I really can’t praise Pimsleur’s Spanish IV (Advanced Intermediate) course-on-CD highly enough. Of all the language-courses I have tried over the years, this one leads the pack. The practical vocabulary grows fairly large, but at a reasonable pace, and with lots of review leavening the new information.
The enunciation is excellent (adviso: it is South American, not European, Spanish), and there is a good mixture of slow-speaking and moderately fast speaking. Phrases are broken down and repeated, and there are appropriately timed gaps provided for the listener to repeat the phrases and sentences (I’m kinda below-average, I think, in the speed at which I can mentally process Spanish, so I wouldn’t have minded the gaps being even longer, but I think, for the average person, the lessons go along at a pretty good pace).
Personally, I think learning a second language is hard and time-consuming, and the process often tedious, and there’s just no way around that. Many book or audio courses focus on making so-called lessons “easy” or “effortless” or “quick,” but I don’t think these types of courses actually deliver much. There is no royal road to a second language. Pimsleur provides a real, meaty course here. It’s not all frills and thrills and silly humor. Instead, the company strikes an excellent balance between maintaining the student’s interest and providing a REAL Spanish-language education.
Thanks, Pimsleur ! I hope there’s always a market for this sort of quality product.