Neil Kendall Languages

The language learning challenge

So I'm learning Spanish And Completed The Paul Noble Course

Anyone who follows this blog will know that I'm also learning Spanish. I managed to complete the Paul Noble Spanish course in just over a week, and I'm really happy about this. I now have a basic command of Spanish, which I can build upon with other courses. I'll give you an overview of what the Paul Noble method is all about, and how it helped me rapidly gain confidence in Spanish.

First of all, Paul Noble is a British language teacher who runs the Paul Noble Language Institute. He has released courses in Spanish, German, Italian and French, and teaches these languages, as well as Mandarin Chinese, in person too.

For the first 4 languages, Noble has a 'complete course' which contains 12 cds, and is over 13 hours of learning time in length. I purchased the Complete Spanish course as an audiobook from iTunes, so I didn't have to bother with cds.

Anyway, the course teaches you the structure of the Spanish language, from how the verbs work in all the most common tenses (present, 2 types of past tenses, & 2 future tenses), and how to conjugate the verbs for I, you, he, she, it etc, the structure of sentences, etc. Noble will introduce a concept, and then ask you how to say certain phrases, statements and questions in Spanish so that you immediately get to use what you've just learned in context. On the recordings, there are also 2 native Spanish speakers - one from Latin America, the other from Spain - who will say the answers to every question so that you can hear the correct pronunciation.

In addition to this, the course teaches you to use Spanish in everyday situations such as ordering food and drinks in a restaurant, reserving a table, asking for the bill, how much things cost, asking for a room in a hotel for a certain number of nights and number of people, buying train or coach tickets, asking directions, introducing yourself to people and saying where you're from and what you do for a living, as well as how to tell a doctor or pharmacist about your ailments.

These are taught in little dialogues that you have to get involved with as if you were actually in such a scenario yourself. I found this to be a brilliant addition to the course, because you're not only learning grammar and vocabulary, but you're also learning how to use and apply the Spanish you've learned for everyday situations.

All the concepts you're taught are repeated and revisited at certain intervals throughout the course, so that you consolidate what you've learned, and at the end of the course there is a 20 minute review of most of the major points in the course. This is great because you can go through it every so often so you don't forget what you learned. There is also a 78 page booklet that comes with the course too, which reviews everything and is good starting point for getting into the reading and writing of Spanish.

You will be amazed at how much you'll learn in this course in such a short space of time. Like I said, I completed the course in just over a week, but even if you did a cd a day, maybe 5 a week, you'd still complete the course in under 3 weeks. 

I found Paul Noble to be a gifted language teacher who explains everything clearly and concisely, and at no point did I feel it was hard work at all. Everything was really easy to follow, and was almost 'effortless learning'. In fact, Noble starts the course off by telling you not to TRY to remember anything...just follow the instructions and you will learn the language naturally. 

Were there are negatives to the course? Well, any one course can only take you so far before you have to seek out other learning materials to progress further. That's not really a criticism as such. Noble's course gives the learner a very solid foundation to continue from, and I'm really happy to have gotten this far in such a short space of time.

I've also been working through Linkword Spanish, which I will write about in my next post.

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