Review of ULAT, a course I recommend for learning Spanish properly

Spanish Content – The ULAT, designed for anyone who wants to learn Spanish, but especially for high school students and older.


If you are learning Spanish with the intent of speaking it 'for real', and not just as a quick few credits in school, give ULAT a try.

Now the details:

I come having far too much Spanish for the start of the ULAT course, but also not enough proper Spanish. I come to ULAT with many mistakes I have learned and ingrained, some in pronunciation, some in grammar, some in memorization of words and their meanings. I've been using Spanish off and on for a few days a year in Spain and Latin American countries for about 8 years. I'm 62 years old at time of writing this.

I make no money from this review. Check the links, you'll see there are no affiliate links. So as of 2024, these are just my opinions. Señor Nebitt has not given me any money or any benefits whatsoever to say this. Indeed, we came across his course in the normal way, paid the full normal fee and are receiving exactly what anyone else would who paid for a 1 year subscription.

Señor Nesbitt has a French and Spanish course and as of 2024 he is working on an English course.

His way of teaching is, at the risk of being too simplistic, using Spanish as the example since that's what I'm using: "For the 1st stages, you need to learn without any resorting to English or whatever your 1st language is, you need to learn right away to think in Spanish, not think in or 'translate' to English then 'to' Spanish. After you get through the first stages and you have the basics of the language locked down, then you bring in your knowledge of languages - by virtue of knowing English in my case, or some other 'heart' language, to help you learn faster. For most of it, it does not matter what language you are coming from, though if you come from a language that shares some of the same words it may help. For a few things he gives info in several languages such as this cropped image of his "I am x years old" image:


When I first heard his way of teaching, I scoffed. But then I read his book, and realized the simplistic way his course was being described to me, as being told, and the way I had compared it to other 'natural' language methods of learning was unfair.

Most courses like this that talk about 'the natural' way - forget that a child takes 6 years to get a grade 1 vocabulary, and they essentially work on learning that language 6 to 12 hours a day 7 days a week. So they take about 20,000 hours of training to get to a grade 1 level English. If you study Spanish the 'natural' way 1 hour a day, 6 days a week, it is going to take you 64 years to get a Grade 1 level knowledge of Spanish! Fortunately, Señor Nesbitt does not follow the 'natural language' way I've seen in other courses - he right away uses your teen or older ability to understand to teach you - but staying 100% in Spanish doing it, until you have the basics down, and then, and only then, does he start to introduce speaking in English to push you forward even faster.

As a result, he is not taking the mantra that the 'best' way to learn is the way an infant does - even though it may SEEM that way if you don't pay attention. Fortunately, you don't have to pay attention to that to learn his way! You just have to pay attention to what he is teaching you.

Now, I'd like to address the "A child learns a language much easier than an adult" mantra. Having watched our 4 adult children plus my wife, and comparing that to our 4 young (adopted) children try to learn Spanish (they are all 9 native English,) I have concluded that Adults can learn faster than infants because we can bring comprehension to the table. Where an infant, or a child in immersion school exceeds us adults is … they spend 6 to 12 hours a day learning, where I only spend 1 to 2 hours a day. So a child learning that way can learn perhaps 4x's faster than an adult - because they are spending 6x's or more per day learning it! Not because they are learning quicker as a child.

Personally, I really am lousy at learning languages. I have tried several times. I have several friends who amaze me at how much quicker they learn. My wife as well - she picks it up far faster than I do - and I could let that frustrate me … here I spend 2 hours a day for 4 years, and my wife picks up 50% of that barely trying and certainly not spending anywhere near 1/2 an hour a day. So yes, different people learn at different rates. But the "a child WILL" or "a child CAN" learn faster BECAUSE they are a child appears to me to be proven false - given the same number of hours a day, the adults learn much faster, it's just, as above, that children usually spend more time per day/week than adults do.

Lesson 12 caused me to crash for about 9 days. I even gave up for 3 or 4 days. For several reasons:

I understood from the teacher's guide I was supposed to focus on proper pronunciation - and I can't (yet) roll my rrr's … Partly because I have 'different' vocabulary for words like pen and sandwich based on my travels and previous learning. Partly because I realized I have been making some specific grammatical mistakes I'm, as of lesson 12, having to relearn - rebuild the correct pathways when I have the wrong ones entrenched. All in all, while I crashed, lesson 12 was the absolute best lesson for me to date.

Then, because I have been working with Spanish numbers for years, lesson 13 was a breeze - I even ran the videos at 1.75x's and still got 100%. Best part of lesson 13 was it taught me I was pronouncing the number 7 slightly (but I'm sure annoyingly to my Spanish friends) wrong.

Don't let the click at the bottom of lesson 1:14 freak you out. I just about gave up when I went to the 'review' and saw there were 100's of verbs in the 'review' (turns out there were only 59, my 100's was my freak out reaction), and then 4 more 'forms' (persons) for every verb …

I went back and watched the lesson 14 header video again, and I 'figured out' in part from the video and impart because of the URL, that this is the review of all the verbs in all of unit 1, not just lessons 1-14. Whew! On the other hand, I'm looking forward to having all 59 of the verbs solidly down pat by the end of all of unit 1. Looking forward, it looks like all 60 of the verbs will be in my vocab by lesson 60. Hmm. I wonder which of the 60 is missing from the review! The last 13 lessons I guess will make sure I have all 60 verbs fully locked down in my brain. Exciting actually!

Since I started with a 4500 word vocabulary, that I 'mostly knew' the roots of, and I had spent time in Spanish countries discussing various things including legal and business, I did not come to ULAT the way you are supposed to. But I have found ULAT so far to be very useful to me, and worth the cost for the 1st year.

On the other hand, my grade 6,5,3 and 3 children were unable/unwilling to make it through even lesson 1. They found they couldn't understand anything. I'm not sure why - I think they should have if they paid attention. But I guess it was too much for them. I'm going to continue for my own value, but I think I'll wait a year or two before pushing them to try again.

I won't say much more, because I don't want to ruin the way he teaches.

My advice: If you want to learn Spanish. If you want to homeschool your children in Spanish. If you want to relearn Spanish with correct pronunciation and learn to think in Spanish rather than translate to/from your native language: I recommend you give his course a try. You can buy a year's subscription, or you can take his first 15 courses free and then decide in a couple weeks. It is a family subscription - so take advantage of that. And as a family subscription, if some want to learn French and some want to learn Spanish or English - that works too, the access is for all 3 languages for the family.