While not as much a household name as bigger brands like Rosetta Stone and Pimsleur, Babbel has carved out its own portion of the language learning market with over 1 million users.
Babbel courses are designed with beginners and intermediate learners in mind. The courses as a whole have their own sets of strengths and weakings which you can read about in our Ultimate Babbel Review.
In this article we're specifically looking at Babbel Spanish, and how the course can help the average Spanish learner.
Review of: Babbel
Use: Language learning course & app
Provides a solid foundation of grammar and vocabulary in a foreign language
Monthly subscriptions starting at $6.95 per month
1 Lesson takes around 10-15 minutes
Ease of Use
Extremely user friendly
Courses sorted by categories like Grammar, Beginner, Words & Phrases, etc
I Don't Like
Babbel Language courses are online/mobile courses built around quiz styled lessons. Users are shown new material (grammar, vocabulary, etc), and then they are asked questions throughout the lesson to reinforce the new information.
Babbel works well as an introduction to a foreign language. Courses range from beginner level to intermediate, but less popular languages only have beginner material. The courses are straightforward and easy to use and can be a great addition to your language learning routine.
Babbel's low price tag is also a plus. It's most expensive price point is $12.95 for a one month subscription, which is much less than higher end courses like Pimsleur and Rosetta Stone.
Babbel's shortcoming is that it doesn't prepare you very well for real life conversations. You simply aren't required to think of your own words or phrases, you usually pick an answer from a predetermined list.
Still with it's functionality, effectiveness (especially at beginner levels), and low price Babbel stands as an appealing option in the world of language learning tools.
Monthly subscriptions starting at $6.95 per month
The bulk of Babbel's offerings are for beginners and intermediate students. The company specifically targets these levels and has developed their Spanish course accordingly.
Babbel does a good job of introducing the fundamentals of the Spanish language like core grammar and vocabulary. Completing the course won't leave you fluent but you should walk away comfortable with most if not all of the basic concepts in the language.
Babbel's grammar lesson take specific parts of Spanish grammar and teaches them to you one by one. The beginning of the lesson will teach you the rule and for the rest of the lesson you'll be practicing what you've learned. This an effective way to make correct grammar a habit.
Babbel simply doesn't offer lessons for advanced level Spanish learners, Upper intermediate students are likely to have outgrown the course's content and method.
When you reach the higher levels of Spanish proficiency it's important to start speaking, writing, and producing the language as much as possible. Babbel's method doesn't allow for this.
Many online language courses do a poor job of preparing you for real life conversations, and Babbel is no different.
The site works well for someone trying to learn the language (what words are, how the grammar works, etc.), but it doesn't work well if you really want to practice using the language. If you're the type of learner who likes to learn to swim by jumping in then Babbel probably isn't for you.
Spanish verb conjugations are one of the most difficult part of the language for native English speakers, especially if Spanish is their first foreign language.
Babbel's Spanish course offers lessons on each individual conjugation type from regular verbs in the -ar, -er, and -ir forms, to reflexive verbs, and of course the preterite and imperfect forms.
A great video explaining verb conjugation in Spanish
These lesson with explain the common rules and exceptions behind these forms and lead you through an array of questions to help you practice them. Being able to focus on one particular verb conjugation and practice it can really advance your Spanish skills.
Babbel makes it easy to do this. Another alternative which is effective but way more time consuming is to make hundreds of flashcards for the different verb forms.
One problem with Babbel is that less popular languages often have less content. With Spanish that's not the case. Spanish is probably the most popular language on Babbel and its course content shows it. At the time of this article there are a little over 60 individual Spanish courses on Babbel with each one having anywhere from 10-20+ lessons.
If you're starting from scratch there's enough Spanish lessons on Babbel to keep you busy for a while.
Our main gripe about Babbel's Spanish course is the same gripe we have about all of Babbel's courses: there are no lessons past the intermediate level. Babbel courses also give you little practice in recalling and producing the language on your own, which are both important if you want to reach the advanced levels of Spanish.
The good thing about Babbel is that it works hard to make sure you really learn the vocabulary in each lesson.It focuses on 7 or 8 new words in each lesson. You hear, say, read, and spell each of those words. Multiple times in multiple ways.
By completing all lessons in Babbel learners can expect to achieve B1 level at Spanish. This level of language knowledge means that a learner will be able to communicate in most situations when traveling, understand & talk about familiar matters related to work, leisure & school as well as describe their events, experiences and etc.
$14.95 per month
30 minutes a day
Pimsleur is probably the second most popular language course behind Rosetta Stone. Pimsleur is entirely audio based and is specifically designed to develop your conversational skills.
They use a unique and effective question/recall/respond technique to get you on your feet in your new foreign language. With Pimsleur you'll learn a functional vocabulary, have a good sense of pronunciation, as well as learn to read in Spanish.
Pimsleur offers full access to all levels of their Spanish courses for a monthly subscription of $14.95 per month. There is also a free 1 week trial available so you can try out the courses before purchasing a subscription.
From $4+ per month
15+ minutes a day
Spanishpod101 features audio lessons in a podcast format. Lessons are great for grammar and vocabulary. Each lesson is designed around a Spanish conversation between native speakers, and the teachers do a great job of keeping things engaging.
Spanishpod101 a substantial Spanish learning tool, and its price is comparable to Babbel. The site features transcripts, an in-site flashcard system, and many other useful features.
20+ minutes a day
Rocket Spanish is built around recorded audio in the form of dialogues. The dialogues have English explanations and usually teach the language in "chunks" or phrases versus individual words (this is great for conversational Korean).
Rocket Spanish also has a hefty literacy component. Rocket Spanish is a comprehensive course and teaches speaking, listening, writing, and reading up through an intermediate level.
This course is the best option for those interested in a thorough and well structured approach to learning Spanish.
Babbel Spanish is one of the company's premiere language courses with hundreds of lessons. The course is ideal for beginners though some lower intermediate students may find it useful. Babbel is a great way to practice and master Spanish verbs, one of the hardest aspects of the language for native English speakers.
Babbel doesn't over any speaking practice and generally leaves learners unprepared for rapid Spanish conversations. Still the course has its merits. With a low price tag and a 20 day money back guarantee it's worth checking out!
I'm definitely an unlikely language learner. I failed Spanish in high school. I started learning German as a hobby while studying abroad. Long story short...and a couple languages later...I love language learning!
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