New Real Spanish Workshop Video!

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Frequently Asked Questions

I’m quite busy, I’m worried about missing important bits at the beginning of the Platinum course – Will we be able to review what we have missed?

Don’t worry, you won’t miss out on anything at the beginning – you can take as long as you like to study the videos over the weeks or even months ahead, and the only time-sensitive thing is the first zoom-call/virtual ‘café’ session which is scheduled for June 6th – there will be more after that and we’ll record all of them in case you miss them.

The only important thing is to register before we close enrolment as we probably won’t open Platinum up again for 6 to 12 months. Then you can take things at your own pace, and we’ll always be in the community later on to help out if you need us.

I won’t have time to participate in Platinum until mid/late June. Do people who sign up for Platinum need to get started immediately?

Not at all, you can totally take this at your own pace. We’ll be holding live events, one a week across June, but if you miss them they’ll be recorded for you.

Meanwhile, you can take the videos at your own pace, as much or as little as you like, over as long as you like. The only thing is, we don’t plan to open enrolment again for at least 6 to 12 months, so if you think you’ll benefit from the course in the meantime, at your own pace, then it’s a good time to sign up. You’ll going to learn a huge amount of real Spanish with us in the coming months!

What time are the ‘Virtual Café with Ben and Marina’ events – what happens if it doesn’t work with my time zone or I can’t attend?

We’ll begin by hosting the “Virtual cafe with Ben and Marina” events at 6pm Madrid time, which is 9am Pacific, midday EST, 5pm UK. We’ll record the event for anyone that can’t make it.

Also, if we find this time doesn’t work for many people, we’ll put a poll together to try and schedule at least one or two of the sessions for a different time so everyone gets to attend at least one or two of the four. We’ll do our best to make it workable for everyone (while we work around family life at this end!)

Remember, you can also interact with us in the new community by posting any time you like, and we’ll reply in Madrid daylight hours 🙂

What level is Platinum for?

We originally designed Platinum for motivated Intermediate, and Advanced students. If you are intermediate, this will help you zoom up to an Advanced level, and if you are Advanced, it’ll add huge depth to your Spanish, and hugely improve your fluency in understanding and speaking.

However, we have been amazed in our recent workshop videos how really motivated, Inspired Beginners are also getting a huge amount from this new format, where they are able to use the speed controls to slow down our Spanish, and the captions/subtitles, to really start understanding real conversations. So if you are a hugely motivated Beginner, you may really get a lot from this course too.

I’m a Beginner, is this too high level for me?

If you are a beginner, the Spanish section of the videos is going to be high-level for you. If you are hugely motivated then you have the transcripts to work with, you can activate the subtitles, plus you have the ability to slow us right down.

As one of our Beginner students says:

“Love your videos. They inspire me even though I’m still only at the very beginning. I worry I’ll never understand Spanish people as they speak soooooo fast, but I listen to yours at a slower speed and it seems so much easier. Thank you.” – Jane

You’ll probably love the language analysis in each episode – knowing really lovely Spanish words is really motivating, fun and inspiring at every level – it will be valuable for you in that respect (as will the community and the live events for asking questions).

The bottom line is, if you are a very, very motivated Beginner, and you think your Spanish is going to take off in the next 6 to 9 months and you aim firmly to be at a level soon where you want to tackle real-speed conversations, then yes, by slowing us down like Jane, you can benefit from this course.

I’m Intermediate, is this OK for me?

This is an amazing opportunity for you. It’s the possibility to jump to an Advanced level with your Spanish much, much faster than you thought possible.

Intermediate learners typically get stuck on a language-learning plateau for a long time, and we want to get you straight off that plateau and up to Advanced as fast and efficiently as possible.

You do that by diving in to challenging, real Spanish conversations like these. This is going to feel like a wonderful challenge – just what you need to progress fast!

There’s a full guide for your level waiting inside the community. By the time you get to the third or fourth video, you will start understanding a lot of what we say at full speed! By the end of the course, your Spanish will be transformed.

With the community, and live events with us, we’ll be there every step of the way, accompanying you on your path up to Advanced.

Soon you’re going to be having a whole new advanced-understanding and Real Spanish Confidence experience.

I’m Advanced, is this right for me?

Notes in Spanish Platinum brings you more of what we do best, what you most benefit from, and takes you way deeper, way further. These are the real Spanish conversations that you just don’t find anywhere else.

You’ll be keeping abreast and fully absorbing the living Spanish that’s out there right now, making sure you stay confident, and fluent, while continually learning important new language.

It’s one thing to tick the “advanced” box on a form, it’s another to have a huge variety of Spanish on so many interesting topics, being able to understand real Spanish at speed, being able to draw from deep resources to chat happily about anything – that’s what being Advanced is really about.

That’s what we are giving you in this course, all in the company of a great private community of motivated, friendly peers.

¡Tu español va a volar! – Your Spanish is going to fly!

I’m surrounded by Latin American Spanish, is it OK that you are speaking Spanish from Spain?

Totally fine! Half our students are based in the States and travel frequently in Latin and South America, and report wonderful success with the Spanish they have learned almost exclusively from us! It’s a bit like the difference between English from the UK and the US – it’s essentially the same language and it’s fun discovering the slight differences.

How much grammar do I need to know to benefit from the course?

You don’t need any grammar to benefit from the course! We follow our usual method of immersion in our real conversations to really get real depth in the language, which makes a huge difference later in understanding native Spanish speakers, and being able to chat to them.

In Ben’s first months learning Spanish he really concentrated on fluency and understanding conversations above grammatical accuracy, and it made such a difference to his ability to chat and understand, and we still believe that is the way.

So we think you’ll benefit hugely from the course without having to worry about grammar at all!

At the same time, if you do have grammar questions or difficulties you want to iron out or get help with, Marina and our Pro Teacher Ariadna will be delighted to help you with them.

I’m still working on my Notes in Spanish Coach videos! Should I finish those first?

This goes perfectly with Notes in Spanish Coach (which was open for enrolment in February), the two compliment each other perfectly.

While Coach focused on efficient language learning techniques, Notes in Spanish Platinum is absolutely full of rich Spanish language, wonderful real-world words and phrases, so you can understand everything much better and chat to people with greater ease with your new, real Spanish resources. Plus you get the community and online events to ask us and others questions in!

Can I combine this with other Spanish courses I’m taking?

Absolutely! Lots of our students combine our Real Spanish Conversations approach with other more traditional methods such as online or in-person classes, and the big-name apps.

We think our conversations are essential to use with these other methods, otherwise your Spanish risks staying ‘clunky’ and ‘conventional’ and ‘app-ish’ – we want you to sound authentic, real, to surprise native speakers with the straight-from-the-streets, straight-from-real-life Spanish we teach.

Adding our Real Spanish Conversations to ‘big-name-app Spanish’ has worked for thousands of our students – they’ve written to tell us. And many of them have ditched the big-name apps and gone 100% ‘real’ with us all the way to the top!

What if I’m still working through a different Notes in Spanish Course?

Great question! Platinum will perfectly accompany and enhance your other Notes in Spanish studies. The added depth of the new topics, the ‘go deeper’ materials we’ve carefully selected, and above all else, the constant support of the community to clear up doubts and get great advice will accelerate your progress and enjoyment enormously.

And the bonuses in the first month, the live online events with Ben and Marina, and having Ariadna, our pro Spanish teacher on hand, are opportunities to dig deep and spur you on that are not to be missed! ¡A por ello! Go for it!

How long do I have access to the course? Can I track my progress?

Although it’s impossible to promise ‘lifetime’ access to anything, we plan to keep this course in its new state-of-the-art home for at least two years, and almost certainly longer. We have special events for the first month, the live ‘Virtual cafés with Ben and Marina’, and the presence of Ariadna, our pro teacher in the community, but the video modules and the community will be available long-term after that.

So there is no hurry – this is self-paced. You can take a month, six months or more, however long you need. And the new course system we’ve set up for this lets you really easily track your progress.

Plus, the community isn’t going anywhere soon – we’re investing long-term enthusiasm into this community – we plan to make this the best Spanish-learning community on the internet!

Do I have to take part in the Private Community?

Taking part in the Private Community is totally optional. If you like you can just come and read posts from us and other members (yes, as members you can start new posts too!) But, dos cosas, two things:

1. Even if you prefer just to watch what’s going on in there, there may come a day when you have a burning question about a word, a language point, or need advice on your next Spanish learnings steps – even ideas for a great bar to go to in Madrid! And this will be the perfect place to get that help.

2. We think it’s going to be an amazing community, and we’re going to pour all our enthusiasm into it, with great extra materials, so we hope you’ll pop in, say hi, and whenever you feel like it, comment on a post or help a fellow learner out.

Do I have to download anything?

The only thing you might want to download are the PDF’s with the comprehension and vocab exercises, but you can view those in the browser too. Everything else – videos, transcripts, discussion questions, community – is built right into the amazing new course and community system we’ve invested in, that you can access online, on your phone, or via the easy-to-install Platinum app. There are no zip files to deal with or anything like that. This is as up-to-date and easy to use as you can get!

I feel like I’ll never improve my Spanish, will this help?

Absolutely! Apart from enjoying all the wonderful Spanish we use and point out in this course (real-world Spanish, so it’s really a joy to learn!) we’ll be there to help with all your challenges and difficulties. One of the things we most enjoy is sharing our enthusiasm and pointing you in the right direction to overcome difficulties. Platinum will definitely improve your Spanish!

If I sign-up will I be committed to a fixed timetable of events or can I watch/participate as/when I am able?

There is no fixed timetable, you can take the course at your own pace and watch and participate whenever you like.

(The ‘Virtual cafés with Ben and Marina’ do have a fixed time and date, but you can watch the recordings later, whenever you like).

How long is each video/module?

Each video is about 20 to 25 minutes, the first 10 to 12 minutes in Spanish, and then the analysis in English.

After that, how long it takes to do the rest of the module is up to you. You could dive into the external ‘go deeper’ materials we link to, e.g. YouTube videos connected to the topic, or you could do the exercises on the worksheet, answer the discussion questions in the online community for correction by Marina and Ariadna, our teacher, or you could just watch the main video and move on to the next. It’s up to you.

What if Platinum is not for me? Do you offer a refund?

Yes we do. A full 14-Day refund. If during 14 days from the date of your purchase, you don’t think that using the materials in this course can really help to improve your Spanish, just let us know and we will give you a complete refund – just send an email to our support team: [email protected]

I’m very busy at the moment, is Notes in Spanish Platinum Worth it?

We actually think you can’t afford not to join this course and community – we think it’ll save you years and hugely accelerate your path to full Spanish fluency and understanding.

Remember, the 3 keys to Ben’s very rapid path to fluency when he moved to Spain were:

a) Getting in contact with as much real Spanish conversation as possible
b) Having the ability to ask all the questions he needed to friends who were ahead of him, and
c) Having a great friend who pointed out all the best bits of Spanish for him.

It saved Ben years, and all this is exactly what we offer in Notes in Spanish Platinum.

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What other students are saying…

If you’ve ever wondered if Notes in Spanish is right for you, check out what our students are saying in these videos and written reviews. These are people of all ages and backgrounds who came to Notes in Spanish at a variety of learning levels. They’ve got some really lovely stories, and we think they’ll help you see what’s possible with Notes in Spanish. Take a look… and click on the videos to watch their stories.

Adrienne – Making the most of Spain and chatting to people on her travels

Paul L. – Talks regularly in social chats to his Spanish friends

Paul S. – Chatting and laughing with Spanish neighbours about everyday life

Loni – From zero Spanish to a whole bunch of Spanish friends!

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Daily Chat with our Spanish Neighbours

We bought a house in the mountains in a beautiful rural part of Andalucía. Here, I’m able to take part in the daily chat with our Spanish neighbours about this and that, and have a laugh about various topics or experiences… A lot of this basic grounding in conversation came from the huge variety of topics covered by Notes in Spanish… My life would not have been enriched without the help of Ben and Marina. I am very grateful to them both.

Paul S.

“Helped me most to tune in to what the locals were saying”

I have been visiting Mallorca the last few years and trying hard to converse in Spanish, but it was Marina and Ben’s audios that helped me most to tune in to what the locals were saying. The audios give you so much practice at listening to real Spanish in full flow, as against the staged, somewhat stilted and artificial conversations of other courses.

Sahlan D.

“My problem was hearing spoken Spanish”

My problem was always hearing spoken Spanish when a native speaker replied to me. Notes in Spanish has addressed this common issue, I’m very pleased.

Keith

Surprising friends in Spain…

I can not recommend Notes in Spanish enough… far better than any other method. It means I can visit my friends in Spain and have them be surprised at the progress I have made. Very highly recommended.

Jennifer M

“I feel like they are friends”

‘Notes in Spanish’ is a great tool. I have gone from Inspired beginner to practically fluent with the help of this program. Ben and Marina are smart and witty, I feel like they are friends; I have gotten to know them so well. I have used many on-line and self-study programs and this is my favorite.

Kristi

“I have a whole bunch of Spanish friends”

A friend of mine recommended Notes in Spanish … I really started to learn useful and relatable vocabulary and grammar, that made me able to connect with some people, and really make friends, and immerse myself into the Spanish culture. [Now] I think for the most part I’m fluent, I finally got that Spanish boyfriend, and have a whole bunch of Spanish friends!

Loni

“Language learning treasure”

The most friendly, inclusive, genuine language learning treasure on the Internet – so enthusiastically taught. Thank you both.

Jennifer

“Couldn’t ask for more!”

Wow – couldn’t ask for more! Certainly inspired me and amazed myself by beginning to understand and move on so quickly. Highly recommended.

Anne

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If you have any questions about the course, just email us here or use Live Chat with Ben below. We’re delighted to help.


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