I would say that I now comfortably understand 60-80% of normal conversation at normal speed. I also feel that I can have decent conversations in Spanish and have less trepidation than ever before in doing so.
The first reason is that I have always had an interest in learning other languages. However, the biggest driver is that my partner is from Spain, and while she is a polyglot, her family speaks only Spanish. I wanted to be able to participate in conversations and save my partner from always having to act as a translator. We have also been considering relocating to Spain at some point, so obviously, some degree of fluency would make that transition much easier.
I would say that it was quite poor. While I studied Spanish briefly in college and have worked through numerous online programs, apps and books, conversational Spanish was both frustrating and embarrassing. So, I would say I had only very basic Spanish competency prior to joining.
I was absolutely hesitant to join for two reasons. First, I was concerned that I would find the whole process too embarrassing. While that may sound ridiculous, it was quite a challenge for me to accept my starting point as a beginner. Secondly, I was unsure that I would be any more successful with the program than all of my prior attempts. What convinced me to join was the unique approach presented in the e-books. I have studied memory techniques for years and loved the idea of using memory palaces. Also, once I started reading the books it was quickly apparent that many of my struggles related to conversational Spanish resulted from a real lack of understanding and competency with basic grammatical construction.
For me, the personalized coaching approach has been tremendously useful. My coach, Alejandro, has been able to modify lessons and emphasize things that are of importance to my personal situation: something that you will not find in apps and software programs. Another thing I have loved about the program is the emphasis on learning how to construct sentences and conversations rather than simple memorization. I have also found invaluable the confidence and comfort that comes with learning how to have conversations with a limited vocabulary that is still coherent and understandable for a native speaker.
I have found invaluable the confidence and comfort that comes with learning how to have conversations with a limited vocabulary that is still coherent and understandable for a native speaker.
I would say that I now comfortably understand 60-80% of normal conversation at normal speed. My partner and I are able to watch Spanish television without subtitles and I am rarely lost, which is quite fun. I also feel that I can have decent conversations in Spanish and have less trepidation than ever before in doing so.
While I realize that I still have a lifetime of learning to do still, I feel much more prepared to travel in Spanish-speaking countries and to interact with family.
The coaching program is invaluable if you really want to SPEAK Spanish. There is a huge difference between cognitively knowing rules, conjugations and grammar and actually applying them, at speed, in practice. As an educator myself, I know that my job is to save students 5-10 years of hard work by giving them shortcuts to gaining expertise. I believe this coaching program does exactly that.