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Overview of Spanish Steps
Spanish Steps, an online language program hosted by BBC, gives the learner an introduction to Spanish language and culture. The program is laid out in six units, each of which has four lessons within it. Overall, the program has twenty-four lessons that cover the basics of beginning Spanish.
The six units are:
- First Things
- Night Out
- Moving On
- Work and Play
Each of the twenty-four lessons divided among the six units has a photo slide show that is accompanied by Spanish audio and English and Spanish text (the text features can be disabled for either or both languages if you want to simply hear the language spoken). Once the learner has gone through the photo slideshow and been exposed to what the Spanish words, phrases and sentences look like and sound like, it's time for some fun activities!
Every lesson has about four activities to reinforce the Spanish taught in the lesson. The activities are fun and interactive. For example, in the "Your Turn" activity under the "Snacks" lesson, you get to practice ordering a cheese roll and a beer, then asking for the bill. In case you are not quite sure of yourself, don't worry: the answers are provided too, so you can listen and find out if you said the right thing. The activities are easy, fun and varied, so you will not get bored.
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Unit by Unit: a Closer Look
Each unit is nicely arranged to take the learner, step by step, through learning new Spanish words and concepts. Every unit has four lessons and one final "challenge" at the end of the four lessons.
Unit one, "First Things," includes the following lessons:
- First Sights
Unit two, "Night Out," includes the following lessons:
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Navigating the Spanish Steps Language Learning Course
One of the most positive elements of this course is that it's easy to navigate. It's completely free, the activities are fun, the content is real and useful, and the website is well organized.
Here's what you will see when you visit the homepage of Spanish Steps:
1) In the center of the page, a place where you can sign-up to receive the course bit by bit delivered to you via email;
2) On the left sidebar, a list of the following helpful elements, each of which will open into a new page when clicked on:
- Each Unit (when you click on one of these, you'll see a list of the lessons within the unit)
- User Guide (this tells you what you'll need to complete the program, and how to go about self-directed Spanish language learning using Spanish Steps)
- Syllabus (this tells you what the objectives of each lesson are)
- Learning Log (printable pages for each unit on which you can keep track of your progress)
- Vocabulary List (letter by letter, lists of helpful vocabulary in Spanish with English translations and links to examples of correct usage of the vocabulary within the units)
- Grammar Tips (organized by unit)
- Fact Files (dozens of cultural notes on all Spanish-speaking countries)
If you are looking for a fun, straightforward way to get a foothold in the Spanish language, check out Spanish Steps. If you complete the six units, you will find yourself able to interact in a variety of everyday situations in Spanish-speaking contexts. Not only will you be able to communicate in Spanish, but you will also have fun reaching that goal!