Hola! Yo soy Jacob. Que tal?
Last month, we introduced a new-to-us language learning program call Assimil. Now that we’ve had it for a month, we’re happy to report back our thoughts on the program and what we learned. Unfortunately, we’re not fluent yet, but we have some basic phrases down as a start!
ASSIMIL SPANISH REVIEW – WHAT WE LOVED
1. Lessons are short and sweet.
We love that each lesson is short and sweet and that you can go at your own pace. If you only have a few minutes in your day, you can do one lesson, or you can carve out more time to knock out ten lessons. If you have trouble with a particular lesson, they’re easy to repeat in bite sizes.
2. There are multiple ways to learn.
You can focus on the portion of each lesson that you learn best with. If listening to the phrases doesn’t help, you don’t have to worry about using the CDs. Some of you may prefer to read the explanations and reasoning behind the grammar, while others of you may just want to focus on the phrases only. You can really tailor it to best fit your interests and learning styles.
3. You quickly learn how to have conversations.
We also like that it jumps right into phrases and conversation – which is most useful for traveling and everyday life. You’re not overly stuck on grammar and learning vocabulary. On the flip side, each lesson includes enough of the explanation where you’ll begin to absorb it naturally.
We can practice with each other or with the CDs. Because you jump right into phrases and conversations, there are naturally two parts to each lesson. That allows us to practice by each taking a part of the conversation and switching later. If you’re learning by yourself, the CDs still give you a chance to practice with the prerecorded phrases.
4. Easy to take with you wherever you want.
The bulk of the learning is all in a compact book. We spend a lot of time in front of our computer, so getting away from a screen can be refreshing for us. This also allows you to learn on the go. You don’t need a computer, or charger, or anything else. This makes it perfect for all that downtime when you’re traveling.
The dual language glossary is handy if you need a refresher. As you start to learn more and more, we’re bound to forget a thing or two. Rather than flipping through all of the pages looking for the phrase you’re trying to remember, you can search the glossary in Spanish or English.
ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
The very first thing we noticed when we opened up the box is that it came with CDs. Our laptops no longer have CD or DVD drives. Fortunately, our car still does, but that limits us to listening only in the car. An easy fix to this would be to have the audio files come as mp3s. For the most part, we all have devices we can play them on now and it would be much more convenient to carry them with you on your phone.
You get as much as you put into it. If you wanted, you could complete all 100 lessons in only a few weeks, which is the equivalent to what you learn in a year in college or high school. My new year’s resolution included 30 minutes of language practice a week, which wasn’t nearly enough. They recommend spending half an hour a day. I’d love to see a little checklist or calendar, since I’m the type of person who likes to cross things off lists.
Overall, they’ve put together a really great language learning package. We hope to dedicate more time to it and hopefully, we’ll be able to have (basic) fluent conversations next time we travel.
You can buy Assimil from OptiLingo here. All of their programs are currently on sale for $75 (normally $125) so be sure you grab one before the price goes back up.
Who wants to practice with us? Are there any languages you’re trying to learn? Are you a visual, audio, or tactile learner?