Spanish-How to use the books?



I have started working with the Interactive Audio lessons. In lesson 1.6 the audio refers to the beginner's book such as it is a perquisite. Is it like this? What is the order of using the method?

Kind regards,



Fay: I have never found any instruction, or really any guidance at all on how to use the materials of this course. I guess they figure we are adults and will find our own way. I think that I tried to find the section of the book that corresponded with whatever lesson I was on and worked then together. Its been quite a while since I've used the book, but it seemed like had the same information as in the other course material. So it is a reinforcement. I recall that the tests were helpful as well.

I started Rocket Spanish in a linear way: I went through all of the audio lessons for a unit, then the language and culture lessons, then, I think, the book. Later I figured out that many of the language lessons teach the grammar that is used in a corresponding audio lesson. So now I sort of weave the lessons together, doing a language lesson, then the corresponding audio lesson, back and forth. This strategy seems to work well for me. 


Thank you. I'll try your strategy.


Hi. This was from an Instruction manul I got some time ago for Rocket Sopanish

A Course of Study for People Serious about Spanish

If you’re really serious about Spanish, here’s what I recommend.
1. Listen to a lesson in the Interactive Audio Course.
2. Read the corresponding lesson in the Conversation Course.
3. Study the corresponding lesson in the Beginners Book, and do the exercises at the end of each part.
4. Schedule at least fifteen minutes to play the Rocket Spanish MegaVocab and MegaAudio games, or examine the supplemental vocabulary lists in the Beginners Vocabulary Supplement.
5. Listen to the Interactive Audio Lesson one final time. Consider how much more you now understand.

If you want to learn Spanish in a month, then repeat this process once a day for 31 days. If you have more time on your hands, spread out the process over no longer than a week for 31 weeks.

Remember: the more parts of the course you use, the more you hit your brain from all angles. For example, listening stimulates a different part of the brain from reading. A fully comprehensive program will involve speaking, reading, studying grammar, written exercises, and building vocabulary. That’s why I strongly recommend that you take advantage of all elements of the Rocket Spanish course.


Are the Beginners Book and the Conversation Book really up to date and corresponding to the current version of the course? In my opinion they look like relicts of an older version of the course. The order of the topics doesn't match, other vocabulary is used, other themes, ...
Parts of the Beginners Book can be found in the Language and Culture lesseon, e.g. the grammar explanations.
I see these books as stand-alone complements of the course - another source for looking things up and for learning. But I'm not sure about it and would appreciate an official hint about the actual intention of the books.


Hi Hundetier,

I agree with you, the books do not correspond in any way with the course.  I printed out both the Beginners  Book and the Advanced Book to use when I needed a break from being on my laptop.  If you are up to printing out 400+ pages, it is a nice supplement, and as you pointed out, some of the grammar explanations are exactly what is on the on-line lessons.

I perused the Conversation Course, but did not print it out as it did not seem to have any quizzes like the other two, again, should I choose to go offline but still study the Rocket System.

If you feel like having two huge binders and printing out that many pages, it is nice to have. :)
But overall, as Dan said above, it seems we are left to use the books in the best way that works for us. I like to have them printed out, that works for me.
But I, too, would like a little more guidance as to when it is appropriate to use them to help with each individual lesson, rather than randomly using them when I feel like it.

I have never found a corresponding conversation in any one of them.  If anyone has an exact page number in one of the books that corresponds to the exact audio lesson, I know I would greatly appreciate that info.
I am also not real clear on what kiwinz is talking about when mentioning MegaVocab and MegaAudio games.....Is part of the "game" finding them? lol

*Shrug* The mystery of the books is still a are not alone in your slight confusion about using them in the most constructive way possible.  I am forever hopeful for correct information about them.

Tengas una gran semana!



Hi everyone. I have a PDF from Rocket Langages on how to use the course material for Rocket Spanish. I am more than happy to send it. Let me know.


¡Buenas noche Kel!,

at the moment I am really sure that these books are from an earlier version of this course. The lessons have been changed - from former reviews I got to know some differences. There used to be games for vocabulary and grammar testing (MegaVocab and MegaAudio) instead of the practising modules (write it etc). Also one reviewer commented, that the structure of the rocket courses changed and the books/explanations were integrated in the online content.

For me the explanations presented in the course weren't enough information to learn spanish from scratch; I'm glad to have some background from other resources. I started at the beginning of rocket spanish. In the first two lessons I stumbled upon preterite forms and indicative, without explanation of the difference to the present. It's a bit confusing...

I´m primarly here to practise speaking and my pronounciation. Since that doesn't function really good, I'm not so sure, if  going with this course was my best idea. But I am not willing to give up so soon, and I don't give up hope to get enlightened of the intentions of these books by the course-creaters.

@kiwinz: I am interested in this file. Can I PN you here? I don't want to post my mail directly into the forum. 

¡Hasta mañana!


Hola Hundetier. Envíe a robert.brooks [email protected] Tambien tengo todas las transcripciones de conversacion en un PDF. 


Hundetier - 

I agree, the course throws you a bit in the deep end of the water if you are starting Spanish from scratch.  I have been at for two years and am still perpetually confused by one thing or another. 

I am surprised you don't feel the speaking and pronunciation functions are very good - the content is practically all listening and recording yourself. Maybe it works better on different devices?

Just out of curiosity, what don't you feel works well regarding practicing speaking and pronunciation?  I really am just wondering - I have used a lot of courses, and, for me at least, this one  has by far the most practice in that area other than skyping with a live person.

However, if you know of another course that focuses hardcore on speaking and pronunciation, I'd love to add it to my collection.    (I am kind of a Spanish learning junkie)  :D

@kiwinz - I would love to get a copy of the pdf, thank you so much for offering!  You can send it directly to my e-mail:

[email protected]

Appreciate all of the interaction, guys! 


Sorry, but I don't know any other hardcore pronunciation course with automatic correction.
I downloaded the original FSI course, which starts with pronunciation lessons - but I doubt that I would stay motivated long enough for this drill-drill-drill with very low audio quality and no automatic procedures. 

I am really bad with pronunciation - in either language, and I'm not able to sing or hold an tone. Some sounds will not get out of me correctly. For example I struggled with "cinco" or later with "cuadra", "cuatro". I cannot say the first syllable. The speaker says something like "szinko" or "thinko". If I record myself I get only 0 or 25% when I sound almost like this (I often play my recording and compare to to the speaker's). But when I say something like "t-tschinko" I get 100%. 
In the last week I developed a method of cheating. First I practised speaking the words like the teacher, but to get my 100% I tried weird sounds and complete false intonation - often with success. And this is counterrproductive...
Also with longer sentences, the program doesn't record properly. False words within often get unnoticed. I had problems with numbers only shown as digit after recording and with combined sentences. In "Ah. Mira. bla bla" e.g. it only records the words after Mira. When I pause longer after the "Ah" or stress it, then the recording stops. It is a bit frustrating.

Nevertheless it is great for me to be forced to speak loud. But I still have to find my way between being correct and getting 100%. I use a laptop with a headset and microphone.

The term "Spanish learning junkie" made me laugh - this is a good description. I feel so too. I have a shelf full of books (Practise makes perfect and other grammar revision books). And I collect links from the internet to videos and podcasts. Reading and listening to spanish is easy to accomplish, but learning to speak it myself is very hard for me. 


Hundetier, I think you may be worrying too much about pleasing the VR system. In my experience it is unreliable. Sometimes it works good, other times not. My biggest frustration is when I stop for a natural pause and it thinks I am done speaking. I use it, but I don't trust the results, and I know when I have said something correctly or not. 

I think you might be better off recording your response, playing it back, and comparing it to the audio in the course. It sounds like you are doing this and know when you are pronouncing correctly or not. Trust yourself, not the machine.



Thanks Dan, this is my current approach to the system. I hear my answer and decide myself whether it is correct or no. Sometimes I get 100% with an false answer, then I try it again till I am satisfied. If my answer isn't marked as correct, but I believe it is, then I reward myself with 100% and go on. 
But nonetheless it is frustrating not to be able to get some things right (like the simple "en" for example). It would be better for my feelings if it would not rate... silly me... 

If somebody knows another good pronunciation course: I'm interested :-)
What do you think of Spanish Obsessed? Do you know their pronunciation and vocabulary course?

@kiwinz: Thank  you very much, these documents are very interesting. :)


Hola Hundetier - 

I have the exact recording issues as you do - I say the word correctly, just like the native speaker, but the VR system sometimes does not accept it.

What Dan said, above, is the same thing I do - I ignore VR when I listen to myself against the native speaker and I am satisfied with it.  He is absolutely on the mark with "trust yourself, not the machine."

I also add a very petty detail, I say something snarky to the screen, like "I don't THINK SO, Rocket!" or "Sor-rrry, I am right and YOU are wrong!"

It is totally 3rd grade behavior, but I make myself laugh, and that takes away any irritation with the little glitches in the recording program.  SO goofy, but whatever works, right?

I think, when I first started studying, I looked at Spanish Obsessed, it sounds familiar, but I collected so many free programs and trial programs I actually have a folder on my bookmarks bar titled simply "Spanish Mess" for all of the different programs I collected and completely overwhelmed myself with.  I will have to go in and take a look.  

And if speaking is your main issue, have you taken the step to finding a skype partner yet?
When I finally took that (horribly nerve wracking) leap, my speaking improved 100%.

If you have not yet started speaking with another person but are interested, I would love to skype with you.

If you are not interested, no worries.  I just thought I'd throw it out there.  :D

You can let me know here or by my e-mail above.

¡Todos tienen un gran fin de semana!




Hi Hundetier. I  like Spanish Obsessed podcasts. I have their pronunciation and vocabulary courses although I have never used them.  I found Pimsleur and Learning Spanish Like Crazy good for learning correct pronunciation, especially Pimsleur although Pimsleur is slow moving.  Olly Richards has excellent material in the  Fluent Spanish Academy . It is a paid subscription, I think it is about $32.00 per month but well worth every cent. Mor and more is added each month and the subscription amount does not change. Fluent Spanish Academy is like a one stop shop.

Definitely speaking with native speakers is the way to go. If you can afford it SpanishPlus  and Baselang offer unlimited Spanish Tutoring. I really like SpanishPlus. C2 Languages has a pronunciation course that is worth a look.

Cheers, Robert


Hi Kel, 
good to know that you experience the same problems with the recording software. I would like to see and hear you talking to the software with a big grin - I only swear, but in future I'll try to adapt your method :).
Thank you very much for your offer to skype with me - but I'm not sure if I am ready. I am very shy and have problems to talk to others, especially in a foreign language. Some time ago I tried it with Skype for practising english and copped out... I'll keep it in mind and come back to your offer when I feel more confident. 
Next week I'll attend a local conversation course. It's aimed for an A2-level and is aiming for B1 (according to the coursebook). The teacher is from Peru. I'm looking forward to it. I hope my level is sufficient.

Hola kiwinz,
you are providing me with interesting links - muchas gracias! I bookmarked them for later. At the moment I decided it best to stick with Rocket and my LSLC1. And then, as reward for finishing, buying another course. I'm a collector - but I don't have time for all the good things out there...
Have you taken the C2 pronunciation course? I started with the free version. The subscription is a bit expensive - 29$ a month or 10x99$ (or 799$ at once) for lifetime access. If I had much time for studying I could spend only a few month and get through the course, but I'm working full-time... FluencyAcademy is closed at the moment for new members, but when they start again, I could be for 100$ a month...
OK, I really should finish my running courses first, at least one level... 

Good Night, happy learning and a relaxed sunday



Hi Susanne ( is Susanne okay?  I love your user name but I always spell it wrong, lol)

Yes, I curse a blue streak also.....and even more juvenile, I try to do it while it is still recording.  :D

Anyway, I totally understand not being ready to skype, no worries. It took me forever to dive into skyping with a native speaker (which I am not) and it was after 5 months of being FB friends and messaging every day.  And I was still a trainwreck on the first skype. So, I really do get it.

Oh, and don't let my profile photo fool you, I am not that guy.  :)  I am an adult woman with a warped sense of humor, so I think you would have fun.  Whenever you are ready, give me a shout - it would be great to skype with someone on Rocket, go over some lessons together, etc.

And bravo jumping into a local conversation course!  I signed up for one and bailed three times.  You have inspired me to sign back up and try again.  Good luck with it, I would love to know how it went. 

@  Robert - these links are great,  I have been surfing all over them and just signed up for one, it is a great addition.  Thanks so much for all of your help with not only the book but additional resources, appreciated beyond words. :)

¡Tienen una gran semana, todos!



Kelly! You poser you! I love how you fooled us all.

I Skype regularly and am always on the lookout for new partners. But I still get a bit keyed up about it.

Dan (who really IS that guy.


Hi Kel, 
now I feel a lot more comfortable knowing you are not the man shown on your avatar ... Thank you for making me laugh again :)  
I slept a night over this and think we should try. Perhaps we can build up a small skype group of RS-learners (Dan seams to be interested too, and he also looks confidence-inspiring...). But I have to warn you, I have a really bad pronunciation and accent. And I stutter when I'm nervous. 
I managed to install Skype again, now I must only find my login details. But that has to wait.
I have to go now, walking the dog, and then off to class ... 

Hasta luego.
Susanne (who really is called so)


What?!? @KellyMJara isn't the mustache guy? I may or may not have had my mouth open for an undisclosed amount of time...
(Would this be a good time to say that I'm actually a 96-year-old man? I'm kidding, it's just Laura :).)

@Hundetier Hi:)!  I noticed you write "practise" with an "s," are you from Europe? 


Jajajajaj todos!

No, I am lying, I really AM Detective Angel Batista from "Dexter" !!!  (In. My. Dreams.)

@Susanne - I am glad my alter-ego made you laugh.  I ❤️ him.  :)
And just another quick reassurance - my spoken Spanish is a mess all over the place, accent, pronunciation, sentence structure, you name it.  Half the time I wonder why I am even doing this.
And like Dan, even with people I have had numerous skypes with, I still slightly hyperventilate right when the video starts to 'ring.'

But I am happy that you are reconsidering it, awesome!

@Dan - feel free to write to my e-mail if you want to skype down the line, it would be great.  But I reiterate, I am plateaued and frustrated right now, everything I say is coming out all wrong, even in freaking English.


@Laura  - I think we should start calling each other "Mustache Guy and The Old Man" - it sounds like a 70's sitcom, lol :)

Okay I am going to go back to obsessively listening and recording sentences over and over until my head explodes.  If there is a shrink  on the thread, please contact me ASAP.

¡Nos vemos más tarde chicos!




Hi all fellow learners :-)

The conversation class was great but exhausting (90 minutes only talking in spanish). I didn't understand everything, but was able to follow our teacher, he explained unknown things very well in easy words. With the others however I had some problems - understanding natives who speak slowly is much easier than understanding beginners with "accents", but I only have to get used to that.
My speaking was not good at all, I stuttered a lot, made silly mistakes and I had to pause and think before answering. Nevertheless it was fun. And hopefully it'll improve gradually with continuing the classes.

First we were asked questions (like what we did the last days, plans, hobbies) and everybody had to answer. Then we did a bit reading and grammar exercises in the course book. And then we talked a bit more about the origin of the "patata o papa".

I think this sort of course could really be a good step to speaking spanish freely. I have to catch up a bit with the book - tonight we began lesson four, but that should not be a big problem. My passive knowledge is not so bad, but I still have to learn how to use it actively.

Yes, I'm from Europe. It's funny, when you wrote "yard" I thought: "Ah, American". So I knew definitely that we can't walk our dogs together. :)

Please start your sitcom in spanish - then I'm in with video training. :)
Your words "... everything I say is coming out all wrong, even in freaking English." sound like describing me: my english teacher at school always labelled me a hopeless case.

So, for today I've finished my Spanish learning. 
¡Estudiad bien, hasta mañana y buenas noches!


Kelly: I would love to Skype. They say misery loves company and I will be good company. I constantly use the wrong conjugations and wrong word in general. But I keep trying.

I just finished a 3 week school in Costa Rica, and am spending one more week traveling around and showing the Ticos just how badly their language can be abused. Seriously, they are great help.

During my break from Rocket Spanish to attend school, I worked out a new plan for studying RS when I resume (which I already have). In the past I think my goal was to finish a lesson and move on to the next. My new plan is to squeeze every drop of Spanish out of each lesson, and not worry about moving on until there is nothing left for me to learn. So I listen to a lesson, work through each line of the narrative and additional vocab, writing down each phrase in Spanish, really think about what the sentence means in English, look for words I don't know well, add really sketchy ones to my Anki deck, then work through the same process with the flash cards and testing modules. 


@Susanne: That's neat! I'm guessing from your username Germany, maybe Netherlands?? I'm from the Southern US, where "y'all" is about as common as the word "should" haha;). Do you ballroom/latin dance any? Lots of great competitive dancers from Eastern Europe and Russia (I know a few and have had a few teachers from there--they are AMAZING!!).
@Mustache Guy: That's hilarious! Sincerely, The Old Man


@Dan: Costa Rica is such a beautiful place! I would love the chance to go there one day. I love the greenery.


I am interested to hear about the Spanish School you went to in Costa Rica.  I have looked at CPI Spanish Immersion School in Monteverde but have not booked anything yet.  


Karen: I attended the Escuela Montaña Linda in Orosi. It is probably the least expensive school in Costa Rica, but I feel I got a great benefit for my money. I had 3 hours of one on one classes with an instructor 5 days per week, and stayed for 3 weeks. All of our conversations were in Spanish, which helped sharpen my ears. It came with a large grammar book, and over the 3 weeks we studied the various indicative, compound, and subjunctive tenses  as well as other grammar points. In addition, we spent quite a bit of time each day just talking, which obviously helped my communication skills further.

At this school you can choose to stay in a private room in their guest house, in a hostel (with some private rooms available,) or a homestay with a family. I chose homestay because I wanted the extra exposure. It helped but maybe not as much as I had hoped. The family speaks no English and had trouble slowing down to let me keep up. But still, anything helps. Mostly I enjoyed the breakfast and dinner that came with my stay, although I am a bit tired of rice and beans, beans and rice, and rice and beans mixed. But it was still a great experience.

Orosi is a small town of about 13,000 and many people do not speak English, so the burden is on you to communicate in their language. It lacks the distractions of the San Jose and beach based schools, which was important to me.

So, I give Escuela Montaña 4.5 stars. Maybe even 4.75. You can google their web site for more info.

BTW, I am in Monteverde as I write this. It is beautiful up here right now, completely different from Orosi. But it is heavily infested with tourists, even though the high season has not yet started.

Let me know if you have any other questions.



Thank you very much for your detailed response.  I can always count on you for great information.  I will check out this school and see how it compares to CPI.  I definitely will be avoiding beach-based schools.  I like the fact that Orosi is a small town with very little English spoken as well.


Hola todos!

This thread has been fantastic and great fun.

@Dan - "showing the Ticos just how badly their language can be abused." Best  (well, only) laugh of the day.
I am taking a small break from skyping because the results of the US election has flattened me.  I don't think skyping with my tear-stained face would be of much help to anyone. 

But....when I get my equilibrium back, we will definitely set something up, and see who can "out-mangle" this beautiful language.  :)

¡Hasta pronto!


I won't be back in the country until next week anyway. It was interesting to talk with people from other countries: Costa Rica, of course, but also England and Germany and France, about the election (before last night.) There really is genuine fear about how a President Trump will affect things around the world. I wish the results would have been different, but for better or worse we are all in this together now. As I have been telling people here today, "el tiempo dirá."


I definitely wasn't sure if he (Mr. Trump) would make it, but I'm hopeful about the different perspective he could bring  and wish him all the best. I think both sides are sort of in a sort of "woah" state right now. Who knew he could get the nomination, much less the presidency! @Dan it's always interesting to see what "outsiders" (those living outside our territories) think about our political ups and downs! 


Karen: I was driving around Santa Elena this morning and noticed the CPI school. I was going to take a picture of it for you on the way back, but before I could do that I found a stream that I just HAD to photograph, struggled through the jungle to get to the stream, fell in in the process, and promptly forgot. This better be an award winning photograph!

The brief glimpse I had of the front looked pretty nice. It is a ways away from the center of town, down a steep hill. Although there are plenty of sodas and a couple of supers nearby. 

Santa Elena is very touristy, unlike Orosi where I studied. It is the end of the low season right now but there are plenty of tourists in town, so I can't imagine how busy it is during high season. The good news is, most of the tourists here seem to be German, Swiss, Austrians, and Dutch, and I hear them speaking in their own languages, so overexposure to English may not be a big problem. On the other hand, most of the Ticos here seem to speak English, and as soon as you say one thing to them in English, they switch and make it harder to practice. The opposite was true in Orosi; it was pretty difficult to find English speakers there. 

I'm not really trying to steer you toward Montaña Linda, just telling you what my experience here has been.



Dan, I am sorry to be so late in responding.  I was out of town and computer access for a week.

Thanks for the detailed information.  Yes, I have also heard from friends of ours who have been to Monteverde that it is very touristy and many of the locals speak English. That could slow the language acquisition a fair bit.  I was focusing on this particular CPI school (they have 3) because it is higher in altitude and a bit cooler.  I struggle with heat and humidity.

There are so many Spanish schools to choose from around the world.  Now to find a place where my husband can sight-see with a guide while I study, ideally in a mountain setting.


Karen: no te preocupes. La clima en Monteverde es muy agradable. Estaba en Dominical, en la costa Pacifica, y hace mucho calor y húmedo allí. Después Dominical, Monteverde sentía casi un poco frío. 

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