No-Work Spanish recently contacted me about sharing their audiobooks with my readers. These books are designed as a language-learning product, so the format is different than that of a typical audiobook. Each chapter is read sentence by sentence in both languages – first a sentence in English and then the same sentence in Spanish. Then the whole chapter is read again in Spanish.
I cannot claim to understand what theory of language acquisition No-Work Spanish is based on. These are not familiar stories with predictable vocabulary or significant repetition. And they are audiobooks; there are no visual clues to aid comprehension. The website says “your mind connects the English and Spanish, just like you can pause a favorite song and sing the next line, without thinking about it and certainly without making any effort to memorize the words in the song.” As I said, I am not at all clear on how that happens or how a listener jumps from understanding specific sentences to understanding general structures or producing the language.
That said, these audio books do provide lots of listening practice in Spanish for higher-level language learners and might be a useful tool for some students.
Here are a few features to consider:
- The Spanish narration is done by native speakers and is very clear.
- The text of the stories is included on the CDs and can be printed.
- The speed of the language is appropriate to the format and the pacing of the stories holds the listener’s interest.
- The stories are appropriate for all age groups, including elementary school students.
- The chapters that are read in both languages and those read only in Spanish are on separate tracks. This makes it easy to skip the chapters where they alternate languages.
- There is a wide variety of vocabulary and structures in the stories.
- You can listen to excerpts online on the No-Work Spanish website and they will email you the first three chapters of a book as a free trial.
There are currently three different audio books available from No-Work Spanish. In my opinion, beginning language learners can find better investments. Intermediate or advanced learners, however, might find listening to these stories useful or entertaining.
You may also be interested in this post: Spanish Stories Online – BookBox Animated Books
Disclosure: The company sent me a copy of this product to be able to write the article. All of the ideas and opinions are my own.