I ordered this book to try and refresh some of the Spanish that I learned at school.. The content of the book seems fine (although I have only given it a quick look over). HOWEVER!!! There were several problems with the quality of the product. Black and white print on poor quality paper, a rip on the plastic of the DVD style CD case. Book seemed slightly damaged . possibly through postage due to insufficient packaging. Its a cheap Teach yourself course.. I guess you get what you pay for (possibly not whats advertised)
It may be quite good, but they make it clear that the audio is essential (of course) - and there's no lookup between the tracks of the CDs and the chapters of the book! There's cryptic numbers like "24.03" next to an icon which looks like headphones, but nowhere in the book is there an explaination of where I find the tracks. This might be not so bad for the beginner who starts from the beginning (and is going to make a carful not where they are up to in the tracks) but no use if you want to dip in because you already have some spanish. Am I missing something from the package? there was just one book and 2 CDs, nothing else.
Update: I started going through it, and there's NO relationship between the book content and the CDs! I guess they updated the book but not the CDs- or has there been s drop-off in production?
This is an excellent introduction to written and spoken Spanish. I found it very easy to learn from this course, even though I knew almost no Spanish when I started. The course uses examples from practical, real-life situations throughout, so right from the start, I was learning words and phrases that will be useful.
The course teaches the dialect of Spanish that is spoken in mainland Spain, but the author frequently highlights the important differences in pronunciation and word usage that you'll encounter in Latin America and in regions of Spain such as the Canary Islands.
CAVEAT: If you're planning to buy this product, please note that it includes the same pair of audio CDs that Amazon sells separately as "Teach Yourself Complete Spanish: Audio Support", and which it lists under the "Frequently Bought Together" heading. This is very misleading and confusing. If you click "Add both to basket", you'll end up with two sets of the audio CDs, and you'll have to return the extra set to Amazon!
Like a few others I fell into the trap of buying the book, nor realising it was to be used in conjunction with an audio CD .... and for a few weeks the book lay on the bookshelf until I was able to buy the CDs at a reasonable price (with another book !!!).
Assuming you have both the book and the CDs then there are positives an negatives. On the plus side there is a lot of content and a wide range of exercises to keep you interested, it also kicks off with phrases and vocab you can quickly use in everyday life. Now to the negatives ... not sure if it is just me but I find it difficult to correlate the audio CD tracks with the book, the 'Get Talking Spanish in 10 Days' CD/Booklet by the same author/publisher has very clear references to the CD tracks in the booklet so why not here? Again, it may be me but I find the Spanish spoken on the CD just a little fast for a novice speaker to learn from. Presentation wise the book is a bit of a throwback to a school exercise book, having just purchased the excellent 'Spanish/English Visual Dictionary' and '15 Minute Spanish Learnt in 12 Weeks' both by DK I was expecting a little more.
To summarise this is a good learning tool but it could be so much better with a little further development.
This is the best language learning course I have ever seen. The book is clearly set out, and the CDs are clearly spoken and really help with your pronounciation. I still can't believe how cheap it is!!!!
I like this course very much, but for a learner it is confusing that speakers come from different parts of the world and therefore pronounce certain sounds differently (as do speakers of English and French, of course). I realise that the idea may be to prepare learners for the different types of Spanish that they will encounter if they do not confine themselves to visiting Spain but go to Latin America as well, but for learning purposes it would be much better if the dialogues were to stick to European Spanish, and if a separate course were to be issued for Latin American Spanish.
This is an attractive and effective way to learn everyday Spanish. The scenarios are realistic, the vocabulary up to date and the exercises challenging enough to make you feel good but not so hard as to be discouraging. I have absolutely no criticism whatsoever. (I did spot one typo but I forget where it was).
Good book/cd combo to covers all the basics for intermediate learners. This package is a vslue for money gem - you could spend a year working with it and find a little nugget. Doubt using it alone would get you to B2 though. Pros: all exercises/units provide practice of 'functional' language that you can use. The units are progressive in that more complex language is progressivel introoduced Covers reading, listening, writing & speaking exercises. Value for money
Cons: maybe not enough speaking practice/mimicing You would need to be proactive doing your own revision/spaced repetition. Much of the 2,000 word vocabulary would be 'passive' and not tip of the tongue.
Summary: excellent value for more package for lower intermediate learners