Spanish Uncovered Review: Is It Worth It? (2022)
Spanish Uncovered is an effective way for beginners to start learning Spanish. The incorporation of stories throught the course is a unique and interesting idea. The lessons are taught with video lectures. They contain a lot of information, but some can be quite long and don't actively involve the learner. The course is useful if you have a lot of self-motivation and actively participate in the lessons.
- Incorporation of stories is interesting
- Detailed lessons
- Interactive practice features and printable worksheets
- Some lessons are long and boring
- Have to enter credit card to use the free trial
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Table of Contents
Spanish Uncovered was developed by Olly Richards, a polyglot behind the popular I Will Teach You a Language blog. He developed the Story Learning method and has several languages available. As the name suggests, you learn a language by reading and listening to stories. The idea is that learning through stories is a more natural way to learn than doing grammar drills and memorizing flashcards. It tries to emulate the way that children learn a language by teaching language concepts in context, not through rules.
Spanish Uncovered consists of 20 modules that follow the story of workmates who travel to Spain. Each module consists of a chapter of the story and lessons that break down the story to teach grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. The last lesson of each module is a comprehension quiz to make sure you understand what you read. The Spanish Uncovered course only covers beginner Spanish. You need to buy the next level of the course or use another resource if you are an intermediate or advanced learner.
Spanish Uncovered costs $297. This is a one-time payment that gives you lifetime access to the course. Story Learning promises a 365-day guarantee. If you aren’t happy with the course within the first year, you can receive a full refund AND they will pay for another Spanish course of your choosing.
The price gave me a bit of sticker shock, but it’s not too much more expensive than similar courses like Rocket Spanish and Pimsleur. Even less expensive options, such as Babbel and Rosetta Stone, come close to this price if you add live lessons to your subscription. If you prefer to pay monthly, apps like Mondly, MosaLingua, and Memrise offer inexpensive monthly subscriptions.
Spanish Uncovered offers a 7-day free trial that gives you access to the entire course. To get the free trial, you have to enter your credit card information. If you cancel within the 7 days, you don’t have to pay anything. But on the 8th day, you will be charged for the full price of the course. You can cancel by emailing the support team.
Once I signed up for the free trial, I received a one-time special offer. I received 50% off the next courses in the series, Conversations and Grammar Hero. This offer is only available when you first sign up and you won’t see it later. Other than that, there are generally not many discounts available.
Creating my account for Spanish Uncovered was easy. It involves a few more steps than other apps require. because there’s a lot to read and click through before finishing the sign-up process. Unfortunately, you have to enter credit card information to use the free trial, but you can cancel within 7 days and won’t be charged.
Once you get to the dashboard, the user experience is good and the course follows a clear order. There are 20 modules, each with 7 or 8 lessons/activities to complete. Each module begins with a chapter of the story. Next, they teach vocabulary and grammar in context of the story. There are also interactive practice activities and worksheets you can print.
Starting the lessons was easy, but learning a new language can be difficult. Let’s take a look at some common challenges that language learners face to see if Spanish Uncovered can overcome them.
Spanish Uncovered is good for beginners that have already had some exposure to Spanish. Since it’s such a popular language, a lot of people know at least a few words and phrases. It’s beneficial if you do because the course immediatley immerses you in Spanish and moves at a fast pace. I would reccomend taking personal notes during the videos, or watching them a second time to really comprehend the material.
The first lesson is listening to the first chapter of the story, which is entirely in Spanish. They state many times that it’s ok if you don’t understand everything at first. It’s an immersive method of learning. This isn’t my prefered approach, but it works well for many people. The immersion method is proven to be effective, and if you stick with the program, you’ll start understanding more and more of the stories.
Spanish Uncovered doesn’t teach an excessive amount of vocabulary, but you’ll definitely remember the words you learn. The words and phrases are presented in the story at the start of the module. Then, there is a specific vocabulary lesson that teaches the words. Next, there are a series of interactive activities to practice what you learned. You match the words, spell them, and take a mini-test.
One of the best resources are the specific vocabulary and grammar worksheets associated with each chapter. You can find them at the bottom of the course modules. Each one is between 10-20 pages long. There plenty of exercises to reinforce what you learned during the lesson. There’s also an answer key so you can check your answers.
Spanish Uncovered could improve a bit in this area because there isn’t much opportunity to listen to authentic Spanish. The most Spanish you’ll hear is when listening to the story during the first lesson of the modules. I did like that I could choose Iberian Spanish or Latin American Spanish. There is also a native speaker that teaches the pronunciation lessons so you can practice imitating her pronunciation.
As with most online apps and courses, there is little speaking practice. They do offer speaking activities, but they aren’t very useful without a partner to speak with. If you want to become conversational, you’ll probably need a teacher. You can take classes online through a platform like italki, Preply, or Verbling.
Spanish Uncovered doesn’t use a lot of gamified aspects that other apps like Duolingo or Mondly use. In the end, you are responsible for setting up a routine and sticking with it. The course has a clear structure so it’s easy to see what to do next and keep going.
Overall, the course was different that I expected. When I heard Story Learning, I thought that every lesson would involve reading or listening to a story. The story ties the course together, but reading stories isn’t the primary focus. In each module, you listen to one chapter of the story. Then there are lessons that use the story to teach important vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation topics in context.
Another aspect I liked was that I could choose Iberian or Latin American Spanish. You can choose the one that fits best with your learning goals, or listen to both! The course tends to favor Iberian spanish. A teacher from Spain guides the pronunciation lessons, the vocabulary uses Iberian Spanish words, and they teach the vosotros verb conjugations, which is generally only used in Spain.
It took me awhile to warm up to this course, but after I started working through the lessons and modules, I began to like it more and more. Because there are audios, videos, and written worksheets, this course can work for many different learning styles.
What sold me on the course were the extensive vocabulary and grammar worksheets available. After listening to the story and watching the videos, I felt like I understood, but was a little unsure. Completing the written exercises by myself and checking the answers is what helped me remember what I learned during the lessons. I also liked the interactive vocabulary games that are available with each module.
As with any language course, there is some room for improvement. My personal opinion is that this isn’t a course for true beginners. I think that if I had no prior Spanish experience, I would feel lost by diving into a story that’s entirely in Spanish. And they cover quite a bit of content in each lesson. I think it’s necessary to take the course slowly and repeat the lessons more than once.
The instructional videos can also get a little long. Some of the vocabulary and grammar lessons are over 30 minutes. For me, it’s difficult to focus for that long, especially if it’s a complicated topic. It would be better to break up the lessons into smaller chunks and include more practice activities to really understand the topic.
There is only a little listening practice and essentially no speaking practice. This is a common problem that most online language courses face since you are using a computer/smart phone and not talking with a real person. But taking classes with a teacher can be expensive since you are paying for their time and expertise. Some other apps that involve more listening and speaking practice without a teacher are SpanishPod101, Yabla, and Glossika.
Since Spanish is a popular language there are many alternatives available. If buying the course in one payment doesn’t fit your budget, there are other apps like MosaLingua and Memrise that offer inexpensive monthly subscriptions. Similar courses that uses audio lessons are SpanishPod101 and Rocket Spanish. Rosetta Stone and Babbel use the immersion method, using only Spanish to teach their lessons. If you like hearing authentic material, Busuu or Yabla are good options.
Spanish Uncovered vs Rocket Spanish
Rocket Spanish is the most similar to Spanish Uncovered. It also has a course plan that lays out the lessons in a logical order. You start with lesson 1 and work your way through. Rocket Spanish uses audio and written lessons, and Spanish Uncovered uses more videos. Rocket Spanish offers more levels and is cheaper per level. Since they are so similar, try the free trial to both to see which one fits your learning style. You can also read more about Rocket Spanish in this review, or try it for free by clicking the link below.
Spanish Uncovered vs SpanishPod101
SpanishPod101 is another good app if you want to hear authentic Spanish being spoken. While Spanish Uncovered only teaches up to an intermediate level, SpanishPod101 has 5 different levels from beginner to advanced. SpanishPod101 offers 3 different subscription levels, so it’s a better choice for those on a budget. I like SpanishPod101 because it has tons of supplemental material in addition to the lessons, but I prefer the clear course structure of Spanish Uncovered. If you are interested in SpanishPod101, you can check out this review or try it for free by clicking the link below.
Spanish Uncovered vs Babbel
Spanish Uncovered and Babbel use very different styles to teach Spanish. Spanish Uncovered has long lessons with lots of detail, but Babbel has short, interactive lessons that teach only a few topics in each lesson. Babbel has a cheap monthly subscription, or you can get lifetime access to all languages for less than the price of Spanish Uncovered. Babbel is the better option if you prefer quick lessons that you can do on the go, or if you are learning more than one language. If you want to learn more about Babbel, you can read this review or try it for free by clicking the link below.
Spanish Uncovered vs FluentU
FluentU is another app that teaches through videos and content featuring native speakers. It has short video clips, whereas Spanish Uncovered has detailed video lessons that talk about many aspects of the language. FluentU has one of the most expensive monthly subscriptions out there, so it might be the more expensive option after a few months. In this match-up, I prefer Spanish Uncovered because the course follows a clear and logical order. If you want to learn more about FluentU, you can read this review or try it for free by clicking the link below.
Spanish Uncovered is good for beginners. The course first immerses you in Spanish and then teaches the important parts of the language. The course will only take you to an intermediate level and then you will need a different resource to continue learning.
Spanish Uncovered isn’t free, but you can try it for free with the 7-day trial. You have to enter your credit card information to use the trial, but they won’t charge you until the 8th day if you don’t cancel your account.
The entire Spanish Uncovered course costs $297. There are no monthly payment options available. There is a 365-day guarantee. If you aren’t happy with the course during the first year, you can get a full refund.
Story Learning is a technique developed by Olly Richards, a polyglot who has learned more than 8 languages. The method involves learning a language like a child does, through stories and communication, not through grammar and rules. According to Richards, this is a more “brain-frinedly” way to learn a language.
This is an independent Spanish Uncovered review, and the company has not sponsored this article. To write this review, I signed up for the free trial and used it for a few hours to thoroughly test its content and features. I also found additional information on the Story Learning website to verify my findings.