Spanish Uncovered is created by Olly Richards, author of the books I Will Teach You A Language and Grammar Hero. So this is a very modern method of learning Spanish, and that's generally a good thing. Olly Richards’ almost guru-like persona might be a little off-putting to some, but don’t be fooled into thinking this is some sort of language equivalent to a get rich quick scheme. Put in the effort and you’ll get a lot more out of Spanish Uncovered than you might think, which is why it sits on our list of the best learn Spanish software apps.
Spanish Uncovered review: Method
Olly Richards claims to speak eight languages and he has a series of books to help students learn to speak foreign languages, including Spanish, of course. Richards’ website explains that he discovered his method of teaching foreign languages while studying Spanish (coincidentally) in the mountains of North Argentina, after waking up at 3am unable to breath and grabbing the nearest book to aid his recovery. The book, A Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Gárcia Márquez, was entirely in Spanish but Richards’ read on, despite only understanding a few words and phrases from previous lessons. The following day he realised that many of the Spanish words and phrases from the book had stuck in his head, and the rest, as they say, is history.
The lesson Richards devised is based on a similar principle: the student is thrown in at the deep end, into an audio story, entirely in Spanish, which can be followed with the Spanish text. Each chapter is a couple of minutes long, you can listen to it as many times as you want before picking out the cognates, words that look the same in both languages. When you’re happy you’ve got them all, Richards’ video is on hand to show the ones you may have missed and then a short quiz about the story itself, though you’ll probably only have the merest understanding at this stage, before, finally, receiving the English translation.
The following section takes a video stroll through the text to take a detailed look at the vocabulary and a worksheet helps to bang the lesson in and it’s pretty much the same process of video/worksheet when we take a detailed look at the grammar, which gets a little too detailed for us on several occasions. It’s worth mentioning that whenever Richards appears on a video... get ready to take notes, as there is a lot to take in, and idly sitting by watching isn’t going to help you get the very best from the course. The pronunciation section employs native Spanish speakers to help you to pronounce various words and sounds before you’re into the speaking section.
This part isn’t really possible to do alone (though you can), and you’ll be far better off with a partner to help you to practice from activities on the crib sheet. The course concludes with the final review quiz, which we found a little short to be effective.
Many of the top Spanish lessons are ones that throw you in at the deep end, like Rosetta Stone, so this is a method that seems to be extremely effective.
Spanish Uncovered review: Cost and app
The whole course costs $297 for the Bronze package. There’s also a 30-day money back guarantee for each language course offered but no free trial. That's a real shame, as picking out a language course is very much a matter of personal preference, so the inability to try before you buy counts against Spanish Unlimited.
If you want to get the Gold Package, which features 'priority email coaching' this cost rises to a staggering $1997. Weirdly, the Platinum Package also costs $1997, and includes two 1:1 sessions with Olly himself. There's no silver tier, which is strange. Unless you are 100% sold on this being the course for you, we do not recommend upgrading to the Gold or Platinum packages.
There's no dedicated smart device app, and you can download Spanish Uncovered on both PC and Macs. This is unusual among modern language learners, as most like Rosetta Stone, Rocket Languages, Duolingo etc all have apps to help you learn as you go. You can access the course on your phone or tablet, but not via an app.
Should you try Spanish Uncovered?
Olly Richards is very much front and center throughout the Spanish Uncovered sign-up process and teaching. To the cynically minded this could set off alarm bells: Richards is there to help drive sales, and he’s created quite an industry with I Will Teach You a Language. The website itself makes such a huge deal of selling the product to you, most people will likely be scared off.
However, having Richards' face behind his Spanish lessons does make them more human and relatable. This feels like a proper lesson-based learning, rather than an online course. Lessons are certainly a challenge to begin with, but Spanish Uncovered's story-driven method will get results for many people, if you have the drive to stick with it. They are expensive, and the lack of a free trial - despite assurances of a money-back guarantee - will be off-putting for many. But Spanish Uncovered is a very effective way of learning, and it can help you become fluent.