I've wanted to learn Spanish for years. I took two years in school and recall beginning to think in Spanish. I know that should be an indication that I have some aptitude, but all it and those years amounted to later was knowing what the Taco Bell dog said before reading the subtitle. I've tried every book and audio book that my library had to offer. I've spent $150 on a DVD set that promised great things. I was doing research on the best price for Rosetta Stone when I stumbled onto this method. Since I'd tried audio books before, I was skeptical, but since using credits on Audible made it such a great price, I decided to try it. And I have been surprised at the easy results! Because this method uses only audio, I'm not hampered by years of training in English pronunciation. Now instead of trying to fit the H into hablo, I hear it as "ablo". As the mother of a four-year-old, I understand the need to learn to speak before reading and writing. That doesn't mean that I can't learn to read it later, just as my son is learning to read English despite our idiosyncrasies. There is a free sample with the introduction and first lesson on Audible. Try it and you'll see.
I've just finished unit 10 and am still in awe of how much better this system is than what I've tried before (high school Spanish, other audio tapes, and DVD lessons). My accent is MUCH better since I'm not trying to fit the English pronunciation onto the Spanish spelling. I've even started to roll my R's despite my high school teacher having written me off as a lost cause in that regard. Yesterday I sat next to a Spanish-speaking family in a restaurant and actually understood some of what they said. Judging by the pace of new words introduced, I feel confident that with four phases available, I'll be fluent enough to really consider myself a Spanish speaker once I finish them. And as I progress through the levels, I have yet to feel overwhelmed. New words are introduced at just the right places, while old words are reinforced. If you're reading this and trying to decide if it's worth trying, my advice is YES!
This has turned out to be the best audio-only language instruction I've found so far, and I've wasted some money in the process. The whole course is over 9 hours, and covers everything from a-b-c to verb forms to idiomatic cliches. Expect to spend a lot of review time, because practice, practice, practice is the basis for any language learning. Don't believe the "learn a language in 30 minutes" people. If it were that easy everyone would speak many languages. This course is set out systematically, and the speakers go slowly enough that I could usually follow the first time. I reviewed every unit at least twice, some of the harder ones I did on both the morning and night commute for a full week. At the end I find I can assist my teenager in her second year high school Spanish!
Whatever I choose for my next course will include some printed material. There were a few times I could have either heard a word spelled or been able to see it in print. But for a course for an absolute beginner, this one lays a firm foundation and a great value.