How Much Spanish Can You Learn With Your Free Trial?
If you’ve heard about Rocket Spanish and are starting to think that this course might just be worth your time and money then the good news is that you can try out a ‘limited version’ free trial of the course completely free of charge. It might be that you are still researching the courses that are available to you on-line or perhaps you’re still trying to decide which method of learning Spanish is right for you.
Either way, if Rocket Spanish has caught your attention then the review I have written below will help you to make the best use of your free trial of the course should you choose to give it a go. Using the free trial will give you a great opportunity to familiarise yourself with the course’s many features. It will also give you a chance to find out for sure if this course really will meet your Spanish language learning requirements – before you have to spend any money.
The First Thing You Need to Know – The Free Trial is a ‘Limited’ Version of The Course
The fact that you only get access to a ‘limited’ trial version of the Rocket Spanish course is something you only find out after signing up for and and logging-in to the course for the first time. This is something that they do not really tell you before you sign up for the free trial and it might appear to some people as being just a little bit sneaky. I myself just put this down to rather clever marketing and was not bothered in the least by it.
Now don’t get me wrong here, you still get access to nearly all of the course’s great features and more than enough Spanish learning stuff to get you to your first few basic Spanish conversations. However the bulk of the learning material will only be available to you, if and when you buy the full course. Another thing to note is that The Rocket Languages Company strongly advertise the fact that all of the course’s audio learning material is fully downloadable – in fact it’s one of their strongest selling points.
With the free trial however you will only be able to download a few files. Even so, this will give you a good opportunity to try some learning ‘on the go’. With the Spanish lesson files stored on a handy little MP3 player you can learn some Spanish during your morning commute, whilst out walking your dog or at any other time when you can spend 20 minutes or so listening to an MP3 player.
So What Exactly Do You Get With The Free Trial?
As I mentioned already your free trial only gives you limited access to the Rocket Spanish Course. You get different levels of access to nearly all of the features – some you get full access to, some you get limited access to and one or two you can view but not use. The text below will give you a good breakdown of exactly what you can expect to get from the different features of the Rocket Spanish Premium free trial.
The Interactive Audio
The Interactive Audio lessons are the main backbone of the course and this is where you will learn most of your conversational Spanish. In the ‘full version’ of the course there are eight modules of interactive audio lessons. The modules are:
- Greeting, Meeting, Food and Drink
- Talking About You and Me
- Cash or Credit?
- In Your Spare Time
- Family Matters
- In Review
These interactive audio lessons are in the form of short Spanish conversations that are broken down into smaller sections which are repeated in English. You are then given a chance to repeat the conversation yourself and even record yourself speaking Spanish to see if you have got it right.
With the free trial version of the course you will only be able to access the first module – Greeting, Meeting Food and Drink. This module is divided into seven sections or lessons each of which is about twenty minutes long.
The image on the right shows you the seven lessons you will get access to. Unfortunately you wont be able to download any of the lessons so you will need to do them whilst sat at your computer.
To make best use of your free trial I would suggest that you do the first two lessons on day one (they’re easy) and then one each day for the other five days of the trial. If you do this, by the end of you six day trial you will already have a good start made in learning some of your basic conversational Spanish.
The interactive audio lessons also each have a ‘practice’ and ‘my level’ module within the lesson so that you have a useful way of practicing the conversation you have just learned and then a way of testing yourself to see how much of what you have learned has ‘stuck’.
Although there are many other areas and features of the Rocket Spanish course available to you during you free trial this section of the interactive audio is by far the most valuable in my opinion. If you find that you like these type of lessons then there is a good chance that the Rocket Spanish course will be a successful method for you to learn Spanish.
Language and Culture
In a similar way to the interactive audio part of the course the Language and Culture section is also divided into seven different modules. Each module is more or less a continuation of the corresponding module in the previous Interactive Audio section. The seven Language and Culture modules of the course are:
- Laying Your Spanish Foundation
- ‘To Go’ or ‘To Be’ That is The Question
- Describing Your World
- Making Pronouns the Object of Your Affection
- Common Irregular Verbs
- What You Know and Love
- Superlatives and Turning Something into Nothing
Whereas with the Interactive Audio section of the course you learn mostly conversational Spanish, you could say that with the Language and Culture section you will be learning the ‘mechanics’ of the language.
This is where learning most languages gets tricky – verbs, grammar, the tenses and all of that sort of stuff. Although this part of learning a language can be difficult the Rocket Spanish lessons are broken down into short audio clips so that you can hear the pronunciation, read the words and then try to pronounce them yourself.
With the free trial you will only get access to the first module – Laying Your Spanish Foundation. This module has eight sections (see image on the right) and I doubt you would get through them all in the six days of the free trial unless of course you have plenty of time to allocate to your learning or have a flair for learning languages.
If you make the effort to get through at least one of these lessons for each of the days of your free trial by the time your trial comes to an end you will still have learned a lot of new Spanish language basics. Again you will not be able to download any of the lesson files in this part of the free trial.
The ‘Games’ Section
The Rocket Spanish Course comes with two different learning games and each game has two versions – a version for learning words and a version for learning phrases. So, the course has four games in total:
- Mega Cards – Beginners
- Mega Cards – Advanced
With the free trial version of the course you don’t get any access at all to the two mega card games – not even a sneak peek. These are basically two memory type games with the ‘beginner’ version obviously being a much easier game than the ‘advanced’ one.
You do however get full access to the Wordmaster and Phrasemaster games. These two games are quite easy to play and make a pleasant distraction from some of the more difficult areas of learning such as the Spanish grammer for example.
Basically with these games you are put under the pressure of time to put various words or phrases together before the little man walks off the edge of his platform (see picture to the right). If there are children in your household who are also learning Spanish they will love these games.
You will find that these games can be useful for taking a break from some of the other lessons and you still get to practice your Spanish vocabulary while playing them.
The ‘My Dashboard’ area is one of the parts of the course that you get more or less full access to with the trial version of the course. It’s kind of like your home page of the learning centre where you can see at a glance which sections of the course you have already completed and also get recommendations as to which lessons you should try next based on the ones you have already done. The dashboard is a good starting point for your free trial of the course and it allows you to plan your way through the course as you can see all the course lessons at a glance.
The ‘My Assessments’ feature of the course is a great way for you to keep track of your progress by taking mini exams based on each of the Interactive Audio and Language and Culture learning modules. There is an individual test you can take for each of the modules in the course.
Since you only have access to the first Interactive Audio and Language and Culture modules with your free trial you also only have access to the first two tests in this area of the course – one for the first Interactive Audio module and one for the first Language and Culture module.
This is a great feature of the course and for the free trial it is something that would be worth aiming to complete on the last day of your trial to see just how much Spanish you managed to learn. This might also give you an indication as to the effectiveness or otherwise of the Rocket Spanish Premium course as a method for you to learn Spanish.
The ‘My Badges’ feature is designed to help keep you motivated as you work your way through the course. Users of the course are awarded badges based on their level of learning. There is a range of badges going from ‘novice’ all the way up to ‘guru’. Each time you complete a part of the course you earn points, then when you reach a certain number of points you will graduate up to the next level of badge.
With the free trial you get full access to this feature of the course. It might be useful to some people to pick a particular level of badge at the start of their free trial and aim to reach that level before their six day trial has finished. If there are kids in your household that are learning Spanish then they will no doubt love this feature of the course.
If you are a person who likes to be social while on-line then this feature of the course will appeal to you. The good news also is that you will get full access to the forum during the free trial. This presents a great opportunity to ask other people who have actually bought the course how they are getting on with it.
Also if you have specific questions about any part of the course you could ask them here. You will be able to read through the questions asked by other people to see what common problems, if any, that other people are having with the course and what problems people are facing when learning Spanish in general.
The ‘My Toolbox’ feature has four sections to it 1. Advanced Learning Techniques, 2. My Vocab, 3. Phrasefinder and 4. My Notes, and all are accessible with the free trial.
The most valuable part of the ‘My Toolbox’ feature is the Advanced Learning Techniques section which is a great resource for figuring out how best to go about learning Spanish. Basically it is a series of 25 articles which deal with the way that you do your Spanish learning. The articles come under the following eight headings:
- Getting Started
- Develop Your Very own Learn Spanish Plan
- Building Confidence
- Enjoying Your Spanish.
- Improving Your Memory
- Top Tips for Spanish Success
- Measuring Your Own Achievement
You should definitely make the effort to read each of the 25 articles in this section of the course before the end of your free trial, or better still, if you have the time, go through them before you start the lessons in the trial at all. If you were to never use Rocket Spanish again the information that you will learn from these articles will help you with your Spanish Learning regardless of what course you end up using or what method of learning Spanish that you eventually decide to go with.
There is a ‘News’ feature to the Rocket Spanish course which gets updated once or twice a month. This section keeps users of the course up to date with changes to the course and other newsworthy stuff about Rocket Spanish.
At the time of writing the most recent post to this area of the course is the news story about Rocket Languages winning the recent BESSIE (Best Educational Software) Award in April of this year (2013). You can fully access this feature of the course with your free trial.
Two More Things They Don’t Tell You!
Here’s two things that they don’t advertise over at the Rocket Spanish website but I thought it might be useful for you to know.
- I’m not really sure if this happens all the time but I guess that it probably does as part of the marketing strategy. Back when I took the free trial of the Rocket Spanish course, at the end of the six days when my time was up, I received an email from Rocket Languages explaining that I had another 48 hours to try out the course and make up my mind – so the six day free trial is in fact actually a seven day free trial – useful to know if you plan to make full use of the trial to learn as much Spanish as you can.
- Another thing that’s good to know is that when you sign up for the free trial you will be offered a special ‘early bird’ discount. The regular price of the course at the moment is $99.95 (discounted from $149.95) but you will be offered the course for ten dollars less at $89.95 when you sign up for the free trial. So if you’re thinking of buying the course anyway be sure to sign up for the free trial and avail of the current $10 discount.
Now You Know How To Make The Most Out of Your Rocket Spanish Free Trial
Hopefully the information in this review of the Rocket Spanish free trial has given you a few ideas as to how you will make the most out of your Rocket Spanish trial (if you choose to sign up for it). Depending on where you are at right now in your research into which method or course that you are going to use for learning Spanish there are probably two ways that you could use the free trial.
If you have already researched a lot of on-line courses and are familiar with their features then logging in to the Rocket Spanish free trial for thirty minutes or so to check out all of the learning features and tools available in the course may be enough for you to make the decision as to whether Rocket Spanish is right for you or not.
If you like what you’ve heard about Rocket Spanish and are already interested in the course or on the other hand if you’re not sure that an on-line course is a good way for you to learn then it might be a good idea for you to fully try out the course for the six days of the trial to see just how much Spanish you could learn. The advice in this review should hopefully help you to make the most out of the six days of your free trial.