What is the Speak Spanish Initiative?
CAN YOU TELL ME ABOUT THE SPANISHPOWER™ COURSE THAT IS GIFTED AS PART OF THE SPEAK SPANISH INITIATIVE? Sure! SpanishPower™ was originally developed by Ricardo González in the mid 90's along with a team of language experts. SpanishPower™ was revised and edited again mid-2000's for online distribution. It is very comprehensive and is designed to set the infrastructure for a student to reach 80 to 90 percent of an educated native. For many years it sold for $797 in hard-copy format. It is designed in four levels; Basic, Intermediate, Advanced and Expert. Each Level has 12 lessons and each lesson implements a proprietary Six-Step System we call The González Method. Ricardo is engaging, sometimes entertaining, and always very clear as he provides you with specific guidance as to what to do, when, how, and even how many times to do something to get long-term retention. SpanishPower™ has been used successfully by thousands of students over the years including executives of major companies, high-level politicians, and a lot of people who just want to learn well. It is now available to you at no charge through The Speak Spanish Initiative. WHO IS RICARDO GONZALEZ? Ricardo is an internationally recognized expert in language and culture. He is the primary developer of the SpanishPower™ course being gifted through The Speak Spanish Initiative. He is the founder and CEO of Bilingual America, our parent company. His book, The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish is a must read for anyone considering a Spanish learning program. He is also the author of the groundbreaking book, The 6 Stages of Cultural Mastery published by Leadercast. View Ricardo's full bio is here. IF I GO THROUGH YOUR COURSE AND FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS WHAT RESULTS SHOULD I EXPECT? We can take the average student from zero to around 80 to 85 percent of an educated native in 260 to 280 hours of total time investment. This means that if you invest five to six hours weekly, you can get to a high level in one year. If you invest 2.5 to 3 hours weekly, it will take you two years. We're well aware of programs and courses that promise you the moon in 10 minutes a day, or by learning in your sleep, etc. but they are simply not telling you the truth. We are speaking about getting to 80 to 90 percent of an educated native. We are talking about true professional proficiency so let's make sure we're comparing apples to apples. Of course, results vary based on student commitment, learning aptitude, etc. but these results are expected for students who are highly committed to the process, and especially for those who have some coaching and tutoring. Even though we gift the course, please recognize that this is a highly professional and comprehensive process. DO YOU GUARANTEE THAT I LEARN? We cannot legally guarantee that you learn well. We can tell you that based on history as long as you follow instructions, stay committed and have at least a decent learning aptitude, you should get strong results. If you want to know what it really takes to learn well, read Ricardo's book, The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish. You can get a free copy here. In addition, we would highly suggest you take our Spanish Learning Aptitude Assessment as that will give us all a very clear idea as to your specific learning abilities, needs, etc. The assessment is here. DO YOU OFFER A BASIC COURSE SO I CAN JUST GET BY WHEN I TRAVEL? Well, you could just go through the Basic Level of our SpanishPower™ course. This being said, there really is no such thing as "Basic" Spanish when you are communicating with people. Once you get past "buenos días" or "dónde está el baño" your conversation will end or be very difficult to maintain. Second, we are mission-driven and believe that if you're going to learn to speak Spanish, then learn it to a high enough level so you can actually do some good with it; for yourself and for others. For these two reasons, we do not offer any type of basic travel courses. IS SPEAKSPANISH.COM A SCHOOL? SpeakSpanish.com is a subsidiary of its parent company Bilingual America. Bilingual America has been in business as a language and cultural training Institute for over 25 years and has enjoyed a Fortune 500 client base. You can trust that you will be serviced personally and professionally as our track record is well established. SpeakSpanish.com was launched in August of 2017 so as a site it is new. Our goal here is to have a complete focus on Spanish learning while providing the best Spanish learning experience possible for a reasonable fee. We want as many people as possible to learn Spanish well so they can make a positive impact with Latinos.
HOW WAS YOUR METHOD DEVELOPED? Our core SpanishPower™ course was developed out of Ricardo González's private tutoring practice in the mid 90's in the Atlanta, GA area. He studied 100's of students over a period of about five years to determine the exact steps it took to develop a solid language infrastructure that would allow a student to achieve a high level of proficiency. I AM A PERSON WHO LIKES A LOT OF DETAIL, IS THERE A PLACE WHERE I CAN LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR METHODOLOGY? Absolutely, we invite you to read Ricardo's book, The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish. It explains, in detail, our approach to Spanish language training. In fact, the SpanishPower™ course was built around these principles. WHAT DOES YOUR APTITUDE ASSESSMENT MEASURE AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT? Our Spanish Learning Aptitude Assessment accurately measures your ability to learn Spanish. It does not evaluate your present level of Spanish. It is a battery of questions, that when answered honestly, give us a very detailed and accurate understanding of your learning strengths and weaknesses. This allows you to know BEFORE YOU START whether or not you should expect to do well in the program or if we need to make some adjustments so you can succeed. The truth is that no school can tell you you'll get a particular result if they don't know your learning abilities. We just simply prefer to deal with reality on the front end than have poor results on the back end. Take the Aptitude Assessment here. HOW DO YOU CHOOSE AND SELECT YOUR PRIVATE INSTRUCTORS? We are committed to providing our students with the very best Spanish teachers anywhere. Although an upgraded tutoring and coaching plan is not required to learn through The Speak Spanish Initiative, some students do choose to upgrade to get more personalized attention and practice. All teachers are native speakers and have a minimum of a bachelor's degree and go through extensive training before teaching a student. If you would like to understand how they begin the process and listen to an initial training session we ask them to take before submitting a resume go to this page. If you want to take that first session, you're free to do so there. It's called The 7 P's to Teacher Perfection. WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS OF THE IMMERSION METHODOLOGY USED IN MANY COURSES? First, let's define terms. Immersion does not mean intensive. Intensive is the pace at which someone learns the language. Immersion is a methodology which essentially uses the target language to teach the target language. Programs like Berlitz, Pimsleur, and Rosetta Stone employ an immersion method. We do not believe this is the best approach for many reasons. First, adults don't learn like children. Second, the very first law of teaching and learning is to learn something you don't know through something you do know. Third, adults have a very established language infrastructure that, if properly leveraged, makes it much easier to learn a new language. Our methodology is progressive in nature and by the time students are in the mid-Advanced level of our course they are completely in Spanish at native rate of speed. This cannot be accomplished in this time period in a true immersion method as adults are constantly frustrated by trying to speak and understand a language through the same language they don't speak or understand! In Chapter 5 of the book, The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish, this topic is discussed in more detail. Get a free copy of the book here.
IF I ENTER THROUGH THE SPEAK SPANISH INITIATIVE WILL YOU PRESSURE ME TO UPGRADE TO A PAID SERVICE? No. Our intent with The Speak Spanish Initiative is to bring a high-quality Spanish course to the masses of people who want to learn Spanish so they can better relate with Spanish-speaking people but are struggling to do so. We will never pressure you to buy something. It is a legitimate offer with no hooks or gimmicks. IF I WERE TO CHOOSE TO UPGRADE TO A PAID COACHING AND SUPPORT PLAN WHAT OPTIONS DO YOU OFFER? We offer three different plans; Pro, ProPlus, and Master. Each plan offers one-on-one tutoring with a certified instructor, live bi-weekly group coaching calls, and support tickets. You can view these plans here. WHAT METHODS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT? We accept all four major credit cards and Paypal. We also accept checks from businesses who approve invoicing for Spanish training services. IF I SIGN UP FOR A MONTHLY PLAN CAN I CANCEL WITHOUT PENALTY OR BEING CHARGED FURTHER? Absolutely. If you're not getting the value you expect or need, there is no sense in continuing. As long as you cancel before your monthly payment is charged by the system, we'll stop it for you and you won't be charged again. If you do cancel an upgrade plan, you would still maintain access to the SpanishPower™ course through The Speak Spanish Initiative. IS YOUR ONLINE PAYMENT PROCESSING SECURE? HOW DO I KNOW MY DATA IS SAFE? We process through Authorize.net which uses the highest levels of encryption available. They are a trusted source for millions of online merchants. You can view our merchant authorization with them here. Also, we cannot see full credit card data as it is encrypted when it reaches our system. WHAT IF I SIGN UP FOR AN UPGRADE TUTORING AND SUPPORT PLAN AND DON'T LIKE IT. AM I OUT THAT MONEY? No, we'll actually return your money! If you sign up for an upgraded tutoring and support plan and don't find value in it, just tell us within two sessions and we'll return your money. It's our job to wow you and if we don't, well then, that's our problem, not yours.
IS YOUR SITE SECURE? Yes. The entire SpeakSpanish.com is run with secure encryption. You will notice the https:// in the address bar. The "s" is for "secure". This means that all forms, login information, purchase information, etc. are encrypted and data is protected. HOW DO YOU LEVERAGE TECHNOLOGY ON SPEAKSPANISH.COM? SpeakSpanish.com is completely integrated with our company database system so we can properly monitor the progress of our students and encourage them through the process. We use advanced Learning Management Software to distribute our training processes and also provide online quizzes and digital badging. The site also allows students to connect based on their designated learning group through an online forum. Based on permissions, students can only access content that is intended specifically for them. IS EVERYTHING ONLINE? If you are in the one-on-one tutoring program you will have real access to your instructor. Typically, language learning is most effective in a voice only environment so tutoring sessions, although live, are normally conducted by phone or Skype without video. In the event that an instructor feels the need to have a "face to face" conversation this is done via Zoom video platform. The weekly coaching calls included in bundled solutions and monthly subscriptions are conducted via Zoom webinar platform and you can see your lead teacher(s) on video. CAN I DOWNLOAD MATERIALS FOR PRINT AND OFF-LINE USE? Yes, you can. All lessons in the online SpanishPower™ course permit you to download Lesson Plans, the Memory Card system, and also the audio files associated with that lesson. I'M NOT A TECHIE PERSON. IS THE ONLINE COURSE HARD TO NAVIGATE? Not at all. We show you everything to do and if you need additional help it's as simple as making a phone call or sending in a support ticket. If you want to try it out, get your FREE Trial here. I AM A TECHIE PERSON AND SINCE YOU'RE PRIMARILY AN ONLINE OFFERING, I WANT TO MAKE SURE YOUR SYSTEMS ARE INDUSTRY STANDARD. CAN YOU SHARE YOUR BACKEND? Happy to do so. Our database and CRM provider is Infusionsoft. We use WordPress as our main platform and connect WordPress to Infusionsoft through Memberium membership site software. Our LMS is LearnDash and it is fully integrated to Infusionsoft as well. We also leverage Buddy Press and BB Press as well as BadgeOS. As for our secret sauces, well, we're going to hold those a bit closer to the vest.
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Our Leadership Team
Ricardo is a recognized world leader in both cultural mastery and language acquisition so you can be sure you're getting the best of the best. He is the founder and CEO of Bilingual America and is the author of The 6 Stages of Cultural Mastery and The 12 Hidden Truths to Learning Spanish. He developed the SpanishPower™ course gifted through The Speak Spanish Initiative as well as SuccesswithHispanics™, LíderesExitosos™, InglésPoderoso™, and CulturalMasters™. His full bio is here.
Noenia RodríguezDirector of Training
Noenia has her Masters Degree in Business Administration from Universidad La Latina in San José, Costa Rica. She has been with Bilingual America since 2013. She started as a Spanish tutor, then was certified to do cultural leadership coaching, then became lead teacher, and is now our Director of Training. Although Noenia still does some teaching on a selective and as needed basis, her main role is to ensure the quality and excellence of our teaching processes and our customer service.
Dora Luz MathurínLead Instructor
Dora joined Bilingual America coming out of a corporate management and training background with Levi's Corporation. She and her husband Abner decided to settle in the Dominican Republic and make their home there. Dora began her career with Bilingual America as a Spanish tutor, then was certified to do cultural leadership training. She is responsible to recruit and train new teachers in our system, as well as she oversees the day to day teaching processes and works with teachers who have questions or needs with their students.