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-   -   Open question - What's your Spanish learning program? (http://www.notesfromspain.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3662)

Ben 5th October 2007 08:35 AM

Open question - What's your Spanish learning program?
 
It's been a while since we asked what you're doing right now to learn more Spanish, and I think it's really interesting to see what everyone else is doing to aprender más.... so, what are you doing these days? Courses? Radio programmes? Have you found an invaluable resource you keep going back to? A great book? Tell all!

Sch 5th October 2007 08:56 AM

I have Spanish classes in highschool,
At home I follow this forum,
play world of warcraft on a spanish server (I'm so lost caus I don't understand them),
I read spanish/danish small easy books,
I tell phrases to myself once in a while,
I listen to your podcasts...

Right now I cant construct that many sentences, and I dont know the verbs in other time than present (or very little in the two past forms)
But my goal is to follow conversations on Tenerife in week 8. And finish highschool in 19 months with an A+ in spanish and with a fluent language (also working on my english)

angeltreats 5th October 2007 07:41 PM

Going along to intercambio groups (there's quite a few in London). Reading books and magazines in Spanish instead of English (currently reading Harry Potter y la cámera secreta and Spanish Cosmo!). Watching movies in Spanish. That's about it. I've just started a degree in Spanish and Portuguese actually so I'll have to knuckle down and do a bit of actual studying one of these days...

Alison30 5th October 2007 08:57 PM

I have found that to vary it as much as possible is the key. So, at the moment I am listening to the advanced podcasts (of course) and I have a number of Spanish intercambios but mainly via the internet through skype (although I am hopefully going to meet someone for real on Monday who lives here in north east england, so me and she will be the only people who speak spanish here then, jejeje)

I am also doing an excellent online course at http://www.institutomagallanes.com/ which is really helping me - it gives you access to the cervantes online course plus tuition with an online tutor (Ben I think you should see if they want to advertise on the site! They aren't paying me honest, I have found them really good!)

Interested to hear other peoples' stories!

daveyboy 6th October 2007 05:54 PM

i am still using the byki [ transparent language] program. its basic but you can edit and put your own words and phrases on to the flash cards you just keep clicking away till the words and phrases are stuck in your mind..lol.. i was using it last night so for an example phrase i have now learned and can remember is ..... lo siento pero no es posible para mi asi / i am sorry but its not possible for me that way ..;D this kind of program with the flash cards seems to work for me...;D

Palmerito 6th October 2007 08:16 PM

I log onto NIS on a daily basis. I listen to the podcasts, although at the moment, I am a bit behind in those. You're cranking them out rather quickly these days. ;D Thanks!

There is a free class I have been going to offered at my church, but I am looking for a reputable school here in Atlanta which will offer courses with more intensity and more levels. Grammar is something I study almost daily for a bit with a workbook. ("Spanish Verb Tenses - Practice makes perfect" by Dorothy Richmond - McGraw Hill Press). I am trying to read El Alquimista by Paulo Coelho in spanish. I pick up the weekly free spanish papers published here to read their articles.

I am lagging behind in writing and intercambios. For a while I spoke with a few people on Skype, but I'm bad at it. A problem area for me is listening to and understanding lyrics to spanish-language songs. Although, truthfully, sometimes the diction on even english language pop songs is so bad I don't understand those either.

Old standards like "Trio Los Panchos" are easy for me to comprehend. Some Diego Torres I can figure out without looking up the lyrics. And I can understand Mercedes Sosa pretty well. The more instrumentation accompanying the singer, the less I can hear the words.

Edith 7th October 2007 03:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben (Post 34185)
Have you found an invaluable resource you keep going back to? A great book? Tell all!

I'm trying to stick to my 'balanced diet' of listening to various podcasts, watching TVE, and reading Spanish books and magazines. My listening comprehension seems to be improving slowly but steadily because I spend a lot of time listening to spoken Spanish. One of my favorite Spanish programs is a telenovela (:D) called 'Amor en tiempos revueltos', which I discovered about two years ago:


http://video.google.es/videoplay?doc...arch&plindex=5

aqua_flames 7th October 2007 04:44 AM

I've been learning Spanish in school for 2 years and I hope to continue it in university next year... I only just started listening to the podcasts (to help me study for exams) and I go onto this forums to help my writing. Also, I listen to Spanish songs (although I don't know how helpful it is...I'd like to think it is :D) and I occasionally watch the Spanish news (although they talk so fast it pretty much goes right over my head) and sometimes Spanish movies as well. In fact, I watched Mar Adentro yesterday and it was SUCH a great movie and by the end I was crying...a lot...:blush:. I think that the forums are the best way to consolidate for me because it helps me a lot with having to remember tenses e.t.c....so thanks heaps Ben and Marina!

Pepino 7th October 2007 10:41 PM

I'm still in almost total immersion but I don't follow a strict plan with it as I don't respond well to forcing myself to learn, so I try not to stress about committing words to memory, and rather just hope they'll go in of their own accord! :rolleyes:

The phrase of the day app on Facebook is cool as they're snappy and easy to remember and they achieve what I want most to happen... ie, they surprise my Spanish friends with how authentic I sound! jeje.

My working day is in 100% Spanish so I know I'm learning a lot from that (mainly improving my comprehension speed rather than actually taking on new phrases) and outside of work I devote time to following the NIS podcasts and worksheets, pinching my flatmate's newspaper, watching films in Spanish, and only ever reading books in Spanish. Just finally got through the whole of "Perfume" and now I've just started reading "Saturday" by Ian McEwan, also in Spanish.

If I'm going for a walk on my own, I stick the podcasts on random play and let them sink in by osmosis! jeje. I know I must be improving as I can follow the advanced podcasts without missing much detail now, and can occasionally dis-entangle some of the colloquial phrases on the fly before even looking them up on the worksheets. :smug:

One thing that's not improving though is my comprehension when people speak at normal speed (ie, fast) in "street" type situations etc. I've tried earwigging in cafés and at the beach, but I still really struggle to understand anything at this level. I think I've "tuned into" Marina and Ben's Spanish quite well, but other people (especially strangers who don't speak so clearly) still leave me totally blank. I flick-flack around in Spanglish with my flatmate, as he speaks fast and I struggle with him in Spanish sometimes, but most of my friends seem to have found a good pace to speak at that they know I can follow.

Sch 8th October 2007 09:25 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Pepino (Post 34354)

The phrase of the day app on Facebook is cool as they're snappy and easy to remember and they achieve what I want most to happen... ie, they surprise my Spanish friends with how authentic I sound! jeje.

The daily phrase your talking about, is that from Facebook.com? I'd like to get it (can I have it please :))

Don 9th October 2007 07:06 PM

I enjoy listening to music in Spanish. I also watch a lot of TV in Spanish - mostly news and telenovelas. I listen to your podcasts when I'm walking and I'm trying to read more things in Spanish. I also practice with my wife, who is a native speaker, but knows nothing about grammar. When I ask her grammatical questions, the usual answer is, "because it sounds right that way". ;D

evelyn0666 11th October 2007 04:39 PM

I find www.webspanish.com really good as a back up for what i learn in my own time cos you can take as many or few lessons as you want, theyre really flexible.

also a brilliant website is www.practicespanishonline.com - ive used so many links from there in the past. basically its a huge list of online spanish resources and most of them are free. :D it also gives you a review of each resource so saves you a lot of time when youre looking for what you need.

Verbester 14th October 2007 09:54 AM

I also listen regularly to all the podcasts, they are great for when you find yourself with some free time (bus, waiting for bus etc.). I have classes every week, one conversation and one longer grammar, art, culture study class. I find if I go to both classes every week I can notice the difference. Generally just one class a week without much else you tend to go into a holding pattern and not really progress much.

I have a number of books to read. I just finished reading Las Brujas (Roald Dahl) which I really enjoyed and found it was a very good level for me to read. I am now starting the first Harry Potter which I haven't read in English so could be a bit of a struggle.

To be honest, this site is the main online resource I keep coming back to. Good work!

Y por supuesto, me encanta escuchar música en español.

mija 23rd October 2007 05:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ben (Post 34185)
It's been a while since we asked what you're doing right now to learn more Spanish, and I think it's really interesting to see what everyone else is doing to aprender más.... so, what are you doing these days? Courses? Radio programmes? Have you found an invaluable resource you keep going back to? A great book? Tell all!


I use all kind of things. Varying from several podcasts (NIS and spanishpodcasts (from Mercedes, www.spanishpodcasts.org), with their respective [dis-]advantages), a course called Sueña (pt 2, intermediate series), i read books .. ATM I'm reading "El libro que Sandra Gavrilich quería que le escribía" on a adolescent/young adult relationship against the background of Madrid. Very lively written - and amusing too. Further I read stuff like Isabel Allende (I still adore the country, even after having been there).
And I got *The* Spanish Grammar by Matte/Bon. It has two parts: De la lengua a la idea, and De la idea a la lengua. So: form living and speaking to the rules and the other way round.

Also I listen very regularly to all kinds of spanish music (Amaral, Jarabe de Palo, and others from Chile and Argentina mainly). I actually spend quite a lot of time with Spanish ;o)

pattyayers 26th October 2007 04:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don (Post 34503)
...I also practice with my wife, who is a native speaker, but knows nothing about grammar. When I ask her grammatical questions, the usual answer is, "because it sounds right that way". ;D

But she has a point! :-) Many people speak a language beautifully without having any clue about grammar. I'm finding that the more Spanish I read and listen to, the more I'm actually able to come up with proper grammar just because it sounds right. I suspect this is a much faster way to learn than learning grammar! :-)

Patty

ValenciaSon 26th October 2007 04:57 PM

For me it was the prospect of social isolation and the teacher's paddle which motivated me to speak Spanish. I spent the third grade in Spain.;)

Eonii 30th October 2007 06:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pattyayers (Post 35695)
But she has a point! :-) Many people speak a language beautifully without having any clue about grammar. I'm finding that the more Spanish I read and listen to, the more I'm actually able to come up with proper grammar just because it sounds right. I suspect this is a much faster way to learn than learning grammar! :-)

Patty

I'm finding the same thing. :D

I speak English just fine but we aren't taught grammar in school aside from a little bit about punctuation (before taking Spanish I'd never heard the word "subjunctive" or "preterite")

What am I doing? Well, aside from listening to the Notes In Spanish beginner and intermediate podcasts (I find that I can understand enough of the intermediate ones for it to be useful, and I like how the beginner podcasts introduce phrases that people actually use), I'm doing... pretty much everything I can think of.

My love for languages was reawakened upon starting my college Spanish class. I'd taken a year in 8th grade and did well (so a lot of it's coming back), but with college classes being only four/five hours a week, I have a lot more time to study on my own and go in-depth.

And I do.

And I'm learning faster.

I pretty much do as much in Spanish as I can. I haven't listened to music in English for almost a month now, I pick up a copy of "La Prensa", a local paper in Spanish and English (that has a Spanish-only section inside if I'm feeling really ambitious). If any of my movies have a Spanish dub, I'll turn that on instead (without subtitles, I usually find that those distract me from actually trying to listen to and comprehend the Spanish).

I haven't gotten a chance to pick up any books yet, but that's definitely on my list.

I'll admit it, I watch Destinos as well. At this point the stuff they're actually going over is all review, but listening to the conversations is helpful, as always.

I don't really watch TV all that often except for a select few shows I keep up with, but I think I'm going to try some of the Univision telenovelas again. ;)

When I'm thinking I'll often stop and wonder, "hmm, how would I say that in Spanish?" and give it a go just using what I've already learned. I think I should start saying it aloud though too (if I'm alone!), because the mind alone is not always the best place to solidify something.

I'll sometimes write a little bit in Spanish, just spouting off whatever I happen to know how to say. Which I should also start doing more often just to retain things.

I also started going to a conversation group. Just earlier tonight, actually! I think it'll be very helpful to actually have a place to practise saying things-- although tonight I was mostly explaining things about Spanish to other people. Oh well, review is always good! And it's nice to know I'm not the least fluent person there!

And of course, my college Spanish class. Can't forget that part. ;)

In all seriousness though, I find it extremely helpful to have just that general guidance to keep me motivated. Professor's wonderful. He speaks Spanish in class a lot, most of the time, which I love and think more professors should do even when it's not required of them.

wma 31st October 2007 01:10 PM

I am a beginner Spanish learner, and although there are lots of courses here in London, I've decided against them because I have a very limited amount of time before I start travelling in Latin America next year:
http://www.notesfromspain.com/forums...ead.php?t=3732

In the last 6 weeks I have made good progress through the Pimsleur course (currently up to lesson 54/90). Based on the recommendation of evelyn0666 earlier in this thread, I thought I'd check out www.webspanish.com. I had my second class last night; I enjoyed it, and think that it will prove to be quite valuable.

I'm also trying to fit in some study of the 'Practice Makes Perfect' books.

I'm also going to check out http://lomastv.com to see if it's worth it.

-Wayne

motley 31st October 2007 09:54 PM

Adult class one night a week
TV soap
Destinos, when I have time.
Think Spanish magazine & CD
Weekly Spanish newspaper
forums
I have so many Spanish learning sites bookmarked that I don't have time for most of them.
Flash cards when I go for my morning walk, mostly verbs
Learn in your Car, CD's
After this year of classes, I hope to travel to Mexico for a month for immersion
Spanish. Would like anyones input about the best schools, best cities, etc.

If only I could come up with a way to retain what I learn.

Carly 2nd November 2007 03:17 AM

To improve my spanish I watch Spanish telenovelas, spanish meetup groups,listen to the podcasts ( I seemed to like the original first 30 podcasts the best, so I still listen to them again and again), flash cards and I do the Skype intercambio at times.


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