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The Standard Deviants - Spanish 1 & 2

The Standard Deviants - Spanish 1 & 2
Title: The Standard Deviants - Spanish 1 & 2

Author: Cerebellum Corp.
Format: DVD
List Price: $35.99
Sale Price: $32.39

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Product Details

Editorial Reviews
The 2-disc set The Standard Deviants - Spanish Parts 1 & 2 contains:

The Standard Deviants - Spanish, Part 1
The first hint that this isn't your normal, staid Spanish review course is the subtitle that's flashed across the screen: the "Salsa-riffic World of Spanish." The Standard Deviants, a cast of ebullient young performers who believe no joke is too bad as long as its memorable, bring their talents to a course in introductory Spanish in this video. Lots of flashy graphics keep things lively, but the course material itself is rock solid--it's been approved by an academic panel. Following some basic information on where Spanish is spoken, the real lessons begin with instruction on pronunciation and the Spanish alphabet (which, of course, uses some typographical symbols not used in English). A bit of vocabulary is imparted as the pronunciation lessons progress, and after some pointers on capitalization, simple lessons in practical conversation begin. The video proceeds to the inescapable bane of many language students, conjugating verbs. While this production won't be a substitute for an actual course in Spanish (and the cast specifically points out that it doesn't intend to be), the presentation is consistently energetic, with the lessons easy to remember. Someone who is interested in learning (or reviewing) basic material will no doubt gain from watching it. --Robert J. McNamara

The Standard Deviants - Spanish, Part 2
In the opening jingle, the oddball lyrics "Careful or you're speaking Spanglish, then your grade will cause you anguish" provide a glimpse into the premise of this production from the Standard Deviants. In this, their second trip to the "Salsa-riffic World of Spanish," the energetic young cast performs skits and unleashes some clever and elaborate computer graphics while providing a reliable review course in the Spanish language. Starting with what's billed as "Really Basic Stuff," the cast reviews practical matters such as how to count, talks about what time it is, and discusses the weather. Moving into more advanced material, there are pointers on grammar, with a focus on the rules of particular verbs. It should be noted that the curriculum has been approved by a panel of professors, but the cast members tend to present the material in a relaxed format, which often involves the use of costumes and some bad (and hopefully memorable) jokes. Each major portion of the program is followed by a quiz, which the student can either take or skip, and the entire DVD concludes with an exam titled "La Tormenta." This DVD isn't a substitute for classes in Spanish, but as review material the unorthodox presentation would be helpful to a student. --Robert J. McNamara

All Customer Reviews
Average Customer Review: 3 out of 5 stars

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars Breath of fresh air, February 13, 2003

Reviewer:   A viewer

I was struggling with Spanish, but these DVD's rock. They really slowed it down for me, and it was useful hearing other English speakers and Spanish speakers do it at the same time. Besides, the video parts are really funny. It's like Saturday Night Live decided to teach Spanish.

18 of 21 people found the following review helpful:

1 out of 5 stars Bad instruction, December 21, 2002

Reviewer:   JOHN D HOFFMAN (San Francisco, CA United States) 

The DVD could be a great medium to teach spanish basics, but this is just plain silly. Even as a beginner, I spotted mistakes like in incorrectly accenting "esta". Who knows how they chose the vocabulary -- some words are presented that you really wouldn't ever use. They start to teach ser and estar, and then go into why it's OK to leave out the subject pronouns. Aside from my specific gripes, it's all too silly, aiming for a 4th or 5th grade slapsick level. DVD is 99% english (and even most of that is unneeded and a waste of time) and 1% spanish. Perhaps people would enjoy the silly images, but I'm sure that there's no spanish language teaching here.


6 of 9 people found the following review helpful:

5 out of 5 stars Phenomenal stuff, January 31, 2002

Reviewer:   A viewer

If you need to learn spanish and have no clue what you are doing, these Standard Deviants shows are for you. The Standard Deviants are made up of a group of young, fun guys and gals who explain the ins and outs of spanish. I was particularly pleased with the sections on the alphabet, ser and estar. I am following this up with a purchase of the advanced box set, but disappointed to see they dont make that on DVD. --This text refers to the VHS Tape edition

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