Most people studying Spanish have probably come across SpanishDict.
Fluencia comes from the same creators as SpanishDict and once again, they’ve made a really useful resource to help Spanish learners.
Perhaps this focus is what has helped them to make a course that’s better than most others that I’ve come across. Instead of doing a pretty good job with a bunch of languages, they’ve made one very good course. That said, there are still quite a few other Spanish courses that may be worth considering.
In the past, I had spent several years living in Latin American countries, so I’m pretty comfortable with Spanish, though definitely rusty.
In order to write a really in-depth review, I decided to subscribe to their one-month plan. I primarily tried the lessons at the higher levels, but also jumped around to different levels so that I could get a more comprehensive picture of what it’s like to use Fluencia.
This is what I found…
Fluencia has 10 levels. In each level, there are 10 units and each unit contains between 6-8 lessons. The final unit of each level is shorter as it’s a review.
In total there are over 600 lessons going from absolute beginner to somewhere around the intermediate level. If you’re curious about what their curriculum is like, you can find more information here.
One thing that stands out compared to alternatives like Duolingo is that Fluencia doesn’t have as many of those game-like components that are meant to make learning fun and easy. In fact, compared to most resources, the exercises on Fluencia are much more challenging.
There are a lot of great, clear explanations, including examples. The content is well-structured with new lessons building on what was taught before. There are lots of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned, making sure you’re actively learning and not just passively consuming the material.
Fluencia focuses on Latin American Spanish but not one specific dialect. There were lots of recordings from Native Spanish speakers with a variety of accents.
Let’s now dig a bit deeper into what the lessons are like.
Overall I was really impressed with the quality of Fluencia’s course. Not only is the curriculum well structured, but the lessons are also extremely thorough. On top of that, the exercises are plentiful and challenging.
As I mentioned before, most units will contain between 6 and 8 lessons. The lessons found within each unit fit into one of the following categories:
The units are slightly different and don’t always go in the same order or may contain more of one particular category, but typically, you’ll find these types of lessons in each unit.
Each of the lessons contains similar style exercises though they vary a bit depending on the lesson. These exercises may be multiple choice, fill in the blank, writing the word, drag and drop sentence building, dictation, or translations.
The first type of lesson in each unit is the conversation. At early levels, they’re pretty simple, while at later levels they become more complicated.
It’s great that the audio is recorded by real Spanish speakers that use emotion instead of just reading the script like a robot.
It’s also nice that there are different speakers with different accents throughout the lessons since this will help you understand Spanish regardless of where you go.
After listening to the dialogue, there are multiple choice comprehension questions. In this manner, Fluencia is much better than competitors like SpanishPod101. SpanishPod101 also starts their lessons with a dialogue but they don’t have challenging comprehension questions.
I think these types of questions are really important and work as a good way to check how well you understood the conversation. It’s quite common for other resources to be full of nonsensical answers where the correct answer will be the only logical one.
With Fluencia, however, all of the answers make sense so you need to actually have paid attention.
The next type of lesson teaches new words. Most units will have 2 or 3 of these vocabulary lessons.
Like with pretty much every other resource, teaching vocabulary is never terribly exciting. This lesson starts with exercises from the beginning.
Basically, you’ll hear a word, see a picture, and the word written in Spanish and English. You just have to write the word in Spanish.
Obviously, this part is incredibly easy since the word is written right there so all you need to do is copy it.
But, it’s still useful. After all, this will oftentimes be your first exposure to this new word. Being able to read it, hear it, see a picture and then have to type it is actually pretty helpful for remembering the word.
After this, there are other types of exercises that get a bit more difficult. But they’re still not terribly challenging or unique. Matching the words to pictures reminds me quite a bit of Babbel’s courses.
Another type of question you’ll see is multiple choice in which you need to choose the correct English translation. Other times, you won’t be given the written Spanish word but instead only hear the audio and choose the correct answer.
While these questions to seem quite easy, I like that they give you additional ways to practice while becoming more and more difficult.
Later on, you’ll be given a picture and need to write the word. Similarly, you may be given the English word and need to write the Spanish translation.
Another type of question which you may see, or have the option to have, are oral questions using their voice recognition software.
Like every resource that uses voice recognition, it’s not great. But, the important thing is that it forces you to speak out loud (which you should be doing anyway).
I was really impressed with the grammar lessons. I think they’re as good as any textbook and also have exercises that test you on how well you understood the content.
Unlike the vocabulary section, here you won’t jump straight into the exercises. In the grammar lessons, you’ll find some extremely detailed explanations explaining everything to you, along with lots of examples.
After the explanations, you’ll move onto the exercises. Similarly to the comprehension exercises found in the dialogue section, the exercises here actually require you to know your stuff.
If you haven’t learned the grammar points, you’re going to struggle with the questions.
For these questions, there’s a picture and audio being read. However, there’s a blank in which there’s a blip in the audio and the written sentence where you need to fill in the correct answer either by typing it in or with choosing the correct multiple choice option.
Although these are pronunciation lessons, they actually cover a bit more than that.
Included amongst more typical pronunciation topics are onomatopoeias, exclamations with qué, shortened adjectives, children’s rhymes, Spanish in the Caribbean, and a bunch more.
Again, Fluencia doesn’t get lazy when it comes to the quality and quantity of content here. Just like the grammar exercises, these descriptions are clear and filled with examples.
And like the other lessons, there are exercises as well.
I thought this section was quite useful but I’d still recommend Spanish learners to get help when working on their pronunciation from an actual person.
There are two possible ways I’d suggest doing this. The first would be to find an affordable tutor on italki and get feedback from them.
Another option I really like is Speechling. On there, you can submit recordings of yourself speaking Spanish to a teacher and get feedback on how good your pronunciation actually is.
This was yet another section of Fluencia that really impressed me. Some resources, like Rocket Spanish for example, completely half-ass the cultural section.
Fluencia’s cultural lessons are awesome. They’re interesting, informative, in-depth, and cover a wide range of topics.
Like the other lessons, there are also some exercises to complete after these lessons.
One thing you’ll notice is that the cultural lessons are almost entirely in English. Though some Spanish words will be highlighted in a different color and often include an audio recording next to it.
The final type of lesson which you’ll find at the end of each unit, and also at the end of each level, is the review.
To me, this was pretty easily the most difficult of the lesson types.
In this section, you’ll jump straight into the exercises. Instead of focusing on one aspect of the language, the focus is on full sentences.
Here, there are three main types of exercises.
In one type, you’ll drag and drop words to form sentences. Another type is dictation in which you’ll listen to an audio clip and write what you hear in Spanish. The final one is translating sentences from English to Spanish.
Another thing that I really like with Fluencia is that sometimes when you make a mistake, it not only shows the correct answer but also explains what was wrong.
The Search Feature
This may sound like a stupid feature to take some time to write about but I found the fact that you can search through the lessons to be really useful.
You can not only search for whatever keywords you want and find lessons that are about that topic, but you can also browse through the different types of lessons.
This way, if you want to focus on grammar and skip the other lessons, for now, you can easily find all the grammar lessons. Likewise, maybe you don’t feel like studying but would like to go through some of the cultural lessons. This feature makes it easy to do that.
The smart review is a nice way to review what you studied in the lessons.
It makes it easy to do so without needing to go and figure out for yourself what needs to be practiced. Awhile after completing lessons, you’ll have items automatically added to this section.
The exercises here are similar to the ones that you complete in the lessons themselves and cover the same material you already studied.
I like how the review exercises are added slowly so they don’t pile up too quickly, making you want to avoid it.
Fluencia’s free trial gives you access to 15 lessons.
A monthly subscription costs $14.95. Additionally, there are 12 and 24-month options which would cost $95.40 and $166.80 respectively.
I wouldn’t recommend the 2-year plan because it shouldn’t take you that long to get through the lessons. However, the monthly plan is solid value.
I was genuinely impressed with Fluencia.
The courses were designed with plenty of opportunities to practice what you’ve learned in the lessons. In fact, the exercises are much more challenging than those of most other courses. You’ll have had to actually mastered the content to correctly complete them.
The course materials are high-quality with recordings from native Spanish speakers. Additionally, the attention to detail that went into grammar and cultural lessons was excellent.
While there are some speaking exercises, that’s the area of Fluencia that is most lacking.
Obviously, one of the best ways to get better at speaking is by working with a tutor. For this, I’d recommend using italki because they have tons of Spanish tutors that are both very affordable and scheduling is convenient.
Another option that would be ideal for those that have a lot of free time, would be to take classes on Baselang. They offer unlimited Spanish classes for $149 per month. So, if you’re able to take advantage of that, you’ll make a ton of progress really quickly.
Finally, a third option that you may wish to consider is using Speechling in addition to Fluencia. Speechling is a great way to get more comfortable speaking Spanish and get feedback on your pronunciation from a real tutor.
Although Fluencia shouldn’t be the only resource you use, it’s still one of the better Spanish courses I’ve seen.