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3.3 out of 5 stars
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3.3 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 15 July 2004
This is an excellent way to review Spanish if you have studied Spanish in the past but now need to review. I have an American university degree in Spanish, but since I haven't used any Spanish in about 20 years I needed a book that could review the basics without being too basic (meaning too easy and boring). This book (with the accompanying tapes or CDs) is challenging without being too difficult. It is the best book for reviewing a language that I've found. I think anyone who has reached intermediate level at some point in the past will find this book useful.
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on 19 September 2014
This review only applies to the Kindle version.

I was contemplating buying this and looked at the Kindle preview pages. In these few pages there were a horrifying number of errors which probably/hopefully were not in the printed version and have crept in when the book was "Kindled" (and burning it seems the best option).
In the vocabulary help box of dialogue 1 we are given 4 new items of vocab, 2 of which are completely wrong "un inonton" and "pinclio" which are however spelt correctly in the dialogue (monton,pincho). Other glaring errors which stand out on a brief glance are "calir" instead of "calor", buen "tieinpo" instead of buen "tiempo" and el "noite" instead of el "norte".
To find so many errors in a language teaching book is appalling.
I observed this 19th September 2014, which is 2 weeks after a new Kindle version was made available, but the preview contains these mistakes and I have not downloaded the full latest edition to see if the errors actually are in the new version and the previous version is still in the preview.
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on 4 November 2006
An excellent course for the 'intermediate' level student who may be, for example, resident in Spain and looking for something to help them improve their foundation level skills. A great fan of the first 'Colloquial Spanish' course, I would describe this as an improvement, both in style and in content. The Cds are excellent and can be used without constantly referring to the book. It's a serious consideration for the student who wants to know 'what do I do next?'. I teach Spanish in Spain to English residents. If you have learnt the basics and want to really get to grips with this language, this course is an excellent first choice.
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on 29 May 2010
I'm really disappointed with this book: it doesn't neither teach you any grammar (it does actually try to teach you something in a very mixed way) nor help you learning familiar/slang expressions. It's just a sries of very short discussions.

The words presented in each chapter are very few and not really "colloquial" ones. I would rather suggest people to get the combo A Modern Spanish Grammar plus Spanish Among Amigos.
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on 30 March 2013
This remains my favorite Spanish lessons. Indeed a good and useful step forward due to my knowledge of Spanish. I have in years not found anything better.
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