The course layout is different to Portales and instead of audio CDs accompanying the books, there are a DVD and a CD-ROM alongside 3 books.
I enjoyed the course although at times I did find it difficult and found in parts that the language and grammar being taught was well above "intermediate" level. If you're planning to study this course then I would advise to make sure that your level of Spanish is at least intermediate level else you may struggle in parts.
The course books were informative. There's the usual grammar and vocab alongside articles on Spanish culture which I found interesting. I do think that there isn't enough exercises in the books to practice, I felt as if I would complete maybe 1 or 2 examples of a particular grammar point then suddenly move onto the next one which I found confusing at times (alongside difficult to keep up!)
The DVD and CD-ROM are informative and it was nice to watch some clips in Spanish and practice my pronounciation however a lot of people on my course said that the CD-ROM didn't work on their computer.
The TMAs are enjoyable and I really did like completing them. The feedback I got from my tutor was helpful.
Overall I enjoyed the course and would recommend to anyone wishing to further their Spanish. I would advise that you have enough time set aside for this course though, even though it's only 30 credits, it felt like a lot more and I easily spent 20 - 30 hours a week working on this course. Good luck.
Course starting: February 2012
Review posted: December 2012
I did this course as part of the Certificate in Spanish, having completed the more basic Portales course. I couldn't give En Rumbo the time that it deserved, but I enjoyed the materials and in particular the TMAs, which were well put together. I also enjoyed the discipline of preparing for the TMAs and the tutorials.
As is the case with OU languages, it's difficult to get the speaking practice, and I finished the course not really feeling as if I had a very good grasp of the language, especially when I compare it to O and A level days in the 1970s when I picked up French and German fairly quickly with regular and long exchange visits during the school holidays!
Despite this, we covered enough material for me to get a good appreciation of how the language 'works' and this has led me to sign up for a Level 2 Spanish course. So, as an incentive to improve the basics and move on to a higher level, I would certainly recommend it.
Course starting: February 2011
Review posted: February 2012
We are glad to hear that you enjoyed the materials and the TMAs. It's true that it is hard to get through the module if you don't give it the time it requires, however, you did well to concentrate on the TMAs and get the most out of that part of the experience.
I thought LZX194 Portales - Beginners' Spanish would prove a hard act to follow, but I'm pleased to say the revised version of L140 En Rumbo - Lower intermediate Spanish certainly didn't disappoint me.
En Rumbo is definitely a step up from Portales, which is to be expected, but the workload is more than manageable if you are determined enough. The structure is different to Portales too, with two main coursebooks, a book for reading/writing exercises, an interactive DVD ROM, a DVD and further exercises via the course website.
The grammar aspect was probably the most challenging for me but it does sink in eventually if you keep at it. My tutor was fantastic with a great sense of humour, very supportive and ready to answer any query I had about the language.
My advice is: -
1) Attend as many tutorials as you can, whether they are online or face to face and try to take part in the online revision tasks and your tutor group forum.
2) Keep in regular contact with a few other students on the course especially towards the end, as it will really help you with the oral ECA.
3) Access the course website on a regular basis, at least once a week, as there's a lot of useful information on there.
4) Get yourself a Spanish-speaking friend - there are websites that will help you find one.
5) When it gets tough, and it probably will, don't panic and more importantly don't give up; ask your tutor for support, talk to fellow students and help each other!
I have now earned the Certificate in Spanish(Open) and have registered for L204 Viento en popa - Upper intermediate Spanish starting in February 2009 and looking forward to it.
Buena suerte a todos!
Course starting: February 2008
Review posted: December 2008
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