Learn Spanish Step by Step
1. “Easy Spanish Step-by-step” (by Barbara Bregstein)
This is an excellent starter book for anyone who’s an absolute beginner in Spanish.
One of the biggest reasons why many learners drop out early in any language course is that they are using materials that are totally inappropriate for their level. They get overwhelmed by the material (a tragedy of the first degree), and come out from the experience thinking, “I’m just no good at this learning a language thingie.”
Well, you will not endanger your self-esteem with this book. It takes those with no Spanish background whatsoever by the hand and brings them to a gradual and logical understanding of Spanish grammar. And by the way, this book makes no bones about the absolute need to learn grammar.
While other titles may avoid the “G” word like the plague, this one embraces it and treats grammar like it’s freakin’ awesome.
But “Easy Spanish Step-by-step” is a grammar book that doesn’t quack like any grammar book. Yes, many other Spanish books teach grammar—in fact, the other titles in this system also teach it. But this one’s quite unique in its approach. Not only is its pacing spot on and smooth, but readers will feel, between the pages, a kind of psychological handholding that only a person with 30 years of teaching experience can give.
“Easy Spanish Step-by-step” doesn’t have to be “comprehensive” or “deep” (we have other titles in the system for that), it just needs to get the ball rolling. Its job is to give you your first pat on the back, so you can gain confidence and realize that Spanish is approachable.
It may not look like it on the surface, but this is a mindset book. It prepares you for all the other books in this system.
Ms. Bregstein’s habit of unexpectedly slipping grammar insights into places where they wouldn’t normally appear makes her book unique amongst others. (One way she achieves this is by the readings peppered throughout, and also through the uncannily useful mix of example sets she gives to make a grammatical point.)
And hey, lest you fear there’ll be too much to memorize in this one, Bregstein has chucked mindless drills in favor of logically building the book’s 15 chapters according to how people naturally acquire language. Chapter 1 starts off with nouns because, when we were kids, the first thing we learned was the names of objects or stuff. This is then followed by adjectives—words that we use to describe objects.
Let me just say that this is the real deal here. This course starts from the very beginning, guiding absolute Spanish beginners, and continues through intermediate and advanced topics.
The program includes:
- 3 course books containing a total of 46 lessons, supplemented by an extensive glossary and a grammar review.
- 9 audio CDs that contain vocabulary practice dialogues and exercises.
This program will give you the big picture of Spanish—from the basic expressions to the different parts of speech to the nuances that comprise the language. You’ll get to see the whole landscape of the language for what it is, have the chance to get familiar with different linguistic areas and discover where your strengths and weaknesses lie.