Linguaphone Spanish Complete Coursework

Linguaphone Spanish Complete is a suitable course for anyone who wants to learn Spanish for the purpose of real-life communication, whatever their special interests may be.

This very comprehensive course is spread over three levels; Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced. English instructions are provided on the first five audio sections of the course to help you gain confidence in your language-learning ability. As you progress through the course the level of English support decreases and you begin to work more and more in the new target language. It’s an enjoyable, yet highly effective way of learning Spanish.  

The full-colour course content presents all the key language and grammar, as well as providing objectives, instructions, commentary and explanations in Spanish to support and motivate the learner. English instructions are provided throughout

Don’t worry if you haven’t been studying for some time. It’s very easy to follow and geared to help you progress rapidly. There’s no pressure here. You’ll learn Spanish at your own pace and in your own time. There are two course formats to choose from;

1. Digital Edition (for PC, tablet and Smart Phone)

This format integrates the course books and audio and allows the user to read the course books on screen and listen to the audio at the same time. It’s very user friendly and a relaxing, convenient way to learn Spanish using a range of modern devices.  You can log-in on any device with an internet connection. The course will automatically fit the size of your screen and there are a range of useful functions to assist your progress e.g. page turner, zoom, print, bookmark, search, etc. Suitable for all PC’s, Apple Mac, Apple and Android tablets and Smart phones. Your secure course log-in and password will be sent soon after you complete your purchase. Click here to view a sample

2. Print Edition (CD and course books)

Each level includes two course books and the accompanying audio (CD and online formats) That’s a total of 6 printed books, 12 audio CDs and online audio for tablets, smartphones and PCs. Online subscription to the course audio is included in your purchase. By logging-in, you can access the course audio anywhere in the world and play the audio tracks on any internet enabled device such as a computer, smart phone or tablet. 

The full-colour course presents all the key language and grammar, as well as providing objectives, instructions, commentary and explanations in Spanish to support and motivate the learner. English instructions are provided throughout.

 Click here to view a sample from the beginning of the course. You'll find you may know more Spanish than you think!


32 messages over 4 pages: 1 234  Next >>
Senior Member
United States
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Speaks: English*
Studies: Spanish


 Message 1 of 32

19 August 2009 at 10:30pm | IP Logged 
I would like to here from those who have completed FSI. Any language I guess.. But I'm really interested in Spanish. I actually wouldn't thought something like this was on here but I've not found it. Hopefully this will keep me encouraged to press on. I'm starting Level II of Platiquemos.

How is your comprehension watching TV/Movies?

How are you comprehension with Radio?

How well can you communicate in the language?

What are you doing know to improve or maintain your new language skills?

Edited by keithbc on 19 August 2009 at 10:31pm

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 Message 2 of 32

20 August 2009 at 3:38am | IP Logged 
I completed all of FSI French. Let me tell you, I would not do that again. And I actually regret it because I spent so much time on it. It was so boring; getting through it was like pulling teeth. But at the time I thought, "This is supposed to be the heavy duty method, so... better just keep plugging away. When I'm done I'll be set."

What I got in return was not worth the time I put in: My comprehension of actual/modern spoken French did not increase much, and though I could communicate somewhat, I didn't really feel comfortable or confident with the language in any way.

I think I realize why now; it may have been because FSI courses were designed to be used in a government classroom with the guidance of a tutor for hours upon hours a day. They do not really lend themselves to the schedule of the average "civilian" learner. Also, the drills it demands of you can be brutal. For me it was hard to see the point of it sometimes -- I felt totally disconnected from the material most of the time.

The worst thing was that I was "pinning all my hopes" on FSI and making it the main focus of my studies and neglecting native media, which was the equivalent of trying to subsist on a diet of cabbage while being surrounded by a feast.

A much better method for me in French and other languages has been to combine ASSiMiL with immersion in native media. However, I do think that using FSI outside of a class is very good for drilling reading and pronunciation skills, but NOT at all useful for training conversational fluency or listening comprehension.

One very important thing I wanted to add is that if you want to increase comprehension watching TV/Movies, then watch more TV and Movies in Spanish. If you want to improve comprehension with Radio, then listen to more and more Radio in Spanish. Don't be scared to jump into the real language and stay in, and don't depend on FSI to improve your skills drastically in these areas, because it won't -- it's like trying to practice on one of those little paddles tied to a ball and then wanting to win at Wimbledon.

That's my two cents -- how it was for me. I don't mean to discourage you (much) from FSI, but if you can stomach it you might see some gains, who knows, but I definitely think there are more efficient methods out there for self-learners.
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 Message 3 of 32

20 August 2009 at 5:51pm | IP Logged 
I think one has to enjoy language learning to appreciate the FSI courses; they really are intelligent in the way the grammar is presented. FSI definitely needs a facelift to make the content more interesting, that I agree on. But then again, this applies to all language learning products that think the learners are a bunch of innocent puritans. The humor, if any, in Assimil is rated G just like in Linguaphone. Pimsleur is unintentionally funny in that the content is about trying to get laid in a foreign land.

Edited by Kugel on 20 August 2009 at 5:59pm
1 person has voted this message useful

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 Message 4 of 32

20 August 2009 at 5:59pm | IP Logged 
Kugel wrote:
I think one has to enjoy language learning to appreciate the FSI courses;

Hardly. You've just got to really enjoy juggling sounds and letters.
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 Message 5 of 32

20 August 2009 at 9:12pm | IP Logged 
I agree. I really enjoy learning languages and couldn't stand FSI. I also think there are many better uses of one's time.

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 Message 6 of 32

20 August 2009 at 11:31pm | IP Logged 
Keithbc: I have more or less finished Platiquemos (I'm on Unit 51/55) and really it was my main source of study. I put in at least 3 hours a day for a while and then had a period of about four months (when I was on one of the units in the 20s) where I didn't have a way to study use the course and where I studied a lot of vocabulary using wordlists. A couple months ago I started studying Platiquemos again (up until a couple weeks ago) and have gone through Unit 51 several times. I started off with Pimsleur I/II and the Michel Thomas Foundation/Advanced courses, and after that it's only been FSI and wordlists (up 'til a couple weeks ago I had never even had a conversation with someone in Spanish).

Here's an assessment of where I think I stand after all this:
Reading: I can read most anything and at least get the gist, enough so that I could give my thoughts on what I had just read. Really, for most everything but more literary/technical books I generally range between 70%-80% comprehension.

Writing: With a dictionary, I can say pretty much whatever I want to say. I don't need to resort to it nearly as often as I used to. I still make mistakes with the subjuntivo and the pretérito/imperfecto and various other grammar mistakes pretty often, but I think it's not generally overwhelming, by which I mean I don't make so many mistakes that it is difficult (or annoying) to understand me.

Listening: This is definitely one of my weaker areas, simply because my vocabulary is still pretty limited and it takes me a little while to get used to certain accents. When someone talks to me I can usually understand, but listening to others speak or watching Spanish TV shows still gives me trouble. I can make out words and sentences, but Spanish still feels like a foreign language to me so I have to concentrate if I want to understand what they are saying.

Speaking: Definitely my weakest area, but I would almost call myself conversational. Not fluent, my active vocabulary is still too low and I make far too many grammatical mistakes when speaking, but after not having really spoken to anyone after 7 or 8 months of study, my first conversations I was surprised at how much I could say. All the information is there (in my head), but I can write it out a lot more quickly (and with fewer grammatical mistakes) than I can say it.

To answer your questions:
How is your comprehension watching TV/Movies?
It depends, animated films I can usually understand much better than.. non-animated ones. The sound tends to be clearer, I think. For non-animated films, I'd say my comprehension hovers between 30%-50%, and for animated films between 50%-70%. Of course, all these percentages I have used in this post are just guesses.

How are you comprehension with Radio?
I don't listen to the radio (in the car or online), so I can't really comment.

How well can you communicate in the language?
As I said before, I can usually convey what I want to through circumlocutions, but sometimes there is a word I just don't know and can't describe. I remember asking for the Spanish equivalent of "to rhyme" (rimar) and being unable to explain it clearly :P.

What are you doing know to improve or maintain your new language skills?
Now I am still finishing up FSI, but I have started also to put together parallel texts and collect audiobooks to try out L-Ring (Listening-Reading). I'm also trying to visit México (or really any country where Spanish is the most widely spoken language), but I suppose the actual process of preparing to go isn't helping me improve my Spanish.

I think FSI Spanish (at least, Platiquemos) is a wonderful language resource. If you aren't sure how you will do in a sort of "freer" or "looser" studying schedule, I think you will enjoy how Platiquemos sort of keeps you on track. If you don't mind the drills (I never had the same issue as jpxt2, at least not until some of the way later units like 48/49 one of which was really difficult for me but I can't remember which one) then I definitely reccommend it.
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 Message 7 of 32

21 August 2009 at 5:56am | IP Logged 

I think Platiquemos is the single best course for learning Spanish, but you won't have native-like fluency at the end of it. Think of it as one important tool toward your goal, but you will need to do more.

Unlike some others, I didn't mind the drills since I did them during my commute to and from work, time that otherwise would have been wasted. At the end I had pretty good vocabulary, grammer, and reading comprehension, but not so great listening comprehension and spoken skills. I could make my wants and needs known, but not in a very elegant way. That's probably because, as mentioned above, FSI was designed for group study in which students could practice speaking with the teacher and other students in addition to the coursework in the program.

After Platiquemos I did Assimil Spanish to work on listening comprehension, and am now starting Assimil's second course, Using Spanish. I'm also working my way through FSI Programmatic Spanish, which has more drills but also practice in listening comprehension. I haven't watched much Spanish-language TV yet, but I plan to do more in the future. Recently, I started doing on-line lessons with a language tutor and that's really helped, but I feel I still have a long way to go to get comfortable at conversational Spanish.

So again, no one course is going to get you to fluency, but Platiquemos is an excellent place to start. But you will still need to do a lot of other things including lots of practice in listening and speaking with people who are native-speakers.

aka a.ardaschira, Athena, Michael Thomas
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 Message 8 of 32

23 August 2009 at 6:25am | IP Logged 
I agree with dmt that fsi is the single best resource but it is not going to get you there by itself. I found it grueling but the results I received were well worth it. Besides platiquemos i used Programmatic, Assimil, Ultimate, Fsi Fast Spanish, Learning Like Crazy, behind the wheel subjunctive, learn conversational Spanish, street Spanish series, street wise Spanish, and Spanish for adults only, countless grammar workbooks, verb workbooks, and readers, newspapers, magazines. DVD movies with Spanish tracks worked well, Spanish tv, and of course extensive mingling with the natives and my mexican lady friend. Native materials are needed to help put you over the top. Oh yeah...the first thing I used was pimsleur. FSI was a little too tough to start with no other experience at least for me anyway. My comprehension is in the upper 90's% in all forms of media and listening to native speech. Getting jokes is a still a weakness. I don't have any problem saying what I want to say in most situations.

Edited by Cage on 23 August 2009 at 6:31am

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