Decided to get some Spanish learning software? Great idea! There are some outstanding products on the market right now. In fact, right now is the time that, in my opinion, software and online-based learning has become better than classroom-based learning.
Still, though, you have to be careful, as not all Spanish language learning software programs are top-notch. In fact, some aren’t good at all. Don’t worry, though. In this post, I am going to tell you exactly how to evaluate Spanish learning software programs.
Before I tell you how to evaluate Spanish learning software, let me clear up a few misconceptions. If I were to ask you, “What do you think is going to be the hardest thing about learning Spanish,” what would you say? Really, stop for a second and think about it. …now, let me guess what you were thinking.
I bet that you thought about things like, for example, learning a bunch of Spanish vocabulary words. Or perhaps you thought about how difficult it is to master Spanish pronunciation. If not those two things, surely you thought about how difficult it was going to be to memorize all of those Spanish verb conjugations. That’s not easy!
What if I were to tell you, though, that those things are not at all what makes Spanish, or any other language, difficult to learn. Well, you’d probably think, “Okay, then, what makes it so difficult!” I’ll tell you. Learning a new language is difficult because…
- it is very time consuming
- it takes a lot of mental energy
- it is very expensive
Not sure? Think about it. How difficult would it be to learn new Spanish vocabulary words if you didn’t have to spend all day at work? And, really, what’s so hard about conjugating verbs? Are they hard to comprehend, like, say, algebra? No, not at all. And what about pronunciation? If you had a native Spanish speaking tutor to work with all day, you’d have flawless pronunciation in no time! …but you’d also go broke!
So, as you can see, it’s not that the tasks of language learning are so difficult, like math. No, the real barriers to language learning are the time, energy, and money it takes to be successful. With that in mind, how should you evaluate Spanish language learning software programs?
When evaluating Spanish language learning software look how they help us overcome our biggest challenges, or…
- learning effectiveness
- ease of use
- value for money
What’s Learning Effectiveness
The bottom line is that some programs work better than others. In addition, some programs work well for some people, but not so well for others, depending on your particular learning style. Simply, you want to go with the Spanish learning software that you learn best with. How do you find it?
This is important–never buy a Spanish language learning program without trying it out first. All of the top rated programs have free trials. Make use of them! Here is a link to the Web’s top rated course, Rocket Chinese . The free trial button is on the top of their site. Try it out now! Then see how you feel. Are you learning well? If so, stick with the program. If not try another one. Also, here is a link to TELL ME MORE Spanish, the #2 program. Give it a try too.
What’s Ease of Use
Have you ever read a novel that you just couldn’t put down, even if you were really tired. Its plot grabbed your attention, and refused to let you go! Now compare that to one of your old high school textbooks, one that you couldn’t bare to pick up and start reading because it was so dry and boring. The novel had good “ease of use.” Your Spanish learning software should be the same. It should be aesthetically pleasing. It should include interactive dialogues that are interesting and engaging. It should have games that are both fun and educational. And, finally, it should move you along in the learning process, step-by-step, giving you small victories and keeping you motivated along the way.
When evaluating a Spanish learning software program’s value for money, you need to, first, look at the two criteria above. If you don’t learn effectively, and if you are not engaged by a software program, then it is not good value for your money, even if it only costs one penny. Why? Because if you don’t learn well with it, you’ll just be wasting your time!
Next, you should compare the program to other similar programs. Some programs are cheap, but, for example, only offer 50 hours of instruction, where a competing program might be twice the price, but provide three or four more times more learning material.
Finally, you need to consider your Spanish language learning goals. Are you just studying because you are taking a trip to Mexico? Or have you decided to relocate to Barcelona? If you just want to learn some survival Spanish, a program that costs $500 is not going to be good value for your money, no matter how much it engages you!
Choosing the Spanish learning software that is right for YOU is important. Always try out a software program before buying. Then evaluate it based on learning effectiveness, ease of use, and value for money. Do this and you will enjoy a learning experience that is enjoyable, educational, and fun! Before you buy any software, also read this article, called Is Spanish Learning Software for You?
Best of luck to you!
Sound off! Got a favorite Spanish learning software program? Don’t keep it to yourself! Tell us about it in the comment section below.