Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Culture and Travel How useful is Rocket Spanish if you know un poco?

How useful is Rocket Spanish if you know un poco?

nohablo

Hola. I've been trying to learn Spanish (primarily spoken Latin-American Spanish) for several months. I know un poco, but much less than I'd like. I can read Spanish better than I can speak or understand, mostly because I have studied French and Latin. I came across the Rocket Spanish website and sent for their 6-lesson mini-course. I was a little disappointed to find that it was really three lessons, not six (I don't consider the written explanations to be a separate lesson). Even more disappointing was their level: they seem to assume that the listener has absolutely no knowledge of Spanish or of any other foreign language. They move painfully slowly in covering very elementary things and use much more English than I'd like. My question is, what are the remaining 12 lessons (or 24, if you want to count the explanations as separate lessons) like? How useful would they be for someone who has difficulty with spoken Spanish but apparently knows a heck of a lot more than the mini-lessons assume? Muchas gracias.

Antonio

Hello, I was in pretty much the same situation as you. Let me explain: I also have a little knowledge of French from school. I also spend 6 months in Paraguay and picked up some Spanish there. I also could read ( or decipher ) much better than speak. I also thought that the mini lessons were a little on the stingy side. But I went for it anyway. That was exactly 3 weeks ago, and haven't been sorry for a single second. The real course is not set up like the free lessons. I checked out the whole thing and guess it will keep me busy for the next 4 to 5 months. I am confident that after finishing this Rocket Spanish course I will have no problem whatsoever to find my way in any Spanish speaking country. Remember, I was 6 months in South America.I do remember all the converstions I needed , but didn't know at that time. Rocket Spanish covers it. Ofcourse, for/with every thing they teach you, you can make up another 20 other sentences. Practicing is the students responsibility, not the teachers. Being able to speak 4 languages fluently, 2 broken, and now Spanish coming soon, I think Rocket Spanish is the way to go. Even " Spanish like crazy " is recommending it as a follow up for their course, which means that in their opinion it is more advanced than what they offer. Lastly...I have put all the MP3s on CD and I am listening the whole day to it. Studying never has been so easy. I am paying about 5 dollar cents per hour to learn Spanish. Not to bad, isn't it How much dissapointment are you going to pick up for 5 cents :?: It was nice talking to you. btw: there are 31 lessons of average 25 (?) minutes. Another 30 with explainations of those 31, additional info, both mp3 and pdf. No to mention the MegaGames, Just beware, you need windoze. If you run linux, you are out of luck with 2 of their files. More than you can chew :roll:

nohablo

Hola, Antonio. Thanks VERY much for your detailed and reassuring response. I'm very happy to learn that the regular Rocket Spanish lessons aren't like the mini-lessons, and I'm also pleased to hear that there are a full 31 lessons of ~25 minutes each PLUS 30 sets of explanations. These pieces of information plus the fact that you're finding Rocket Spanish helpful in spite of already knowing some Spanish makes me think that perhaps I'll give it a try. (But I do wonder why Mauricio and Amy offer such a lame set of sample lessons when the regular lessons are so much better. I would think they'd get more business if the sample lessons were more exciting.) Again, thanks very very much for taking the time to respond so helpfully.

Antonio

Hi nohablo. I do not completely agree with you that the mimi lessons are lame. Here's why. I teach English to Thai people. For them, English is not a foreign language...it's ALIEN. In the beginning of my teaching career , I always showed them the beginning AND where the were going during the year. This looked so much and complicated that 50 % of them couldn't gather the courage to start. Quickly I understood that it was better to show them the easy thing and gave them my holy assurance that there was nothing to be afraid of and that as they progressed everything would be as easy as they saw it now. This is not only a good marketing tactic, but also the right thing to do, as it is unfair to the student to discourage them in the very beginning. Now all my students start, stay and progress very nicely. One thing at the time The same thing goes for what Mauricio and Amy are doing. I have dozens of books lying around, I have tapes, I have pimsleur, rosetta stone and espana viva, but never found the courage to start learning seriously, because I knew the obstacles. It pissed me of completely. Mauricio's course doesn't piss me of at all. When I wake up, I switch on the DVD player and my first word are, Hola Muaricio, hola Amy, como esta?...bli, bla, bla. When I am on my computer , the CD is running all the time, and I don't care much which lesson is playing. For the last few days I find myself answering automatically every now and then when they speak. For me it is like family around who are talking all the time. The best part is the English part.....yes, you read right, the English part. I don't feel treathened by what lays ahead, because my 2 teachers are in my living room all day and they will not go away, as I have employed them for life. (( OK, not every one can do this. I work from home, both English and computer teaching )). But if I had to go out, I would get myself immediatly an iPod or something like that. OK, I see I am *ranting* away again. The bottom line is , I am very comfortable with his method of teaching, whereas I never was comfortable with another course, since they have been collecting dust ( one course " Assimil" was in my drawer for 20 years, and it will stay there ). Btw, his teaching style is simular as mine, just better, and I am already taking some of his methods and incorporating it in my ( English) course. I hope he doesn't send me a bill for that :wink: OK, I go, I suppose you don't want to spend the rest of your day reading my post. If you are going to be happy with his course will depend on how much you know already, what is you prefered way of studying ,etc. As said before, learning Spanish for $0.50 a day...what's there to loose?

nohablo

Hola, Antonio. Thanks for your very interesting response. I agree that if I were learning a language very different from English (say, Mandarin Chinese), I might appreciate lots of English explanations and a very slow pace. Since Thai is quite different from English, I'm not surprised that your students appreciate that same kind of help. But I've studied French and Latin, and though I don't know much Spanish, I know enough that there were no points or vocabulary in the sample Rocket Spanish lessons that I didn't already know. And I found it frustrating listening to Amy explain in English what each elementary word meant. I felt as if I were back in first grade, learning that C A T spells cat. :) I gather from what you said in your earlier message that things get _much_ better in the real Rocket Spanish lessons. I hope I haven't misunderstood you.

Antonio

nohablo, If you are afraid to get a duplicate of what you know already, why don't you email Mauricio, explain him how you feel, and ask him to send you one mp3 from the end of the course, Then you can judge better I have sampled most mp3s, and althought I understand half of them, I still think it's value for money and worth doing the thing again. This time the right way. All depends how you feel about it. As said before, I can speak a little. So, I went to the nearby school to see a Spanish teacher. We had a very basic 5 minute conversation in Spanish. He understands me well, but tells me my way of talking is so horrible that he wouldn't give me more than 3 on 10 for pronouncation and grammar if I was his student. (( That's maybe why the people in Paraguay were looking funny at me that time :oops: :oops: )) Knowing well and talking well are 2 totally different things, don't forget. I can say no more. You have to decide what you want. I know what I want. I want Mauricio to make a follow up on this course........do you hear me , Mauricio ?

nohablo

Hola, Antonio. Thanks for your very patient and helpful responses to my questions. I decided to go ahead and buy the Rocket Spanish course. I've now listened to the first nine lessons. Though I still wish they didn't move quite so slowly, I'm beginning to appreciate what you were saying about repetition. Because the same conversation is repeated a number of times in the lesson, I find the phrases stick in my mind better than if the lesson covered more ground in the same amount of time. I think I'm going to be very glad I took your advice and bought Rocket Spanish. :D Muchas gracias.

Antonio

nohable, Best of luck. The trick to become more fluent is trying to make your own frases based on what you learned from the lessons, w.o.w erxercise and experiment. 1--If Amy says something in the present ( in Spanish ) stop the tape and try to say it yourself in the past or in the future. 2--After that, if Amy or Mauricio makes a statement in Spanish, stop the tape and start an argument with her/him .Tell her she's wrong, and why ofcourse. It's fun 3--look at pictures ( flashcards ) and see if you can dream up a 1 minute conversation. These are some of the exercises I give my students, and you will be surprised how quick they pick up. It's the thinking and talking that will do the trick. Good luck mate, and don't forget to listen to your pimsleur CDs as well as it is all exercise.

Hey, guys, just wanted to say thank you for your comments. We'll act on your suggestion and put a preview of a later lesson after the 6-part mini course ends. I also wanted to mention that after the 6-part mini course ends, there's a regular newsletter series that starts up that's REALLY fun! You'll get free flashcards, quizzes, stories, and interactive lessons on useful topics like getting through a Spanish airport, getting a room in a hotel, and what to do if there's no hot water in your room! (I can tell you: I've been there!) So even if you've bought Rocket Spanish, don't unsubscribe from the newsletter series. You'll have a wait a week for each new installment, but often that's the perfect amount of time for people to practice and master a lesson before moving on. Lots of people tell us that they have full lives and can't dedicate as much time to studying as students can. Glad you're enjoying Rocket Spanish!

Mauricio

Hola Antonio and Nohablo, :wink: Muchas gracias, like Amy said, thank you both for your comments and thank you Antonio for taking the time to answer Nohablo’s questions. It really makes me happy to learn people out there are enjoying the course and our style of teaching. And yes I am always listening, we are making plans to bring out the intermediate course and later the advance course of rocket Spanish with many more audio lessons and hopefully some more helpful extras, but unfortunately that is not for some time to come, we are still trying to make Rocket Spanish beginners course the best Spanish course out there and thanks to all your comments and suggestions we are confident we will get there. So good luck to both of you with your course and remember to keep practicing and sending in any suggestions you might have to better our course. All the best and Buena Suerte! Mauricio

Antonio

[quo]*Quote:* and remember to keep practicing and sending in any suggestions you might have to better our course. All the best and Buena Suerte! [/quo] What about making the course compatible with Linux . I find myself FORCED to install windowsXP only to read your conversationcourse.pdf Acrobat reader 7 doesn't work on Windows98 and sound support is not incorporated in Acroread 7 for Linux. Can you imagine, installing a separate OS so that I can use * your * pdf. Ridiculous. Your course should be platform independent. Just my humble opinion

In my humble opinion :-) that's definitely a job for Adobe Acrobat Reader. Unfortunately, since we're just a small company, we don't have the technical resources to be able to support Linux. So all you Linux users out there: write letters to Adobe and see if you can't get them to support you!!!

Antonio

eah, you're right. But they are not cooperative at all. Or better, they will pay attention to the problem, but they didn't tell me if it was going to be 2006 or 2007. In the mean time, would it be possible to let me have all the sound files connected to the conversationcourse.pdf, then I will make my own directories.. I can rip the pdf into small pieces, no problem, and make my own directorie. Chpter 1 ( ripped) and acompanied by sound files. Chapter 2.........................etc. What about that.?? Is this unreasonable ??

Mike7

An intermediate course would be great!! :D I am looking forward to it!! Can we expect an intermediate course this year? :?: Thanks much... Mike

An intermediate course is on hold until next year at the earliest. At the moment, Mauricio and I are working on integrating Rocket Spanish so that instead of getting separate PDFs and audio files, users will receive a program. It's going to be much more integrated thematically as well. If you've already bought Rocket Spanish, you'll get the new version free. That's because you get lifetime access to the Members Area. After our new version is launched, we'll start on the intermediate course! :-) Amy

nohablo

[quo]*Quote from * Amy An intermediate course is on hold until next year at the earliest. At the moment, Mauricio and I are working on integrating Rocket Spanish so that instead of getting separate PDFs and audio files, users will receive a program. It's going to be much more integrated thematically as well.[/quo] Though I agree that the changes you're proposing will make the beginning course better, I confess that I'm disappointed to learn that an intermediate level is so far off. Both "Rocket Spanish" and "Learning Spanish Like Crazy" currently offer only a beginning level. (Yes, I know, "Learning Spanish Like Crazy" has promised an intermediate level sometime this year, but for now...) Do you have any recommendations for a good course to follow the beginning levels of Rocket Spanish and Learning Spanish Like Crazy? Many of us need one _pronto_. I've heard that Pimsleur is rather boring :cry: , though I have no first-hand experience with it or any other except for RS and LSLC.

Antonio

Two of my students ( intermediate with a score of average 70% in the classroom ) started reading Harry Potter in English. Their scores went up to 95% over a period of 6 months . Maybe you would like to try something like that. You will need a damn good dictionay, ofcourse. See you around Antonio

Phillip-Carracher

Hi no hablo, I was intruged with your experience of the course. I have to say, from my perspective (knowing no Spanish) the reiteration and the pace of the free lessons were what attracted me to the course. Also, Amy's explanation of the words and phrases have helped me immensly. I've only been using the program for a week and am amazed at how much I'm retaining. I'm an asssociate in a practice in Florida (obviously a large spanish speaking population) with two latin doctors. One of their wives who is from Argentina, is a former elementary English as a second language school teacher. When she heard what I've learned so far, she was suprised at how well I was able to enunciate. Learning Spanish is something I've wanted and needed to do for a long time. Although, at times es un lucha (I hope that's right), it has been exciting for me. Thanks to Amy and Mauricio.

nohablo

Hola Phillip. I found your response very interesting. I'm not surprised to hear that for an absolute beginner, Rocket Spanish may be excellent. As I explained in my opening message, I already knew a little Spanish (¡ _muy_ poco!) and was eager to learn more. I was (and am) especially eager to be able to speak and to understand spoken Spanish. I bought Rocket Spanish in the hope that it would help me. I'm very impressed with the care and thoroughness that Mauricio and Amy have put into creating these lessons, but for me, the spoken part of the course was simply too easy. From the start, I understood just about everything in the conversations that began each lesson; as a result, I found the rest of the lesson somewhat tedious. Of course, the spoken lessons are only part of the materials the course offers. I love the fact that I can click on words in the the Conversation Course manual to hear them aloud. I've never seen that feature before. I'm also looking forward to going through the supplementary materials, especially the Beginners and Advanced Books. I hope to learn, too, from this forum and one or two others. I'm still eager to find other ways to be able to improve my ability to speak and understand spoken Spanish, especially Latin-American Spanish. I've tried a Spanish meetup group in a nearby town, but it meets only once a month and in a rather noisy setting. I've been listening to the Learning Spanish Like Crazy lessons, and I'd like to find more to build on them. I've also been watching Destinos, a terrific program designed to teach Spanish through a telenovella. The program appears from time to time on TV, but all 52 episodios can also be watched for free at http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html . It's great fun, though I find it a real challenge to understand what's being said. I guess that's good! :D

Ness

Hi, I am going to download the Rocketspanish course but am not sure where I should save the information and how to burn onto CD's . Also what type of CD's should I purchase to burn onto? I know these are probably ridiculous questions but I am not computer savvy at all :oops: I also wanted to say that I really did appreciate the Mini course's simplicity as my family are all very beginners in learning this new language. I have some French but they do not, and it is encouraging to see my teenagers say "Hey, I can do this stuff!!" We just got back from a trip to Cuba and they are excited about learning spanish so that if or when we go back or go to Mexico that they will know some of the language. Ness

I'm sure there are a hundred and one ways this question can be answered, so here's just one idea! If you're using Windows, make a folder on your desktop called Rocket Spanish. Download everything into there. Violá! If you want to be very organized, you can make folders in there for each separate part of the course. For example, make one folder for the ebooks, another folder for the Interactive Audio Lessons, another folder for the Bonus Lessons, etc. When it comes to burning to CD, you can use Windows Media Player or any one of the numerous free CD burning programs out there. Buy a simple pack of CD-Rs. You don't need any special kind. If you're using Windows Media Player, you'll need to make sure that the program sees the audio files. In my version (which is the latest), I go to File -> Add to Library -> Add Folder, then enter the Rocket Spanish folder that I saved the audio files into. Then, go to the "Burn" option and go for it! Hope this helps! Remember that the best way to get computer advice is to get a computer-savvy friend to help you out!

Ness

Thank you Amy, I have downloaded the audio to burn to CDs , but I guess I will need to down load the others from my computer , could take awhile with our dial-up speed. Thanks for your prompt reply!! Ness

Mauricio

Hello Ness, I just thought I let you know there is an option you might want to look at if you find downloading the lessons too slow. Once you have purchased the download version of Rocket Spanish you get an option of requesting a 4CD set which contains all the files for rocket Spanish, including the audio course and bonus audio lessons in MP3 format. We do not charge for the actual package but we do have to charge for postage and handling US$19.95. Anyway, I hope you are enjoying the course. All the best. Mauricio :D

Ness

Thank you for all of the help! I should be listening to my audio CD's by tomorrow!! (Have to run out to get them first , my kids have informed me that they are experts at burning CD's ) Ness :D

duro12

Hola Amigo I thought I must reply to your posting. You seem quite harsh about receiving somthing for nada,i also received the mini course,but the main reason I bought RS was the recomendations and the price,It is value for money. And I have never yet found a full Spanish course that did not treat you as though you have never heard a word of Spanish in your life. I have had Rocket Spanish for about a week and me gusto mucho

Alan-LaCala

[quo]*Quote:* I've also been watching Destinos, a terrific program designed to teach Spanish through a telenovella. The program appears from time to time on TV, but all 52 episodios can also be watched for free at http://www.learner.org/resources/series75.html . [/quo] I had a look at this and it seems as if it could be really useful. The only problem is that it keeps pausing about every 30-40 seconds while it "buffers" the next bit. Extremely irritating. Is there any way to stop it doing that. Being inSpain, I don't think watching on TV is an option. Alan

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