The Pimsleur® Method: the easiest, fastest way to learn a new language. Completely portable, easily downloadable, and lots of fun. You'll be speaking and understanding in no time flat!
Spanish Level 1 includes 15 hours of spoken language practice and one hour of reading instruction in thirty 30-minute lessons. In the first 10 lessons, you'll cover the basics: saying hello, asking for or giving information or preferences, scheduling a meal or a meeting, asking for or giving basic directions, and much more. You'll be able to handle minimum courtesy requirements, understand much of what you hear, and be understood at a beginning level but with near-native pronunciation skills.
In the next 10 lessons, you'll build on what you've learned. Expand your menu, increase your scheduling abilities from general to specific, start to deal with currency and exchanging money, refine your conversations, and add over a hundred new vocabulary items. You'll understand more of what you hear and be able to really participate with speech that is smoother and more confident.
In the final 10 lessons of level 1, you'll be speaking and understanding at an intermediate level. In this phase, more and more directions are given in the target language, which moves your learning to a whole new plane. You can talk about your immediate family, go on a car trip, and ask for and understand directions. Lessons include shopping, visiting friends, going to a restaurant, plans for the evening, and traveling with children. You'll be able to speak comfortably about things that happened in the past and make plans for the future.
Reading lessons are included at the end of lesson 30 to provide you with an introduction to reading the Spanish alphabet. These 15 lessons, which total about one hour, are designed to teach you to sound out words with Spanish pronunciation and accent. A reading booklet to be used with the audio lessons is also included in PDF format.
"Pimsleur programs provide plenty of positive reinforcement that will keep learners on track, and we found that Pimsleur gave us more proficiency and confidence in speaking the new language than any of the other language programs we reviewed." (AudioFile magazine)
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Very good instruction, good value
The 30 minute lessons are just the right length to listen and practice. I found that for the first 10 lessons +/-, I only needed to listen to them once and I could listen to them once a day (usually in the morning on my way to work) and I was able to retain the information and recall it the next day. As the course progressed, so did my need to listen to the lessons more than once (sometimes 2, 3, or 4 times). I also periodically go back to earlier lessons if I'm finding that I need a refresher on certain things.
The way the course is structured, the instructor asks you to recall a word or phrase or take part in a conversation. You usually have about 5 seconds to recall the word or phrase and as I progressed, that just wasn't enough time for me to recall the information. That is one of the reasons that I listened to it multiple times, so that by time I could recall most of the phases in the lesson, I would move on to the next one. One improvement they could consider is allowing even a second or two more for recall.
Overall, I think this course is very good. It is very easy to do on a commute. I am just about done with this first phase and will be starting phase 2 this week. I can't fully participate in a conversation yet, but I can say common phrases and speak about daily occurences in the past, present and future tenses. It took me about 3 months to get through the first round of tapes (this includes the listening to the sessions multiple times to ensure I had a good recall of the material).
Great Program for Busy Professionals. Drive & Lean