27 of 32 people found the following review helpful:
Good but Behind the Wheel Spanish is Better, Mar 18, 2023
I enjoyed using Learn in Your Car Spanish but what I really wanted in my course was to be able to really speak my own mind in the language. Learn in Your Car Spanish gave me lots of vocabulary and useful sentences that you basically memorize, but at no point did I get to learn how to make my own sentences.
I later returned this course for Behind the Wheel Spanish because I wanted to and did later learn how to communicate using my own and not someone else's sentences.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful:
This program is great!, Mar 18, 2023
This program is great! It works on training your ear along with learning correct pronunciation. These 2 aspects are commonly left out of your typical school type learning. This program is for people who really want to communicate in Spanish.
Tom Troughton "Editor of www.fantasticospanish.com"
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful:
Great introduction, Mar 12, 2023
This course has been ideal for me. I am a busy professional. During the course of a typical work week, I do not have a lot of time to study a foreign language, so I decided to try a system that promised to teach me the language in my car! I started in September 2004.
I decided to supplement my learning with a trip to a Guatemalan Spanish school in February of 2005. By that time, I was about 90% of the way through Learn Spanish in Your Car. After I took the entrance exam at the school in Guatemala, I was told (by both teachers and other students) that my level of proficiency was equivalent to approximately 6 to 8 weeks of full-time study with a private Spanish tutor! During the trip, I lived with a Spanish speaking family and had many other opportunities to talk to Guatemalans who spoke only Spanish. I was delighted to find that I could talk to most Spanish speaking people about most anything (travel, politics, work, family, etc.). On one occasion, for example, I went on a guided climb on Pacaya, one of Guatemala's many volcanoes. During the hike, I talked to the guide, who basically knew no English, for about 40 minutes. We had a great time talking about all kinds of stuff. He was eager to learn some English, so we taught each other our native languages. OK, I will admit that I made occasional use of my Franklin electronic dictionary (another product that I VERY STRONGLY recommend), but I was still delighted with my ability to speak Spanish after only a few months with this program.
I do not really see any negatives with this product, but there are some limitations. You will cover most of the major tenses, and topics related to Spanish grammar, but you will find that the coverage of most topics is somewhat superficial. I don't call this a negative, because I don't really see how one can expect anything more with a ~50 dollar program at that is basically a "quick start." As a result, you will definitely not be fluent after you complete this course. I am already planning on moving on to a more in-depth (and costly) course in my effort to eventually become fluent (or, close to fluent).
In summary, this is a great product, especially if you want a quick-start to Spanish at a very modest price, compared to the hundreds of dollars that you will pay for a more in-depth course. If you just want to be able to speak some Spanish, this course may be all you will need. If your goal is fluency, I still recommend this course as an economical and very effective introduction to speaking Spanish.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful:
Great course; drills info deep into your long term memory., Mar 8, 2023
The best course that I have found. Having said that, I would not recommend this for the complete beginner. The simple format of this course (challenge the student with the english word or sentence, followed by the spanish equivalent) is great for drilling info into your memory. You feel free to listen to each section again and again because they do not have all of the "chit chat" that other courses have. For the complete beginner I would recommend starting with something that will introduce you to the basics of pronunciation and grammar in a more tutorial manner. This style of course does not lend itself well to repetitive drilling but it would be useful for a beginner. I highly recommend Michel Thomas' CD course "Learning Spanish" it is like visiting with a friendly spanish instructor.
As for listening to the penton course in your car, I would recommend becoming acquainted with each section first at home where you can easily pause the CD. When first starting a new section, you will really want to pause the CD often and concentrate completely. You will learn faster with much less frustration if you do this. Later drilling can be done in your car or while working on something else. As you repeat each word or sentence in spanish, imagine yourself saying it in a real life situation. Imagine each object,concept or verb as you say it, this will help you truly become fluent. And that is what this course really helps you do, become fluent with what you have learned.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
A great addition to your toolbox, Feb 21, 2023
This program is well structured and suprisingly complete given it's size. I can't vouch for it as a stand alone course, but used in conjuction with a more comprehensive course, it's great.
I went through the entire Pimsleur program (all 3 levels and Spanish Plus). While I was doing that, I was also doing this course. A Pimsleur lesson is a half hour. These lessons are only 5-10 minutes. So, when I didn't have time for a Pimsleur lesson I'd often listen to these. Now I'm working my way through the Platiquemos FSI program and I still sometimes listen to these lessons.
I keep a playlist on my iPod of short drills that I want to work on. Most are from this program and Platiquemos. Some, I edited out of longer drills from other programs. Whenever I have a few minutes to spare, I'll shuffle my playlist and do whatever drills come up.
All in all, this program is a great value. The lessons are short and well organized. They are translation drill type lessons. You hear an English prompt and you have to produce the Spanish response. There are 3 small books, one for each level. Basically they are just transcriptions but there might be a few notes, frankly I don't remember. You can probably do the entire course without looking at the books.