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Fairly well structured but feels outdated.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 may not be meant to be the most comprehensive course, but I’m shocked at some of the things that weren’t included.
I don’t think it’s 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The platform and some of the content taught in the lesson feels outdated.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 in my opinion.
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.
I wouldn’t recommend using Synergy Spanish.
Perhaps that’s just because I’m 30 years old and therefore just barely make the cut of ages that it’s considered ideal for.
Or perhaps it’s because I’ve tried a ton of different Spanish learning resources and can recognize a good course that offers good value. There are lots of Spanish courses that I’d recommend using instead of Synergy Spanish.
To be fair, Synergy Spanish isn’t a terrible course and 10 years ago I may have even recommended it. But, nowadays, there are many superior and cheaper options.
This is coming from someone that actually used Synergy Spanish.
I took advantage of their 60-day money back guarantee and purchased the course, planning to ask for a refund after writing this review.
I listened to a bunch of lessons in their entirety and skimmed through other ones so that I could get a feel for the whole course.
This review will share my experiences, thoughts, and recommendations.
It’s Too Expensive!
I purchased the $97 package which includes videos and 90-day email coaching. I didn’t send any emails, so can’t comment much on that.
But, I can definitely say that this course isn’t worth $97.
The Synergy Light course that costs $67 is a bit better value since the videos aren’t that great. But still, I don’t think they’re worth $67.
Finally, $145 for the option that includes CDs and a printed version of their Action Guide is just awful value in my opinion.
How The Course Is Structured
Synergy Spanish boasts that you can learn just 138 words and with those, you’ll be able to make 88,000 phrases.
I don’t know if that’s true. Possibly. But I’ll just ignore that and give them the benefit of the doubt.
Instead, I’d rather dig deeper and look at what it’s actually like to use Synergy Spanish.
Synergy Spanish consists of 25 lessons. Their sales page says there are 68 lessons. I guess this is true since most lessons include multiple parts.
In each lesson, there is typically 2-4 parts. If you purchase the audio course, then they’ll be audio lessons, and of course, the video course includes videos.
These lessons are usually between 8-12 minutes long, with some longer and others shorter, but averaging around 10 minutes each.
Additionally, there’s a 220-page pdf that comes with the course.
This is a pretty useful pdf that follows the lessons. It includes lots of explanations, examples, and practice problems.
Just don’t try to learn pronunciation from it.
One thing I like about Synergy Spanish is that it gets you speaking Spanish immediately. From the first few minutes into the first lesson, you’ll be speaking full sentences.
I was actually surprised that they didn’t start out with the standard basics such as hola and cómo estás. Similarly, through all 25 lessons, I never found the informal you (tú) in any of them.
In order to get anything out of the course, you have to actively participate. While you could learn some by just sitting back and listening, paying attention and speaking throughout will be far more useful. In this regard, it’s fairly similar to Pimsleur but far less comprehensive.
All of the lessons follow a similar, relatively unexciting format.
The host will introduce new words or phrases by saying the English, then a Spanish speaking host will say it in Spanish.
Throughout all of the lessons, the English speaking host will prompt you by saying, “Say (whichever word, phrase, or sentence).” Then there’s a pause in which you can come in and say it yourself. After the pause, you’ll hear the Spanish speaker say whatever you were supposed to say.
The lessons build upon each other pretty well. You may first learn a word, then a phrase, before it’s finally combined into a full sentence.
Likewise, the lessons do a pretty good job of adding onto what was taught in previous lessons. So, what you learn in one lesson often comes up again in different scenarios in future lessons.
While the lessons almost entirely focus on oral speaking, occasionally some grammar will be included.
WIth just the very limited vocabulary that is used in these 25 lessons, you’ll end up being able to say some fairly long sentences.
So, What’s Wrong?
There’s nothing that’s particularly terrible about Synergy Spanish. They do a pretty good job of teaching the language, building upon previous lessons, getting you to speak, and making it less stressful.
So, what’s the problem then?
Well, there are several things I dislike about Synergy Spanish.
It might not be fair to single Synergy Spanish out for that. Most beginner courses aren’t going to be terribly exciting. But, this is one of the most boring resources I’ve ever used.
Some essentials are missing.
Again, this may not be a fair criticism because that’s sort of the whole point of their course. While I didn’t count how many words they taught, if they did only use 138, well then obviously some important stuff won’t be included.
But, I saw no signs of tú or ser – two essential words that should be included in any beginner course. I’d be surprised if there weren’t some other important words that are missing. Meanwhile, not so important words like auditorium and Christmas were included.
The whole course has a very old and outdated feel to it. The platform, the videos, even the content of the lessons just feels old. To their credit, they do say that it’s the ideal course for those that are 30 to 96 years old.
Perhaps they recognize that younger people will feel put off by the course. Maybe my dad wouldn’t have the same complaints as I do about it. But even then, some of the content just isn’t relevant to today’s world.
The cheapest option is $67 and the video course costs $97. That’s just too expensive. There are only 25 lessons, and most of those lessons will take less than 30 minutes to complete. I jusy don’t think the course is good enough to warrant these prices.
There are better alternatives.
The fact that there are better alternatives may be the strongest reason why I don’t recommend using Synergy Spanish.
If there weren’t other options, then sure, it’s not a bad course. You could learn a ton from it. But, there are better resources out there.
Let’s quickly look at a few of them.
Pimsleur is one of the biggest names in language learning but for the longest time, their courses were outrageously expensive. Well, recently they added a subscription option that lowers the cost to under $20 per month.
Pimsleur’s courses are somewhat similar to Synergy Spanish. Both focus on the oral language and get you speaking a lot and neither are the most exciting (though Pimsleur is a bit less boring).
Their lessons are longer, more comprehensive, better structured, and just all around superior, plus there are extra features included with their app.
For not much more money than the video course costs, you could get one month of unlimited 1-1 online Spanish lessons with Baselang. Using Baselang would get you to a far higher level, much faster than Synergy Spanish.
Additionally, their curriculum is much better designed and will give you a stronger foundation in every area.
Synergy Spanish is much better than SpanishPod101 when it comes to getting you to actually start speaking the language but SpanishPod101 is better in every other area. There is significantly more content and the price far lower.
Babbel is an app that teaches Spanish in a more comprehensive manner. Again, you won’t speak as much as you would with Synergy Spanish, but you will get a much better foundation at a cheaper price.
Speechling has a ton of free materials available as well as a premium plan. It’s designed as a way to improve your speech and pronunciation. Basically, you’ll listen to recordings, then record your own voice mimicking the sentences. Free users can send 35 recordings per month to be corrected by a teacher and premium members can have an unlimited number of recordings corrected.
I gave Synergy Spanish a chance and I wanted to like it but I’m just not a fan.
While the lessons aren’t necessarily bad – I just find them boring, old, overpriced, and not as good as competitors.
Other courses could get you much further in the language at a much cheaper price. That said, if for whatever reason you’d prefer to use Synergy Spanish, you’ll definitely learn from it. It’s just not your best option.
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