Summary: One of the most famous language learning resources out there, the Rosetta Stone method relies on immersive teaching so students will only find the material in the language they’re learning. Starting off with the basics, the units get progressively harder and cover a large range of topics. Suitable for beginner and intermediate students, it is more expensive than competitors and the exercises get very repetitive after a while. While it isn’t a bad resource, you can definitely find something better.
Very easy to use and navigate, the content is well presented but the similar format becomes deadly boring after a while.
While a lot of material is covered, you have to infer everything from the pictures that you are given. As such, there are no explanations at all.
It’s not as good and more expensive than other resources.
It’s easy to use and navigate – the content is very clearly laid out.
The extra features in the ‘Extended Learning’ pack make the material a bit more interesting to engage with.
While it is not particularly fun to use overall, I do believe that learners would improve their language skills using Rosetta Stone.
I Don’t Like…
The main units are very repetitive and I think I would find it demoralising after a while if I kept using it.
It doesn’t explore the cultural context of the language at all.
There are no explanations about any of the content and so you have to infer the meaning of everything through pictures.
It’s too expensive.
Price: The price varies by subscription length:
$79 for 3 months
$119 for 6 months
$179 for 12 months
$249 for 24 months
Summary: Coffee Break Spanish offers some really good free lessons available as podcasts. Additionally, they sell premium courses with extra materials on their website. For most people, there probably isn’t enough extra material included in the premium lessons to make it worth paying for the courses as they’re pretty expensive. This review will look at the free audio lessons, as well as the premium content.
It feels like you’re sitting in on a Spanish class.
Takes you from the very basics to at least an intermediate level.
The free lessons are amazing value but the paid courses are a bit expensive.
They offer a comprehensive, well-structured, and free audio course.
Lots of detailed explanations of vocabulary and grammar with lots of explanations.
The lessons start fairly slowly but build up to where a lot of Spanish is used in later seasons.
I Don’t Like…
I wish there were more extra materials included or the price were lower for the paid courses.
It’s primarily an input based course and you’ll need to practice speaking and writing Spanish more on your own.
It doesn’t have a lot of the interactive exercises as some other resources.
Price: The audio for all of the lessons is completely free but the extra materials cost money. Each season costs £80 ($104) and a bundle of Seasons 1-4 costs £255 ($335).
Summary: Fluencia is one of the best online Spanish courses I’ve come across. The course content is very well designed including tons of detailed explanations and exercises to practice what you’ve learned. While many other courses are more gamified and less challenging, Fluencia is more challenging and less game-like. While I like Fluencia quite a bit, you’ll probably want to get more speaking practice elsewhere.
It’s obvious that a lot of thought and planning went into making these lessons.
The cultural and grammar lessons stood out as being exceptionally thorough.
It’s a good course and very affordable.
You’ll have actually needed to have learned the content to answer the exercises correctly.
Everything is explained clearly with a lot of attention spent on the details.
Recordings are done by native Spanish speakers with various accents.
I Don’t Like…
You’ll want to get more speaking practice by working with a tutor.
You may also want to supplement your learning by listening to Spanish podcasts.
Pimsleur is a different style course which focuses more on listening and speaking and is a good alternative for those looking for a course more focused on the oral language and a subscription costs about the same as Fluencia.
Baselang offers unlimited 1-1 online Spanish classes for $129 per month and has a solid curriculum to go with it. If you have the free time to take a lot of classes, you could make progress very quickly.
You’ll definitely want to get more practice speaking with a tutor. italki and Verbling are two options for this that are very affordable and convenient, though I prefer italki.
Speechling is really helpful for improving pronunciation. You can record yourself speaking Spanish and submit recordings to be corrected by a teacher.
For those who are very serious about mastering pronunciation and have some extra money, The Mimic Method is worth considering.
Summary: Synergy Spanish is an often recommended course but I found it to be old, overpriced, boring, and not as good as competitors. The good side is that their lessons force you to start speaking right away. Even with a limited vocabulary, you’ll be able to express a lot of different things. Still, I wouldn’t recommend using it.
Fairly well structured but feels outdated.
It’s not meant to be the most comprehensive course but I’m shocked at some of the things that weren’t included.
It’s not as good as cheaper alternatives.
Start speaking Spanish from the first lesson.
The content builds upon itself pretty well.
If you use it, you’ll learn quite a bit.
I Don’t Like…
The platform and some of the content taught in the lesson feels outdated.
The content is among the most boring I’ve seen.
It’s more expensive and not as good as competitors.
Synergy Light costs $67 and includes the audio lessons.
Synergy Video costs $97 and adds in video lessons and email coaching.
Synergy Video + CDs costs $145 and adds in CDs and printed out pdf.
Summary: SpanishPod101 primarily offers audio lessons for beginner level Spanish students. Unfortunately, the number of lessons available at the intermediate and higher levels drops off quite a bit. There are a lot of extra features, some of which are pretty cool, but many of which aren’t that useful. Overall, I think SpanishPod101 is pretty good but not sufficient by itself.
Everything works well and the lessons are high-quality
Great for beginners but intermediate and higher levels won’t get much out of it.
They’re sneaky about hiding the real prices but it’s still a low cost and extensive option.
An absurd amount of content for lower level students.
Uses Spanish from lots of different countries and includes interesting cultural insights.
As you move up levels, English is used less and less.
Grammar is taught very well.
I Don’t Like…
The lack of content for those past the beginner level.
Lower level lessons include lots of English banter between the hosts.
Some of the extra features are pointless, while others like the quizzes, aren’t very well done.
Constant hard selling and email spamming.
Price: There are three subscription plans with lengths between 1 month and 2 years. If you subscribe longer, the monthly cost lowers.
Basic Plan – $8/mo
Premium Plan – $25/mo
Premium Plus Plan – $47/mo
Use the coupon code “ALLLANGUAGERESOURCES” to save 25% on a subscription.