Standard Deviants Spanish Training Course: A Fun Introduction for Beginners or Refresher for Returning Students

Value For the Price (5 out of 5)

The Super Spanish Pack of interactive DVDs is a very good value for its about-$55 price tag, on Amazon. These are Standard Deviants products, and the SDTeach website offers the DVDs for $20 to $30 each. The running time for the whole 4-DVD set

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is about six hours, or longer if you take the optional quizzes at the end of each (about) 20-minute lesson. While not a “total immersion” program like the famous Rosetta Stone software, this pack of interactive language-learning DVDs puts the fun back into language learning without saturating the student. Spanish teachers will also enjoy showing these fun-filled, reasonably priced DVDs to their classes for a break from the everyday classroom tedium.

Teaching Approach (4 out of 5)

Although a bit overly silly in spots, the course features a cast of attractive (albeit somewhat goofy) young adults who clown around a bit

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to get point of each lesson across. The approach combines vocabulary-building techniques with Spanish-language basics that integrate the new vocabulary. The approach reminds us older viewers somewhat of the way that the old Sesame Street series would teach and reinforce language skills, although Standard Deviants targets the middle school to college levels.

Scope of Subjects (5 out of 5)

Sample contents.The DVD pack contains a surprisingly large scope of basic Spanish lessons. The DVD pack has four (approximately)

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90-minute DVDs: (1) Learning Spanish, The Basics, (2) Building on the Basics, (3) Beyond the Basics, and (4) Advanced Spanish, Verbs. (See the package illustrations below.)

The new student begins with pronunciation and spelling rules, how to count to 99, gender of nouns and pronouns, and much more. Subsequent DVDs build on the basics and continue through irregular verbs, learning the seasons, and an introduction to -ar and -ir verb conjugations. Anyone having trouble mastering Spanish verbs will enjoy the DVD covering verb conjugations, which puts the fun back into verb forms and tenses.

Quality of Instruction (4 out of 5)

Definitely first rate. The DVDs use a multimedia teaching approach that accommodates all kinds of learning styles. As mentioned above,

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there is not much “immersion.” Instead, the DVDs are much like an entertaining version of a complete textbook in basic Spanish. Returning (or reviewing) Spanish students will appreciate the quality of each lesson and how the lesson relates to the standard method of teaching Spanish through translation and comparison to English grammar principles.

Note: The program should not be considered as a substitute for a comprehensive course in basic Spanish. It is what it is: an excellent adjunct for the classroom or the student who needs grounding in the basics.

Overall Evaluation (5 out of 5)

Definitely excellent! I bought the Spanish Pack after checking out a copy of the basic DVD from my local library. As an itinerant Spanish tutor I frequently encountered students who have difficulty grasping Spanish language basics. I find the DVDs useful both in underpinning my own basic tutoring approach and in re-grounding the student in Spanish basics. Students who have used these DVDs have consistently told me how much they enjoyed the non-threatening and entertaining way Standard Deviants teaches Spanish.

Where to Get Your Copy

Go to Standard Deviants web site to see their range of Spanish language interactive DVDs. You may also find individual copies of the DVDs in your local library.