There are many options for beginner-friendly language courses out there, but few are as detailed and comprehensive as the Uncovered series from Olly Richards (I Will Teach You a Language) featuring the StoryLearning method.
In this review I'll be diving into the Spanish version of Uncovered to give you a complete picture of the course.
Plus, knowledge of the story will greatly accelerate your learning.
Hopefully by the end of this post you will have learnt enough to answer the question: “Is Spanish Uncovered worth it?”
Let's dive in.
Table of Contents
- Table of Contents
- Who is Spanish Uncovered for?
- The StoryLearning method
- Course Structure
- Video: A look inside Spanish Uncovered
- How each chapter is structured
- 1. Syllabus
- 2. Read and Listen
- 3. Cognates and Translation
- 4. Vocabulary
- 5. Grammar
- 6. Pronunciation
- 7. Speaking
- 8. Quiz
- Spanish Uncovered: Price and Guarantee
- Actual Fluency Bonus Bundle
- What I like
- What I don't like
- Questions and Answers
- “Are there any Spanish Uncovered discounts or coupons available?”
- “Does Spanish Uncovered teach Iberian or Latin American Spanish?”
- Spanish Uncovered Reviews
- Spanish Uncovered Alternatives
- Actual Fluency Bonus!
- Other Spanish products by Olly Richards
- Disclaimers and notes
Who is Spanish Uncovered for?
Spanish Uncovered is a self-study beginner's course. This means you can start this course without any prior knowledge in Spanish.
People with some experience (pre-intermediate) would also find a lot of benefit.
The course corresponds roughly to the CEFR levels of A0-B1. This means complete beginner to lower intermediate in normal, human speak.
Not a beginner? Check out my review of Grammar Hero instead, which is suitable for intermediate learners of Spanish.
The StoryLearning method
What is the StoryLearning method?
Olly Richards always loved learning through books and stories, so when he started creating books and courses himself he used stories as a pivotal part of the products.
Recently he started using the name “StoryLearning” to describe his methodology.
He believes that stories are the best to learn from, as you see the actual language in context. Cognates, vocabulary, and grammar are all easier to learn as they appear together.
The course contains 20 full chapters that all follow the same structure.
In the course you are taught by native speaker Angela Moreno, and Olly Richards himself.
In each chapter you'll be explore a new part of a funny short-story called “The Man with the Hat” or in Spanish: “El Hombre Del Sombreo“
The short story section is available in PDF and MP3, so you can listen to a native speaker reading it out while you follow along in the PDF.
Let's take a closer look into a chapter of the course, and see how the actual learning takes place.
Video: A look inside Spanish Uncovered
I'll be going into details about what you can find inside the course in the paragraphs below, but if you prefer you can also check out a short 5 minute video I recorded where I dive into the dashboard:
How each chapter is structured
Here's what you'll be doing in every chapter of Spanish Uncovered, all chapters follow the same structure.
Let's break down each of these lessons:
A brief introduction to the module, as well as what you will learn in the chapter.
2. Read and Listen
In this lesson you'll be going through the next part of the short story “The Man with the hat“
In this lesson, you only read and listen to the Spanish version.
Both Latin American and Iberian Spanish versions are provided, so you can pick whichever is more relevant to your language learning.
3. Cognates and Translation
In this lesson you get to see the English translation, and Olly takes you through a video lesson where you discover the most useful cognates of the chapter you just read in the short story.
In this lesson you learn some of the vocabulary that you were just introduced to in the short story.
In this module a few specific grammar points are explained with examples from the text.
In this lesson native (Iberian Spanish) speaker Angela comes on and helps you improve a specific part of the Spanish sound system.
Being a self-study course, Uncovered doesn't feature any direct interaction with a Spanish-speaking tutor or person.
The course compensates by providing this lesson, which provides a text document you can use to practice what you have learnt with a tutor or speaking partner.
Just bring the document to your tutor, and you'll quickly be practising what you have just learnt!
Finally, the last part of each chapter is a test on how well you have understood the materials. There are also quizzes throughout the course for making sure you understand what's happening in the story.
Spanish Uncovered: Price and Guarantee
What does Spanish Uncovered cost?
Spanish Uncovered costs $297 and comes with a 30-day money back guarantee.
The guarantee allows you to try it, and if you for any reason don't like it, you can get a full refund, no questions asked.
This is a higher price than other beginner courses, but way cheaper than comparable in-person classes (like at the Cervantes Institute)
It's also a lifetime offer, so you don't have to keep paying monthly fees over and over to access the content like other subscription language services.
Actual Fluency Bonus Bundle
What I like
- Incredibly comprehensive with 100+ hours of study materials
- Working through the story is fun, and you really feel like you progress as the story gets harder.
- Probably the best Spanish beginner's course out there today
- Lifetime access, no subscription required
What I don't like
- I'm not a huge reader in my native language, so using the StoryLearning method is a bit out of my comfort zone, however with the audio and video lessons dispersed throughout I'm OK with it.
- It's a significant investment, and might be out of budget for many Spanish learners.
- Doesn't have a way to practice speaking directly, but does provide resources to go over the materials with a tutor or speaker.
In my opinion, the Uncovered series provide a truly amazing learning experience at a very competitive price.
If you follow the instructions and put in the hours, this course will teach you Spanish – without a doubt.
It will take even complete beginners well past the upper beginner levels, if you do the materials according to the instructions.
There's really no reason not to give it a try, as it also comes with a 30 day no-questions asked refund guarantee.
The only people I wouldn't recommend it to are people who are not good at self-studying. You do have to put in the work yourself, and there's no teacher to make sure you actually do the work.
But, if you do and take the time to complete all 20 chapters, I promise you, your Spanish will be amazing.
Questions and Answers
“Are there any Spanish Uncovered discounts or coupons available?”
Unfortunately there are no evergreen Spanish Uncovered discounts or coupon codes available.
Olly Richards very rarely discounts his courses, so your best bet is to keep an eye out for the big seasonal sales such as Black Friday.
If you are part of the Actual Fluency email club I always email out when there are big sales you should check out.
“Does Spanish Uncovered teach Iberian or Latin American Spanish?”
It actually teaches both.
Olly and the pronunciation specialist (Angela) are both Iberian Spanish speakers first and foremost, but the audios and texts are available in both versions so you can use the one you need the most.
The differences aren't substantial anyway, so it's nothing to worry about.
Spanish Uncovered Reviews
Here is a selection of reviews of Spanish Uncovered, from people who have taken the programme:
“These courses are worth every penny!”
“The Spanish Uncovered course is exceeding all my expectations. You make the grammar section so clear and easy to assimilate. Moving on effortlessly in the stories is pleasureable and quite exhilarating as I understand what I am hearing much more easily.
These courses are worth every penny!”David
“Olly's materials are astounding to me. “
“In all my many years of frustrated foreign-language learning,I never before had access to such comprehensive materials,which in my book are truly inspirational!“Michael
Spanish Uncovered Alternatives
There aren't many comprehensive beginner-friendly Spanish Courses out there that you can use to go from nothing to intermediate in Spanish.
If money is an issue then I would consider looking into SpanishPod101, which you can start using for just a few dollars per month (or check your local library for free courses!)
Actual Fluency Bonus!
Other Spanish products by Olly Richards
Conversations Spanish – an intermediate course for practising listening and conversational ability.
Grammar Hero Spanish – an intermediate course on how to learn the most tricky aspects of Spanish grammar, uses the similar story-based format as Uncovered.
Fluent Spanish Academy – a great continuation of Uncovered with a ton of lessons for intermediate-advanced learners.
Spanish Short Stories for Beginners – Short stories in book format, with free audiobook.
Short Stories in Spanish for Intermediate Learners – the continuation fof the book series for intermediate learners.
101 Conversations in Simple Spanish: Short Natural Dialogues to Boost Your Confidence & Improve Your Spoken Spanish
I hope you enjoyed the Review! Have you tried Uncovered before?
Disclaimers and notes
From Kris Broholm, owner and founder of Actual Fluency.
Actual Fluency uses affiliate links throughout the site, which means that course owners pay a commission for each sale referred (at no additional cost to the buyer)
I Will Teach You a Language and Olly Richards had no say on this post, and no financial incentives were provided to promote this product (apart from the affiliate commission as mentioned above).
All information correct as of April 7th, 2020.