PROS / Setup and installation are easy and take less than a minute to complete.
CONS / There is little structure in TeachMe; it leaves you to roam through lessons without any context or explanation for what you learn.
VERDICT / Technical glitches, loose lesson plans and oversimplified exercises make TeachMe a bad fit for intermediate learners. You won't gain fluency from TeachMe, but it serves as an introduction to basic elements of Spanish.
TeachMe Spanish by LinguaShop is a simple program that focuses on Spanish vocabulary and reading. It's not likely to help you achieve fluency, but it serves as a good foundation for anyone without previous exposure to the Spanish language. The lesson plan is loose, encouraging you to explore the lessons in each exercise.
The interface is made up of large icons that lead to different activities, each consisting of multiple lessons. From the main dashboard, you can access stats about your lesson progress and activities that emphasize pronunciation, vocabulary, reading and grammar.
TeachMe Spanish is one of the few Spanish programs we evaluated with a designated reading section. While many of the reading sections in other programs center on a conversation, TeachMe's reading exercise has several lessons with different stories to read. As you read the story in Spanish, you fill in the blank spaces with the provided vocabulary words. When you finish the exercise, you can read an English translation of the story.
The program’s grammar and vocabulary sections are very similar. Both provide a Spanish word for you to translate. The vocabulary section focuses on single words based on categories like colors and family, while the grammar section focuses on small phrases, the mechanics of talking about quantities, and using plural and gendered articles in phrases. Most programs we looked at have similar exercises that require you to write out the whole word, but TeachMe's grammar and vocabulary sections only require you to enter the first letter of each word, which may give you too much of a crutch. Also, when you work on one of the software’s pronunciation lessons, you don't get an audio cue to begin speaking. Instead, you have to watch for the sound bars on the screen. The program’s playback is quality, but it may take a few tries to get used to this section.
TeachMe took only a moment to install for us, which is likely because of the simple interface and exercises. We used a download code from the manufacturer's website to start the program, and it took us only 51 seconds to install. However, we encountered roadblocks without the CD-ROM.
While navigation is simple, the program produced multiple error messages calling for the disc, then shut down and had trouble responding. Online downloads are becoming the new standard and are the only option if your computer doesn't have a CD drive. While it's nice that this option is available, it doesn't seem the software is ready to function without the old standard CD-ROM.
Overall, TeachMe Spanish isn’t an impressive learn Spanish software option. It lacks the structure most programs have and doesn't challenge Spanish learners or engage them well. We used the download link from the developer's site and encountered several glitches, ultimately leaving the program nonfunctional without a CD-ROM. While you may pick up a few new vocabulary words from TeachMe, you won't gain fluency from this program alone.