View Full Version : Inspired Beginners - Have you made the leap to Intermediate yet?
18th October 2007, 10:22 AM
Inspired Beginners (http://www.notesinspanish.com/category/beginners-podcast/) listeners, we have a question for you! Have you worked through all the Inspired Beginners Spanish podcasts from the beginning? As mentioned in recent episodes, our aim is to help you make the jump up to the Intermediate level as soon as possible.
If you have made that jump, we want to hear from you via our contact form (http://www.notesfromspain.com/forums/sendmessage.php) or in this thread. We really want to know if this stuff works and your feedback is crucial!
18th October 2007, 06:30 PM
I'm 4 months into learning Spanish, part-time, from scratch. I am a very motivated beginner who has learned other languages. But, as I'm sure you are well aware, no complete beginner could begin with "Inspired beginners" without running in terror! I did the first 40 episodes of Coffee Break Spanish which, I feel, set me up for NiS well.
Where I'm finding NiS Beginners to be excellent, is in the exposure to the sound of the language while having its shape and grammar explained in English in bite-sized chunks. I can understand much of the early Intermediate material but I'm no where near ready to back-translate it. There are a lot things like double object pronoun and the irregularity of some of the most common verbs that hang me up horribly.
Vocab is no big deal. In the past I've found vocab to fall into your lap once in the country. It's just a case of finding the devil in each language and beating it to death.
Once you've reached an advanced level of fluency in a language, it's hard to recall how tough it was in the early stages. It's even more of a challenge when you are learning in a near vacuum as some of us are. So if you are asking, "should we be producing more Inspired Beginners episodes", my response would be, "yes please, keep 'em coming, money no object".
Many thanks for the help you guys are giving
18th October 2007, 07:23 PM
many thanks for such great feedback.
We do plan to do more, but not immediately after the end of this set of five. They are actually the hardest of all to record and the last set of 5 really took it out of us and led to a big delay in the latest set of Intermediate shows! But comments like yours really inspire us to carry on I can tell you. So...
If you, (or anyone else!), could pick topics/grammar areas for the next 5 Inspired Beginners podcasts, what would you go for?
18th October 2007, 08:06 PM
many thanks for such great feedback.
We do plan to do more, but not immediately after the end of this set of five. They are actually the hardest of all to record and the last set of 5 really took it out of us and led to a big delay in the latest set of Intermediate show
Well, Ben, I'm a recording engineer/producer and studio owner by trade. For the flights, an hotel on the Sol, and a lot of rum and coke ........ ;D ;D
As for what to do next, well, as I said above, the Spanish use of double object pronouns is deeply unintuitive to the English ear (mine, anyway). And just pound away at the verbs. Much as many courses try and distance themselves from rote learning, verbs are everything.
It's morning here so it's off for a walk on the beach (sorry, Ben, I live near a beach) with episode 14.
11th November 2007, 07:33 PM
Yo trate. Pero es mas dificle que yo creí al comienzo.
Necessito escuchar mas que uno tiempo comprendar todo.
Escuche a la tercera podcast (es masculin o feminina?) ahora y soy casi finito.
Puedo comprendar cerca de sesenta y cinqo porcientos. Quando comprendo todo voy al la proxima.
...y abajo es lo que yo trate decir...
I tried. But it was harder than I first thought.
I have to listen more than once to understand everything.
I am listening to the third podcast now and am almost finished.
I can understand about 75%. When I understand everything, I move to the next.
20th November 2007, 02:39 PM
I simply love this course. It helps me fill in lots of gaps and everything drops in place when I listen to these lessons. I can understand the Intermediate and Advanced lessons with relative ease now (I know Italian so that helps), and I find that they are great tools for me to work with in order to improve my Spanish. However, the Inspired Beginners course is so awesome. Seriously, I can't thank you and Marina enough for it, it is simply the best course around. It helps me fill in all the grammatical gaps and feels like the glue that is sticking my Spanish together.
So yes, please continue it, preferably focusing on grammar and how to use that grammar. I am willing to pay for it as well, because I find it to be an outstaning tool.
1st January 2008, 05:59 PM
I study spanish at school, and i love the difference betwenn this and school. In school you learn the lanuage, but in these brilliant podcasts you learn to SPEAK the language, and kind of get engrossed in it! :D
Please continue this range!! Preferably, free of charge, but i feel alittle selfish saying that :O!
1st January 2008, 06:19 PM
Don't worry, we'll be continuing with Inspired Beginners in 08, and the audio will still be free!
1st January 2008, 07:29 PM
Thanks Ben..Absolutly Outstanding :D
10th January 2008, 02:38 PM
I am listening to both. I am a new listener and I have just caught up to the current beginner lessons. I have been working on the intermediate podcasts, although they are still difficult for me to follow, but it's great practice to pick up the jist of a conversation. I plan on going back through the beginner lessons again to reinforce the lessons.
One thing of particular interest is the usage of "lo que" which I see a lot. I know in one podcast (which I am looking for) you have brought it up in the usage "lo que pasó bien", but I see this expression a lot and only partially understand it's usage.
Keep up the great work and thanks for the site.
10th January 2008, 04:33 PM
Well i`m still trying to find where i am in the course
I only came across this site 1 week ago and i find it excellent.One of the best things is that Ben has actually been in our position .He turned up in Madrid one day and could only ask for a double room and a sandwich ;D .
It might be a long time ago now Ben but what i would like to ask is how should i structure the learning.I don`t have a teacher and i`m learning from the internet only , there`s a whole host of resources on the net but this is by far one of the best i`ve discovered .
Can you remember your early days .I`ve started taking notes of phrases i don`t recognise or understand so i can utilise the threads.Another thing is - it`s so different being able to read something , understanding it when someone is speaking so fluently is another .
If i`m honest there`s a big gap between Beginners podcasts and Intermediate .As someone commented earlier ....the pauses , the clarity and pronunciation is so much easier in the beginners podcasts .In the Intermediate you `re both in full flow .I find your English accent assists but when Marina`s speaking fast it`s difficult to grasp initially. You appear to have speeded up the dialogue in the Intermediate podcasts ....was this the intention .Can you remember how difficult you found it initially Ben .You only need to lose one word and the whole phrase goes out of context .
I know you can slow the speed of the conversation down if you use Windows player .I can`t do this with itunes .
Anyhow ....i`m slowly plugging away trying to find my level
I`ll get there , because i`m determined to
10th January 2008, 05:47 PM
I do remember very well how it was at the beginning, and I was often very lost, but I think one of the key things I learned to do was to try and grasp what the overall conversation was about, in general at any moment.
You don't need to get every word, just the overall ideas to begin with. The more you practice this technique while listening to Spanish at higher levels, the more you will find that more and more words start falling into place.
Try this technique with a couple of the intermediate podcasts (and I think the later ones might actually be slower), and after one run through you can try again with the transcripts on the worksheets to help the gaps fall into place.
But in many ways I am the wrong person to ask, those who are at a similar level to you, and use our podcasts, will have great techniques of there own.
Perhaps you should start a new thread with a title such as 'How do you use the Intermediate podcasts/worksheets to improve'.
10th January 2008, 07:13 PM
You guys ever see the Antonio Banderas movie "The 13th Warrior". Eh, probably not, it wasn't a very good film, but there is an interesting scene in there on learning a new language. The Banderas character is an Arab, but he is traveling with a group of Norse warriors. The scene is from Antonio's perspective as the warriors sit around the campfire bantering about and telling stories, and the dialogue is all incomprehensible. As Antonio pays strict attention, slowly an English word pop's in here and there. I am assuming that although it is one campfire shot, the director's intent is that this is occurring each night around the campfire as they travel. Then one evening, he understands it all and surprises them all with one rather nasty retort.
That's where I am on the intermediate podcasts...picking up a word now and then, occasionally understanding most of it, but then some podcasts just lose me, heh. And then one day, I will surprise a group of Spanish speakers with my perfect Spanish comeback, lol.
18th January 2008, 09:52 PM
Ben suggested in an earlier podcast (Beginners 15?) that the idea is to advance to the intermediate podcasts and, once there, one would feel as they are "flying". Since I started the intermediate podcasts just recently, I am very excited to start flying. However, I find that right now I am the small bird that has been pushed from the nest and flapping its wings wildly! Much of the conversations I can piece together, as I agree with Ben that one need not understand every word, but I could hardly repeat it back or translate it fully. I am certain the transcripts would be very beneficial, but as I intend to travel to Madrid in a few months time, I can hardly expect a transcript from those I encounter so my goal is to grasp on to the spoken words. Ben's English dialect is more comfortable, but I try to mimic Marina's flawless accent, albeit unsuccessfully thus far. Keep up the great work!
19th January 2008, 12:11 AM
Aunque empecé con los podcasts avanzados, ahora escucho hasta los podcasts para principiantes, y los disfruto tanto, por que dan ejemplos de "real spanish." También los temas son interasantes.
El otro día estaba con mi amiga Peruana y mi amiga que vivió en Mejico y hablabamos español, cuando yo dije "Yo que tu haría....."
Me miró, mi amiga Peruana con una sonrisa grande y me dijo, Ya ve, Hablas como Peruana!" Gracias Ben y Marina.
19th January 2008, 10:55 AM
De nada Molly - me alegro de que te gusten los Inspired Beginners!
20th November 2009, 08:08 PM
Wanted to voice my thanks for the IB podcasts too - I'd been looking for something like this for ages. A good mix of slowly, clearly spoken Spanish with some guide as to what it's all about in English. The grammar explanations are invaluable - and seem so much easier to understand than when I read text books. The worksheets are a great help too. And I often find myself grinning on the train when listening to them - the interaction between Ben and Marina is great!
Are you planning on recording some more? I hope so - the format is so useful. Perhaps something on the use of the various pronouns, I get so lost with those! Maybe some more jokes? Perhaps recounting a film or book to recap using past tenses?
I have tried listening to a few of the Intermediate podcasts but I found them extremely daunting. The difference in speed and the fact that there is no English to assist means that the 'leap' is quite significant. Do the worksheets accompanying these give a transcript and an English translation too?
I really want to continue to use the podcasts but wonder whether there could be a few 'Beginner to Intermediate' ones? Just to help 'make the leap'? Maybe with a longer conversation wand a shorter explanation in English at the end, but at a slightly slower speed than the Intermediate ones?
Oh, and I love the 'real Spanish' phrases too - have tried a few out on my teacher, much to her amusement!
vBulletin® v3.8.7, Copyright ©2000-2013, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.