Good home study/self study courses

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16 Oct 2012 20:01 by llegaralasestrellas Star rating in United Kingdom (BHX .... 58 posts Send private message

llegaralasestrellas´s avatar

I'm taking an intensive language course over in Spain next summer, but I'd really like to have the basics in place before hand, so I'm looking for a solid home-study / self-study course that can bring me up to European language level B1 (lower-intemediate).

Does anyone have any reccomendations? I'm fairly tight on budget, so the really high end packages like Rosetta are out, and I prefer courses with some text based elements anyway, since I tend to learn well that way.

The ones I've been considering so far as the "Teach Yourself" series Complete Spanish by Juan Kattan-Ibarra, and the McGraw Hill range. If anyone has found something better, or has experiences with either of these packages, I'd really like your input.




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16 Oct 2012 21:19 by eggcup Star rating. 567 posts Send private message

Hi Llegar

I really like the website ''.  It costs about £18 for 3 months and £30 for 6 months' access to the website.  I've done Swedish with it and my son is currently doing German.  If you go onto the website you can do a trial lesson and see if you like it.  After the trial lesson you get asked if you want to subscribe and are given various options.  You can learn a hell of a lot in a short  space of time.  All the best.


My account of moving to Spain."><img


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16 Oct 2012 22:06 by Roly2 Star rating in Almeria. 648 posts Send private message

 I would have a look at the fairly 'loose' structured courses that let you go at your own speed.   I like Bens Notes and Lightspeed Spanish both of which have free podcasts and then you can buy worksheets (both sites are very cheap).   

I am a big OU fan, but as has already been pointed out elsewhere - it is expensive now.   The Cervantes on line courses are also very good - and very difficult but worth a look.   

Just out of interest, who are you doing the intensive with?  And where?    

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17 Oct 2012 10:22 by llegaralasestrellas Star rating in United Kingdom (BHX .... 58 posts Send private message

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Thanks for the replies :)

I am going with the Universidad de Alicante. They have a strong language department, I know the city well, and both the tuition and accomodation are solid and affordable. Also, when I make the move, I'm intending to look at employers in Alicante city, so doing a course there is a good chance to do that awful thing they call "networking".

I'll have a look at Babbel. I've signed up for the test account and done a few exercises, and it seems well thought out, and I like the speech recognition too - definitely a plus. I'll check out Cerventes too.




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17 Oct 2012 10:37 by Roly2 Star rating in Almeria. 648 posts Send private message

 You will have a great time.  I have done intensive with the University of Santiago (as part of OU course) and in Vera, Almeria.   Absolutely fantastic and really bring you on.

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17 Oct 2012 21:35 by tamaraessex Star rating in Colmenar, Malaga. 508 posts Send private message

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I learned with the Michel Thomas foundation course followed by the advanced course. If you are in the UK you can ask your library to order it in, and strangely it is not copy-protected .....

It's a unique and brilliant teaching style. It really gives you the building blocks to speak in multiple tenses fairly quickly, without lots of memorising and writing. Great to have in the car. And it got me up to B2 level to do an intensive course in Madrid last summer.

A few people can't get on with his teaching style - all l can say is that it worked really well for me and for most people l've recommended it to. There are 8 CDs plus a review in the foundation course, and 4 CDs plus a review in the advanced course. My library charged me 15p to hire it for one day. If you see what l mean.


 Blog about settling into a village house in the Axarquía.

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18 Oct 2012 10:54 by Bri Star rating in North. 591 posts Send private message

Personally I quite liked Michel Thomas but you need to be aware that Spanish people find the way he pronounces some common words hilarious. The verb tener springs to mind where he stresses the wrong syllable. He was French I think and speaks a rather stilted Spanish. Nothing wrong with that you just have to be aware.



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18 Oct 2012 15:48 by kelju Star rating in South Yorkshire . 302 posts Send private message

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 What about the good old Beeb??


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20 Oct 2012 15:54 by llegaralasestrellas Star rating in United Kingdom (BHX .... 58 posts Send private message

llegaralasestrellas´s avatar

I looked at the Cerventes Institue website and I noticed they use the Aula Internacional series. Does anyone have any experience with these? Are they any good? I've seen version of the series that have all the exercises on an Audio CD along with the book, so you can use them outside the classroom. Thankfully, my partner is learning as well, so we can practice using each other as well.

I'm tossing up between Aula Internacional and Teach Yourself - Complete Spanish, comined with using Babbel to firm up pronunciation, as I was very impressed with the voice recognition features during the trial.

I was consdiering the McGraw-Hill series as it seems very solid, but it uses Latin American Spanish rahter than European. As for Michel Thomas, he was a great teacher, but I've been far to spoilt with inlinguisticsw at uni to learn without having a decent written grammar and text examples on hand!




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