Wow, this course is amazing! Before starting this course I considered myself an intermediate Spanish speaker (by Gringo standards of course). I’ve now finished challenge 21 of level 1 and have come to the conclusion… an intermediate Spanish speaker I was not (read in your best Yoda voice)!
I’ve been able to speak a little bit of conversational Spanish for about 10 years now but I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck on a plateau. It got much better when I spent about 6 months in Colombia (5 years ago) but not as good as I expected. I think part of the reason was I wasn’t using many words correctly so, in turn, I wasn’t hearing what I was expecting to hear when people would answer my questions or when they would ask me something I wasn’t ready for.
I feel part of the reason I was facing this problem was due to the manner in which I had learned the language. I had taken three years of college Spanish, where I feel you are drilled with how to conjugate verbs and memorizing flash cards. So instead of listening to what is being said and responding in a natural manner, I’d been drilling myself with flashcards and worrying about how to correctly conjugate a word that I might not even be using correctly (which I now have learned that I wasn’t).
After just two weeks of using the SSI method, I am so much more confident in engaging people in Spanish. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fluent speaker…yet, but I’ve fooled some waiters and waitresses into thinking I am Just last weekend I was in Southwest Florida for a business trip and I ventured into a Colombian restaurant for lunch. I was able to speak with the hostess, the waiter, and even the owner all in Spanish, without them switching over to English (which usually happens when they realize I’m struggling to either understand or get out what I’m trying to say)! I even had two patrons of the restaurant come up and ask where I learned to speak Spanish so well. Man that felt good!
So if you’re someone who just started the course, or maybe just looking around the forum to see if it’s worth trying, take it from someone that has tried the conventional method (university courses) and even the Rosetta Stone method (didn’t work that well); this method REALLY REALLY works!!!