Teach Me How To Say “Good Morning In Spanish” and lots more… Is what you would want from any Spanish course.
There could be many reasons that you may want to learn Spanish, for instance:
• You’re about to travel to a Spanish speaking country.
• You have a Spanish speaking friend or friends and feel it would be great for you to join in.
• Perhaps you would benefit financially, new job or promotion, new business partners, new business opportunities, the list could go on and on here…
• Perhaps you might want to learn Spanish, just because you want to, and why not!
Ok it does not matter why you want to learn Spanish, as long as it more than a whim, with the quality of material available to you these days there is no reason why you should not succeed!
So you have decided that you do want to learn Spanish, the next question is where do you start?
There are it would seem, almost endless choices available. To help sort out what course would suit you best, it helps to have a ‘frame-work’ to evaluate the pro’s and con’s of any course or courses that you are thinking about buying.
You can go to Spanish lessons if they are available in your area. This is a really good method, especially if you really get on well with the Spanish tutor and you can guarantee a regular commitment of time at set intervals.
You could move to Spain or a Spanish speaking country, immerse yourself in everyday life and possibly take some lessons while you are there. This would really be great way to learn Spanish, but for most people it’s just not practical because of jobs, family commitments, just the routine of daily living would stop the majority of people from being able to take advantage of this type of opportunity.
There is another alternative – the “Self Study Course” – this is probably going to be the most ‘practical’ for most people. You can pick it up and put in down, at times that are convenient to you.
The “Self Study – Teach Yourself” type of Spanish course would ideally:
• Be up to date – both linguistically and be using current technology. Old fashion 1960’s early 1970’s courses with typically straight laced presenters, speaking Spanish on Audio Cassette just does not cut it anymore.
Examples of useful everyday Spanish phrases or conversations and grammar examples, delivering really useful content, in an easy to listen to way are I think a fundamental requirement.
Any documentation that accompanies the course should be presented in an ‘easy on the eye’ format.
All content should be delivered in Modern file formats e.g. MP4 for video, MP3 for audio and any hard copy printed material, should also be delivered with an electronic version typically pdf.
This enables you as the recipient of the information to be able to put it on devices of your choice, giving you greater flexibility as to how, when and where you use the material
• Be fun and easy to use. You are probably learning Spanish in and around all of your other commitments. You really should enjoy and look forward to the next lesson or session and want go back and learn more. You really should not feel like it’s a chore that you have to wade through till the end.
• Should use different approaches and media to teach. If you find languages difficult to learn – maybe through being a primarily visual type of person. You would not want a course that is solely audio. You would really benefit from the course putting things across in a variety of ways. The best chance of success would be from a course that contains a mixture of audio, audio-visual and visual presentations.
• On-going support. Ideally any course should provide on-going support such that when you have finished the course there should be somewhere to go – to continue, listening and learning and improving.
• Teaches grammar. Any course should provide not only ‘conversational’ type learning, but insight into Spanish grammar – If you can get a grip as to the structure of Spanish it will certainly help your learning. Verb tenses would also help. If you try to construct an English conversation using only the present tense – it would be severely limited – the same is true of Spanish.
• Testimonials. Ideally you would want to hear from people who have already tried the course. What they thought the best points were, would they recommend the course to their friends?
• Test Drive. As with anything these days a period of try before you buy would be good. You would be very unlikely to purchase a car for instance, without taking it for a test drive. It just would not make sense. Why would you do differently for your Spanish course – test drive it!
• Guarantee. A money back guarantee (for a decent period of time). Even after your test drive you may find that for whatever reason you do not want to keep the course. A decent unconditional money back guarantee, over a decent time period would give peace of mind.
• Value-For-Money. Obviously anything you purchase should provide good value-for-money. It is no good buying something for next to nothing if it does not do its job.
Applying all your criteria to the courses you are considering will greatly improve your chances of being satisfied with your selection.
About the Author
Copyright © 2011 Gerry Fox.
As stated in the article, I spend a lot of time in Spain, My Mum lives there. I would like to spend more time there. I have taken many pictures of Spain over the years, these and my quest for a decent Spanish Language course, and musings can be found over on my blog:
I hope you enjoy it…