Arbol Spanish was started in 2021 to provide free lessons for Advanced Spanish students. These lessons will take you from the point where you finished your Advanced Spanish coursebook (whichever one you used) and bring you to a real Conversational Spanish level.
We are funded by ads (so don’t turn them off unless you want to deprive us of revenue) and Patreon. That is how the website can be free to use while we work to create lessons.
NOTE ON HOW WE SUGGEST YOU USE OUR LESSONS
The basic idea with these advanced lessons is that you aim for 80% comprehension. In order to be conversational you need to learn a huge amount of vocabulary, but each of the thousands of words you eventually will learn will only come up once a day or week or month. You don’t need to master them all right away.
Use our lessons to increase your vocabulary and comprehension of the meaning of phrases and sentences, but don’t try to master perfectly each word or sentence we use. The goal is that, overall, you will catch the 80% that is easiest for you to catch, plus get better familiarity with the 20% that you don’t grasp so readily. Over time, you will increase your 80% of a large amount of lessons, and the other 20% will come eventually.
Also, if you are new here and are going to view all our pages, you might consider starting at our oldest posts, because later we will assume you have already seen that vocabulary. For example, in our second blog post we practice the word ‘resarcirse,’ but when that word comes up later in other blogs we probably won’t practice it again, since we already know it.
HOW TO STUDY THE SPANISH LANGUAGE
In our opinion, you should just take in and experience as much as possible, and not worry too much about the order. However, the order is important when it comes to things you can learn wrong (which, the more you practice, the more you will establish and build upon your errors). Foremost is pronunciation. Secondly, errors in verb conjunction.
Our recommendation for progression in Spanish:
1. Foundation of very good pronunciation of sounds and words, before even practicing or looking at the spelling of Spanish words. Just listen, and just record your voice repeating after a Spanish speaker and listen to that as well. There’s no sure timeline for this. Maybe one or two weeks with 20 – 60 minutes per day just listening, repeating the sounds, and listening to recordings of yourself repeating after a Spanish speaker, would be enough. The point is to feel sure you have a solid base in the sounds, and that you aren’t going to start mispronouncing words when you read them instead of just hearing them. The main thing with sounds is vowels. Spanish has just 5 vowel sounds (English has like 20 which are all produced with the same 5 letters as Spanish’s 5 sounds). There are a few other sounds in Spanish which aren’t in English, such as the L and Rs, but they won’t cause as severe of problems as mislearning Spanish words with the wrong vowel pronunciation.
2. Continue to listen to Spanish, having correct pronunciation be the goal, while also reading Spanish words. Words can be common words or short common phrases.
This is your foundation.
3. Now we enter Basic Spanish. This includes common vocabulary, but the most important thing is mastery of verb conjunction. This is a big task. This is a stage where it is very useful to have a teacher, because you can’t yet really converse with a normal Spanish speaker, but you need to practice this vocabulary and verb forms a lot.
4. Now we enter Intermediate Spanish, which is learning a bunch of verbs, nouns, etc., with which you can do basic conversation. Everything you learn at this level are words and phrases that you will use every day. You use these words a lot, but they are not enough to really speak the language with people. At this stage a teacher is still really helpful, but a Spanish friend can work. Drills are important at this stage. It’s also a good stage to do language exchange with a Spanish speaker, practice with flash cards, ask questions, try to do conversational exchanges in the street.
5. Now we enter Advanced Spanish, which is learning a great number of words which you may only hear or say once a week, or once a year. While they are used uncommonly, without them you can’t really speak the language with the people. At this stage, a teacher is perhaps more helpful than a Spanish friend again, because a teacher will understand that you need to practice all these words and master them and can help you with drills and examples for using the vocabulary. Any Spanish material will be more or less helpful, since you need to master it all, but thematic Spanish lessons will be extra helpful, because they will provide concise context-vocabulary-examples, on which you can focus, and which you can master and then go out in the street and try them out in a situation similar to the lesson context. It’s also a stage for writing down words or expressions which, in your Spanish conversations, you lack.
All this might not work for you, though. Maybe if you try to build a foundation of proper pronunciation for a week or two of lessons, you will just not be interested enough to practice at all, and you won’t learn Spanish. Our outline is just a suggestion. Maybe the only way for you personally is to start learning vocab lists. Your pronunciation will be bad, and will cause you to not always be understood when you go to speak to people, but that’s OK. Lots of people have learned Spanish that way. You can work on those issues later.
You can contact us through our social media channels using the comments section. Anti free speech government laws, combined with the opportunistic and lazy nature of us all which drives us to bot automate spam, has made communication through simpler means not worth it.
December 30, 2020: Website created
January 5, 2021: Website completed. Now to find vloggers!
March 19: All the special code written for the site. Still to find vloggers!
November, 2022: We’ve started publishing lesson posts. We also created social media channels.