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Language Learning with the “Spanish Uno" Website
If your Spanish is at the beginner stage and you want to learn to speak and write with up to Intermediate level fluency while continuing to build your vocabulary, then the “Spanish Uno" Spanish language immersion website might just be your “plato fuerte". The term “Spanish uno" means “Spanish one" and this website`s strongest features are in its beginner to intermediate level Spanish program offerings.
Initially on the site you are invited to a free download of the Spanish Uno site software that sets up your computer to run sound, graphics and flash video components of the course. There is a free tour of the website facilities available which steps you through the main features and operation of the Spanish Uno program content.
Their affiliated “Little Pim" website features Spanish and French for toddlers. Videos of your child’s speaking practice are uploaded to You Tube for display on their website.
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“Spanish Uno" Features and Benefits
The website contains multiple levels of Spanish from beginner through advanced in both spoken and written language skills. Materials are abundant and very user-friendly with five recommended steps in Spanish language practice accessible at each level. First Spanish language learners go to Mrs. Juanita’s Classroom for grammar and writing lessons in Spanish. Then visit the program's online Library for listening to and reading interactive stories. Interactive Spanish lessons include the use of voice files, links directly to Juan’s Gym for exercising and practicing what you’ve just learned and access to the library and dictionary for translations and grammar explanations. The online library also contains an Interactive Dictionary which can be accessed at virtually anytime during a lesson or practice by placing your cursor over a word in Spanish. Stories, love songs in Spanish, recipes and jokes are included in the library’s features as well. Next, practice and exercise your new Spanish language skills in Juan’s Gym using verb conjugation games, number games, interactive exercises and dialogs for speaking practice. After that, read and listen to more Spanish dialogs before answering comprehension questions on the material. Finally, return to Juan’s Gym for more interactive practice.
There are online chart conjugations of more than 2000 Spanish verbs, in alphabetical order. An online Spanish Uno contents page allows quick viewing of examples from the program but with NO sound. Only screenshots are allowed of some games from the program with but one “playable" example. Likewise, you can’t access or “play around" with the program’s interactive dictionary either.
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A Few Caveats
While the site has extensive material available, it seems to lack a generous collection of videos for real-time viewing, speaking and listening comprehension practice. I feel these are important in addition to the native Spanish speaker sound clips which accompany the Spanish Uno program on its website. The Trial User Account features an inordinately low quantity of material for viewing in comparison to what is said to be available overall. Potential users must try to decide on a Regular or Gold user account based solely on the listed quantities of materials said to be available. Most people tend to be highly visual learners and real time videos are one of the most effective means of simulating this.
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Spanish Language Accents and Colloquial Speech
There is also no mention of whether the wide variety of Spanish language accents is allowed for in the Spoanish Uno website program. As a non-native Spanish speaker, I well know that the Spanish language can be spoken quite differently from one Spanish-speaking country to the next. Speakers in Argentina and Chile don’t sound anyhting at all like Colombians or Venezuelans, who in turn speak with a completely different tone, pronunciation and accent than Mexicans or Cubans do, and who are in turn, worlds apart in speech from Spanish-speaking inhabitants of Spain, etc. These differences in idioms, expressions, vocabulary, slang and pronunciation can be quite extensive, confusing and highly important to both native Spanish speakers and all levels of Spanish language learners alike.
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There are three levels of subscriptions: Trial, Regular and Gold. Each subscription level is available for a period of three months, six months or an unlimited time period.
While certainly not prohibitive, user Subscription Prices are varied:
Trial Regular Gold
Free $24 $34
Free $34 $48Free $48 $88
The amount of material available at each level increases substantially with an increase in subscription level.
Account Type____Trial Regular Gold
Grammar Lessons_____3 | 24 | 48
Writing Lessons ______ 0 | 0 | 9
Stories _____________4 | 58 | 157
Grammar exercises____1 | 7 | 380
Articles ____________74 | 592 | 1049
Vocabulary practice__185 | 2374| 3423
Games ___________10% | 50% | 100%
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For rank beginners or otherwise fairly unsophisticated language learners, Spanish Uno has some benefits. For more advanced intermediate learners or those who are advanced Spanish language learners, the Spanish Uno website programs would be boring, lackadaisical and uninteresting in many aspects - especially without up-to-date, real time videos. This is especially true when considering the costs involved for the time and "materials".