Learn Spanish Software Review
How to Choose Learn Spanish Software
The top performers in our review are Rosetta Stone, the Gold Award winner; Fluenz Spanish, the Silver Award winner; and Ouino Spanish Complete, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing Spanish learning software to meet your needs, along with detail on how we arrived at our ranking of 10 programs.
If you weren't lucky enough grow up in a bilingual household, learning a new language can be a challenge. There are an estimated 45 million Spanish speakers in the U.S., making it an extremely useful language to know if you work in the corporate, civil, service or education sector. Thankfully, there are many different approaches to learning Spanish and other languages.
The best Spanish teaching programs mimic the way we learn language as children. Even if you don't use your new Spanish skills often, the journey of learning a new language is a great mental exercise and exposes you to new ways of thinking and different cultures. The process of learning Spanish can help you communicate more effectively in your native language and creates better business and work practices in everyday life. To read more about learning other languages like French or to find information on translation software, check out our articles about Spanish software.
How to Choose Spanish Software
Perhaps you took Spanish in school or have had some exposure to Spanish music or media. Basic Spanish lessons are adequate for beginners and travelers, but if your goal is to become truly proficient, think carefully about what teaching method suits your learning style. People process information differently, so there are diverse approaches to language instruction. While everyone can learn from the same tools like flashcards, conversation practice or online tutors, individuals tend to favor different learning styles, the most popular being visual, auditory and kinesthetic. To find the best application for you to learn Spanish, think about the methods you use to commit information to memory.
If you tend to write lists, draw pictures or make diagrams, you may be a visual learner. If jingles, conversations or rhymes help you remember information, you're likely an auditory learner. Kinesthetic learners tend to learn best by an active hands-on approach. The best software to learn Spanish from covers all these styles in a variety of engaging ways. The most intensive approach is the total immersion approach. Best for serious Spanish students and kinesthetic learners, this method delivers lessons, instructions and explanations in Spanish, creating a sink-or-swim environment for learning the language.
Learn Spanish Software: What We Evaluated, What We Found
Programs with images, word games, subtitles and flashcards are excellent tools for visual learners. For example, the famous Rosetta Stone language system relies almost solely on a flashcard approach with very little verbal instruction. Auditory learners catch details by listening to conversations and recognizing commonly used words. Listening comprehension, recordings and conversation practices appeal most to these learners. The best Spanish learning software for auditory learners allows you to record and play back your own voice during mock conversations. If you learn best this way, look for audio-based programs like Pimsleur that center most lessons on conversations and spoken vocabulary. These programs can record and display the nuances of your Spanish compared to native speakers to improve your pronunciation.
Whatever your learning style, the best results come from consistent practice and a customized learning experience. Try to avoid programs that map out a strict self-study course for you and recognize only one way to learn Spanish. Look for software that allows you to personalize your learning path, track your progress, make use of extra internet resources and use the program on mobile devices.
As you narrow down your Spanish language software choices, look for programs that make it obvious how to navigate the screens and modules. If you are stuck, you should be able to find help from inside the application. In case you encounter a problem that requires you to contact the publisher, it should be easy to reach support, and the website or manual should make clear when support is available to respond to your inquiry.
As technology continues to be a large part of our everyday lives, Spanish teaching software has expanded beyond the home or school desktop. Look for programs that perform on multiple platforms, such as mobile devices like phones or tablets. The best programs provide MP3s, audio discs, and interactive software with games and activities. Many courses are available via mobile applications for smartphones and tablets and even through active online learning communities to practice what you learn.
Our Verdict & Recommendations
Rosetta Stone claimed the top spot in our rankings of the best learn Spanish software, winning the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award. It did so for many reasons, chief among them that it’s the most comprehensive Spanish learning program we reviewed. Its core courses teach you vocabulary, pronunciation and grammar the same way you learned English as a child. It also features games and other activities to enhance your reading, writing and other skills. You can even schedule a one-on-one tutoring session with a native Spanish speaker who helps you in areas that you might be struggling in. Rosetta Stone is geared toward the serious long-term learner who wants to become fluent in Spanish.
Our Top Ten Reviews Silver Award goes to Fluenz Spanish. This program has everything except for live in-program chat and tutors, and it makes up for the lack of this feature with a packed course that's consumable on all kinds of media. You can follow lessons on your iPhone, computer, audio CDs, MP3s and DVDs. You receive instruction from a native Spanish tutor and leader of the Fluenz content team. In addition to its many activities like digital flashcards, the two-hour sessions allow you to navigate forward and backward in the lessons to review or jump ahead. Fluenz teaches standard Castilian Spanish in a Latin American accent so other speakers from around the world can understand you.
Ouino Spanish Complete wins the Top Ten Reviews Bronze Award for Spanish instruction software. It has several features that give you the building blocks to create your own sentences rather than repeating memorized phrases. Vocabulary and grammar lessons repeat phrases using fast and slow pronunciations. The fast speech helps you understand dialogue at standard native speed, and slow identifies each word clearly. In this program, there are over 300 lessons to choose in a linear or nonlinear pattern. Ouino tracks your progress as you advance.
If you want to learn Spanish, you have established a worthy goal. If your work schedule or family responsibilities make it difficult for you to take a language class at the local community college, instructional software is one of the best ways for you to learn Spanish. Spanish learning software is convenient because it leaves scheduling your time up to you and allows you to study at your own pace.