I will start by saying that Rocket Languages Spanish is my favourite course!
Now, I do know that there is a lot of spammy reviews of Rocket Languages online, which is not doing Rocket any favors for its reputation! I think that’s a shame because it’s actually a great language program! (if you like learning by listening!)
I bought the Level 1 course and went through it. I listened to it and enjoyed it, so I went ahead and bought the Level 2 & Level 3 of Rocket Spanish as well, and now I am going through those lessons too!
It’s a great course for listening to the audio on your commute, when you go for walks like walking your dog, or when doing other activities like cooking, going to the gym etc. I downloaded all the lessons to my phone and listened to 2 lessons per day on my 20 minute walk to and back from work.
Without changing my routine too much, or having to find free time to set aside, I made a lot of progress in my understanding of Spanish!
What do you get?
Rocket Languages is mainly an interactive audio course.
So for the Spanish course, you are listening to the English native speaker Amy, Spanish native speaker Mauricio. His mom Carmen also makes several appearances throughout the course.
The way it works is you listen to an initial dialogue, and then Amy and Mauricio breaks down the conversation in detail. Then, they ask you many questions about the passage to make sure that you memorize the material you just learned.
They do also have some other sections, like Language and Culture Lessons, a Survival Kit Section and Flashcards.
Here are the lessons from the first 8 modules in Level 1 of Rocket Spanish:
You can actually get access to the first 3 lessons in Module 1 with a FREE Trial account. So the best way to get a good idea of the structure of the course is to create an account with Rocket and listen to the first 3 lessons and decide for yourself if you like it.
All you need is an email address to create an account. No credit card required or obligation or anything like that!
Pros of Rocket Languages:
1) You start speaking the language in the very first lesson
Amy insists from the very beginning that you answer her questions by speaking out loud. After breaking down the first dialogue, Amy will ask questions such as – How do you ask, “How are you?”. You will then get a few seconds to answer the question and then Amy will give the correct answer.
This may not appear to be an important factor, but it actually works wonders on your comfort level with speaking the new language.
2) Full of activities and learning tools
My favorite part by far is the audio course! I downloaded all the courses on my phone and listened to them.
However, they also have other sections such as Survival Kit – which includes sections which you would need as a tourist. You also get flash cards for reviewing the vocabulary which you learned in previous lessons.
There is also a section which includes language and cultural lessons. They teach you what is missing in the dialogues, which is a nice bonus touch. Many audio courses fail to teach some basics of a language such as numbers, weeks and months of the year.
3) Lessons are a digestible length
The lessons range from 15 min to 30 min which I found to be the perfect length!
They are not too short that you don’t get enough time and repetition to memorize the lesson, but they are not too long that you start drifting off and start losing concentration.
4) Lifetime access to the course
Unlike some other courses, Rocket Languages is only a one time investment! Then you can access all the modules and lessons online, or you can download them on your laptop or phone for offline access.
5) 60 day money back guarantee
They take away the risk from buying.
I don’t think you’ll need this guarantee, but if you do decide that it’s not for you, you can just email them and they’ll give you a refund.
Cons of Rocket Languages:
1) Best suited for beginners
You can still benefit from it as an intermediate student of the Spanish language, but the people who will get the most benefit out of this course are beginners.
If you are at an intermediate level, I would recommend Yabla (see Yabla Review).
2) A little pricey
If you buy all the levels, it will usually cost you $249. You can buy just Level 1 for $99. The 3 Levels are a bit pricey, but I think they are well worth it, and it’s still cheaper than some other language courses out there.
You can begin by getting just the Level 1, which is pretty good value at $99
3) Best suited for auditory learners
The course does have flashcards for reviewing, but the best part of the course is the interactive audio lessons.
Who is Rocket Languages Best Suited for?
1) Auditory Learners
I learn best by listening – so this course was perfect for me!
Rocket Languages does have flash cards so you can get the best of both worlds, by listening to the course, and then using the flashcards as the visual content which can help you memorize the lesson.
2) People with long commutes
Instead of listening to mindless radio during your commute, you can use that time much more efficiently by playing Rocket Language lessons and learning a new language!
3) People with little time
Since Rocket is an audio course, you can just download all the lessons on your phone, and play them as you do other things. You can listen to the lessons when you go for walks, or when doing other things like cooking, working out etc.
Now, the information so far will probably be enough for most of you to decide if Rocket Language is best suited for you.
However, if you are interested in more details about the program, you can keep reading for more information about it.
Long Detailed Review of Rocket Languages (continued)
What do you get?
When you log in, here is the dashboard of Rocket Languages. Here you see the lessons of Module 1, and you can click on which lesson you want to take and play the audio.
The lessons are arranged to build onto previous lessons, so it’s best not to skip any lessons.
So to explain a bit more about what is included in a lesson:
First, you listen to the audio of the lesson.
Below that, you see a conversation transcript, where you can see the dialogue written down. There is also a section for some extra vocabulary which relates to the lesson you just listened to.
Then, there is also a testing section for each lesson.
There are 5 parts to the testing of the lesson:
- Hear it, say it
- Write it
- Know it
- Play it
At the bottom of the lesson, you can add some personal notes.
To be honest, as I listened to the lessons on my phone, I didn’t go through the testing, but I will in the future especially for the more difficult lessons, as the testing section will surely be an effective way to memorize the vocabulary.
Language and Culture Lessons:
Here are the language and culture lessons from Level 1:
The language and cultural lessons are not not all in audio format, like the initial interactive audio lessons.
They are more of a written explanation where you learn the rules of the language, as well as some cultural aspects of the language.
“Points” to keep you motivated!
If you go to my tools, you will see that you get points based on how much of the course you complete!
This is a great way to make completing the lessons like passing level in a video game, which can be a great way to keep you motivated to learn!
I don’t have any points, because I didn’t complete any of the quizzes on the website, but instead downloaded the lessons and listened to them on my phone.
How will you learn Spanish with Rocket Languages?
Amy is the native English speaker, and Mauricio is the Spanish speaker. Mauricio’s mother, Carmen, also makes several appearances in the course.
You will first hear a dialogue in Spanish. This will be followed by an explanation and a breakdown of the dialogue. Amy takes the first few minutes of the audio lesson to translate and explain each individual part of the dialogue.
The second half of the lesson is the interactive part of the course. This is when Amy will ask you many questions based on what you just learned. Amy insists you answer her questions out loud!
Speaking out loud helps keeping engaged! Then Amy will tell you the correct answer after giving you 2-3 seconds to think about it yourself first.
I really like this part of the course, as you are not simply listening, which can make you drift off and stop paying attention. Instead, you are asked questions on a regular basis, and this kept me engaged!
Recent improvements in the design
In 2017, Rocket Languages released a new version of their program. This included significant improvement in the design and user experience of the course. They also improved their Android and iOS app, so you can now access the online course on your smartphone.
The audio of the course is also very good quality. On rare occasions, you may hear some background noise from the turning of the pages, but the majority of the time, the audio is very clear!
Rocket Spanish is the best course by Rocket Languages
Rocket Spanish has often been mentioned as the best courses in the Rocket Languages series.
This is mainly because Rocket Spanish is the first course developed by Rocket. Therefore, it has gone through the most revisions and improvements, meaning the Spanish course is the best in the Rocket Languages series.
How does it compare to other courses?
Rocket Languages has many similarities with Pimsleur. (See Pimsleur Review)
Pimsleur is one of the highest rated languages learning courses. In a top forum for language learning, Pimsleur was rated the #1 audio course for learning a new language. There is also a lot of research showing the effectiveness of the Pimsleur method for learning a new languages.
Rocket Languages is a very similar course to Pimsleur. After testing both Pimsleur and Rocket, I feel like Rocket Languages were inspired by Pimlseur, and made their own new & improved version of it.
Personality of the characters
Despite its effectiveness, Pimsleur had a weakness that it was quite “boring” to listen to. There was little personality or background information given about the “voices” in the course. It was a lot more about “imagine this scenario” followed by a dialogue, so there were no characters in the course.
I found that Rocket Languages improved on that aspect by adding the characters Mauricio and Amy, as they become familiar voices throughout the course.
There is more personality added to the voices in Rocket Languages.
There are details about the characters sprinkled in throughout the Rocket Spanish course, and it almost feels like Amy and Mauiricio are your friends by the end of the course. It’s quite a small detail, but I liked it!
Rocket Languages is also about 1/2 of the price of Pimsleur, which is currently priced at $600 for all 5 levels of the course, or $150 per level if bought individually.
Pimsleur is one of the most highly rated courses for learning a language. However, the Pimsleur method was developed in the 1970s.
It looks to me like Rocket Languages built on the Pimsleur method and improved it! In addition, being cheaper than Pimsleur, I believe Rocket Spanish is the better choice!
Rocket Spanish vs Michel Thomas
The other popular audio course for learning languages is the Michel Thomas method (see Michel Thomas review).
The Michel Thomas Method for Spanish is shorter, at around 12 hours total. It has 12 lessons of around 1 hour each.
I prefer Rocket’s length of 20-30 minutes for a lesson. When I was testing the Michel Thomas method, I sometimes found it difficult to keep concentrated on the audio towards the end of the lesson.
Michel Thomas vs Rocket Spanish
I like both courses very much! What I did was begin with the Michel Thomas Method – as he does a great job at giving listeners confidence in learning the new language.
In the middle of the Michel Thomas method, I started alternating and also listening to the Rocket Languages lessons.
Rocket Spanish is longer, so you can learn more vocabulary with it. You also learn a lot more conversations related to being a tourist with Rocket Spanish.
In conclusion, I like both!
I would go for Rocket Languages because it offers a more complete course.
Rosetta Stone vs Rocket Languages
Rosetta Stone and Rocket Languages are very different!
With Rosetta Stone, you sit in front of a computer and match images with words. I understand their theory of creating an “immersion” environment without using any English in the course.
However, in practice, I just don’t think that method is effective for learning to speak a language. Neither do the vast majority of polyglots – people who actually learned and speak multiple languages.
Rosetta Stone has amazing marketing, but their software is far from amazing at teaching you a new language.
Somewhat similar to Rosetta is Babbel (see Babbel review). Babbel has some similar exercises, and I would recommend Babbel over Rossetta.
You can try the first few lesson of Babbel for free! (Try Babbel)
Rocket Languages is an interactive audio course, getting you to speak the language from early on.
Rocket has a good structure to take you from beginner to an intermediate student of the language. They begin with basic conversation and slowly build up to more complex dialogues. Then they break down the dialogue teaching you explicitly what lessons about the language you can learn from that dialogue.
As you can probably tell by now, I much prefer Rocket Languages!
Babbel vs Rocket Spanish
Babbel make it fun way to learn a language with some elements of immersion as well as other elements, such as writing, grammar explanations, reading and speaking. Babbel charge ~$10 per month as a subscription fee, which is a much lower initial investment to get started!
Rocket and Babbel are very different.
As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, if you wish to learn a language by listening to the lessons while doing other things – then Rocket is your best pick!
If you want to dedicate a specific time to learning language, and focus fully on just this activity, then Babbel is my top recommendation for you!
Rocket Languages is the best audio language learning course!
There are many fake reviews of Rocket online, and they may have some negative effects on the reputation of the company.
However, don’t be fooled by that!
I have tried Rocket Spanish, and it was a great quality course and I would recommend it to a friend!
Like all courses, it won’t make you fluent, but it will do a great job at taking you from a beginner level to a solid intermediate level of speaking and understanding the language. This will be done in a fun way too!
Try it for free so you can decide for yourself and Get your first 3 lessons for free!