Rocket Spanish 2018 - Full Review

Review of: Rocket Spanish 2018
What is it: Conversational Spanish course, online and mobile.
Our Rating:
User Rating:
Who is it for?

Beginners to upper intermediate. Anyone wanting to improve their speaking and listening skills.


  • Excellent conversation practice
  • Good reinforcement tools
  • Updated for free each year
  • Mobile apps
  • Great value for the content you get
  • 60 day money back guarantee


  • Voice recognition sometimes takes a few seconds to work
  • So much content can be overwhelming at first


One of the best all round online Spanish courses around. I particularly like the innovative conversation games, and highly recommended this for anyone looking to improve their speaking and listening skills.

The audio lessons let you learn on the go, and the wide range of supplementary tools and games really help to cement what you have learned, whatever your learning style. 

The free trial plus 60 day money back guarantee make it a no brainer to try out to see if it's right for you.

From $99.95

I originally tried Rocket Spanish back when I was first learning the language in 2006. I became a fan of audio lessons after trying the Pimsleur courses, and back then Rocket was a similar deal – 30ish minute lessons with conversations you could join in.

I’ve just been taking a dive into their 2018 edition, and boy have they developed the product a lot since I first used it! It’s still an audio course at heart (with over 60 hours of audio) but now includes a ton of additional tools and games that reinforce the learning from the lessons. 

The first thing to say is that if you don’t like audio courses then this isn’t for you. Although it now has much more going on, the meat of the course is still audio based. 

I’ve always been a fan of this approach. Not only is listening a really important skill, but it means you can learn while you do other things that would otherwise be dead time, like on the commute, when you work out, do the chores etc.

This isn’t just a one trick pony anymore though, it has evolved into a product that now covers a range of learning styles and reinforcement tools.  Where other audio courses often just rely on the conversational approach, Rocket understand that you can get a lot further with additional grammar lessons to increase your understanding.

Improve your speaking and listening

Do you feel like actually speaking and having conversations in a language is the hardest thing to practice? It is for me. It’s one of the most important things to start doing as soon as you can, but it’s not as simple as just sitting down and learning some vocab.

That’s where Rocket really stands out. The main foundation of the course is 60 hours of interactive audio lessons, which range from 10-30 minutes, all focusing on getting you interacting in the conversation. This is the perfect length to fit in at least one a day. No excuses that you don’t have enough time to learn!

Each unit comprises of

  • The main lesson (10-30mins). This is where you do the learning, you’re talked through a conversational topic in a fun and engaging way, answering questions as you go.
  • Conversation role play. You then listen to a short conversation based on what you learned, and get speaking practice, taking the role of one of the speakers.
  • Conversation transcript. To reinforce what you’ve learned you get the written transcript of the conversation, line by line with audio, and an option to test your pronunciation (more on that below).
The main core of Rocket is the audio lesson, followed by conversational role play to get you speaking.

Master grammar and vocabulary the fun way

Many courses these days like to boast that you don’t need to directly learn any grammar. Let’s face it, not many people like grammar, but it’s a fact that you can learn more quickly if you actively learn the rules of the language too.

Rocket know this and give you the option of another 35 lessons on what they call “language and culture”, but really, they are mainly grammar lessons. (Trying to sneakily get people to learn grammar without using that off-putting word!)

You don’t necessarily need to do these to make good progress, but you will definitely get further, faster if you do, and having this option really opens the course up to people with a range of learning styles. And some people genuinely do really love grammar!

Rocket seem to really give you a lot of options to play with like this, so you can supplement the main lessons with the extra resources that work for you, which I really like. 

Remember everything you learn

The best lessons in the world are pointless if you don’t reinforce and remember what you learned. This is where I’ve been particularly impressed with the difference in this 2018 version compared to the one I tried years ago.

Every single lesson (“language and culture lessons” included), is then followed up with 5 reinforcement exercises hitting the major skills (writing, listening, speaking). On top of that there is an interactive flashcard feature to help you remember vocabulary.

The five reinforcement tests are:

1. Hear it, Say it

Exactly as it sounds, hear some dialog, and then repeat it. The voice recognition software interprets what you say and writes it out on the screen.

2. Write it

Hear the dialog and then write out what you heard.

3. Know it

Read the dialog in English and then say it in Spanish.

4. Quiz

Hear a sentence and then answer multiple choice questions on it.

5. Play it

Practice playing the part of either of the people in the conversation. I thought this was excellent and really innovative, read on for more on this. 

Take part in (almost) real conversations - my favourite bit!

Speaking practice has always been a bit lacking in my language learning. The usual advice is to learn the words and grammar on your own, and then get practice speaking in real life with natives, at meetups or with a tutor. This a great, but not always practical. 

What Rocket have built into their course is a really fun way to practice conversation when you don't have partner on call.  

Once you have done the lesson you are presented with a short conversation between two people. You then pick which one you want to play, click Get Started and the audio starts.

When it's your turn to speak the audio will pause and wait for you, and the speech recognition software picks up what you say. You have written prompts, but as you go up through four levels the prompts get less until you are speaking without them.

The great thing about this compared to other audio courses is the way it waits for you to speak, then then carries on automatically. Most courses with these listen and respond games just pause for a bit and then carry on , whether you were ready or not, and it's very evident you're just listening to a recording. With this it genuinely feels a lot more conversational. 



Who is it for?

Due to its features covering so many skills Rocket Spanish is suitable for almost any learner at any level. There are courses at three main levels to choose from, so you can start from intermediate if you are already there. It's particularly well suited to anyone who wants to get more confident speaking, listening and having conversations.


  • Excellent for conversation practice with the voice recognition
  • Great reinforcement tools
  • Covers all levels
  • Pay once, keep forever, with free updates each year
  • Social motivation, daily streaks and leaderboards keeping you coming back each day
  • iPhone, iPad, Android app makes it really convenient
  • Great value for the amount of content you get
  • Risk free, 60 day money back guarantee


  • The voice recognition doesn’t always work 100% - after being prompted I learned to wait a couple of seconds before speaking, and that seemed to work
  • Sometimes having so much content can be overwhelming compared to a single route through the course. The key is to stick to the main lessons as your route and just dip into the rest as you wish
  • Some people might prefer a subscription model, but in my experience you are more likely to complete and fully engage in the course if you pay upfront


User Rating:
4.7 - based on 3rd party user reviews


One of the best all round online Spanish courses around. I particularly like the innovative conversation games, and highly recommended this for anyone looking to improve their speaking and listening skills.

The audio lessons let you learn on the go, and the wide range of supplementary tools and games really help to cement what you have learned, whatever your learning style. 

The free trial plus 60 day money back guarantee make it a no brainer to try out to see if it's right for you.

From $99.95

By John Massini

Rocket Spanish has been so helpful. The dialogues are good for listening in the car, and the exercises make sure you are thinking, understanding, and pronouncing correctly. This is better than any other language tool I've used outside of the classroom.

By Anne Marie Janis

I'm able to access all prior lessons and review lessons as needed. I like the format -- listening to a practical conversation, breaking down the conversation, repeating back the conversation, (even rating my pronunciation!), spelling out the phrases, and the quiz! This approach truly is the best way for me to learn. Like other reviewers, I have tried other Spanish language online courses, and none have come close to what I have learned so far. I am super satisfied, and I feel this course is well worth the money.

By Jody Walsh

I am very happy with Rocket Spanish. I find it easy to use. The lessons are thorough and you can repeat them as often as you want. The only difficulty that I have had is with the software's ability to understand when I speak very short words, like "no". Even though it cannot understand me, I can still use the playback feature to assess what I sound like so it has not been a very big issue for me. There is a lot to do within Rocket Spanish and it is accessible anytime. You can ignore it for a year and then get right back it to it! I've also used Rosetta Stone and find Rocket Spanish to be much more suited to the way that I learn.

By Lukas Infield

Rocket Languages is a wonderful tool for everyone who wants to expand their vocabulary in other languages. I personally have been taking Spanish and like my life motto, "I regret nothing." I would recommend Rocket Languages to anyone who needs to learn a different language for school or for pleasure.

By Craig Papworth

that relies heavily on voice recognition, it has its difficulties with certain sounds, but I'm learning the idiosyncrasies, and there are easy workarounds. I did purchase a decent headset to work with, and that is helping a lot. I'm not entirely new to Spanish. I've been playing around with some free programs for about a year, but even at my basic level, I was outgrowing their usefulness. I was able to start Rocket Languages at Premium Plus Level 2, and it's a good starting place for me. I'm really look forward to my daily lessons and practice, and--in just a few short days--I'm already noticing improvement.