Spanish

Caption Pop Mini-Review: Use The Free Version

Caption Pop – 4 

With Caption Pop you can use YouTube videos to pursue your language learning endeavours using subtitles in both your target language and native language. Tap a single key to repeat the last caption, slow down the playback speed, and bookmark subtitles to study with SRS interactive flashcards. The flashcards will not just have you memorize words, but practice dictations with immediate feedback on your accuracy. Unfortunately there are currently some bugs in the programming, and you may only hear part of the caption you are being asked to transcribe.

You can search for Youtube videos in your target language within the Caption Pop platform, but only those videos with subtitles in both your target language and your native language are available. This means that you will rely on captions translated and transcribed by the video’s creators, which improves your language learning experience but restricts the amount of available Youtube content. Nevertheless, there is a good amount of content from popular channels in more common languages.

The free version of the platform combined with self-made Anki cards may be a better option than subscribing to the premium version, as the bugs in Caption Pop’s programming don’t seem worth the monthly payment.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Rocket Spanish Review – Boring But Still A Decent Course

Quick Review

3.8 

Summary:

Rocket Spanish is a pretty good Spanish course, but it’s not my personal favorite. Although I find the lessons tend to be very boring, the content is well structured and fairly comprehensive. There is a good mixture of listening, speaking, grammar, and review activities.

Quality

The app and the lessons are well designed, but I experienced some minor annoyances.

Thoroughnes

There are lots of practice activities following each lesson, and course structure seems logical.

Value

Not cheap but not absurdly expensive either.

Price

Level 1 costs $99.95. Levels 1 & 2 costs $249.90. Levels 1, 2 & 3 costs $259.90

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Take Lessons Mini-Review: Use iTalki, Verbling, or Preply Instead

take lessons – 2.3 

At Take Lessons you can find in-person and online teachers for various topics, including language learning. This review is specific only to language learning.

Once on the site, you can filter teachers based on their location, availability, and price, then view the teacher’s profile to see their experience, student ratings, and basic bio. Most of the teachers have great ratings, so the quality of teaching is probably not an issue. However, Take Lessons takes about 40% of whatever the teachers charge. Obviously teachers need to charge a living wage, so can expect to pay 25% more than most language learning platforms whose teachers are of comparable quality.

Why 25%? Because most platforms (like iTalki and Verbling for example) only take a 15% commission, if not less. The only difference is that you could potentially have in-person lessons with Take Lessons, while the previously mentioned platforms are all online.

Take Lessons is probably a handy site for other types of services, but there are many more teachers and features specific to language learning available through the above mentioned alternative platforms.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Altissia Mini-Review: May or May Not Be Modern

Altissia – 3.6 

Altissia is a language learning platform developed by academics at the Catholic University of Louvain-La-Neuve in Belgium. The creators emphasize a humanistic vision, believing that people are at the centre of everything we do and that language empowers us.

A monthly plan gives you access to their unique platform, a social network, virtual classrooms, and professional modules. You can choose lessons that are most applicable to your learning goals and watch videos of native speakers interacting in realistic situations.

The courses will help you improve your pronunciation through recording your voice and comparing it to that of native speakers, improve your spelling through dictations, improve your listening comprehension through different exercises, and learn grammar through progressive exercises. Each month you can take a placement test to see where you stand on the CEFR scale (Common European Framework of Reference for Languages).

There does not seem to be a Spaced Repetition System within the program, but they have an interactive dictionary to help you review.

The publicity videos and webpage have a modern feel, but it seems like some of the content within the platform may date back several years. Additionally, it is very expensive compared to other products that offer similar content.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Rassias Center Mini-Review: A Lively Learning Environment

Rassias Center – 4.3 

Originally an in-person school, the Rassias Center now offers online semi-intensive classes. The classes prioritize spoken language and understanding the culture of the language being studied.

The Rassias method aims to make students feel comfortable speaking a language within a short time frame. The teaching techniques are both dramatic and structured; you will find yourself in a creative, fast-paced, and enthusiastic environment with teachers who are passionate about your success and will positively reinforce your learning. You can be sure with the Rassias technique that you will quickly feel at ease no matter how hesitant you are to join a group class.

It should be noted that online classes may offer less opportunity to speak as there would be in a live setting.

The virtual courses are 3 weeks long, meeting 3 times per week for 1.5 hours and within groups of 5-12 students.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Instant Immersion Mini-Review: No Longer a Good Investment

Instant Immersion – 2 

Instant Immersion offers programs in over 120 languages, narrated by native speakers. It claims to help you build your vocabulary, converse with ease, and perfect your pronunciation. It has interactive activities on the computer, interactive games you can play with your family on a DVD, and MP3 files for your car.

Their topics include food, shopping, restaurants, animals, numbers, etc. In other words, Instant Immersion will probably not help you if you are looking to have immediately applicable conversations

A common trend in many reviews is the lack of structure in these courses. While other courses build on what you have previously learned and help you learn vocabulary relevant to your everyday life, Instant Immersion seems to provide a large amount of information without transitions or a clear learning path. There is a lot of content, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you will learn a lot. Instant Immersion may have been a good investment several years ago, but now there are many other options for affordable, quality language learning.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Spanishland School Mini-Review: Maintain Your Motivation

Spanishland – 4.5 

Spanishland school has both free and paid resources to help intermediate and advanced learners advance their Spanish.

The paid Parcero membership creates an environment that encourages perseverance, routine, and structure. It is a monthly program that provides 2 activities per week, a one-hour live class, a one-hour recorded class, videos, audio recordings, articles, movies, worksheets, quizzes, cheat sheets, and the ability to ask questions at any time. The community forum on the Parecero platform allows you to interact with other parceros, take part in challenges, participate in contests, and share tips. For those who have 2-3 hours per week to dedicate to their Spanish studies, taking part in this community could help maintain motivation and structure.

Their free content includes two different types of podcasts that are 99% in Spanish: 10 minute grammar episodes with a native speaker speaking at a slightly slower than natural speed, or 30 minute conversation episodes at a relatively natural speed but with both a native speaker and a Spanish learner. For new vocabulary and grammar with more English explanations, you can check out their Youtube Channel.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Real Fast Spanish Mini-Review: Seems Like a Time Saver

Real Fast Spanish – 4.2 

Real Fast Spanish aims to improve your conversational skills and get you speaking Spanish without having to use English. Usually people who use Real Fast Spanish are false beginners, meaning they already have a basic foundation of Spanish.

The program has a structured approach that will reduce the time and effort you put into learning Spanish by pre-determining the most useful Spanish words, phrases, and grammar. The products available include free Spanish tips podcasts, live classes, and an online self-study program. While the self-study program focuses on vocabulary and memory techniques, the live classes focus on grammar.

After applying to Real Fast Spanish’s live classes, you will do a live placement test to determine which of the 4 levels is right for you. Live classes have 4 different levels that are each 12 weeks long; you will learn how to communicate without English, tell stories, have more complicated conversations, and deepen your understanding of most of the Spanish grammatical structures and phrases. It seems that by the end of these four levels, you should be communicating at an upper intermediate level of Spanish.

It should be noted that not all the teachers for the live classes seem to be native Spanish speakers.

Visit Real Fast Spanish

The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Spanish 55 Mini-Review: A Bit Pricey, But Seems High Quality

Spanish 55 – 4.5 

Spanish 55 offers a free 55 minute trial lesson to determine if it is the right platform for you. During this time, you will meet with one tutor, but you may be able to work with multiple tutors who will communicate with each other and collaborate on your learning. If you decide to continue, you can choose a monthly plan of either 1, 2, or 3 lessons per week.

Spanish 55 emphasizes that there are several important qualities that tutors should have in any language learning context; most importantly, they should be able to motivate you, help you feel comfortable in your learning environment, speak to you at a level that is slightly above where you are at in order to help you progress, and be prepared with a lesson plan and objectives for each session. Based on Spanish 55’s Youtube videos, website, and exceptional reviews that it has received on several sites, it seems safe to say that the website strives to hire tutors who meet this criteria.

If you’re someone who is looking for more intensive learning with unlimited group or private classes, you can check out our reviews for Baselang and Go Spanish. Verbling, iTalki, and Preply also offer classes that can be purchased individually

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.

Go Spanish Mini-Review: Unlimited Group Classes, Super Affordable

gospanish – 4.3 

You can sign up for Go Spanish for 5 days free without providing any credit card information, giving you access to unlimited small group classes that start every hour. Without having to register in advance, you can find yourself in an online class with about 4 other students in a couple clicks, risk free! If you would like lessons in a 1-on-1 setting, you can add either 2 or 4 lessons to your monthly plan, or register for an 8 week crash course.

On one hand, the theme of each class is set beforehand and the tutor’s attention will be divided among multiple students; on the other hand, Go Spanish is mind bogglingly affordable compared to other services, especially with the yearly plan. The tutors seem to be located in Argentina, but you can probably adapt the pronouns you use in class based on what you would like to practice.

If you’re interested in unlimited 1-on-1 classes, check out our review of Baselang.

Go Spanish was created by Yabla, a language-learning platform that helps you learn through videos with interactive subtitles and games.

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The rating is our best guess, but we haven’t yet had the opportunity to fully test and review this resource.