I thought I would share my thoughts on some of the language books I have bought over the years, starting today with Take off in Spanish.
While I have always liked the Teach Yourself series for its comprehensive teaching, the sad fact is that these books are expensive – in South Africa at least – and I have never been able to afford one with the audio. Needless to say, the Colloquial series is way beyond my budget. Which is why I was so pleased to discover the Take off in series – the whole pack cost less than a Teach Yourself paperback, if I recall correctly.
The pack consists of a book, 5 audio CDs, plus a little bonus book with lists of vocab divided by topic with example sentences. I believe the audio could also be downloaded.
I must admit, it has been a while since I bought and used the book. I also don’t think I finished it, and I do intend to go back to it when I get back to Spanish.
But I will say it was a book I was happy with. One of my pain points with Teach Yourself is that it is actually quite a steep learning curve. You really need to have time to sit down and work through even just the dialogue at the beginning of each chapter, never mind the rest of it. A major plus point for this Take off in Spanish book is that it’s broken into bite-sized chunks. Every two-page spread is a self-contained section. So if you work full day and can only manage a short study session at the end of each day, it works well for that.
It includes little dialogues with audio, short grammar points with examples, reading comprehension, and listening comprehension. So I think it’s a decent all-rounder.
I have included a few pictures of sample pages from the books, because I hate to buy language learning books without seeing sample pages. It helps me get a sense of whether or not I would enjoy learning from the book. I hope this helps if you are looking for a book to learn a language. I would recommend it.