Fluencia Review Summary
This Fluencia review is based on my experience using Fluencia with a one month subscription in December 2020.
Fluencia is one of the best online Spanish courses out there and, when you factor value for money, one of the best ways to learn Spanish online. The course goes from complete beginner to intermediate/advanced in a well thought through, natural and well structured way.
The reading and listening exercises are comprehensive and most people who take the course will find themselves understanding Spanish grammar much more clearly than they would through Spanish textbooks.
While there are some speaking exercises, Fluencia needs to improve its speech recognition software. Anybody who can already read and write in Spanish but wants to focus solely on improving their speaking skills would be better off focusing on a speaking orientated course or finding an online Spanish tutor.
If you are looking to improve all aspects of your Spanish, including your listening, reading and spelling, then Fluencia is worth considering.
Fluencia Review at a Glance
Fluencia, accessed at fluencia.com, pitches itself as the easiest way to learn Spanish online, powered by adaptive learning technology and the latest cognitive research (in other words, methods guaranteed to get you speaking, reading and listening to Spanish quickly in a way that works).
For reading and listening I found this to be true.
The sign up process is incredibly smooth and straightforward. In fact, the time between landing on the Fluencia homepage and actually starting the course is about 10 seconds. You can access your personal dashboard through your social media or by creating an account.
When you start the Fluencia course, you are prompted to fill in your current level of Spanish and the reasons you’d like to learn. I really like this idea, but having played around with it, I found the content doesn’t actually change based on your answer, so it’s a bit redundant.
I had already studied some Spanish at school but did not feel anywhere near close to comfortable enough to have a conversation. So, I thought starting at beginner level would make most sense.
Fluencia provides a good amount of free content to keep you going with daily Spanish study (15 lessons for free). In order to get fully immersed with the course and its features you need to subscribe to a one month subscription.
Unlike other online language course providers such as Babbel, Duolingo, Busuu, Rocket Languages or Rosetta Stone, Fluencia only offers an online course in Spanish. Just bear this in mind if you are somebody want to learn more than one language at a time!
The Beginners level of Spanish with Fluencia really is complete beginner, testing you with words like hola and gracias. This is easy to rush through quickly if you have already covered this sort of material, like I had.
In total, the Fluencia course has 10 levels (Spanish 1 – 10) each with 65-70 lessons. Within each individual unit, there are 6-8 lessons. The final unit of each individual level is a review which enables you to recap what you have gone through and learned up until that point. In total, there are more than 650 individual lessons, making the course good value for money.
A full outline of the Fluencia curriculum, including the contents of each level and unit, can be found here. In total there are more than 600 lessons between complete beginner and intermediate level. The amount of time that each lesson takes obviously depends on the speed at which you like to learn. Naturally, the more advanced the level, the longer each lesson starts to take.
If you have seen the visual elements of Duolingo or other language learning apps like Busuu then you should know what to expect with Fluencia. Throughout the course, there is plenty of imagery to make it fun and engaging. However, Fluencia is more challenging than Duolingo and Busuu in my opinion.
In addition to this, the images used in the course do not give away the answer. Quite often, with Duolingo for example, the answer will be obvious because of the image on screen. With Fluencia, is it not so obvious so you are required to think more.
At the end of each level, Fluencia takes you through a recap of what has been covered up until that point. This is pretty useful as it ensures that you have actually familiarised yourself with the content before moving on to the next level. So, you can’t really progress until you have actually learned the content.
Finally, (and I will discuss this a little more in the Pronunciation section) the Spanish you learn and listen to in Fluencia is Latin American. That said, there are a variety of accents that you hear throughout the course. I found this positive because it ensures you do not become accustomed to listening to one way of speaking.
In this Fluencia review I would say that, overall, the course is of a high quality. The curriculum covers a wide range of content topics and the lessons are structured and thorough. Unlike the exercises within similar language courses from apps like Duolingo, the lessons are actually quite challenging. As I said before, you cannot move on until you have learned the course material. TL
Each lesson within the unit block is broken down into the following categories. The weighting of these varies but generally they are all covered to some extent within each unit.
In honesty I did find the format a little repetitive as there is not a great deal of variation between exercises. For some lessons you have multiple choice options and for others you may have to actually fill in the blank yourself, again like Duolingo and Busuu.
As you progress with Fluencia you’ll see that there are also drag and drop and translation exercises, as well as dictation opportunities to better your Spanish pronunciation. This point relates to spoken Spanish, so I’ll discuss conversation a little next.
Conversation and Spanish speaking practice
As mentioned, the course starts with complete beginner material and gradually becomes more advanced. The same can be said for all of Fluencia’s course categories, including conversation.
I liked the fact that the recordings are real people, as is also the case with many other course options such as Rocket Languages, Rosetta Stone and Babbel. As a Spanish learner this is pretty important because it’s more like daily life (I’m never going to have a proper conversation with AI).
As mentioned, the Spanish you will hear throughout Fluencia’s course is Latin American, but there are speakers from a number of Latin American countries. My one complaint here would be that there is no Spanish speaker from Spain. I understand that the Spanish accent from Spain is very different and it’s better to avoid confusing people, but it would be useful to get an introduction to this accent as I plan to travel to Europe.
Within Fluencia’s conversation lessons you are required to listen to a dialogue and then answer questions about the cultural or personal content that has been covered. Again, I like this format as it improves your Spanish listening skills and gets you familiar with actually listening to native Spanish speakers.
If I have one complaint about this part of Fluencia’s course I would say it would have been more useful to respond to each dialogue by speaking instead of simply selecting options in multiple choice format. I just think I’d have been a bit less passive if I had to speak more, but that’s on me!
When I used Duolingo I found that the answer is usually quite logical. It’s useful that with Fluencia more than one answer could be correct; the trick is understanding the context. Like I said, it’s good practice and gets you listening to more Spanish. TL
Finally, Fluencia has in-built speech recognition so that you can practice your Spanish speaking. It’s OK but my no means the best software I have used with language learning. That said, their main aim here is to introduce you to the language and get you confident speaking Spanish, and it’s fine for that.
The vocabulary section is as you would expect – it’s an opportunity to learn new Spanish words. Each unit of Fluencia’s course has 2-3 lessons that focus on improving your vocabulary.
This particular course component is not very engaging. That said, I have tried learning Spanish vocabulary online with plenty of free trials from the likes of Pimsleur, Busuu and Babbel. Personally I am yet to find a way to learn vocabulary that is fun.
With Fluencia, you basically just have to match the word with the image you see on the screen (this is a similar method to the Babbel vocab sections). This comes in multiple choice form and you also have the chance to write the word, the same as on Duolingo (there’s also the opportunity to actually listen to the Spanish word you need to write).
This is good for improving your spelling but you’re not going to become a writer in Spanish through this method!
I’m not really painting a good picture of the vocabulary section, but that’s only because I found it a bit easy. You’re just writing a word that you can listen to or see an image of. Anyway, it’s still useful as quite often it’s the first time you’ve actually seen or heard that word in Spanish.
The vocabulary lessons uses to voice recognition software I mentioned earlier. It’s not great, but I now know a ton of Spanish words that I didn’t know before I took the course. I’m not going to tell you you’re going to have heaps of fun when you learn Spanish phrases and vocabulary with Fluencia! But it’s ok.
Admittedly, I didn’t paint a good picture of the vocabulary part of the units. By contrast I was really impressed with the grammar lessons and I would say they are the best part of the whole course.
Grammar was always the part of Spanish that seemed most boring and was most unclear to me, but I think the grammar exercises are as good, if not better, than any other resource I have used.
The grammar section is not completely exercise focused. Before you actually take part in any grammar exercises, you you are given grammar explanations with plenty of examples for a range of scenarios. This simplified Spanish grammar for me, (I know it’s beginner stuff, but still) in a way that textbooks at school were never able to. Maybe that’s just how I learn best.
When you do get round to taking part in Fluencia’s grammar exercises, you need to have understood the grammar explanations (similar to the conversation part I discussed).
Within the Fluencia grammar sections there are grammar tables that you can use as a reference when conjugating verbs (using them to say I, you, he, she etc).
Fluencia’s grammar sections are pretty tough but I think Spanish grammar is going to be difficult however you approach it, until you’re at a pretty advanced level. As a language learner, I like that with Fluencia you learn Spanish grammar through context in a way that is interactive. That’s probably why I never liked learning grammar with textbooks – you miss out on this way of learning.
At the end of each grammar section you are provided with a range of multiple-choice questions which checks whether you’ve learned the grammar. The audio repeats the correct answer to you, whether you get it wrong or right. This is a nice feature but it’s not unique to Fluencia – Busuu, for example, teaches grammar in the same way.
The pronunciation part of each unit contains a range of topics and content, ranging from adjectives and nouns to Spanish around the world and exclamations using qué.
Much like the lesson structure and grammar section, this is another part of Fluencia’s course that I think is well thought out, effective and engaging, all of which makes learning Spanish with Fluencia enjoyable.
I mentioned Fluencia’s voice recognition system earlier but I will actually provide my opinion of it now. To be honest I don’t think it’s up to much, and it’s the core of the pronunciation section. In this sense it probably lets the course down a little. However, listening to the texts on screen is excellent because (as I mentioned) the speakers are native.
I wasn’t expecting to be fluent in Spanish by the time I finished the Fluencia course, but I did hope I’d feel able to hold a conversation with a native speaker.
And, I think I could…
The problem is that I am yet to do so. The course doesn’t give you any face to face contact with a native speaker, even though the conversation lessons do allow you to practice speaking somewhat. Despite Fluencia’s speech recognition and the hundreds of excerpts of native dialogue, (which by the way is super useful), it’s in no way like speaking with a real human!
So, overall I thought the pronunciation section was very good but upon completion of the course you will probably want to practice speaking with a native Spanish speaker.
I am already doing this and using italki to do so. I recommend italki because you can pay as you go for lessons with casual teachers or more serious teachers, depending on your approach.
Other services you could use are Baselang (unlimited Spanish lessons with native speakers for a fixed monthly fee) or Speechling. With Speechling you can submit recordings of yourself speaking Spanish and a teacher will actually get back to you with feedback to help you improve.
Another possible platform you can use is Verbling. This is pretty much the same as italki.
I want to take the time in this Fluencia review to say that the cultural sections in Fluencia’s course are some of the best out there. Obviously, you don’t get this kind of learning from platforms that involve face to face learning with a teacher, so this is another reason I would give Fluencia a go before trying to learn from scratch with a native speaker.
The cultural lessons with Fluencia are great; they give an in-depth overview of numerous aspects of Hispanic cultures, covering a wide range of topics in an informative way.
Most of the texts within the cultural section are in English, but you can highlight certain words and listen to their pronunciation in Spanish.
Another course that I have tried that includes a cultural section is Rocket Spanish. I think Fluencia’s cultural content is much better and far more informative.
I mentioned this briefly in the intro. Each unit has a review section which goes through what’s been covered up until that point.
The length of the review and the exercises that Fluencia presents you with make it the hardest part of each unit. Each exercise focuses on three main aspects
1. Dictation. During which time you’ll hear an audio clip and write down what’s been said. You are required to write full sentences, not paraphrase. This is tough but excellent listening practice.
2. Drag and drop. In this part you need to connect words to create full sentences. Not my favourite exercise, to be honest.
3. Translation. This section requires you to translate from English to Spanish. It’s not easy but each time you are required to do this, you’ll see how far you’ve come with your Spanish.
The Review Feature
1 – Fluencia requires you need to complete the review section of each unit in order to progress naturally. Make sure you’re not passive when learning or this part could be quite challenging!
2 – This does not mean you have to take the Fluencia course in one linear direction. You can actually skip whole sections if you want to. So, for example, if you want to skip to the grammar or culture section then you can.
FREE: Fluencia offers a free trial which gives you access to 15 lessons.
MONTHLY: A monthly subscription costs $14.95.
Fluencia provides a 50% discount on 12 month and 24-month subscriptions.
12-month cost: $95.40
24-month cost: $166.80
The monthly plan is excellent value. Compared with the other language learning competition mentioned, the 12-month plan is also good value.
I would not recommend the two year plan. Whilst it is good value, it should not take you that long to complete the course.
PROS & CONS of Fluencia
I have been impressed with Fluencia’s course and the level of depth, detail and cultural understanding that has gone into its components.
What I like most about Fluencia is that the course provides you with plenty of opportunities to practice what has been covered already. Compared with other language learning software and services, I believe Fluencia is more challenging, meaning you get better at Spanish more quickly.
The fact that the audio is from native Latin American Spanish speakers throughout is excellent for improving comprehension and being able to mimic accents.
Also, the Grammar and Cultural sections in particular were excellent – both informative and thorough.
The speech recognition software is nothing special. There are few opportunities to speak. I think Fluencia needs to address this in order to distinguish itself clearly from its competitors.
Fluencia does not provide you with an opportunity to practice Spanish with an actual person. You can improve your speaking but it is slightly less natural.
Final Thoughts and Comments on Fluencia
The cons mentioned above are, in my opinion, the only ones. I would say Fluencia is one of the best Spanish learning platforms out there in terms of value for money.
The course goes from complete beginner to intermediate/advanced in a well thought through, natural and well structured way.
The reading and listening exercises are comprehensive and anybody who takes the course will find themselves understanding Spanish grammar much more clearly than most textbooks can teach.
While there are some speaking exercises, Fluencia needs to improve its speech recognition software.
Overall I am very happy and impressed with Fluencia. I think you will be too but you will need to practice with a tutor after the course. For this, I recommend using italki or Speechling. The tutors with italki are cheap and flexible with schedules.
With Speechling you can send your spoken Spanish to a native Spanish tutor and receive feedback. It’s a great way to compliment your Spanish speaking practice and fill the hole I think is missing with Fluencia.
Finally, if you have a lot of time and want to learn Spanish fast then I recommend checking out Baselang. They offer unlimited online Spanish classes with native Spanish tutors for $149 per month. I have not used this service personally as I am short on free time, but you could literally take 10 hours worth of face to face online Spanish classes every day for a month and only pay price if you wanted to.
To summarise this Fluencia review, I highly recommend giving the course a go. You can take the first 15 lessons for free anyway before committing, just to see if you like it. Fluencia is the best Spanish course of its type that I have tried, but you will need to speak with a Spanish tutor to improve your speaking skills.