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Instant Immersion Spanish

Book Review

 

Title:

Instant Immersion  Spanish

Publisher:

Countertop Audio

ISBN:

1-886-08979-5

Reviewed By:

Frank Fogg

Review Date:

February, 2003

Rating:

Instant Immersion Spanish is an audio based self-paced training course for English speaking students to learn Spanish. The course consists of ten audio cassette tapes and is an all-audio program.

Get more information about Instant Immersion Spanish at amazon.comThe  lessons in this program take the beginner from first steps up to a basic level  understanding of the Spanish language. The dialog tapes cover a number of common situations one might encounter when traveling in or visiting another country including greetings, telling time, and asking directions. The actors speak slowly so that an untrained ear may easily understand what is being said. Additional instructions and translations in English are scattered throughout the program to assist the listener.

Like many self-paced audio courses, Instant Immersion Spanish encourages the student to get involved in the conversations. After a short pause in the lesson, an actor will read the correct word or phrase. While this is necessary to properly assimilate foreign language lessons, the dialogs were not as interactive as some other courses such as the Michel Thomas series. The variety of topical situations covered in the dialogs assures the student will develop fundamental skills necessary to function in everyday life.

One thing that would have made this program better is more material. Each tape is only 15 to 20 minutes per side, much shorter than most audio based courses.  While this makes it easy to find time in busy schedules, the short lessons limit the course to about 5 to 6 hours of material. More time would have given students  the opportunity to develop skills through substitution drills and other repetitive exercises. I personally found it distracting to constantly have to flip or switch  tapes while studying the lessons.

While the mechanical quality of the tapes and audio portion of Instant Immersion Spanish are excellent, the short length of the audio cassette tapes is distracting and common drills one would expect with other self-paced courses are missing.  Overall, the course is a fair value for this price range for somebody wanting  to develop basic conversational skills in Spanish. Students desiring a broader  or more complete grasp of the language may want to consider a different course.

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