The secondary title of the book is "Learn to communicate in 24 hours".

A couple of years ago I got this book in electronic form and browsed through it for some time. I had the impression it is pretty good so I decided to purchase a paper copy and study through it. Unfortunately, my initial judgment has failed me in this case. This book isn't too good. It's quite bad, really. "With Countdown to Spanish, in just 24 hours your can learn to speak like a native in all sorts of everyday situations" - says the back cover. Yeah right !!

The first part of this book presents the Spanish language for general use, discussing basic vocabulary and grammar. It is the better part of the book, although I don't like the way of presentation used by the author. Instead of showing many examples, she just bombards the reader with grammar rules, discussing pretty complex rules early on. For example, the 5th chapter (1/5 of the way through the book) teaches the Future Perfect and Perfect Conditional tenses - some of the more complex tenses of the language, and that after only a minimal teaching of the simpler topics !

The second part of the book is the really bad one, however. It's a simple categorized dictionary, plumped into the book to bring it to 24 chapters.

What I would expect from a good book that tries to teach you some skill is a thorough set of exercises. There are exercises in this book, but they're a joke. After a long chapter explaining many concepts, the author provides 5-6 trivial questions, usually only on 1/4th of the material taught by the chapter. This is no way to teach.

The book has some nice spots here and there (the chapters on Pronunciation and Asking Questions come to mind), but all in all it's very unhelpful - you can spend your time and money better on other books.


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