Ouino is one of the most customizable Spanish learning programs we tested. For example, you can adjust the speed of audio playback, difficulty of the lessons, number of lesson repetitions and order in which the lessons are taken. Its lessons are non-linear, so you can skip around and focus on the material you most need to learn. However, if you aren’t sure what material you need to work on, Ouino can recommend a learning path for you.
We tested Ouino’s 5-in-1 version, which includes lessons for pronunciation, conversation, grammar, vocabulary and verbs. Each module is well-organized and easy to navigate, has clear instructions, and includes content that appeals to every learning style. It was also among the easiest programs to download and install on our test computer.
The vocabulary section uses flashcards that associate new words with images. If you find yourself stumped, you can opt to repeat or skip a word. There are also several games in the vocabulary section. For example, Fluency Sprint is a lightning-round game that challenges you to answer every question before the timer runs out. Timed exercises force you to quickly recall words or phrases, a useful skill to have in conversations.
Ouino has one of our favorite grammar modules. The amount of English narration can be a hinderance for those who prefer immersive learning, but we found it refreshing for this situation because of the complexity of the subject. You don’t learn many words in this module, but those it does teach are used frequently and often don’t have direct translations. You can adjust the grammar module’s settings to slow the pronunciation speed and lengthen the interval between examples if you are having a hard time understanding the concepts.
You can learn on the go with Ouino’s mobile app, which is compatible with Android and iOS devices. You use your login for the software to access the mobile app, and the two platforms sync to save your progress. This means you can start a lesson on your home computer and pick up where you left off on your smartphone. Unlike Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, Ouino doesn’t have live tutors.
The Random Extra Practice module is a good resource for on-the-go learning because the lessons are short and available in the mobile app. It includes pronunciation, listening and writing exercises you can do in any order you choose. You select the difficulty level and can practice each skill for as long as you want without running into duplicate content. After you complete the course, it’s a good idea to revisit this module regularly to keep your skills polished and ready to use.
Ouino has an impressive amount of content and can help you quickly review concepts, cram before a vacation or reach fluency in Spanish. The mobile app is easy to use and a good companion to the software when you need to learn on the go. In addition, you can customize your curriculum or let Ouino recommend one for you that includes a good balance of exercises from each module.
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