Think Spanish Online Audio Magazine Review – November 2011

An independent language advantage course review by Rosemarie Goonewardene – Indiana, USA

think spanish november 2011I became interested in learning Spanish when I wanted to visit friends in Mexico.  My first attempt was a Spanish beginner’s class covering a few topics related to travel. Some time later, I took a couple of traditional Spanish classes, but the main emphasis was on grammar and there wasn’t much conversation practice. I looked at various Spanish language text books and found many of them confusing, although I did find listening to the accompanying tapes helpful.

It was after a few trips to Costa Rica, Guatemala and Mexico that I became more motivated and attended  some Spanish conversation classes.  They helped, but it was rather intimidating as some students were at a more advanced level than me. There were times when I thought ‘why am I doing this?’.

I looked at various sites on the internet, but when I was introduced to Think Spanish by, I could see that it was a comprehensive approach to learning Spanish. The opportunity to listen to Spanish speakers at one’s convenience without pressure, was a big advantage (I think that this is a big selling point).

It was exciting for me to receive the November 2011 issue of the Think Spanish audio magazine and to see that it included two articles of special interest to me:  on the ‘Day of the Dead’ (a very meaningful event I have actually witnessed myself) and on Guadalajara (one of my favorite cities – filled with beauty, music, history and wonderful people).  The cover of the magazine was attractive too with photos and maps, creating a very distinct package.

“What makes Think Spanish such a great learning tool is that it allows you to learn about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries and combines this with practical tools for learning the Spanish language”

This is a language program for the more advanced student, who has some previous knowledge of the Spanish language and grammar.  It would be a little overwhelming for a complete beginner.

For different learning styles, it has everything covered. I especially liked the page set-up of each paragraph, with the more difficult words and their translations opposite each other in bold print.  It made it so much easier to read and lessened the need to be always using a dictionary, saving a lot of time and frustration.  Also, by reading the vocabulary list first, it gives a good idea of the subject matter, making it easier to understand the article the first time you read it.

The inclusion of the spoken and reading grammar section was another very important plus.  It brings everything together and adds valuable structure to the lessons.

The Think Spanish audio magazine has native speakers of Spanish.  For me personally, it is easier to understand a non-native speaker than a native speaker of Spanish, so it was a huge advantage of the program to have the opportunity to replay the lessons as often as needed (and tune up one’s ear) in an unstressful situation. To have the opportunity to hear both the male and female accents made the readers feel like friends after hearing their voices so often.  Not to be forgotten is the ease of downloading the program from the Think Spanish website, a big selling point for non-technical users.

In summary, the Think Spanish audio language magazine is a sophisticated and well thought out approach to learning Spanish.  The combination of cultural and language information makes it a ‘two for one’ and helps move you quickly up the learning curve. With globalization, it is almost a necessity to have knowledge of another language.  I believe that the willingness to learn another language and to find out about other cultures is one of the steps that will help lead us to world peace. The producers and everyone associated with Think Spanish have to be congratulated, and I would like to say ‘muchisimas gracias’ and ‘buena suerte’!

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The Think Language range of audio magazines is also available as a Think French audio magazine subscription/intlink]>> and a Think Italian audio magazine subscription>>

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