If you have ever tried a total immersion class to learn a foreign language and found it frustrating, perhaps the instruction in Fluenz learn Spanish software is just what you need. This first-rate software on how to speak Spanish gives you a practical approach to learning that is interactive, enjoyable and, most importantly, quite effective.
Unlike language instruction applications that use a one-size-fits-all approach, Fluenz's learning Spanish software provides explanations in English. That way, you get the chance to connect the lessons to cultural experience, which is important, since language and culture are inseparable.
Fluenz also emphasizes a practical vocabulary that includes words the average person is likely to use. This approach focuses on teaching you how to speak Spanish so that another person will understand you and you can engage in conversation, rather than on abstract academic exercises. Fluenz provides a comprehensive multimedia teaching method, useful explanations, an appealing interface and interactive lessons, all of which make it our Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner.
The approach that Fluenz Spanish takes to teaching Spanish is a little different from other Spanish learning applications. It simulates a one-on-one learning experience with a private tutor instead of just using digital flashcards or trying to stuff a textbook into software. The basic unit of instruction is the one-on-one tutoring sessions, each of which takes about two and a half hours to finish.
Fluenz offers a series of lessons with video instruction and activities. The lessons blend instruction from the tutor with words and phrases displayed on the screen as she teaches. In the activities, you are required to use audio, images and simple quizzes to practice the lessons.
The system is straightforward. There are no games, but the activities are engaging enough to keep your attention. You begin at whatever level you feel comfortable with and move freely through the lessons. Fluenz does not keep a record of correct and incorrect answers for each activity as you learn Spanish. Instead, it gives positive feedback and encouragement to repeat activities until you master them.
Whether you want to study Spanish for beginners or at more advanced levels, the Fluenz method is more effective than just getting a percentage score and never returning to the activity. Its approach makes the lessons easy to repeat and master because you can have another go at the quizzes when you need to refresh your memory.
Fluenz lessons introduce vocabulary followed by activities to reinforce what you have learned. Some activities require you to listen, others to speak and others to read and write. Fluenz's method for teaching grammar is useful for beginners. Instead of teaching you Spanish grammar, Fluenz dives straight into conversations and lets you apply your knowledge of English grammar to understand how Spanish works. This is quite a comprehensive learn Spanish product, but one small drawback is that it is slightly weighted more toward people learning Spanish for travel purposes.
Using the Fluenz instructional model, you get lessons and interactive exercises, which it calls workouts, that you can use to practice speaking, listening to, reading and writing Spanish.
This software makes extensive use of videos, along with images and audio assistance. You learn to recognize words and practice typing in the answers in Spanish in response to challenges posed in English. You can even hear how you would sound in a regular conversation.
Fluenz does not use the same speech recognition technology to help you learn Spanish that some other applications use. Instead, you record your voice and insert your recordings into conversations. It works well because you are naturally able to tell where your pronunciation is incorrect compared with native speakers. Fluenz has a glossary of some of the most common Spanish words you will learn throughout the course. Other vocabulary learning occurs directly in the application.
You can learn a version of Spanish that will help you travel and communicate easily throughout Latin America, or you can select a course of study of the Castilian Spanish traditionally used in much of Spain.
The Fluenz interface is easy to navigate. You can just sit back and let the software guide you, or there are various activities and quizzes if you want to create your own curriculum. What's nice about the Fluenz interface is that it is so simple, not to mention attractive and easy to use. There are fewer buttons and menus than many other applications have – nothing to get in your way as you learn Spanish. The purpose of every button and tab is obvious, and the menus are uncluttered.
One thing you do not get with this otherwise top-notch Spanish software is an online chat option to talk to tutors or other people who also are learning Spanish. This is the only serious drawback to Fluenz' otherwise excellent presentation of Spanish for non-Spanish speakers.
Fluenz provides a variety of tools to help you move along in your studies. You can customize your learning path, track how you are doing and make use of extra resources.
At the beginning level, you get the basic instructional DVD to install on your hard disk. You also get an audio CD that you can use in the car. In addition to that, you get two years of access to comprehension MP3s and digital flashcards that you can access online, through your iPhone or on a tablet.
Fluenz has excellent support resources for its Spanish learning software. The FAQs and user manual are easy to use and informative. There are demos to help you understand the inner workings of the software, and Fluenz has full email and phone support systems.
You also get the benefit of live chat, which is a great way to get answers quickly. The support technicians on live chat are friendly and knowledgeable, and they offer tips and help with cultural aspects of Spanish.
Fluenz Spanish lessons do not talk down to you, but instead present vocabulary you would use in daily life. The learning experience is beautifully constructed, the material is relevant and the explanations are thoughtful. Fluenz acknowledges the difficulty of learning a new language and does not imply that it will be a breeze to master it.
In a market full of excellent software on how to learn Spanish, Fluenz is first-rate because it operates as a virtual private tutor, without the lesson fees or the inconvenience of arranging tutoring sessions that fit your schedule. Its elegant interface, well-planned lessons and useful multimedia tools make Fluenz a superb choice for learning to speak Spanish.
Fluenz Spanish teaches like a private language tutor.
This software focuses heavily on Spanish for travelers and has somewhat less emphasis on learning Spanish for other purposes.
Fluenz is the best if you want to learn Spanish from software that simulates a private language tutor.