Rocket Languages Review

by Oct 31, 2014English, Product Reviews

Rocket Languages offer its courses as a smartphone app and as a web based desktop platform. Their products are mid-range in price (US$260 for full access).
Currently, the courses are available for learning French, Spanish, Italian, German, Japanese, Hindi, Arabic, Portuguese and Korean. I choose the Spanish desktop version to review Rocket Languages.
I already speak Spanish but none of the languages that I currently learning were available at that time. Rocket Languages promises you “the secret to successfully mastering any language you choose …”.

THE METHOD

Rocket Languages has a personalized dashboard displaying a study plan and a schedule. Each lesson starts with a bilingual audio lesson which introduces cultural information in the target language as well as new vocabulary and then other lessons which focus on explaining grammar. Each unit includes a self-assessment ‘testing’ tab that contains exercises for focussing on competences like writing, reading, speaking and listening.

Rocket Languages Dashboard
The Dashboard of Rocket Languages

STRENGTHS

1. Engaging content – the dialogues are constructed to keep your attention and were definitely more interesting than what I’ve encountered in other language courses.

2. Comprehensive – the courses covered the very basics of Spanish right up to high intermediate level content.
3. Genuine native speakers – the flow of the dialogues was very natural but still clear for a learner – very realistic!
Rocket Languages Dating
First date en español – covered!
4. Forum – discussion with other learners of Spanish possible on a forum.
5. Phrase finder – can be quicker than looking in an online dictionary but was not very extensive.
6. Cultural information – a lot of cultural specific background on the countries where Spanish is spoken.
With graphics circa 1990, the games section was decidedly unimpressive

WEAKNESS

1. Learning method – while the courses covered a lot of different of grammar and vocabulary, the learning process was not intuitive enough to deduct and learn.

2. Games – not fun, not effective, not aesthetically pleasing – a section that needs to be rethought.
3. Desktop interface – not sleek and modern as with other more up-to-date language learning software.
4. Voice recognition – it was not super precise with the graph it displays nor does it give precise feedback on where the sounds are being made in the mouth which would help a lot for correction of pronunciation errors.
Badges Rocket Languages
The Badges section where you can compare your score to the daily bests

CONCLUSION

So would I recommend buying Rocket Languages?

The courses definitely have value for someone wanting to learn Spanish. However, I didn’t find the progression that intuitive so I can’t recommend it as a primary learning aid for an absolute beginner to the language. It definitely should be used in addition to the basic courses (for example, I personally like Michel Thomas and Pimsleur or perhaps Assimil) or for a learner who already has a good intermediate grasp of Spanish.
If you would like to purchase a Rocket Languages course as a result of or in spite of my review, you can do so by clicking here.

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