Learning a new language can be intimidating, and while there are plenty of resources out there to help you get a good foundation, there’s nothing quite like touching down in foreign lands and using what you know in front of native speakers. That’s why the creators behind Dynamic Spanish, an immersive Spanish learning video course, decided to appeal to prospective crowdfunders in their new Kickstarter campaign.
Project creators Morning Calm Productions have developed a two-hour trial, which you can download now for free, although they say the final product will top out at 12 hours, with a total of 24 half-hour lessons. Check out the trial here.
As a complete beginner’s course, the full kit is slated to include worksheets, audio files, and transcripts so you can go continue your Spanish practice outside of the headset. At top speed, the creators say the course should take around 35 hours, although they recommend a slower pace, and studying all of the materials and taking one or two lessons each week.
The course is carried out by way of monoscopic 360 video, which can be viewed on a number of devices including Google Cardboard, Oculus Go, PSVR, HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and Windows VR headsets.
Having sampled the free trial myself, it’s clear 360 video isn’t the perfect medium based on the fact that live speakers will simply leave a pause for you to respond, then continue on with their questions/conversation, although it appears to accomplish the goal of hearing real speakers in Spain, and learning the basics in an intimate classroom environment too. The ability to rewind, pause, and practice on your own is certainly a nice feature not to be overlooked.
The course is deigned to get you comfortable with the following: introducing yourself to friends and colleagues, ordering food and drink, asking for directions, talking about your family and sharing stories and anecdotes, describing how you feel, speaking about your interests, and more.
Morning Calm Productions is aiming to hit a funding goal of £15,000 before October 2nd, which will allow them to go all around Spain (the free trial is in Valencia) to capture multiple locations and include a diverse set of regional speakers. Starting at £45, the full course is slated to arrive in early May 2019.
In the free trial, the project creators suggest the following:
- Sit somewhere comfortable but make sure there’s space to stand up.
- Try to be alone when you do the lessons. You’ll feel more confident.
- Speak when spoken to. Even if you get it wrong, it’s better to try and fail than not try at all.
- Pause and rewind the videos if you need to. You should go at the pace that suits you, but don’t rely on these functions too much. Try to move through the lessons at a steady pace.
- Stand up when you’re told to. You need to fully engage with these lessons to really get the most out of them.
- Do the non-VR bits too. This will really help speed up your learning and keep your motivation levels high.
- Have fun! This should be an enjoyable learning experience so try not to get too frustrated if you’re struggling – follow our advice and you’ll be speaking Spanish in no time.
While there’s still nothing quite like having the experience of full language immersion, this clever VR immersive course makes some interesting headway. Check out the Kickstarter campaign here.