One concerned student wrote to tell me she was horrified that Elena’s voice wasn’t on the sample lessons.

I showed Elena the email, finding out she was missed so much brought a big smile to her face.

Even though she is my wife, sometimes, it’s a bit of a juggling act to enlist her for recording sessions. You see, we have two small children and… well you parents know what that’s about.

You know in the first recordings we ever did for Shortcut to Spanish, some of them were recorded at 4:00am.

At that time we had a 6 month old daughter, after she had waken us up in the middle of the night we used to say, “well we’re awake now, let’s finish that recording”.

I never could have imagined from those humble beginnings, we would reach thousands of people all over the world, and have such an impact on they way they learned Spanish.

On these new Bola de Nieve recordings the kids are with babysitters and we are bright, alert and having a great time…

José Luis likes to laugh, he’s always making jokes, which slows us down but keeps the energy high.

You know in the first sample lesson the only Spanish speaking voice is José Luis.

In fact the entire recording is all in the first person…

There’s a very specific reason for starting in the first person… You’ll find the sequencing makes it very easy for you to slide into Spanish conversation.

It also sets up your mind for Spanish verbs and then easily using advanced concepts like, reflexive verbs, ser vs. estar, verb tenses etc.

I’ll explain the teaching theory in another post.

You’ll hear Elena again before the end of the first month’s lessons… at the end of the first module.

That’s when I start to introduce you to a new concepts, which you won’t have seen anywhere else… I call it Synergy Verb Patterns and they’ll add a lot more fluency to your communications

Just like Synergy Verbs, they can be used with Brick Verbs and Mortar Words to make a phenomenal amount of conversation from just a small amount of words.

In many of these new patterns, a woman will answer differently to a man.

So, you’ll hear José Luis answer as a man…

No estoy listo para ir a casa. – I am not ready to go home

Estoy contento. – I am content/happy.

Estoy cansado de trabajar tanto. – I am tired of working so much.

No estoy acostumbrado a pagar para ir al baño. – I am not used to paying to go to the bathroom.

And you’ll also hear Elena saying the same phrase, in the way a woman needs to answer

Estoy lista para ir a casa.

Estoy contenta.

Estoy cansada de trabajar tanto.

Estoy acostumbrada a pagar para ir al baño.

So for fans of Elena’s dulcet tones… don’t worry

As the Governator used to say, “I’ll be back” – and Elena will be back before the end of the first module.

Hasta la vista

Marcus Santamaria