Pros / This program has an adjustable audio tempo and a speech recording tool.
Cons / The installation process was lengthy and buggy.
Verdict / Learn It Now is a good program for self-motivated learners, especially if you enjoy audio-based learning.
Learn It Now has audio lessons, flashcards, and several speaking and interactive games that help you get the hang of the language. It took about 17 minutes to install this software on our test computer, which was longer than all the other downloadable programs we reviewed – most only took about five minutes to install, once the download process was finished.
The interactive lessons teach a variety of Spanish skills, including writing, reading, speaking, pronunciation and memory. A unit is comprised of three lessons and takes about an hour to complete. The lessons include tools to help you identify new words, record your speech, take dictation and practice conversations en Español.
One of the most engaging activities in Learn It Now is the pronunciation practice. You record yourself saying phrases, then compare your accent to a recording of a native speaker. You can record and compare your pronunciation as often as you like. The native speaker doesn’t sound as natural as the ones in other programs, like Rosetta Stone, but it serves as a good gauge for pronouncing tricky words.
Learn It Now is one of the few programs we tested with a slowed speech option. This feature, denoted by a turtle icon, slows the prerecorded clip in any audio lesson so you can hear the words enunciated at a slower pace. This is especially useful for practicing phrases and longer sentences. Note that the audio doesn't slow gracefully, but even though it sounds strange, you can hear the individual syllables clearly.
You can choose to follow the prescribed, linear learning path or skip around in the lessons and topics as you see fit. In the first section, each exercise has short instructions. But since the lessons in each unit use the same kinds of activities, these instructions stop after you've completed your first section.
This Spanish learning software offers a companion app for Apple mobile devices. Much like the desktop application, you can learn via audio-only lessons that use the SlowSound feature or by the traditional flashcard method. The app, much like the desktop application, was a bit buggy and crashed a couple times while we were using it, but it tracks your progress so you can pick up where you left off.
Learn It Now is a Spanish learning program that appeals to all learning types. The adjustable audio tempo is helpful when learning to pronounce difficult words, and the pronunciation practice lets you compare your voice to a recording of a native speaker. The download and installation process was a bit more cumbersome than other downloadable programs we tested, so keep that in mind if you plan to install it on multiple computers.