FEARS & FAQ
I really want to learn Spanish but I don’t have anyone to practice with and I get really shy when I try to speak Spanish, especially with native Spanish speakers. Can this course help me overcome my fears?
Yes, definitely! Learning a new language is overwhelming and for many people, the fear of making mistakes or having a bad accent holds them back. This is a natural reaction but together we will work to overcome this. Our course isn’t just about teaching you grammar and vocabulary, rather we also work on building the motivated mindset needed to learn a language and get comfortable in the uncomfortable and unknown. Likewise, our community group in DISCORD will give you support as well as opportunities to practice your Spanish with peers.
I know ZERO Spanish, is this the right course for me or will I be in over my head?
Yes! This course is a good fit for a variety of learners including total beginners as well as folks who studied Spanish at the high school or college level but who feel like they didn’t retain much. The truth is that many Spanish courses are somewhat dry and their main focus is getting you through the course. Here we truly want you to learn and apply your Spanish in real-life scenarios! We will start out with the basics so if you’ve never heard a Spanish word in your life that’s just fine. However, even if you’ve had some previous experience with Spanish this course may still be a good fit for you as review and practice truly do make perfect. Plus, we aren’t just teaching your Spanish but this course is also loaded with history, culture, and travel tips that your previous Spanish courses likely didn’t include.
The program looks amazing but it sounds like a heavy time commitment, what will be expected out of me?
Great question! Once you’ve purchased the course you’ll have access for all of 2022 to the pre-recorded videos, PDF workbook, Quizlet exercises, and any extra content hosted on Teachable. Therefore you can study at your own pace and get started whenever you want once the course goes live in February 2022. However, starting February 1st, 2022 we will have 90-minute group calls once a week for 14 weeks which we HIGHLY recommend participating in or watching the replay. Likewise, you will have access to the Discord Community group for 3 months, starting on February 1st, 2022. In order to get the best results, we recommend dedicating 6 hours a week to your studies for the first 14 weeks as this course is designed for people who are truly passionate about learning Spanish and committed to doing what it takes to achieve results. Of course, everything is optional and you’re welcome to study and participate as much or as little as you’d like. At a bare minimum, we’d suggest having 3 hours to dedicate to your studies a week, even if it’s broken into shorter study sessions.
I’m not very tech-savvy, will I be able to navigate the learning platform?
Yes, however, it might take a few days to get used to it. Don’t worry though, we are here to help walk you through it and can even jump on a one-on-one call if needed. Additionally, on the first live call, Maestras Chelsea and Pamela will show everyone how to use the course, plus there will also be a tutorial video posted in Teachable that you can revisit at any point during the course. The five platforms you’ll need to learn how to use in order to fully participate in this course are Zoom, Teachable, Discord, Genially, and Quizlet.
I’m on the fence because Maestra Chelsea is not a native Spanish speaker and I’ve heard it’s better to take classes from native speakers. Is this the right course for me?
Maestra Chelsea here! This is such a great question and I’m even going to let you in on a little secret - I have put off promoting myself as a Spanish instructor for years for this very reason, despite having had numerous non-native Spanish-speaking professors while pursuing my MA. My insecurities about my Spanish were something I struggled with for a long time, however, over time I have come to embrace the ways in which not being a native speaker actually helps me to be a better teacher. What makes me different is that I truly understand and relate to my students’ struggles. This allows me to explain certain aspects of the language in ways that many native speakers cannot. That being said, I DO believe that exposure to native speakers is an important component of learning the language which is why I won’t be doing all of the talking. Maestra Chiva and Assistant Pamela are both native speakers who will be featured in the videos and voiceovers. Likewise, you will hear from other native speakers from all around Latin America to expose you to different accents, vocabulary, and cultural norms reflected in language. Therefore approximately 75% of the content in Spanish is coming from the mouths of native speakers, primarily from Guatemala, Cuba, México, and Ecuador.
Is the course taught entirely in Spanish?
No, not at the Basic I level. Due to the virtual nature of this course, there are certain classroom tricks that are harder to execute in pre-recorded videos. Therefore we utilize a fair amount of English in the first two units (out of five) in order to arm you with the basic vocabulary and listening comprehension skills to understand instructions and explanations in Spanish. As the course progresses there will be less and less English. However, English can still be heard throughout the course even at the end of the Basic II series.
How much of the focus is on grammar? I’ve taken some Spanish classes before but they are all so boring and focus heavily on grammar. How is this program different?
Slightly unpopular opinion - but grammar matters! I see so many learners looking for ways to dodge the inevitable and many programs catering to this trend. However, I truly believe that while grammar is NOT everything and does not need to be perfect to communicate effectively, you still need to learn the general structure of the language. Even as native English speakers we are taught grammar in elementary school making our spoken English not only “acquired”, but also learned. What makes our program different in regards to this topic, however, is that we don’t teach grammar in a boring and overwhelming way. We give brief but thorough explanations and then provide you with ample opportunities to study this grammar point as much or as little as you’d like. You will then utilize your newfound grammar knowledge and skills in a variety of dynamic vocabulary, reading comprehension, listening comprehension, and writing exercises. Also, remember that learning Spanish is not the only thing that this program is about. We are also here to teach you about Latin American history, culture, and current events as well as responsible travel practices. Therefore, grammar does not represent a dominant majority of the content seen in this course but we will have 3 - 4 grammar classes (25 - 40 minutes long) per unit.
What "type" of Spanish is taught in Heart of Travel's online courses? I hear a lot about “Castilian Spanish”, that’s from Spain, right? What type of Spanish is taught in this course?
The term “Castilian Spanish” can mean the variety of Peninsular Spanish spoken in northern and central Spain, the standard form of Spanish, or Spanish from Spain in general. In short, Castilian Spanish is associated with Spain. Historically, many Spanish language learning programs have focused more on Castilian Spanish and there is often a degree of prestige associated with Castilian Spanish. However, and with no disrespect to Spain or Spaniards, this feels antiquated and exclusive considering the amount of native Spanish speakers living in the Americas. Recognizing this lack of educational materials focusing on Latin American Spanish, our program seeks to reflect the linguistic diversity found throughout Latin America and prepare students for travel or relocation to Latin America. This means vocabulary and grammar structures used in class will be modeled after the Spanish spoken in Latin America and you will hear voices from Guatemala, México, Cuba, Ecuador, and other Latin American countries. That being said, we will include vosotros in written materials and remind students of certain Castillian tips and tricks to be aware of. How is this course geared towards travelers?
It’s important to note that we will be teaching and using the pronoun “vos” (not to be confused with vosotros) in our lessons and we will also be mentioning the newer “inclusive language” that is becoming popular in many areas and incorporating it in some of our lessons and exercises.
How is this course geared towards travelers?
Every aspect of this course was designed with travelers’ needs and interests in mind and this is reflected in the vocabulary and grammar points focused on as well as the content provided in the workbook and instructional videos. Not only will you learn how to navigate common travel situations and scenarios in Spanish but you’ll also learn more about history, culture, and everyday life in various Latin American destinations. Additionally, there are travel tips and useful information sprinkled throughout this course so who can travel safely, responsibly, and have a blast on your next trip to Latin America.
Is there a refund policy for this course?
Once this course has begun on February 1st, 2022 there are no refunds provided. In the event, you can no longer commit to the course due to verifiable health, familial or professional obligations please let us know and we will provide you with credit applicable to future courses or select Heart Travel trips.
If after participating in at least 50% of the course you’re truly not satisfied with your experience and results then we will discuss your case on an individual basis to process a refund and/or credit applicable to future courses, travel, or merchandise. Please note that you will have to demonstrate effort put into the course by showing up to calls and moving through the course content in Teachable and Quizlet, and participating in the Discord Community Group in order to qualify for a refund.