New Course: Beginner Spanish for Professionals Posted by meaghan on Feb 24, 2022 in For Learners, Learning Material Updates
Most language learning apps are focused on survival language for travel. Nothing wrong with that, we have a travel “Essentials” course in 80+ languages if you need it.
But what about learners with more serious language needs?
Do more than just survive your next vacation. Thrive in the target language in personal and professional contexts with the Beginner Spanish for Professionals course!
What will you learn?
This course will take you from true beginner to CEFR A2 or ACTFL Novice-High with 90+ hours of learning materials.
As a beginner, nothing will build your proficiency faster than learning the most useful, high-frequency vocabulary. But providing basic vocab lists (“colors”, “numbers”, “pronouns”) actually hurts your ability to retain what you’re learning due to “semantic interference”. It’s also just not very fun.
Instead, when we develop lessons, we think of a common scenario and tell a story about it. What scenarios are you likely to be in? Who are the characters you’ll interact with? What conversations would you have?
This approach lends itself to more natural speech you might not find in a textbook approach, as well as other retention tactics like “spiraling” (resurfacing previously learned material) and “interleaving” (reinforcing material in multiple modalities and contexts). A lesson about shopping can weave in numbers, colors, sizes, etc. in a more effective and memorable way.
Each unit is broken down into a series of lesson types that facilitate this storytelling approach:
- Conversation lessons based on the unit theme. For example, in a conversation from the “Daily Routine” unit, the speaker is interviewing nannies to get their kids ready for school.
- Vocab lessons that build supporting vocabulary for that theme. In this unit, several vocab lessons cover personal care products and reflexive verbs that the speaker will need to discuss the nanny’s duties.
- Grammar lessons that expand on grammar patterns seen in the conversation or vocabulary lessons. In this example, the grammar lesson covers indirect objects, which will help with understanding the conversation.
This approach emphasizes the knowledge and skills you will need to use the language in the Spanish-speaking world, including culture, as our Project Manager Kate Blais explains:
“My favorite aspect of the course is the conversation lessons, which sound really natural. The voiceover artists did a really good job of acting them out with realistic speech, so it’s great practice for learners preparing to use this language in the real world. There’s also a section for cultural notes that gives the learner important context for the conversation. For example, the conversation about hiring a nanny comes with notes about various childcare options around Latin America. That context is so important for real-world application down the road.”
Serious Spanish learners, stay tuned—Intermediate Spanish for Professionals is on its way later this year. 👀
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