Our co-founder, Kevin Ramirez, went to Costa Rica for a few weeks in between career moves. He was so excited to have a real immersion experience — enjoying the beautiful environment, vibrant culture, sports and activities, and engaging with the locals. After taking nearly 8 years of Spanish in high school and college like most Americans, he stumbled upon a positively frustrating fact: he could barely speak a word of Spanish. Thus, his conversations with the locals were severely limited, and he found himself mostly hanging out with Americans. It wasn’t exactly the immersion experience he had envisioned.
In spending time with English speaking Americans while there, he learned that he was not the only foreign language learner in that same position. Most of them had limited Spanish skills despite years of Spanish language education.
In between water sports and touring, Kevin started researching the quickest way to acquire Spanish language skills. He did not find many methods that would help him to remember Spanish vocabulary words that he had learned or that would help him acquire new ones in a way that ensured retention. After weeks of researching existing systems, there wasn’t anything that could adapt to the user’s style and optimize existing knowledge. The most common method that people indicated they used to actually memorize content was the flashcard.
Inspired by his own experience and lack of Spanish, Kevin set out to solve the problem — a technology hack to rapidly improve his foreign language skills. He wanted to quickly learn, retain and recall vocabulary words in a way that was convenient to his schedule and inexpensive. Thus, Sixty Vocab was born. Kevin developed a technology platform that would help the user remember vocabulary words that they had already learned, build upon that knowledge by adding new words helpful to the user in conversational settings, and make the technology engaging enough to integrate with busy lifestyles.
What does this have to do with French vocabulary words? Everything.
We think that the best way to remember French vocabulary words is the one that learns as you do, keeps track of what you need to work on and refreshes you at different intervals to ensure recall and retention. Although Spanish may have inspired Kevin to start Sixty Vocab, the principles remain and apply to other foreign languages as well. One of our co-founders did the test drive with French vocabulary words. The result? Her French neighbors were suitably impressed each week by how much her language skills had improved. The hack was simply learning, retaining and using more vocabulary in conversation.
This may sound like a story that should be on an “About Us” page (and it is). But more importantly, it’s about our new approach to finally checking that New Year’s resolution off your list and becoming fluent in another language. Whatever has inspired you to expand your linguistic horizons, Sixty Vocab would be proud to be a part of that journey.
Bonjour! Sixty Vocab can help you learn over 2,000 Spanish words in as little as 3 months. Learn, play and practice in your downtime on your computer, tablet, iPhone or Android device. Sixty Vocab is the life hack for learning foreign language vocab. Merci!