information on how to get your classes paid for by your employer.

The NuLengua service is for you if you are attracted to the private tutor model of one-on-one lessons. Therefore NuLengua is not the place to go if you want all kinds of printed materials, CDs, DVDs, newsletters and extensive online features. Instead of meeting with a tutor in person, you talk to your tutor over Skype. The focus of the interaction is on live conversation with an instructor who is skilled at teaching and an expert in the subject matter.

Although many of the products on the market offer many different kinds of ways to interact with tutors, being able to speak to a native speaker is clearly the best way to learn a language. NuLengua doesn’t simply offer this as an option; rather communicating through Skype with the tutor is the central functionality of the program.

NuLengua’s website has very explicit and easy-to-understand directions on how to get connected to Skype. And they step you through all you need to do to get connected with the private tutor. If, at any time, the student gets lost, there is a Live Chat option available with an employee that can step the student through any difficulty they might have.

Because NuLengua uses tutors, there is no need for audio recording, because the audio interaction occurs live.

Having a real person instruct the student is a very unique option that NuLengua offers. NuLengua’s tutors actually live in Guatemala and are certified in teaching Spanish. In fact, you can get on NuLengua’s website and read a mini bio of each of their tutors. They have varied backgrounds and are varied ages. You will find that not all of them are actually from Guatemala but they are native Spanish speakers.

NuLengua encourages their tutors to use all of the options available on the internet. This means that if there are lessons available elsewhere via the internet, the student can request to work on that activity with the tutor.

Not all of the tutors are bilingual. This gives the learner the opportunity to make themselves understood completely in Spanish without relying on the tutor’s ability to understand them in English. On the other hand, for those just starting out in Spanish, the ability to select a bilingual tutor will be a benefit. The fact that a bilingual tutor can guide them through difficulties is very important.

NuLengua’s method for selecting the time and tutor was very logical and user-friendly, making it easy to start using NuLengua’s system.

Many students work in certain industries that require certain types of vocabulary. One example is healthcare where the student would need to acquire specific vocabulary such as “injections,” “needles” and “bedpans.” NuLengua offers this option so that students can request the tutor concentrate on the specific needs of their jobs.

Some of the specializations they offer are: apartment management, administrators, assistants, auto dealers, banking, building contractors, business administration, child care, computers, construction, correctional staff, court staff, customer service, factory managers, financial institutions, firefighters, housekeeping and landscaping.

Although the fact that students are able to communicate directly with any tutor they would like, being able to talk to other learners would enrich the learning environment. We hope they will add this in the future.

NuLengua has a very different approach to selling their services. Instead of making one large payment, students at NuLengua purchase credits. This means that students are not locked into a program where they are learning structures and vocabulary they may already know. Students can also make the decision that they are not interested in learning a particular structure at the present time and can move on to the area where they believe they need help. Of course the tutor is there to help you with the appropriate level of learning and what they deem to be the most appropriate direction. Each tutor determines the level of the student as they are working with them and then the tutor tailors the instruction to fit the student’s needs and wants. Students then schedule lessons to fit their schedules.

If you plan on learning the Spanish language, NuLengua offers a unique and individual immersion-style learning approach that is flexible and gives students control over their own instruction. NuLengua gives you access to a variety of native Spanish-speaking instructors. Students converse with certified instructors via VoIP (Skype) enabling them to perfect their pronunciation as they are learning the structure and the nuances of the language.

NuLengua’s focus is on conversation and the student has the option of studying the objects they specify. NuLengua admits that some students can be frustrated by the immersion approach, which means that the tutors attempt to only speak Spanish during the lesson, but students usually get accustomed to this approach and most feel that they have learned more Spanish as a result.

Overall, the unique tutor approach and Skype conversations make NuLengua one of the best options for learning Spanish online.

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Living Language Platinum

Living Language Platinum is a good way to learn Spanish online without having to enroll in a traditional schoolroom-based class. It has traditional textbooks and audio CDs, as well as online access to interactive lessons and online live tutoring sessions.

Living Language Platinum offers useful Spanish lessons online. Furthermore, it provides other ways for you to learn to speak Spanish. The textbooks that accompany the package are well designed and rich in content and exercises. The package also contains nine audio CDs that span essential, intermediate and advanced lessons, so that you can pursue the best way to learn Spanish, whether you're online or not.

If you want to learn languages online, access to human tutors in real time is a wonderful thing. When you purchase Living Language Platinum, you get 12 months' worth of live online classes. There are many classes to fit your schedule. Maximum total participation in any class is three students. The Living Language teaching method does not force total immersion, so you are allowed to resort to English without being made to wear the dunce cap. Each class lasts for 30 minutes. A native speaker runs each session. You can talk to the teacher and practice your lessons. Each session complements a specific lesson. Therefore, the program expects that you will have completed the related coursework before you enroll in the tutoring session. You can hear the other students, but you don't see one another. You are free to repeat any session once if you would like the extra practice.

A good way to learn Spanish fast is by listening to native speakers pronounces words. Living Language Platinum builds your vocabulary with flash cards that pronounce words as you memorize them.

Living Language Platinum earns a place in our best online Spanish course review because it offers multiple learning options. There are 46 lessons that step you through three stages: essential, intermediate and advanced. You can use the hardcopy books that are in the package, follow the lessons online, listen to the audio CDs. If you are an iTunes user, you can import the CDs to your iTunes library.

Living Language Platinum's online learn Spanish lessons and method are derived from courses that the U.S. State Department developed to train diplomats. The textbooks and online lessons have a familiar, old-school textbook component augmented by online tutoring sessions that allow students to use the internet to their great advantage. Without driving to a school, parking and darkening the door of a physical classroom, you can interact with an online tutor from the comfort of your living room couch.

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Instituto Exclusivo

If you want to learn Spanish online, you're going to love Instituto Exclusivo. They have the right tools to offer you great instruction via Skype and webcams. They don't waste time developing materials for you. They have tutors from all over the world and recommended materials for you to get started with.

Go ahead and get on their site and take a trial class. It's free so there's nothing to lose.

Instituto Exclusivo doesn't make the pretense of offering pre-made materials; they rely on qualified teachers to personally work with students at their own pace.

Some of the materials they do offer are online games, a blog, and a list of books and audio courses they recommend that students take.

Instituto Exclusivo is making great use of Skype to give students great practice in pronunciation and in conversation.

Instituto Exclusivo has some of the best Spanish special courses offered online. They have a course in business Spanish that makes use of many different materials and a tailor-made curriculum for each student. They teach courses on business correspondence, negotiation, legal terminology, and sales and advertising terms. The teachers who teach these classes have degrees in Business Administration, Economics, Law, and Psychology.

In addition, courses are offered for students who wish to do internships in Spanish-speaking countries. These courses are homework-intensive and last for three hours a day. At the end, the student should be able to complete a Spanish internship with little difficulty.

Instituto Exclusivo also offers a course for irrigation and landscaping companies. These classes are intended for U.S. business people who do not speak Spanish yet, but supervise Spanish-speakers. These courses enable these employers to better communicate with their employees.

Instituto Exclusivo is prepared to take students from the basic levels all the way to preparing students to take the DELE exam, which is the test students need to take if they want to enter a university in a Spanish-speaking country.

Instituto Exclusivo is an online Spanish learning option that should be taken seriously. Their one-on-one options for learning Spanish are truly effective, as can be witnessed from their video examples available on the website. And their teachers are prepared to instruct students in the language, whether at the beginning level or at the university level.

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Web Spanish

Web Spanish offers students a chance to learn Spanish online from university graduates who have been specially trained. Web Spanish is owned by the El Sol Spanish School located in Lima, Peru, so the tutors are more than adequately prepared to help students.

Web Spanish uses their own materials that have been designed to be used in the online learning environment. By using Web Spanish you will be helping the youth that are at risk in Peru since they donate ten percent of their profits to charity.

Unfortunately Web Spanish is one of the only Spanish language websites that does not offer a free trial, but they use multimedia, file sharing, forums, and messaging facilities to help student learn and master the Spanish language.

Web Spanish prepares all of their own materials and they make good use of audios and videos. At the school, they claim to cover topics like current affairs, history and culture. In addition they cover news articles in the courses.

Web Spanish really appears to be doing a great job in giving students the opportunity to understand spoken Spanish. They use Skype, podcasts, and videos. Students learning with all these additional media will certainly benefit from this approach.

The teachers at Web Spanish appear to be very well trained to give the courses. Many of them have studied Education and Linguistics, and Web Spanish has prepared their teachers in the materials they have developed.

For better or worse, it does appear that all of the tutors are from Peru. For students, this can be good since Peru has the reputation for having the least noticeable accent of Latin America. Therefore, it is a good choice of Latin American Spanish to learn. However, many students need to be able to understand Puerto Ricans, Mexicans, Spaniards and Argentinians. We doubt that working strictly with Peruvians will lead students to be conversationally fluent.

Since the Web Spanish teachers come from all kinds of different backgrounds, students would definitely be able to learn specialized types of vocabulary. For example, their page of available online teachers boasts of having teachers who have studied Hotel Administration, Education, Translation, Literature and Journalism.

In addition, they offer a forum for the students to collaborate, share experiences, and help each other in their quest to learn Spanish online.

Web Spanish is one of the programs that offers one-on-one tutoring and offers all of the levels from beginning to advanced. Their syllabus was very well laid out and students are able to get the basics of the language from the Web Spanish learning service.

Clearly Web Spanish is a good choice for those desiring to become fluent in Spanish. They have a thorough curriculum, are using technology, and have well-trained teachers.

We do question whether they are offering a sufficient amount of supplemental materials and we do hope they will make more of their proprietary materials available so that we can evaluate them better, but Web Spanish is a pretty good option to learn Spanish online.

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Spanish At Home

Spanish At Home is a program that will help you to learn Spanish at your own pace. Because it is a set of workbooks and audio CDs, you can take time to learn when and wherever you have the time. Because this program is portable it allows you to listen while you are driving to work or on the train. You can now make your commute time work in your favor and learn a new language.

Most of the products in our review are designed to teach Spanish through a computer screen. Because this Spanish learning system is based on audio CDs instead of on-screen software, they do not offer the personalized learning paths, additional internet resources and personal progress tracking features. In comparison to the software in our review, this product falls short in this category. However, this learn Spanish software teaches Spanish words and grammar by using only audio CDs and workbooks. This makes it great for those who spend time traveling. If you commute to work by train or bus, you can grab your workbook and a portable CD player and learn as you are on your way to work. Because you do not need a computer for this program, it's also great for those who spend a lot of time in their car. While you are driving around town running errands just pop the CD into your car stereo and learn Spanish while you are driving.

If you are in a rush to get started with this Spanish learning program, you do not even have to wait for Spanish At Home to send you the workbooks and CDs. This company wants you to be able to start as soon as possible and get you on the right track of learning so they offer an eBook and an MP3 option. You can download the eBook in a PDF format and keep it on your computer or print it out. Because you can also download the MP3 audio files, you have the option of putting them onto your MP3 player and taking them with you as well. This is a great solution for those who use their computers as their primary learning source and always have it with them.

The audio portion of this program begins each lesson with a list of vocabulary words that are spoken first in Spanish and then in English. This allows you to hear the correct pronunciation of each word. Additionally, these words are also listed in the vocabulary section of the workbook. Not only do you have the option to hear the words pronounced correctly, but you can see the proper way to write them as well.

After you have listened to the audio CDs and read along in your workbook using Spanish At Home, you will have the chance to try out your new language skills by completing the written exercises that follow. Each written exercise has a picture that will help you to figure out the answers to each question. Additionally, this Spanish learning program lists words in English and asks you to write the correct Spanish translation. This will stretch your memory and help you apply your new knowledge as you learn Spanish.

Because this Spanish learning program only contains CDs and workbooks, it is very user-friendly. Once you turn on your CD player, the program will begin immediately and will walk you through each step contained in the workbook. At the end of each section of the CD, you will be prompted to complete the next task assigned, such as reading through the common errors or listening to an actual class discussion.

The class discussion is a recording of an actual conversation between a student and instructor. The student asks questions during the conversation and the instructor explains the correct answer in depth. The student and instructor also use both English and Spanish during their conversations, allowing you to pick up most of the conversations while you learn Spanish at a reasonable pace.

One of the highlights of this learn Spanish program is that the books offer several pictures next to the exercises. This can come in handy if you are having a problem trying to figure out what the exercise questions are asking you. Having these pictures will give you a hint as to what the correct response to your exercise is. In addition, because some people are visual learners this will help you to notice the correct responses as well.

We found that the audio portion of this learn Spanish program was very helpful. The clearly spoken audio will allow you to hear the way you should pronounce words in your new language. Because there are several different instructions used in this program, you will hear different people speak the language and that will allow you to improve your Spanish-speaking capabilities.

While this Spanish program does not offer word tools such as a word translator, root search or glossary in their program, they do offer translations on a bigger scale. Spanish At Home will help you negotiate a business deal or any other situation where it is critical to have the exact translation. Spanish At Home offers this at an additional fee to the cost of the program.

This learn Spanish program offers email support in the event that you come across questions that you cannot answer. While their website has a button for live chat support, we were disappointed that each time we were on the site, this feature showed as offline. When we clicked the live chat button, we were taken to an email form asking us to leave a message.

We were pleased to find a list of FAQs for this learn Spanish program. This list of FAQs is located under their customer service tab. However, it only contains information about things such as shipping, returns, replacement and information about downloading an eBook. While this information is great, we would have liked to see them offer more information on questions that may come up with the audio CDs and workbooks.

Spanish At Home combines their Spanish program into audio CDs and workbooks so they are portable. You have the ability to pop the CDs into your stereo on your way to work in the mornings so you can learn Spanish words for your next business meeting or vacation. Because you can also download the information on to your computer instead of waiting for the program to be mailed to you, you can get started learning Spanish right away.

While the list of FAQs could have more of a selection on this learn Spanish product, we feel that you will not have too many problems listening to the CDs and reading the workbooks. Because they also offer true conversations between a student and instructor, you will also be able to hear many questions that come up in a classroom setting. This is a great program for those who are looking to learn Spanish with the ease of not having to carry around a computer.

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Radio Lingua Network Coffee Break Spanish

Radio Lingua Network (RLN) offers students a refreshing approach to language learning. Don’t expect a boring classroom-like environment; rather, you’ll be listening to real people talking about real-life topics like being at a football (soccer) game, going to the doctor, or buying things at the market. This learn Spanish online program consists of podcasts that are exceptionally well-produced. These podcasts are entertaining and the commentary given is educational even to the native Spanish speaker.

RLN is located in Scotland and some may find the Scottish brogue daunting at first, but if you persevere, you’ll learn an astonishing amount about the culture and language of Spain. They do teach vosotros, however wherever necessary the narrator interjects the differences between Latin American Spanish and the Spanish spoken in Spain.

Here are some of the great aspects of Radio Lingua Network:

Technology usage - This Spanish language website embraces technology and many students may like taking advantage of the linkage with iTunes – meaning you can access your RLN podcasts through the iTunes interface. RLN also is available through Twitter and Facebook and other social media interfaces. Their focus, as stated on their website, is for learners who are constantly on the move since they pride themselves in making their product consumable via iPods and other devices.

Telenovelas - RLN’s most impressive contribution to their students is the availability of a telenovela, which is a Spanish miniseries that features a love triangle.

Professional voiceover artists - The producers clearly have a background in radio and have designed an intriguing and even addicting series about three Spanish speakers.

Well-used forums - RLN's forums aren't just written, they've got podcasts and tons of interesting discussion topics.

Songs - Students will enjoy the professionally-pared songs on RLN's site.

If you want to learn Spanish and your work takes you out on the road, you really should consider Radio Lingua Network. You’ll have a lot of fun learning Spanish with their method.

Although RLN does not publish an actual newsletter, their forum which students can set up to email them whenever there’s been an update, is replete with interesting discussions. They rely on their forums which can push information out to learners and they also email links to their newest podcasts. Since the podcasts are so chock full of cultural items and interesting topics, they have truly risen above the need for articles and newsletters.

Radio Lingua Network offers an option starting at the intermediate level that consists of a series about two girls and their love interests. At the same time, selected grammatical constructions and vocabulary are covered, making the series interesting and beneficial at the same time.

Radio Lingua Network is centrally focused on audio elements, though not audio interaction. Although students certainly can interact via forums and Twitter, etc. there is no audio interaction between pupils and their peers, neither is there communication between pupils and their teachers.

Unfortunately, what RLN lacks is any way to be able to be corrected on your pronunciation. Even though they have embraced technology, they still do not offer any services for being heard in Spanish to perfect pronunciation. If you're more interested in hearing and understanding Spanish, and not necessarily speaking it, Radio Lingua Network is a great option.

Radio Lingua Network’s podcasts are very professionally produced and even feature their own songs and lyrics. In fact, just listening to them is entertaining. From the information on their website, it appears all of their employees are well-educated and have studied language teaching.

The narrator speaks in a pronounced Scottish brogue, which is easily overlooked since their content is so interesting and entertaining. Naturally, being located in Europe, their focus is on the Spanish dialects spoken in Spain, however, there is every attempt to explain how certain words would be pronounced in Latin America.

The instructor even explains the various dialects within Spain so even those who speak Spanish well will enjoy the lessons because there is something interesting to learn in each one. RLN is a small company and we hope they will continue to grow and possibly incorporate some Latin American podcasters also.

Radio Lingua Network offers such a wide variety of interesting topics. And because the forum is so rich with interesting conversations, the student is able to get assistance with the specialized words and phrases they may need for their work needs. In addition, the podcasts are very realistic and address many relevant topics.

They have a very nice forum with very interesting discussions. In fact, most of the entries are in Spanish meaning the learners can get experience in conversing with others.

Because of RLN’s dedication to social media technologies, students don’t have to rely just on the comments available on the Radio Lingua Network forum, since they also have a presence on Facebook and Twitter.

Radio Lingua Network accommodates users on a variety of levels of learning. Coffee Break Spanish has been specifically designed for beginning to intermediate learners. What makes RLN’s approach so unique is that they have done such a great job of catering to the false beginner, which is someone who knows a fair amount of Spanish, but it’s rusty.

For the student who is always on the go, RLN is definitely the solution for learning Spanish. RLN’s lessons are easily obtainable and work with a variety of devices and social media solutions. And for the false beginner (learned some Spanish before, but pretty rusty), RLN may very well be the best solution with its focus on culture and history. The false beginner will never be bored since even if the grammar construction is not new, the other information given most likely will be very welcome.

RLN is also a winner for their forums. They are dynamic and from their prolific contributions, clearly the students take the forums very seriously.

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StudySpanish

StudySpanish is a quality instructional learn Spanish online site for learning the language. The website and the materials are professional and the overwhelming impression you will get is how logic-oriented the website and materials are.

For those looking to better their pronunciation, their exercises on vowel and consonant sounds are very explicit and well thought out. And they focus on stress, intonation, and diphthongs that can be very tricky in Spanish.

For those who took Spanish in high school (or are currently taking a high school course) and need to brush up on the language, you will really like the logical layout of their website. The verb tenses are laid out and you can click right to the item you need to brush up on; for example, the –ar verbs, the –er verbs, and the –ir verbs. Or you can view the stem-changing verbs or just the regular verbs.

The most impressive option that StudySpanish offers is its cultural notes that are available in an audio version in Spanish and then the version written in Spanish and a translation into English. We cannot stress enough the value these entries give to the site. In fact, even if you don’t speak a word of Spanish you’ll enjoy reading these passages. There are articles available on Cuzco, Dali, Iguazu Falls, llamas, the Palenque ruins and so many more interesting topics. Whether you select StudySpanish as your tool for learning Spanish, you’ll have to drop by and read their cultural articles.

StudySpanish does have lots of interesting information on its website. For example, for those who are about to make a trip, StudySpanish features a travel helper section that offers the vocabulary needed to function at the airport, at the beach, in a restaurant, or just simply meeting people.

Also, StudySpanish does offer quite a bit of fascinating cultural content that even those already fluent in Spanish will enjoy.

Although no actual stories are offered, the cultural notes were so engaging many students would really enjoy listening and reading them. These cultural notes are presented in an audio form with the accompanying Spanish and English written versions. They are very well-written and are interesting to listen to.

StudySpanish does not actually offer interaction with audios, but they do have audio tracks. If you are planning to study Spanish, you could determine first where you will be able to dedicate the time it will take to learn the language. One of StudySpanish’s fortes is that with the CDs you will get when you purchase the course you can put them on your iPod, mp3 player, or listen to them as you are driving.

StudySpanish does not have any way of enabling a student to better their pronunciation other than repeating what the instructor on the audio is saying. This is not sufficient for the vast majority of learners who need someone to correct their pronunciation.

In lieu of an actual tutor, StudySpanish offers a variety of audio lessons. Unfortunately, the program requires that the learner go from the CD and then back to the website for the next series of exercises. Those who have already become fluent in another language may not find this too frustrating. Students who are new to studying a foreign language, however, may find going back and forth between two mediums daunting. Because of this if you are someone who has never studied a foreign language, StudySpanish may not be a good option.

Although StudySpanish does not offer tutors, they do have a variety of Latin American speakers featured on their audio components which give students the advantage of listening to the various Spanish dialects.

Also, the cultural notes encompass all parts of Latin America and Spain. This will give the student knowledge not of just one geographic area, but many.

Although StudySpanish did not offer specializations for learning the Spanish needed on a job, cultural knowledge was definitely addressed. Some of the many options available are: spray paint art, textile markets, the butchers and bakeries of Mexico, and the volcanoes of Ecuador. The student who chooses StudySpanish will have many chances to enrich vocabulary and knowledge of Latin America and Spain.

There was no option for communicating with other students who were interested in learning Spanish. They did, however, have on their website a directory of schools where students can go to learn Spanish. The options for the schools are located in Spain, Mexico, Costa Rica, Chile, and Argentina. In fact, whether you decide to purchase StudySpanish’s products or not, visit their website because the list of schools is very impressive.

StudySpanish.com offers options for studying beginning, intermediate, and advanced Spanish and gives students the option to study pronunciation, grammar, verbs, and idiomatic expressions. Learners can also opt to take a course focused on conversation.

The conversation option StudySpanish offers is called “Camino del Exito,” which translated means “Path to Success.” This program focuses on drills, such as listen and repeat, substitution, replacement, translation and variation. Although they appear to be professionally prepared, this approach is very old-fashioned since it violates the currently-held theories that advocate natural language and interaction is better than classroom drills.

StudySpanish is a clearly laid out approach to language speaking, although it is not clear what students would do once they have finished StudySpanish’s intermediate level. It is doubtful that students would be ready for conversation since they are not given the opportunity for any kind of interaction in the course.

Clearly the most impressive part of StudySpanish’s website is their cultural notes. This was far better than anything else offered by the other Spanish learning websites. We can only hope that in the future StudySpanish will begin to offer a better language course to complement the amazing cultural component of their website.

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Synergy Spanish

Synergy Spanish is a method of teaching Spanish that is based on patterns. The writer of the course claims the student only needs to know 138 words to be able to get by in the Spanish language. A memory technique is reportedly used, but we were unable to get information on the type of technique they employ. This learn Spanish online course consists of audios and workbooks. These can either be downloaded or sent through the mail.

The Synergy Spanish site is very sparse and no articles were to be found. This is a shame since the author currently lives in Mexico and could be sharing his experiences with his students.

The founder of the course does not pretend to make people totally fluent in the language; rather the claim is clearly to enable the student to get by in Spanish.

There is no audio interaction, but the course claims to have ways to reduce tension when attempting to speak to native Spanish speakers. In fact, the author claims he has ways to get the native speakers to warm up to the language learner.

Spanish Synergy’s approach does sound very enlightening. In fact, linguists have been saying for years that the way to teach a language is through natural discourse. However, even though Marcus Santamaria strives to get his students to a point where they can converse or make themselves understood with native speakers, there is no option for speaking with an instructor, rather than by e-mail.

After purchasing the course, the student gets a personal Spanish coach for 90 days. The Spanish coach is also the owner and creator of the course, Marcus Santamaria.

The various dialects in Spanish do not seem to be addressed in the product and the author’s focus seems to be on Mexican Spanish.

The author claims to use only what he believes are useful words and phrases. From the website it is very clear that most of the lessons are built around the needs of travelers.

This site does not feature any forums. It is clear from the testimonials that the students would enjoy bettering their Spanish by initiating contact with each other.

Getting by in Spanish is Spanish Synergy’s motto. They claim that too much grammar knowledge confuses learners and actually causes them to communicate worse. Instead of made up language that is normally used in the classroom, Spanish Synergy’s lessons feature real sentences, the way real people would speak. The lessons also leave out irrelevant material and focus on what’s important in the language.

Synergy Spanish uses a method that relies on students learning a mere 138 Spanish words and from that point on, the student will be headed in the right direction to becoming conversational in the Spanish language. Since Marcus Santamaria only promises to get his students to the point where they can get by in Spanish, we feel assured that his product will do what it promises.

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