Okay, so it took a little more than a week – 8 or 9 days. During the time I spent on this book, I did not write down any answers to questions, or anything. I made only a short note on verb conjugations. Apart from that, my use of the book consisted of reading (mostly aloud), and attempts to memorise vocab lists. This did not go terribly well. I think I work better when I sit down at a table and go through a lesson systematically. Which is what I will be doing next (more on that further below).
That being said, I still think that any exposure is better than no exposure, and on that principle I think I learned a bit from the Spanish in a Week book. I probably recognise the most common verbs, many nouns, and have a beginner grasp on sentence structure. To gain maximum benefit from this book, one should spend more time on it than I did, perhaps breaking each ‘day’ up into sections to be tackled at different times of the day. Also, I’m sure it would help if you have a partner to practise with.
Another thing – pronunciation. When you learn from a book it’s sometimes hard to know if you a saying things correctly. I will be using audio files from FSI from time to time to get an feel for pronunciation.
And now: where to next? I have borrowed another book from the library called Practice in Spanish Grammar. I have done a bit of it today already. Small sections at a time. This will be my project for the next month or so – Spanish Grammar, and I will also continue with Italian, using my course books from the Italian class I was attending and Teach Yourself Italian Extra. I do love the Teach Yourself series. I read through Teach Yourself Linguistics a while ago and found it very interesting and helpful.
Just a point on libraries – your best source of free materials on language learning! I like to download free resources, because I can keep them, but there’s nothing like holding a book in your hands. You can take it anywhere and you don’t have to wait for it to switch on before you can use it! If given a choice, I always prefer to use a book.