Forum Rocket Spanish Spanish - Feedback and Comments My Method for Working Through the Lessons

My Method for Working Through the Lessons



Greetings fellow Rocket Spanish learners!

This is a description of how I am working through the lessons. I'm curious to know how others are using the software, what you've found helpful, and what works best for you.  

Today marked a 30 day streak for me. I was more or less a "false beginner" when I started, having taken a couple of Spanish courses back in school (over 30 years ago). Then, in 2018, I had a strong desire to start learning Spanish again, but this time through self-study. I started with Duolingo, mostly because it was free, and I had immediate access to it. I still use it, but it has its limitations. I discovered Rocket Spanish, tried the first free lesson, enjoyed the layout and the content, and when I saw it on sale that year, I proceeded to purchase Rocket Spanish Levels 1 - 3. I started to work through Level 1, but was not disciplined enough, and eventually stalled out. I later took two semesters of intro Spanish courses at a local language center, bought several self-study books, and about a month ago decided to go all in, making a daily habit of study/practice, and using Rocket Spanish as my main course (along with some supplementary reading/listening practices).

The change in my mindset has made all the difference.

I started over from the beginning, since I had that false start in 2018. Level 1, Module 1, Lesson 1.1. I do one lesson a day. I practice at a set time every day. Mine happens to be when I get off work (during the week). I'm more flexible in regards to what time during the weekend, but I make sure I still complete one lesson per day for Saturday and Sunday. I've timed myself a few times, and generally speaking, it takes around 2 hours to complete a lesson the way I'm doing it. This includes the interactive audio (if there is one), the "Play It" dialogue, vocabulary section, flashcards, "Hear It, Say It", "Write It", "Know It", and the short quiz at the end.

For the interactive audio, I always speak out loud when prompted. For the "Play It" dialogue, I will do each part one after the other, and listen to the results each time. For example, I will do Mauricio's part, then replay the audio, then Amy's part, and replay the audio. If I stumble on anything, like a word that is difficult for me to pronounce, or an intonation that doesn't sound right, I will redo the dialogue until I'm happy with it.

For the vocabulary section, I play the provided audio, record myself saying it, listen to the provided audio again followed by my recording, and if it sounds like a good match move on to the next. If I notice something off about my recording (regardless of what the score shows), I will repeat it, comparing to the original audio, and only moving to the next word or phrase if I feel I am close.

For the flashcards, I will only mark the card "Easy" if I was able to say out loud exactly what is on the other side of the card before checking it. If I got something wrong, I mark it "Good", listen and read the correct word or phrase, and repeat it three times, flipping the card over each time to hear the correct word or phrase, then move to the next card. I work through the deck that way, and when I get to the end, if there are any that I marked "Good" (instead of "Easy"), I will start the deck over again to practice those. I repeat this as many times as is necessary until I have none left that are marked as "Good" (i.e. they were all "Easy").

For "Hear It, Say It" I listen to the audio, record my response, listen to the audio again, then mine again, and if there is anything off about it I do the same thing, mark it as "Good" so that when I get to the end, I will redo the section to practice any I have not marked as "Easy". Also, before restarting a section like this, if I've marked any as "Good", Rocket will display a list of those items. I repeat each one out loud three times before I restart. Then I restart to work on those, and continue this process until all are marked as "Easy".  

For "Write It" I do the same thing. I am strict on myself. For example, if I forget an accent mark, it gets marked as "Good" to be repeated at the end. Only if I get everything correct (spelling, accent marks, punctuation, etc.) will I mark it as "Easy". I will repeat this section, like the others, until I am able to mark all of the items as "Easy".

Basically the same method for "Know It" as well. If I get it correct, it gets marked as "Easy". If anything, however small, is incorrect, I mark it as "Good" to be repeated again at the end after repeating three times from the list it shows when I restart it.

I go through each section like this, and don't consider my daily lesson complete until I have gone though each section as described, and have everything marked as "Easy".

I take the quiz at the end of the lesson, and when I complete a Module, I take the corresponding certification test for that Module that is in the Tools section.

I've found this approach to be beneficial, helping to solidify the material covered in each lesson. If I keep up my one lesson per day momentum, I should have Spanish Level 1 completed by early November.

Then on the Level 2…



Wow, that's impressive, honestly more than I do. I'm like you, I've had several false starts on learning Spanish going back to junior high school. I started Rocket Spanish about 5 years ago and got through level 1 but gave up part way into level 2.


I like this program but it takes time and dedication. I finished level 1 and 2 and was part way through level 3 but I found that my learning was outstripping my ability to speak. And I will say, it is very important to speak Spanish with people, as much as we repeat the lines, it is a completely different thing to talk to someone and discuss the weather (is hace frio or está frio?). I use italki and found 2 very good tutors to use, they teach different things but the most important thing is just listening and talking. So, I found that even though I learned the past tenses and future and subjunctive, I couldn't actually do it in conversation. So, I stopped moving forward.


What I'm doing now is that I started from the beginning again and went through level 1 and am beginning level 2. I do all the excerises and I'm learning a lot. You know how when you learn something the first time it seems difficult but when you look at it later, it's easy but you can pick up things that you missed the first time? That's what's happening for me. Now that I have a more advanced understanding, I can spot things that I didn't notice before. I find it to be fun, not strenuous and educational.


The main thing I found is just to keep going, even when it's a grind. Even on vacation, do a set of survival kit flash cards or whatever. And I really do think that using it, speaking it for real is vital, otherwise it's just stuff we learn without application. Have fun, you're on the right track for sure.




Thank you for the thoughtful reply, Daryl.

You raise an excellent point about speaking. While I do love Rocket Spanish, and I've found that the scripted dialogues with the ability to record myself, play both roles, and listen back to compare my results to the original audio has all been quite helpful, I can see how going off script would be a huge benefit. Having to produce speech spontaneously with a real-live person on the other end is something that I'll admit I feel intimidated about when I think of myself doing it. That said (no pun intended), I feel this is a practice worth pursuing. I can imagine how it could lead to progressing in conversational Spanish by leaps and bounds, especially if one were to find a good match for a tutor/teacher. It's been on my list of things to do, yet I haven't had the courage to just jump in to the deep end, until now. To that end, I recently created an account on italki, found a tutor that interests me (a native speaker from México, because I am most interested in the dialects of Spanish spoken there, in addition to "Standard Spanish"), and scheduled my first trial session. It's not until three weeks from now because I have some other things I'd like to work on first, but I'm looking forward to overcoming my initial resistance, and beginning to explore one-on-one conversation practice. I can see how doing that - in addition to working through a course like Rocket Spanish - might be a way to really solidify the lessons as well as assessing my skill level specifically in the areas of listening comprehension and producing speech. Thanks for the recommendation.  

Regarding what you mention about revisiting material we have previously worked with, I totally get what you're saying. My experience has been similar. I initially started Level 1 lessons back in 2018, veered off course, didn't maintain my discipline, and it wasn't until just about a month ago that I decided to stick with it and make the lessons part of my daily routine. Because it had been a few years, I decided to just start from the beginning again. I noticed, as you suggest, that in some of the early lessons where I previously struggled with some of the material, this time everything just "clicked" for me, and I've been able to proceed beyond where I stalled out on the first attempt. I definitely think some of that has to do with being introduced to the material in question the first time around, so it was familiar to me.

And yes, I would say even beyond that, that there were aspects of grammar and other points that I missed the first time that I see now on the revisit. At this point, I've moved beyond where I left off in 2018, and I'm still feeling mostly comfortable with the lessons. I'm certain I will eventually hit a stage that will force me to stretch beyond my comfort zone, and I count that as a good thing. That's where progress comes from, and I'm determined not to stop this time. Not to say that I have mastered every aspect of the lessons I've worked through at this point. Far from it. I think at some point I will start adding in a review of previous lessons to my routine. Perhaps once a week. For this past month I've been doing one lesson per day, and moving on to the next without revisiting any of the previous lessons. Which makes me wonder if, for example, I am retaining vocabulary I get correct on the day I take any given lesson. I downloaded the Anki app, and am thinking about what vocab I want to add to my first deck before I start using it. I know there are differing opinions about spaced repetition systems, but the logic behind them seems sound to me. I also bought a frequency dictionary for Spanish that Routledge has published. The second edition one (Purple cover. 2018). It contains 5000 entries. I might start slowly working through that. Maybe in groups of 100 or so. I also imagine that once I start my italki sessions, I'll inevitably run into things I want to express but don't have the words for, which is another way I think vocabulary lists can be generated. And not just words, but phrases too.

Have fun! Keep practicing. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts. They've been helpful. 

Ask a question or post a response

If you want to ask a question or post a response you need to be a member.

If you are already a member login here.
If you are not a member you can become one by taking the free Rocket Spanish trial here.