Speaking Spanish is one of the great loves of my life, even though I could only enjoy fluency after years of frustration. It’s the same experience Benny Lewis describes in his guide Why Spanish is Easy.
Benny writes like a cool TA I wish I had had in my university Spanish classes. He tosses the red correction pen out the window and dares you to push past your fear of making mistakes. His approach focuses on what you really need to know for communication.
What I like so much about Benny’s approach for language learning is that he focuses on speaking from day 1. I agree that communication comes from focusing on connecting with people and conveying your point, not striving for perfection.
The guide is an enjoyable, eye-opening read, but you might want to brew yourself a cup of coffee for the grammar section. It has plenty of helpful details that take some time to understand and memorize. I think it’s a great review of all the important grammar points.
This book is not a workbook, but does provide a few short practice exercises to illustrate points. You’re encouraged to follow up with independent practice, which is really important.
Also, the guide includes several personal anecdotes, which make the language learning process come alive. His suggestions and examples come from real life experience, and I can really appreciate that!
Who is this guide for?
A false beginner, or someone who has tried to study Spanish but just doesn’t “get it” yet
An intermediate Spanish learner
An advanced Spanish learner who wants to review, or wants a fresh perspective on language learning to share with other learners
Someone fed up with analyzing mid-17th century Spanish poetry
Someone who values communication over perfectionism
Someone looking for a fresh perspective and a big-picture overview of the language
Someone interested in more than one Spanish-speaking country / culture
Who is this guide not for?
A total beginner or near-native speaker
A mid-17th century Spanish poetry analyst
Someone looking for a cultural or historical guide to the language
Someone looking for a detailed textbook
Someone looking for a workbook
Conclusion: Just as Benny says about himself, I totally wish I could go back in time 10 years ago and give myself this guide book. It’s a short, fun read and most likely will give you some fresh ideas for enjoying and improving your Spanish language skills!