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We have awarded Transparent Language Online: Spanish our prestigious Silver Award in this category, having reviewed 11 Teach Yourself Spanish Guides. Read our review below to find out why...
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Transparent Language Online: Spanish combines any-time access to vocabulary tools, with sign-up classes and a range of online resources to support your learning. They provide a 2 week free trial which includes speaking, reading and writing, listening and optional history or cultural modules. Latin American or Castilian Spanish lessons are available.
Signing up for the two week free trial is quick and easy, only requiring an email address. Once that’s done, you can begin a beginner course which immediately starts with the real basics. You simply listen to a word, view it and repeat it. Using your microphone, you can then have your voice recorded as you repeat the words. The system will let you know how accurate your pronunciation is, giving you a score, after which (assuming all’s well) you will pass that section.
The Transparent Language Online system keeps a record of the lessons you’ve taken, your success rates and the words you have added to your vocabulary. You can then continue on a linear course, which takes you on a gradual journey through learning Spanish, or you can opt to browse for lessons depending on what you’re looking for.
Lessons include audio and minimal visuals, using a process of “listen and repeat” or “see and repeat” in the first instance, then asking you to perform a number of recognition and revision quizzes to make sure the lessons are learned. You can also keep a note on lessons you struggled with and would like to revisit, favorite lessons and more.
Additional resources to assist your learning include a blog, word of the day, video lessons, proficiency tests and e-resources (primarily workbooks with exercises for you to try out). E-books can be downloaded on the free trial, and they’ll make a useful set of materials even if you decide not to use Transparent Language Spanish in the long term.
Proficiency tests will help you to better understand your level and areas you need to work on. You can then find video lessons, or regular lessons, which will help to improve on those areas. The word of the day feature is a simple touch for helping you to learn a less common word every now and then.
TransparentLanguage offers its best value to long term users who wish to learn several languages. This is because your monthly fee allows you to access all of the languages and lessons within its database, not just Spanish. Avid linguistics will therefore be able to learn as much as they like, with languages from all over the world.
Instructors are also employed to help you learn. They can provide support and advice, using an instant chat feature to talk in real time. It’s also up to the instructors to provide codes to help enrol you on a course. These courses are more specialized than the regular vocab lessons, and they cater to your particular skills. An instructor can use your online lesson history to judge your level and advise the best course of action.
Other features include reading, writing, speaking and listening tools and games, such as audio multiple choice or Sentence Unscramble. These offer a slightly different approach to learning and it’s worth trying them out on the free trial to discover if they’ll work for you.
Transparent Language has moved towards a more easy-access online course system, rather than supplying single software packages to download. This offers more choice, plus you can learn multiple languages during your membership period. Whilst we felt the site could use a little more fun now and again, and we weren’t always sure how to find what we were looking for, it is – in general – an easy system to use which allows flexibility and some useful reporting tools to test your progress.
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