Think Spanish Audio Magazine Review

An independent language advantage course review by Andrea Lainé

Think Spanish online audio language magazineThe Think Spanish audio magazine is more than a simple Spanish audio language course – it is designed to help you to learn Spanish while teaching you about life and culture in Spanish-speaking countries.  It is a much more current and engaging approach to learning Spanish online for intermediate and advanced learners.

I wanted to get an idea of what each magazine offers and viewed the October, September, August and July 2010 issues online. The content changes every month and each magazine has between eight and ten articles which you can read, while listening along to the Spanish. Each article has between one and two pages of text including images and photos. A lot of the vocabulary is highlighted in bold, which means it is listed in the bilingual glossary which runs along the left-hand or right-hand side of the page.  You can check the meaning or get a translation of any of these words – the glossary includes nouns, adjectives, tenses, idioms and phrases – all relating to the context of the article. This is a useful additional tool for your language learning skills.

Article topics range from recipes to focus on people, places, fiestas, religious festivals, tourism, arts and crafts, ecotourism, the environment, history as well as news stories from around the world. I found articles about the world’s first full face transplant in Barcelona and the problem of immigration and refugees in Spain. The topics are current, engaging and enjoyable. The articles are not too long and are good for Spanish learners of all ages and levels. They say that you need to have a least ‘high school level Spanish’. The magazines may be better suited for intermediate and advanced learners.  However, I would say that this is an excellent way to improve on your Spanish reading and listening skills no matter what level you are. You can expand your Spanish vocabulary and your cultural knowledge of the Spanish-speaking world at the same time.

Think Spanish is slightly different to conventional Spanish language courses and this is how it works.  Once you pay your membership fee, you will be able to login online and get access to your new Spanish audio magazine every month online – or (and, as an added bonus) – you can download the magazine as a PDF and print it out as well as download the accompanying audio clips to your ipod, itunes, mp3 or transfer them to a CD or your PC. You can choose to download the entire magazine by clicking on the cover image or to download one article at a time by opening each article PDF. They recommend that you make a folder on your desktop and save the entire magazine in one go. That way you will still have access to the whole magazine even when you don’t have access to the internet. This is a practical time-saving tip.

The topics are current, engaging and enjoyable.”

Each article has an option to download an audio clip in Spanish. The audio clip has a clear and understandable narrator who reads the article out aloud in Spanish. I found that all of the narrators were Latin American (both male and female). I do not have a problem with this, as I have lived and worked in Mexico and therefore, am aware of Latin American pronunciation. Learners of Castellano Spanish may find this a little more difficult to grasp to start with.

At the end of each issue you can practice what you have read and heard by having a go at the ‘Grammar Lesson’ and ‘Repeat After Me’ tasks. A PDF of the grammar lesson is available so that you can print off the sheet and write in the answers to the quiz or keep the sheet for future reference. The Repeat After Me task corresponds with the Grammar Lesson and gives you the chance to practice your listening skills. You download the audio clip of each phrase (there are about 9-10 phrases in all), listen to the short phrase and then repeat it during the pause. A PDF of the list of phrases is also available. I thought this useful as you can read the phrase at the same time as listening and repeating.

Think Spanish membership also includes access to the Think Spanish online community. You receive extra learning tools such as additional audio files and vocab flashcards, access to the Spanish writers if you have any language learning questions as well as exclusive members-only offers.

Sign up for your Think Spanish audiomagazine subscription now>>

SPECIAL OFFER!!

For a limited time only, you can get one year of back issues free with Think Spanish! For more information on this offer and to buy Think Spanish Audio Magazine now>>

The Think Language range of audio magazines is also available as Think French and Think Italian>>

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