Saturday , 25 February 2017
rs-laptop-2017

Rocket Spanish Review: In-Depth And Detailed

The Rocket Language series is a very popular online – based language learning program that allows users to acquire new languages through audio lessons, workbooks, quizzes, games, and more.  One of their flagship titles, and arguably their most popular seller, is Rocket Spanish.

Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and for English speakers is one of the easier second languages to learn.  Opportunities abound for those learning to practice with native speakers, and it’s immensely helpful for traveling as the amount of countries that speak Spanish is quite numerous.

So how does Rocket Spanish stack up, and what’s included?  Read on for our in-depth review and tour. Now updated for the 2017 version!

Note:  I took Spanish for 2 years at the University of Michigan, so I am at an advanced level although my Spanish is a bit rusty.  However I think that gives me a bit of an advantage in terms of reviewing this program as I can see what they are covering and how well they are doing it.
rocketspanishreview2017-1
Rocket Spanish 2017 Edition Has A Clean New Look And Interface

Breakdown

The Rocket Spanish course helps people learn the language through a variety of different methods, and is broken down into several segments.

  • Interactive audio lessons – the meat of the course, these offer full audio conversations with pauses for repetition, and focus on conversational aspects of Spanish.
  • Language And Culture Lessons – these drill down into more specific things such as telling the time, numbers, and more nitty gritty grammatical things.
  • The “Survival Kit” – focused on certain situations you may face as a tourist or traveler, such as looking for a bank, clothing, and body parts.
  • “My Advanced Learning” – Very helpful articles on learning languages and strategies, as well as motivational articles to keep you on track
  • Flash Cards – the tried and true method to drill on vocabulary and phrases.
  • Quizzes – to help measure your progress through each lesson and your overall progress through the course as a whole.
  • Forum – chat with other Spanish learners and collaborate for social learning.

 

The Audio Lessons / Language And Culture

The most heavily promoted part of the course are the audio lessons.  These lessons range from 15 minutes to a half hour, and provide opportunities for the person taking the course to repeat back words in order to master pronunciation as well as retention.  It’s funny how in the first lesson you are constantly reminded to repeat the phrases out loud.  However, I must say that following the instructions and actually repeating the phrases is key to your success in learning the language.  I found the audio lessons to progress at a good pace; not too slow and not too fast.  They are also quite clear in terms of audio quality; the speakers are very articulate and easy to understand.

You can download the audio lessons as MP3 files in order to listen to them on your iPod or other MP3 device if you’re not connected to the internet.  This allows you to easily listen to them on the go.  I suggest that you do this and listen to the audio lessons several times each in order to really drill them into your memory.

The Rocket Languages programs now have dedicated smartphone apps so that you can easily access the course on the go – and the dual functionality means you won’t need to worry about losing your place or repeating lessons!

The audio lessons come with transcripts underneath so you can see the words spelled out, another great feature.

Included among the audio lessons and Language and Culture sections are lessons on how the Spanish language works.  This is an often overlooked component to many learn at home language courses.  These lessons are very important to your understanding of how Spanish grammar works.  Spanish has different sentence structure vs English, and it’s important to know these things when getting out and speaking on your own.

language-and-culture-window-small

Mobile Friendly

The Rocket Languages app is brand new for 2017 and is a pleasure to use!  The interface is responsive, meaning you can access your lessons from your phone or iPad as easily as you can from your PC or Mac.  The New York Times even wrote a glowing review of the mobile readiness of the Rocket Languages series!

Tracking Your Progress

In order to keep you motivated and on track there is a progress meter that shows how many days in a row of the week you’ve logged in and done lessons.  This helps to keep you on track and gives you an incentive to keep the chain unbroken.  The lessons themselves are color coded so that you can see what you’ve completed and how well you’ve done.  This quizzes you at the end of each lesson and allows you to rate yourself on how well you have learned each lesson and the vocabulary and phrases within.  Your progress in the overall course will then be displayed.

The program also gives you different badges as you advance through the course as a reward.  The badges are then displayed by your username in the online forum community area.

Audio Comparison And Practice

rocketspanishreview2017-rocketrecord

One cool feature of the Rocket Spanish course is that you can compare your pronunciation to that of the person in the lesson using a mapped out wave form.  You can then replay individual words and work on your pronunciation.  Basically all of the vocabulary and phrases are recorded like this for your benefit.  It’s helpful in terms of getting your pronunciation just right, and the repetition is key.

The 2017 updated version makes this very simple, clean, and easy to use.  It’s not always perfect as far as the pronunciation, however it’s usually pretty spot on.  You can increase the difficulty from Easy to Medium to Hard.  It’s pretty satisfying to get those green 100% badges!

Advanced Learning Techniques

One interesting part of this course is the “Advanced Learning Techniques” section.  This part of the course is a series of articles that is designed to give you pep talks, strategies about learning styles, and basic pointers about memory and learning languages.  These are great for helping you to stick to your goals as sometimes learning a language can be difficult and tedious – especially if you’re doing it on your own without a teacher and grades to keep you on task.

Games

rocketspanishreview2017-flashcards

The flashcard games offer a fun, although not super innovative, way to reinforce your Spanish vocabulary.  They got rid of the older games featuring pictures of the phrases, however they weren’t always super helpful.  The new flashcards section is clean, easy to use, and can be more easily updated by the Rocket Langauges staff to include more phrases on the fly.

Community And Forum

If you’re looking for help there is a community forum that anyone with access to the Rocket Spanish program can post in.  You can ask questions and get advice from other members.  I wish this community were a bit more active, however I will say that I posted a question in there recently and got a bunch of answers from users right away.  I’m not sure that the community is very active in general, but it can be very hard to cultivate an active online forum, and there are other forums around the internet that can fill this need for you.

Customer Support And Guarantee

If you get stuck with the program you can contact the Rocket Languages company at any point for helpful and friendly customer service.  And if for any reason you don’t like the Rocket Spanish program or don’t think that it’s what you expected you have a full 60 day money back guarantee.  I think this purchase security is a great feature of Rocket Spanish.

I found their customer service team to be extremely responsive even when I wasn’t contacting them with a particular problem.  I had posted a question on the Rocket Languages member message board and received an email from support answering the question more specifically.  It was a nice surprise.

Free Trial

You can try out Rocket Spanish thanks to their free trial offer, which might be a great way for you to see if it’s something you want to try out.

Click here to check out the six day free trial.

Conclusion

Before this review gets too long winded, I’d like to wrap up by saying that personally I think that Rocket Spanish is a great, great way to introduce yourself to the language.  The 2017 update has made it even better!  No matter what the reason is that you’re learning Spanish, I really think that if you set aside time each day to use this program that you will make excellent progress and be speaking and understanding Spanish confidently.

Is this course perfect?  No.  If you really want to be fluent you’re going to have to go beyond Rocket Spanish.  But no course will make you fluent in 3 months either.  What you get out of the course depends very much on how much you put into it.

I would also suggest that you do supplemental things such as watching Spanish movies as well as reading Spanish publications such as People magazine’s Spanish edition.  This is what I did while I was taking Spanish courses and it put me well ahead of the curve.

 

The Rocket Language series is a very popular online - based language learning program that allows users to acquire new languages through audio lessons, workbooks, quizzes, games, and more.  One of their flagship titles, and arguably their most popular seller, is Rocket Spanish. Spanish is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and for English speakers is one of the easier second languages to learn.  Opportunities abound for those learning to practice with native speakers, and it's immensely helpful for traveling as the amount of countries that speak Spanish is quite numerous. So how does Rocket Spanish…

Review Overview

Program Features
Depth Of Lessons
Usability And Interface
Mobile Features
Fun Factor
Customer Service And Support

Excellent

Rocket Spanish is an excellent way to learn Spanish at home and on the go. It's chock full of features and content and is one of the most value-packed language learning programs available online. We highly recommend this software!

User Rating: Be the first one !

About Liz Blake

Liz Blake is a language enthusiast who takes a special interest in linguistic anthropology and how language affects the way people interact and see the world. In her spare time she likes to read, garden, and most of all: travel!

Check Also

rocketgermanheader

Rocket German Review

There are a plethora of language learning options these days.  From live classes to apps …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *