Learning Spanish Like Crazy

LEARNING LIKE CRAZY – WHY NOT?

Product:  Learning Spanish Like CrazyLearning Spanish Like Crazy
Overall Ranking:  80/100
Price:   $197 per Level for Levels 1 & 2
Owners:  Learning Like Crazy, Inc (Founded by Patrick Jackson)

INTRODUCTION

Learning Spanish Like Crazy is a popular program available on CDs.  Founder Patrick Jackson was a New York attorney who learned Spanish by another more formal method and found himself sounding laughable in a conversation with a Latina woman (like Shakespearean English).  His purpose was to develop a method for learning Latin American Spanish as it is spoken informally today.  It lends itself well for someone who would like to pop it into their iPod or car CD player and learn during their daily commute.

Learning Like Crazy produces a
similar program for learning Italian.

PROS

  • As the course begins, you are listening and repeating words and phrases – an approach which leads to excellent pronunciation.
  • The speakers all speak Latin American Spanish as their native language. (Occasionally, their English pronunciation is a bit funny.)
  • As the course proceeds, they incorporate more questions to which the listener is to respond out loud.
  • After answering the questions, you immediately hear the proper response from a native speaker. So, there is immediate reinforcement or correction of your response.
  • There is some English explanation of grammar, but it’s kept to a minimum. The focus is on speaking, not learning rules.  You learn by listening and speaking.
  • The focus is entirely on spoken conversation. It’s much more natural to learn a language by listening and speaking first, then learning to read and write.
  • Learning Spanish Like Crazy also endeavors to focus on common social situations.
  • You certainly save money over taking University level classes to learn.

CONS

  • It’s all on CD or downloaded files; there’s no live tutoring.
  • Vocabulary flashcards would be helpful. (I made mine on Before You Know It.)
  • Since it’s all on CD, the program cannot adapt to drill you more on vocabulary you forget or areas of grammar that trip you up.
  • While the focus is on common social situations, limited vocabulary leads to some funny situations early on. (E.g., I only drive white cars, but the dealer only sells red cars.)
  • After each lesson you are to advance if you got 80% or more correct – a bit subjective, but hopefully you know if you are getting it or need to repeat.
  • Online reviewers frequently note that around lessons 13-15 the pace picks up and new material is introduced more quickly. I noted that myself; further on in the course, I often needed several repeats to feel confident with the material.

WHO IS IT FOR?

I would say the course is most helpful for beginners through early intermediate students, especially those comfortable with an auditory approach or perhaps wanting a method they can use while in the car.

TRAINING/TOOLS OVERVIEW

  • As mentioned earlier, the course is entirely presented via CDs (or audio files).
  • There is, however, a CD of transcriptions included should you desire to see how it looks in written form.
  • There is no mobile platform; nor are there supplemental apps or games.

SUPPORT

  • There is no mechanism for direct question and answer when you don’t understand something (not even a threaded discussion forum).

PRICE

Level 1, thirty audio lessons and transcripts on 16 CDs, is available at a retail price of $197.  Level 2, lessons 31-60, is the same.  Level 3, lessons 61-80, is currently unavailable.

Learning Like Crazy, Inc, offers a 60 day money back guarantee on its products.

FINAL OPINION

Learning Spanish Like Crazy was the first Spanish program I purchased, and I thought it was “the best thing since sliced bread.”  Now, I realize it doesn’t do everything, and really needs to be supplemented with other resources.  Still I think it’s a great course and encourage you to learn more or pick up your own copy today.

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6 thoughts on “LEARNING LIKE CRAZY – WHY NOT?

  1. Hi David,

    Learning Spanish Like Crazy sounds like a lot of hard work. I think it would be highly beneficial if you planned on going on a holiday to Spanish areas that use this dialect. The price is reasonable and i’m sure its well structured for optimal learning. I like the way your site is structured, looks unique by the way!

    Benji 😉

    1. Thanks for your comments, Benji! I think most Hispanics in the United States speak Latin American Spanish. So, even if you are traveling in our “English speaking” country, it can be very helpful to be able to communicate with our neighbors in their native language. And, like you said, it’s really great to know if you travel in Central and South America.

  2. Learning like crazy looks like a good product to buy. It would be great if I can speak some Spanish. It would be great if they had live tutoring, but that would lead to an extra cost.

    Is this program only available for Spanish or what other languages does it cover?

    1. Learning Like Crazy is a good program, and they’ve just released an updated version. So, now’s an ideal time to buy. This program comes in two languages: Latin American Spanish or Italian.

  3. Enjoyed your article very much, this does sound like a good program for anyone wishing to learn Spanish. I have often thought about learning a new language, I might just check into this more in the near future.

    I am right now in the process of paying off some bills, once I get them paid off I will look into this program

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