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Discover Spanish Review by Courtney Larson

Discover Spanish, Inc.
(865) 851-0831

Discover Spanish is software that can be used by anyone who wants to learn Spanish, as long as they can read. It is suitable for elementary students all the way up to adults. This program covers Spanish vocabulary, Spanish grammar, pronunciation and the Spanish culture.

Discover Spanish consists of 6 units, with each unit broken down into 5 lessons (there are 30 total lessons).

Unit 1 (Greetings and Farewells) covers greetings, communicating how you're doing, countries, asking and saying what language you speak, telling your occupation, and farewells.

Unit 2 (Family Life) covers introducing someone, rooms in a house, asking who someone is, describing family members, talking about pets, and describing where something or someone is located.

Unit 3 (Numbers and Money) covers asking for a phone number, asking about age, asking about the time, asking when something takes place, exchanging money, and asking how much something costs.

Unit 4 (Everyday Life) covers describing aches and pains, saying where you are going, colors, food items, making a phone call, and talking about the weather.

Unit 5 (Leisure Time) covers inviting someone to go out, accepting or rejecting an invitation, talking about TV listings, weekend activities, talking about what you enjoy doing, and saying what you do and don't like.

Unit 6 (Travel) covers buying a ticket, modes of transportation, ordering at a restaurant, checking into a hotel, talking about what you are going to wear, and asking for and understanding directions.

Every lesson has three steps and can be completed in 15 to 20 minutes, with each lesson building on the previous lesson. The first step is "explore". In this step you are presented an interactive animated scene. As you click on different pictures in the scene, Spanish phrases are spoken. You have the option of having the phrase appear on the bottom of the screen in either Spanish or English (or you can choose to not have it appear at all). The second step is "learn". In this step you are introduced to specific vocabulary, as well as any grammar and information about the Spanish culture. All Spanish vocabulary and phrases are written on the screen and have audio as well. The third step is "practice". In this step there are two exercises and one game. The first exercise is a multiple choice vocabulary quiz. The second exercise is called "Listen and Answer". You are asked a question in Spanish and are expected to choose the correct Spanish answer. The game is a memory game where you pair an English card with the matching Spanish card.

I liked that Discover Spanish could be used independently by my children. My 9- year-old has wanted to learn Spanish, but I do not have time to teach it. He enjoys using this computer program and I like that it gives him some exposure to the Spanish language. When I asked him what he thought about this program he said "I love it! And I've learned some Spanish!".

There is some content that some families might find objectionable. In the Leisure Time unit, there is an animated woman sunbathing in a bikini in one lesson, and there is also a man asking a woman for a date in a different lesson. In the Numbers and Money unit, there is a lesson titled "The Lottery" that uses a lottery drawing to introduce larger numbers.

I believe Discover Spanish is a good value for the price. If the content isn't a problem for your family, I would recommend this as a gentle introduction or supplement for learning Spanish.

Product Review by Courtney Larson, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, March, 2009