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8 people found this helpful
Too much English narration but...
on 19 June 2009
This is well structured with good coverage of intermediate vocab and conversational phrases and the speed is close to normal conversation so I'm learning from this course, but, for a level 2 course, there's too much English narration on the CDs often stating the obvious, e.g. "Answer the following questions..." and "Give your responses in Spanish" - as if after forking out £20 for this Spanish course I'm going to volunteer my answers in, say, Mandarin.
The problem I have with the English narration is that for a level 2 course, I'm versed enough in the language to understand and follow instructions in Spanish - anyone who can't isn't ready for this level - and also the best way to learn a language is to dive in and be submerged in it; the constant and unnecessary switch to English is distracting. The True or False exercises, for example, are a wasted opportunity in that a Spaniard makes a statement, e.g. "La mayoria de los ingleses son catolicos, no?" and the narrator answers in English, "No, the majority of English people are protestant". Firstly, being English I already know this, I didn't buy the course for lessons in English history, and, secondly, by the narrator not answering in Spanish, I don't learn how to say that sentence in Spanish. I feel as if I'm only learning half the language as only part of the audio is in Spanish.
On the book-side, conversely, there's not enough vocab translation so I often find I need a dictionary with me. Having to refer to the book is bad enough, having to refer to a dictionary as well is nothing short of time-wasting.
Having said all this, there aren't many decent level 2 Spanish courses to choose from (this is certainly better than the South American Spanish version where the narrator sounds like he's on the verge of suicide) so this is worth having among your collection.