Learning a new language is not always easy.
As I mentioned, I’ve tried to learn Spanish many times using both free and paid apps, but it took me a bit of trial and error before I found one that really worked and got me beyond following the second season of Narcos on Netflixt
The Pimsleur method that I used is an incredible system; it worked then and still works today. It was also pricey then and remains relatively pricey today and that has been a bit of a stumbling block for some people.
However, in the past few years there have been a few other programs entering the market that are very effective and less expensive. When I say a few, I do mean just a few, because I have also seen several courses that are just crap.
I want to point out the good ones, so let me tell you about one of them.
A “friend of a friend” of mine recommended me a program named ‘Learn Spanish with Ouino,’ and he told me that it changed his life completely because he actually managed to learn the language.
Table of Contents
What is Learn Spanish with Ouino?
Enough of my rambling; let’s talk about the Spanish-language program that, even though I speak Latin American Spanish, taught me things that I didn’t even know I needed to learn to speak it fluently. Learn Spanish with Ouino is a 5-in-1 Spanish coaching software that well…teaches you Spanish! This is a learning suite that offers you the flexibility to learn Spanish the way YOU want.
The entire collection comes with lessons for correct Spanish pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary, verbs, and most importantly – conversation. What made me happy is the fact that this program is suited for all types of learners.
You don’t have to be tech-savvy to use the software; the stylish and straightforward interface is built for everyone, young or old. It’s that simple!
How Does It Work?
Look, I had used many Spanish learning tools before finding Ouino, and I can tell you why a lot of them DON’T work. It’s because most apps and language programs follow a linear teaching pattern that goes like: press this button –> do this now –> finish learning. Their approach doesn’t work because there is no room for flexibility. There are a very small number of exceptions, and I will highlight them elsewhere on this site.
Ouino, on the other hand, lets you pick and choose what aspects of the language you want to learn from the get-go. Want to learn pronunciation? Go right ahead and dive in the pronunciation section of the course. Want to get better at grammar? Once again, you’re free to choose. And this method actually keeps you interested! I think this flexibilty is great for everyone but especially for those that already have a little knowledge of the language
You can use the 4-star tracking system to keep a tab on the lessons learned so far, or you could let the program guide you from point A to point B. Most lessons are split into two parts: the actual lesson, and the following exercises. The lessons are to the point and have been designed to teach you Spanish in the shortest time possible.
Plus, all the lessons are interactive and come with visually attractive graphics to keep you hooked. Just click around the different areas to repeat what you just learned, go back to the other modules, edit the pace in which you learn, and so much more. I especially loved how the lessons were recorded at both normal pace and with a slow pronunciation.
Here is a short video that demonstrates some of this:
I’m sure it will help you as a beginner as much as it helped me. I’d recommend that you start off with slow pronunciation and then switch back to normal speed once you’ve got used to the style of speaking.
Content of the program
The 5-in-1 Ouino Spanish System consists of lessons on five different elements of the language: grammar, vocabulary, verbs and conjugation, pronunciation, and conversation. In addition to these customisable features, you also get games and native Spanish narrators for the exercises.
1. Vocabulary: Taking a flashcard approach, the vocabulary section gives you several games with clear images for each word. My favorite is the Fluency Sprint, a game in which you have to answer every question before the timer runs out. Other games are Click-a-pic and multiple-choice games.
2. Grammar: On the second installment, you’ll learn the speech mechanics and how to correct words. You’ll also get to know the difference between Spanish and English grammar and solve exciting puzzles along the way.
3. Verbs and conjugation: Okay, this is undoubtedly the hardest because we don’t consciously conjugate verbs while speaking our native language. Master this art, and you’ll receive a huge boost in how you convey your messages. Here as well, the software helps you to learn using games and quizzes.
4. Pronunciation: To talk like a native Spanish speaker, you have to think like a native Spanish person. Just getting your pronunciation on point is not enough! And this is where this section of the course truly shines. This installment encourages you to record your voice and compare it to that of a native speaker to see how you sound. You might cringe a few times when you playback your own pronunciations but you’ll soon improve, and that’s the idea.
5. Conversation: In this chapter, you’ll get to learn the basics of everyday conversations – be it with friends, family, co-workers, or with a grumpy boss. By the time you finish, you will know how to ask for directions, make a reservation, call a taxi, and flirt your way inside the heart of the Latin woman or man of your dreams.
No, I wasn’t kidding about the flirting part.
How’s Customer Support?
When you’re learning a new language, you need all the help you can get – trust me on this! Thankfully, the publisher doesn’t disappoint in the after -sales support department as well. In addition to the demos and tutorials, you can also get direct assistance from the publisher using email or telephone.
I’ve used their direct assistance service a number of times and their support staffs were always proactive. I honestly cannot expect anything better.
Some Personal Advice
I highly recommend that you make use of the tracking feature to evaluate and test what you have learned so far. By the end of every lesson, you’ll get to choose between evaluations by difficulty level or topic. I’d advise you to select a familiar subject to reinforce your knowledge fully. Or you could choose a trouble lesson if you feel up to the challenge.
This program automatically marks trouble zones on the table of contents, so that you can return to the lessons that need more work. I also recommend using the Ouino mobile app for iOS and Android to learn on the move. The app is almost similar to its desktop variant and tracks your progress the same way.
I’m not going to go so far as to say that Ouino is perfect. Like every other software, this too comes with its fair share of hiccups. I could have used subjective verb charts and a system for star ratings after each quiz or sections, but they are not much of an issue when compared to the bigger picture.
As opposed to Pimsleur, Ouino is much more of a visual system, that is best on your PC, laptop or tablet, but it still works fine on your mobile phone, especially as so many people are watching everything on their phones these days.
Overall, Learn Spanish with Ouino is a fantastic program that’s more than worth your money. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, trying to learn from scratch or, an intermediate level learner – Ouino has a lot to teach everyone.