Review Snapshot
Pros

Well-paced and extensive lessons on vocabulary and conjugating verbs. Teaches Spanish how native Latin American speakers actually talk.

Cons

Not a standalone product for true begginers. Focus on audio will make the lessons hard for visual learners to grasp.

Verdict

A solid buy for someone who speaks basic Spanish and wants to build from that.

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Tamara McRill : No profile data added for this userMember Reputation 1 • 1 active Krits
Learning Spanish Like Crazy from Patrick Jackson
Learning Spanish Like Crazy Review
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"Learning Spanish Like Crazy" by Patrick Jackson - REVIEW

Have you taken Spanish through a formal class or course, but noticed that you still don't communicate fluently with native Latin American speakers? That's because the language is taught as if you will be speaking in educated circles, with spot-on grammar a given. However, that's not how most languages are spoken in everyday, on-the-street situations. Spanish is no exception and Learning Spanish Like Crazy seeks to bridge those gaps and allow you to speak naturally in common scenarios.

The founder of Learning Spanish Like Crazy, Patrick Jackson, created the course with just this type of street fluency in mind. 

To that end, the only part he takes in the making of the course is that of the 'student,' ensuring that the time allotted for student responses was adequate. Everyone else who works on the Learning Spanish Like Crazy team are native Spanish instructors and/or speakers. This was done so students can hear--and learn from--authentic Latin American accents.

What You Get

The first course is billed as entirely audio, but there are also bonus supplemental videos. The second course, or level two, contains 30 lessons, approximately 30 minutes long. These can be purchased on CDs or downloaded online at a discounted price. 

Lessons include:
  1. Expressing the future ir a + infinitive
  2. Both comparisons and names of body parts, hardware tools and farm animals.
  3. Conditional tense and conditional perfect.
  4. Commands.
  5. Review of direct pronouns, including commands.
  6. Plural commands.
  7. Future tense with regular and irregular verbs.
  8. Para que hay + infinitive structure.
  9. Demonstrative pronouns, including lessons with the verb "gustar" and similar verbs.
  10. Conjugating verbs.
  11. Ten lessons on forms of subjunctive mood.

Level 2 also comes with bonus CDs covering imperfect, present perfect and pluperfect tenses. Other bonus material includes downloadable audio lessons on Spanish slang and a DVD focusing on learning to become fluent in Spanish spoken in Spain.

Issues with Learning Spanish Like Crazy

The biggest downside to purchasing this product is that, if you are a beginning Spanish speaker, you will probably need companion products to learn the entire language. A Spanish dictionary and a formal language program will help those new to the language get a better overall grasp of Spanish. This also may not be the best tool for extremely visual learners, as most of the focus is on audio.


What Spanish Learners are Saying

Despite Learning Spanish Like Crazy's shortcomings in all-inclusiveness and difficulty, even customers noting this in reviews are proclaiming it a solid buy. The majority of people who have purchased the course are happy with results, especially with vocabulary and verb usage learned. Here's what a few Amazon.com customers are saying:

"Another great thing about the course is that you learn lots of useful vocabulary. Not vocabulary that you can use only at the airport or in a restaurant. But Spanish that I can put to use with my native Spanish speaking friends."

"I have seen claims that you will be fluent and understand rapid speaking natives, and while this definitely gets you closer, I don't know when I will be able to understand rapid speakers (even with listening to TV for practice)... I think that just takes time. Fluency just takes practice and time. So, it's a great product, but its not going to make you beautiful, intelligent, or anything else magical despite some of its claims."

"And besides constantly being complimented on my pronunciation, native Spanish speakers also compliment me on my grammar. From using this series I am able to communicate in verb tenses that students of other self-study Spanish course would not be able to."

Conclusion

So, should you buy Learning Spanish Like Crazy? 

It's a good investment, but isn't comprehensive enough to be a standalone product for true beginners. If you have a moderate to advanced grasp on the basics of language and are wanting to become fluent in Latin American Spanish to communicate in everyday situations, then this program is for you. It fills in gaps that other Spanish learning systems, such as Pimsleur, leave in being able to truly converse with native speakers.



Date Reviewed: March 18, 2012, 9:31 am
Reviewed by Tamara McRill
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Research Sources
http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Spanish-Like-Crazy-Spoken/pro...
Amazon reviews for Learning Spanish Like Crazy, Vol. 1.
http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Crazy-Spoken-Spanish-Edition/...
Amazon customer reviews for Learning Like Crazy Spoken Spanish, Vol. 2 (Spanish Edition).
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