Learning Spanish: Why You Should Toss You Textbook And Buy Spanish Learning SoftwareLearning Spanish: Why You Should Toss You Textbook And Buy Spanish Learning Software

Books are great--always have been, always will be. For learning Spanish, though, they are outdated tools of the trade. This article is going to give you the top 5 reasons why you should ditch your Spanish textbooks and get some Spanish learning software.

1. Interaction

Have you ever had a full, in-depth conversation with your Spanish textbook? I hope not! If you get some Spanish software, on the other hand, you will most definitely be conversing with your computer. And not only will you interact with your computer, the software will be interacting with you? How? Well, many of today's best programs have algorithms that detect which areas of learning you are having difficulty with. Then they give you more practice in that area until it is up to par.

2. Pronunciation

How do textbooks teach you pronunciation? They give strange written forms that are supposed to teach you how to make noise. It's pretty tough, though, to learn how to roll an "R" without hearing a native speaker model it for you. Can a textbook listen to your pronunciation and give you advice in regards to how to correct it? No, not at all. Spanish language learning software can, though. There are several programs out in the market that have voice recognition capabilities and that can record your pronunciation and then help you correct it.

3. Social Activities

When you buy a Spanish textbook, you take it home, and, well, you've got all you're going to get right there in your hands. With online or software-based learning, in contrast, you get an entire community. With some programs, you get lifelong memberships to Spanish learning forums, native Spanish speakers, and a ton of learning materials that are continually developed by both the company that produces the course and by the thousands or millions of people who study it. I have seen forums that arrange get-togethers and even trips to Spanish speaking countries. Which would you rather have, a single textbook, or inclusion into a huge community of like-minded people sharing a common cause?

4. Expense

There is no gentle way to say this. Traditional publishers have been overcharging students for years and years. How? By selling new versions at inflated prices. I know. I worked as a language learning textbook writer for 5 years. I've seen the "new" versions of the books that I've written. They're mostly the same, except for the version number printed on the cover. In addition, books are expensive to manufacture. It takes a lot of expensive paper to publish a book. Then you have printing, shipping, and design costs. What about online courses? They are digital! They need to be made once. Then they can be accessed or downloaded by millions of people with no additional costs being incurred.

5. Learning Activities

What sort of learning activities do traditional Spanish language textbooks offer? For the most part, none, especially if you are studying on your own. Basically, textbooks give you vocabulary words and dialogues to memorize. If you want to memorize them, you have to make your own flash cards or buy someone else's. Sure, there may be some free crossword puzzles or something included in some books, but, for the most part, you are getting nothing. How about Spanish learning software? Well, they are just the opposite. Sure they have dialogues and vocabulary words. The difference, however, is that the bulk of what the software provides is not those words and dialogues. It's the games and learning activities users need to use the words and dialogues in real-life situations-quite a different focus!


Books still have their place in this world, and I hope they always will, but we cannot deny the fact that, in regards to language learning, they are now outdated tools of the trade. Make the best use of your time and get some Spanish language learning software!
by Ryan Wiley
References and Bibliography
Don't buy Spanish learning software! Not until you've read my latest article, "How to choose the Best Spanish Learning Software." You can also get great language learning tips at my informative language learning blog.
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