Truly wonderful responses, and I thank all of you for your suggestions and comments.
I went to the local library and they have the 5-CD Pimsleur Spanish (Latin American) Short Course. The intro (he calls, “User’s Manual”) is on one disc, followed by 8 lessons on the remaining 4 CDs. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the disc with the first 2 lessons is missing! Oy. (The library is trying to chase it down.)
In addition to being a linguist, Paul Pimsleur is also a memory expert, and his approach is unusual. In the introduction the narrator tells you in no uncertain terms: there are no visual inputs whatever. So, when the CD played lesson 3, all I saw was the Windows Media Player screen.
What’s more, Pimsleur (pronounced PIMS ler) doesn’t even want to you to use pencil, pad, dictionaries or other books. Honest. So this method will require the average person to make a considerable adjustment in learning. Might turn out well, for all I know.
I tried lesson 2, but my damned computer has audio problems…I can talk and listen with my “Instant Immersion” (see below) program, With Pimsleur, I can only listen. The program can’t hear me respond. Which, I expect is a minor and eminently fixable glitch.
At any rate, if I opt for a high priced program, I think I’ll go for the other one you have in mind: Rosetta Stone.
Maybe you’re right – that a CD program won’t develop fluency - but some of the suggestions by the others should help a helluva lot. For esample…
hill o beans, you had a superb tip, and I quote:
“Here’s an idea for those who have some extra time to give and want to practice speaking Spanish with a native. Check out your local adult literacy center (sometimes offered through the library, sometimes through the K-12 school system or a community college). They can ALWAYS use tutors to help people improve their English, and I would imagine they would probably have some native Spanish speakers for you to work with. You could spend some time helping them with their English and they can in turn help you with your Spanish. Having a tutor who knows even a little Spanish is a lifesaver with a very beginning ESL learner.”
I think I’ll do it, Hill. Thank you.
I don’t have a timetable. I just want to learn the language. I think it’d be great if I could tune in our Spanish language TV channel, and follow the dialogues in the shows, the soccer games, sing-along with the music, etc.
At Costco, the other day, I bought the 5 CD version of Instant Immersion Spanish. It’s pretty good – for openers. (For $15.99, how could I go wrong.)
Your idea of immersing myself with friends is excellent which is what this tutorial advocates. But I have no Spanish-speaking friends.
Ah, but taking a course at the local college? That’s is a very strong maybe.
And your idea of watching movies with Spanish subtitles is dynamite! I’ll do it!!
Your mother knows what she’s talking about. For the most part, kids today don’t read much at all, nor have they learned grammar.
You cracked me up. I loved it. Everyone else, as well, I’ll bet.
I hope you do enroll in a Spanish class. Like you said, interaction and feedback are
Once again, thank you all.