In this post: An honest review of La Mariposa Spanish Lessons: Dominique Cordero’s virtual Spanish courses and online language coaching for adult learners. Plus a peek inside the program!

Are you trying to learn Spanish as an adult?

As the world’s 2nd language with the most native speakers (471+ million), and the 2nd largest population of Spanish speakers in the USA (Forbes), it’s no wonder so many adults are learning Spanish online today.

A staggering 30 million Americans attempted to learn a new language in 2020. Yet statistics show that 96% do not become proficient. 

You may relate to these common scenarios:

~ You’ve tried the apps that promise fluency (I’m looking at you Duolingo), or intimidating immersion classes that left you feeling like a deer in headlights and still struggling to string a sentence together.

~You bought a course only to lose motivation or get distracted after the first module, because you failed to establish a meaningful language plan that worked for your learning type.

There are so many reasons why people give up on learning a second language and let’s face it, learning Spanish as an adult is certainly harder (neuroscience proves it).

But with the right teaching and coaching, you can successfully learn Spanish.

That’s where my friend Dominique Cordero comes in. Like me, she learnt Spanish as an adult and upon reaching fluency, she founded La Mariposa Spanish Lessons: her Spanish course hub for adults.

La Mariposa Spanish Lessons
Spanish Teacher and Language Coach Dominique Cordero

Dominique has walked the path to true fluency in Spanish and she knows first hand what does and doesn’t work for adult Spanish learners.

Her knowledge of the Spanish language is outstanding, yet she remembers what it feels like to be a complete beginner. She can relate to you in a way that most native tutors cannot.

Her friendly but intentional coaching style will empower you to not only believe in yourself, but take practical steps and build a solid strategy that means you will be in that 4%.

In her own words: “I’m on a crusade to help others believe that language proficiency in later life is possible”.

Her courses at La Mariposa Spanish Lessons offer incredible value with a personal touch and connection that are extremely hard to find in other language courses.

I was granted access to her ALAS Basic Spanish course to write up this review. As a fluent speaker myself, I felt that I needed to view this course in the eyes of a complete beginner too. So I enlisted the help of my sister Hannah to complete it alongside me.

So this review post is co-authored~ thank you Hannah!

Alas beginner spanish course

ALAS Basics Spanish Course

ALAS 1 (wings 1) is the first course in this Spanish Basics series by La Mariposa Spanish Lessons.

ALAS is hosted on Teachable and consists of six modules that focus on the absolute essentials in Spanish grammar through interactive video lessons with Dominique, beautiful worksheets, fun quizzes and more. 

Who is ALAS for?

ALAS is ideal for Spanish beginners with an A1 or A2 Spanish level, or for adult learners who are just starting out.

>> For Intermediate Spanish learners, check out her “Polishing the Preterit Intermediate Course.”

Dominique’s core focus in ALAS 1 is providing her students with a solid foundation in the most important concepts for Spanish grammar.

In her words: “I really believe that mastering verbs (meanings, conjugating etc.) is the most important foundational piece you can learn in Spanish which is why I lead with it.” 

Spanish Beginners Grammar Course

Reflecting on my own journey learning Spanish, I agree that getting to grips with basic Spanish grammar (like ser vs estar and why on earth articles have genders in Spanish) propelled me quickly in moving to the intermediate level, and enabled me to have real life conversations with native speakers early on.

Of course, ample vocabulary and tuning your ear into the language are also important factors in language learning. But I do agree with Dominique that grasping the basics in grammar should be a priority at the beginner stage.

What’s Included in the ALAS Spanish Course?

ALAS is an online course (with lifetime access) made up of 6 core modules that cover the absolute essentials for Spanish grammar.

From conjugating present tense verbs to understanding how to form questions (which is totally different in Spanish by the way!) and constructing sentences, the course is sequenced very intentionally and methodically to help you make consistent and steady progress.

There is SO much in this course and it really wowed me just how well everything was structured and presented. 

Just a few of the resources included in ALAS are:

>> Video lessons with Dominique for each module with clear and well organized presentations.

>> Beautifully presented step-by-step checklists to keep you on track and accountable

>> Thoughtfully sequenced grammar worksheets with corresponding solutions.

>> How to Stay Consistent with Learning Spanish Workshop

This is a 4-step actionable system with more tangible strategies to work Spanish into your everyday life. From how to track your progress, to figuring out how you learn best, there is SO much here to motivate and support every type of learner!

>> ENGLISH grammar video!

This is genius! Dominique explains terminology and the structure behind grammar. This is powerful in helping beginners, who are new to language learning, wrap their minds around the principles behind how language works. 

>>Quizlet vocabulary sets. I had a lot of fun with these online games.

>> Private Facebook Group

Includes weekly check-ins, helpful additional resources such as YouTube video links, music playlists, etc.

>> Monthly themed group speaking classes.

From travel to food, weather to health, these are super helpful vocabulary boosting sessions that focus on words and phrases that are useful!

Dominique cuts the fluff and gets you straight to the practical language so you can actually communicate with native speakers. 

There’s more! Suffice to say, Dominique truly delivers exceptional value in her language program. 

dominique cordero spanish language coach

The Monarch Method

Dominique’s Spanish learning method is known as “The Monarch Method”. I absolutely loved watching this video lesson as she explains the origin of her course name ‘La Mariposa’ (butterfly) and the symbolism behind it. 

She links it to our Spanish learning experience with a beautiful metaphor (that I know will stick with me for life!) that we are all Monarch butterflies on a lifelong cycle of learning Spanish.

This is so good! Too often I see people giving up on Spanish because they don’t feel fluent after 6 weeks. It truly is a lifelong journey. I have personally been learning Spanish for over 15 years now and I never stop learning. 

learn spanish adults course

I do, however, have seasons where I am able to focus more on my self-development, and others where I count singing my heart out to “Colgando en tus manos” by Carlos Baute as my ‘input’ for the day.

Dominique talks about how we can have ‘sprints’ like the Monarchs’ migrations, where we focus more intentionally on our language progress. (For example, working through a course.) While other times we have our ‘semi-hibernation’ where we are not as focused but maintain basic Spanish input – cue Carlos.

This extended metaphor is so beautiful and honestly the most memorable and powerful way I have heard language learning described.

Related Post: 5 Fun Ways to Learn Spanish as an Adult

Top Features of La Mariposa Spanish Lessons

A Spanish Coach AND Teacher

My sister and I agreed that ALAS stands out above other courses we have tried because of the incredibly empowering and thoughtful coaching that Dominique provides in addition to the teaching.

Right from the outset, Dominique’s warm but intentional tone inspires you to make a solid language plan. She doesn’t dive straight into the first grammar point, but nurtures accountability and sets the scene with how to set yourself up for success.

The introductory module was truly inspirational. I have never experienced a course that offered so much value before the teaching had even begun!

I had so many ‘aha’ moments, with the highlight for me personally being an incredible workshop with four genius and highly practical ways to stay consistent with learning Spanish.

From tips for ‘tracking’ to setting reminders and ‘rewards’- totally doing this, it really highlighted Dominique’s passion and wisdom in the process of learning a language.

>>Psst: You can get access to another workshop for FREE here! 

(“The Spanish Priority Plan for Beginners” is a great first step for getting laser focused on how to prioritize your learning as a beginner and just get started!)

She also shared a video that leads you to make a long term commitment to take ownership of your learning alongside her instruction.

Dominique also offers her students a private Facebook group where they have weekly check-ins and monthly group speaking sessions. It is clear that Dominique cares deeply about the progress of her students. It’s also a great way to feel like you are part of a Spanish learning community.

This is not a ‘buy my course and you’re on your own’ program. Dominique is a coach AND a teacher. That’s a huge difference and it really sets her courses apart.

Clearly Structured and Organized Lessons

Another thing that really stood out about ALAS was the structure of the course.

Every unit is highly organized, methodical and beautifully presented. As a type A personality I really appreciate this because I thrive on structure and order.

My sister, who was taking the course as a beginner, commented that “The way she explains grammar concepts is very simple and has helped me more than any other Spanish course.”

La Mariposa ALAS Basic Spanish Course

This is a game changer! ‘Grammar’ is usually the word that stresses language learners out. The rules, the exceptions to the rules, the differences to English grammar,~ it’s a lot to have to wrap your head around and quite often causes people to give up on their learning. 

Dominique doesn’t ‘assume’ any prior knowledge or understanding of grammatical concepts. She explains everything from scratch.

This is important as I so often take for granted how much I know by default because I am a linguist. My brain has been trained to understand how Latin languages work.

Spanish was far easier for me to pick up as an adult, for example, because I already had a solid foundation in high school French: I knew how sentence structure and grammar worked.

ALAS Grammar Worksheets

Each module includes beautifully presented worksheets that are thoughtfully differentiated and sequenced so that each one builds on the other.

They do help the learner to take some initiative to look up translations, but she gently supports you with a clever technique known as scaffolding~ a teaching method I often used when I was in the Education industry.

Not only does Dominique provide the answer sheets, but she also includes a video going through the solutions one by one for every single written task.

This may seem like a small difference, but I think it truly distinguishes La Mariposa Spanish Lessons from other online courses (and impersonal grammar books!) as she is, once again, showing up with more customized coaching.

Dominique’s personal touches like this really help you connect with her and this all circles back to the motivational factor that she instils in her students.

One small detail I did notice, and felt worth mentioning, was that she doesn’t teach the ‘vosotros’ form of verbs because she is based in the USA and the vast majority of her audience will be there.

‘Ustedes’ is used far more widely. Just something to be aware of because when I was living in Spain, ‘vosotros’ was used all the time. I have had to adapt a lot to living in the USA where it is rarely heard and certainly not taught in schools. 

FREE Spanish Learning Guides for Adults

Dominique truly believes in providing incredible value for her readers and students. She currently has two amazing FREE digital guides that will support your first steps in getting serious about learning Spanish as an adult.

If you are a beginner, you’re going to want to snag this guide now: >>The Spanish Priority Plan for Beginners. 

Intermediate+ Spanish learners will benefit more from this guide: >>The Spanish Priority Plan for Intermediate and Beyond. 

Like all of Dominique’s offers, these guides are packed full of helpful tips and support. This goes way beyond a PDF! It includes webinars, reflective workbooks and step-by-step guides.

The Spanish Priority plan for beginners

How to Enroll in the Course

If you’re ready to dive straight into her courses and join her amazing community of Spanish learners, then you can head to her website and select the best course for your level.

>> For Beginners, you’re going to want to start with her ALAS 1 | Basic Spanish Course.

>> For Intermediates who have a solid understanding of grammar basics and are ready to dive deeper into the preterit tense, you can enroll in her Polishing the Preterit Intermediate Course.

I have had the privilege of reviewing dozens of Spanish learning courses, apps and classes over the years and I am just tickled pink to be sharing La Mariposa Spanish Lessons with you.

If you want a structured, highly organized course with a Spanish language coach who ‘gets it’ because she knows first hand how it is to learn Spanish from the ground up, then it’s time to spread your Spanish wings with La Mariposa Spanish Lessons. 

This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own. I only share products that I believe support Spanish learning and provide huge value to my readers.

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