Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

General discussion about learning languages
rsamsen
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:18 pm
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Re: Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

Postby rsamsen » Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:37 pm

I have never posted on any of these forums before but because I have used them multiple times, I figure I should give back since I feel like I have made a bunch of progress using a variety of apps to learn Spanish. I have had very little formal instruction apart from four sessions with an online tutor in the middle of the process. I would like to share what I got out of all of these programs, including Fluencia.

- Duolingo: the program that got me started and probably the best way to begin. Free and user-friendly, this is the program that gave me the initial push to try and learn the language. The gamification of the lessons is very fun and useful. I learned the basics through this program and completed it. I still do two lessons a day as a refresher. It very quickly becomes a little too easy though.

- Brainscape: a mobile flashcard app which was the next step. Probably the best way to learn vocab. Have been using this for about two years now and still haven't finished going through all the vocabulary words. Also has a great a sentence building side to things which taught me more of the fundamentals of grammar in way that Duolingo couldn't. Forcing you come up with the words and sentences in Spanish on your own rather than translate from Spanish or choose from multiple choice is more challenging and ultimately more useful. I have finished all of the sentence building lessons, all fifteen of the 200-card-each vocab lessons, and am now continuing on in the business spanish / food and drink / medical etc. ancillary lessons.

- Pimsleur: for me, this was THE "app" for listening and understanding Spanish. None of the other apps helped me actually understand Spanish more than this. It's listen/repeat exercises of real Spanish speakers was crucial for me to actually formulate phrases and conjugate verbs automatically and practically rather than academically. I am halfway through the 4th unit (out of five). Mind you, you will have very limited vocab if you exclusively use this course.

- Learning Spanish Like Crazy: This I found far less useful than Pimsleur. It moves a little too rapidly through the material and doesn't repeat things nearly as much. I think I used it too early on--I might try using it again after I finish the Pimsleur materials.

- Fluencia: While costly, no other course taught me the por vs. para, imperfect, and present subjunctive better than this one--especially the subjunctive which is barely touched upon in Duolingo and is not even mentioned in brainscape. The subjunctive is all over the place and is really essential, especially for reading. I also like the crisp, real audio as opposed to the robot audio of Duolingo. Every unit starts with a long conversation in Spanish at normal speed--this is a good supplement to the very short conversations of Pimsleur. I am half way through the 9th level (each level has ten units and each unit has about 10 lessons).

- extr@: a fun sitcom in Spanish based on Friends. Good way to practice listening at the basic level.

- Destinos: fun, overdramatic soap opera. Still working my way through the show since it has so many episodes.

I have not tried either the FSI program or Language Transfer although they seem intriguing. With regards to Fluencia, I would say that it is very useful grammatically but that it should be used concurrently with the other programs. In fact, I would say all of these programs are complementary and work together since they excel in different areas. I have been practicing Spanish for about two years and can now have conversations exclusively in Spanish (albeit with a patient Spanish speaker!)
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jsega
Orange Belt
Posts: 133
Joined: Mon Aug 15, 2016 6:44 pm
Languages: English (N) Spanish (beginner)
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Re: Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

Postby jsega » Tue Aug 30, 2016 10:58 pm

rsamsen wrote:I have never posted on any of these forums before but because I have used them multiple times, I figure I should give back since I feel like I have made a bunch of progress using a variety of apps to learn Spanish. I have had very little formal instruction apart from four sessions with an online tutor in the middle of the process. I would like to share what I got out of all of these programs, including Fluencia.

- Duolingo: the program that got me started and probably the best way to begin. Free and user-friendly, this is the program that gave me the initial push to try and learn the language. The gamification of the lessons is very fun and useful. I learned the basics through this program and completed it. I still do two lessons a day as a refresher. It very quickly becomes a little too easy though.

- Brainscape: a mobile flashcard app which was the next step. Probably the best way to learn vocab. Have been using this for about two years now and still haven't finished going through all the vocabulary words. Also has a great a sentence building side to things which taught me more of the fundamentals of grammar in way that Duolingo couldn't. Forcing you come up with the words and sentences in Spanish on your own rather than translate from Spanish or choose from multiple choice is more challenging and ultimately more useful. I have finished all of the sentence building lessons, all fifteen of the 200-card-each vocab lessons, and am now continuing on in the business spanish / food and drink / medical etc. ancillary lessons.

- Pimsleur: for me, this was THE "app" for listening and understanding Spanish. None of the other apps helped me actually understand Spanish more than this. It's listen/repeat exercises of real Spanish speakers was crucial for me to actually formulate phrases and conjugate verbs automatically and practically rather than academically. I am halfway through the 4th unit (out of five). Mind you, you will have very limited vocab if you exclusively use this course.

- Learning Spanish Like Crazy: This I found far less useful than Pimsleur. It moves a little too rapidly through the material and doesn't repeat things nearly as much. I think I used it too early on--I might try using it again after I finish the Pimsleur materials.

- Fluencia: While costly, no other course taught me the por vs. para, imperfect, and present subjunctive better than this one--especially the subjunctive which is barely touched upon in Duolingo and is not even mentioned in brainscape. The subjunctive is all over the place and is really essential, especially for reading. I also like the crisp, real audio as opposed to the robot audio of Duolingo. Every unit starts with a long conversation in Spanish at normal speed--this is a good supplement to the very short conversations of Pimsleur. I am half way through the 9th level (each level has ten units and each unit has about 10 lessons).

- extr@: a fun sitcom in Spanish based on Friends. Good way to practice listening at the basic level.

- Destinos: fun, overdramatic soap opera. Still working my way through the show since it has so many episodes.

I have not tried either the FSI program or Language Transfer although they seem intriguing. With regards to Fluencia, I would say that it is very useful grammatically but that it should be used concurrently with the other programs. In fact, I would say all of these programs are complementary and work together since they excel in different areas. I have been practicing Spanish for about two years and can now have conversations exclusively in Spanish (albeit with a patient Spanish speaker!)


Thank you for your review. I've been curious about Fluencia so this is definitely useful.
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frankshifreen
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:41 am
Languages: Spanish. French. German
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Re: Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

Postby frankshifreen » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:12 am

Review of Fluencia

I have subscribed to Fluencia for a year and a half. I completed 309 lessons. I am now going to let my subscription lapse and I have a negative review. Fluencia makes claims that it uses scientific teaching principles to teach Spanish. It is not true. Each section has about 7 chapters. It begins with a dialogue, which is fine. Fluencia never analyses the dialog although they provide a clickable English translation. The dialogs are interesting, providing a soap opera of young couples in jobs, family and love. Next chapter is a word study which is generally very easy.
Often the word chapter has ten or so words. The problem is that at the end of each section is a review that is very hard, with extremely complex and advanced sentences which bear little resemblance to the sections that have gone before. I have had to cheat to translate and complete the sentences online every time. The sentences are often obscure and not generally used examples- very frustrating- hard to generalize- they are not analyzed or broken down.
I thought I could learn with their system but I could not. Another problem for me was that some of the speakers speak with accents, one man has I have learned- an Argentine accent. He says par eeshah for parilla for example. This is fine if Fluencia would take the time to explain the accent and warn students what to expect. When I complained they were not supportive to say the least. They were arrogant .
the price is 7.95 per month on a yearly plan. To reiterate, Fluencia goes from easy to very hard without explaining or correcting the advanced review sentences at the end of each section. I would recommend trying other language learning products. I will say although accomplished and intelligent I believe, I am not talented in language. It is a real struggle learning to learn any language. At first I thought it was me, now I know it is them
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davidr222
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 18, 2017 5:30 am
Languages: English, Spanish
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Re: Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

Postby davidr222 » Sat Mar 18, 2017 6:01 am

Fluencia and really the many other programs and really not terribly useful in my view. They don't lead to fluency efficiently, if at all.

Here's what I think is a better approach that has worked very well for me:
1. Develop lists of vocabulary and of phrases based solely on what you'd actually like to say in your everyday life. Put these lists on Google Drive so that you can add to them either on the move or on your computer. Start with the basics and expand from there. But focus on normal dialog. Think of this based on dialog that you actually have in your life in English.
2. Study your word and phrase lists everyday. There are strategies for streamlining this as your lists get bigger.
3. To allow you to expand your range you'll need to learn basic verb conjugations, focusing in verbs that will be useful in #1. Over time expand to other grammar topics. A book will help with this or a course that's focused on acquiring grammar basics. But note that courses often involve a lot of exercises that are of limited value. Stick with real dialog because that will reinforce itself through use.
4. To focus on real conversation, spend time with Spanish speakers, preferably abroad. Speak only Spanish to the greatest extent possible. Order food, ask for a hotel room, etc. If you don't know how to say something in Spanish, figure it out using Spanish Dict and Google Translate. Start with basics and then expand to other topics gradually. People will help you along the way. Mexican people are in particular really gracious and happy to help! I can't count the times someone has corrected my Spanish on the street or on a bus in Mexico :) And it's always done in a simple, straightforward, and natural way.

By the way sense of humor is REALLY helpful. Don't be embarrassed by your mistakes. Have fun with it!

Just continue with the above process. Using this approach I've become reasonably fluent after spending time in Latin America. I've taken a course or two but these were only adjuncts. Real life conversation is the key.

The first time I got on a bus into Mexico from San Diego, California it was exciting and a bit daunting. There were few English speakers as I explored Mexico. I stayed away from resort towns like Los Cabos, etc. Little by little I went from restaurant, hotel, bus ticket conversation to more topics. I can now discuss politics, psychology, etc., etc. to a reasonable extent.

PLEASE stay away from programs and exercises except to learn verb conjugations and, as you continue, other elements of Spanish grammar. But all of this is in the service of what you'd like to say in you actual life. Lists of colors and clothing articles and fruits etc., etc. are of very limited use. And fake dialogs aren't much better. It's your actual conversational needs in real life that are at the core of learning.

Good luck! Suerte! Enjoy!
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Tomás
Blue Belt
Posts: 518
Joined: Sat Oct 10, 2015 9:48 pm
Languages: English (N). Currently studying Spanish (intermediate), French (false beginner).
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Re: Any opinions of Fluencia, Spanish learning site?

Postby Tomás » Sat Mar 18, 2017 8:05 pm

There are so many great free resources for Spanish that I would recommend against spending any money on courses. You only need one or two, and you can get them from the library.

All you need to buy is a grammar book. I like this one:
https://www.amazon.com/Spanish-Verbs-Essentials-Grammar-Practical/dp/0844272140/ref=pd_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=9H46ZEEPXW9F03S1Q5QC
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