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English phases should have been first. It's for advanced or those wanting to learn English.
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I’ve chosen to review “1000 Spanish Words in Context”, and “1000 Spanish Verbs in Context” because the two work really well together, and because you ought to buy both of them. The 1000 Spanish Word sentences all contain verbs, and the 1000 Spanish Verb sentences all contain vocabulary words. Taken together, that’s over 2200 sentences of practical Spanish dialog.
It’s easier and more interesting to listen to Spanish vocabulary in sentences, and what you hear sticks with you much better. The Spanish-speaker does an excellent job of conveying the emotional content of the sentences, and emotional content is a powerful force for learning and remembering.
Most courses in Spanish like to indulge themselves in what they call, “spaced repetition.” That is, they spend a lot of time going back and repeating material you’ve already covered. This is supposed to help you remember better. The result is they may sell you a 4-hour course, but only 1-hour is new material - the other 3-hours is a rehash of what you’ve already covered.
The Alex Forero books are different. Each of the 2200 sentences is unique, although they all draw on a (large) common inventory of Spanish verbs and vocabulary words. Due to the concentrated nature of the material, you won’t be able to go through it as quickly as you would a less concentrated course. But you’ll learn a lot more. You can replay the recordings as often as you like, being confident that you’ll continue to learn more Spanish as you do so.
The sentences use a lot of different constructions, so you’ll get a lot of practice with Spanish grammar along with the vocabulary you’re learning.
There are a couple of things about the books and recordings I would have changed. To begin with, the Spanish sentence comes first, followed by an English translation. I would have preferred the English first, so that we could make a stab at our own translation, and then we could listen to the Spanish-speaker. This would help us with our sentence formation and pronunciation.
Also, in “1000 Spanish Words” (but not in “1000 Spanish Verbs”), the Spanish word is given, followed by the English translation, followed by the Spanish sentence, followed by the English sentence. I found this boring and repetitious. I would have much preferred that “1000 Spanish Words” follow the same pattern as “1000 Spanish Verbs”, where the Spanish sentence is printed with the highlighted word in bold type. It’s easy enough to figure out the meaning of the word from the English that follows.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful