Product: Rocket Spanish
Overall Ranking: 98/100
Price: $149.95 per level (3 levels)
Owners: Rocket Languages
Rocket Languages offers courses in Spanish, German, French, Chinese, Italian, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Arabic, and Hindi, as well as English and Sign Language. While this review is based on my own study of Rocket Spanish, I expect these comments to hold true across their line of products.
- Begins with pronunciation, employs native speakers, as well as voice recognition technology.
- Employs interactive audio, including listen and repeat, question and response, and provides immediate reinforcement or correction.
- In addition, their “scientifically designed testing algorithms redisplay words and phrases that you are weak on until they stick in your head like glue.” Users are encouraged to review and retake unit tests until you pass, before moving on.
- Includes lessons about Latin American culture, as well as conversational vocabulary and grammar.
- The flashcard app, provided for each lesson, shows words in the context of sentences (which is much more helpful than learning them in isolation).
- Includes instruction about best learning techniques to improve retention.
- Progress tracking (example below) is provided with each module to help encourage and motivate you.
- Each level adds bonus lessons, in the “Survival Kit,” covering topics such as: frequently used phrases, body parts, colors, clothing, food, countries, numbers, household terms, medical Spanish, love/romance, business, humor, feelings, outdoor activities, and more.
- Among its users, Rocket Languages has a very high satisfaction rating.
- After paying for a level once, you have lifetime access.
- Live tutoring is available (at an extra charge).
- The standard program does not include face to face interaction.
WHO IS IT FOR?
Rocket language courses are appropriate for beginning through intermediate learners who are looking for a well-structured course of self study, including elements of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
- Each primary lesson is delivered by means of interactive audio, about 25 minutes each. Spanish Level 1 is comprised of 8 modules and a total of 67 lessons (plus supplementary material). Level 2 then adds modules 9-14, 55 additional lessons. Level 3 provides 8 more modules, 32 more lessons, addressing practical topics including: parties, Latin culture, friendship and dating, an Amazon adventure, business, travel, and socializing.
- Lessons also provide transcripts of dialogues and explanations of grammatical constructions.
- Each lesson contains up to five types of exercises/tests: 1) Hear It Say It, 2) Write It, 3) Know It, 4) a multiple choice Quiz, and 5) Play It. In addition to answering questions, you are asked to rate each on a scale of perceived difficulty, from easy to hard.
- Apps and games are available for mobile use.
- Help is available via threaded discussion forums, FAQs, and an ongoing blog.
- There is no opportunity for direct and immediate question and answer unless you pay extra for live tutoring.
Rocket Languages recently released their 2017 update, making an excellent product even better! The three biggest improvements are:
- Both iPhone/iPad and Android applications now feature full voice recognition and an updated interface.
- They updated the interface of the desktop version as well to improve navigation and responsiveness.
- Since a major factor in language acquisition is simple sticking with it, they also improved the motivational aspects to provide even more encouragement.
Rocket Languages offers a free 7 day intro course. After that, each level costs $149.95; however, their site offers coupons and combo deals. If you want the course on CDs instead of online, each level costs $299.95. They also offer a generous 60 day money back guarantee on all their courses; so you can try it out for a time and, if it doesn’t fit for you, ask for your money back.
Both Dana and I have enjoyed using Rocket Spanish and highly encourage you to learn more or get your own copy of Rocket Language in the language of your choice today. The price seems appropriate, and with the 60 day money back guarantee you really can’t lose!