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Old 5th October 2007, 08:35 AM   #1
Ben
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Arrow 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!
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Old 5th October 2007, 08:56 AM   #2
Sch
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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)
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Old 5th October 2007, 07:41 PM   #3
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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...
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Old 5th October 2007, 08:57 PM   #4
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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!
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Old 6th October 2007, 05:54 PM   #5
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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 .. this kind of program with the flash cards seems to work for me...
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Old 6th October 2007, 08:16 PM   #6
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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. 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.

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Old 7th October 2007, 03:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
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 () called 'Amor en tiempos revueltos', which I discovered about two years ago:


http://video.google.es/videoplay?doc...arch&plindex=5
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Old 7th October 2007, 04:44 AM   #8
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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 ) 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.... 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!
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Old 7th October 2007, 10:41 PM   #9
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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!

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.

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.
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Old 8th October 2007, 09:25 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pepino View Post

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 )
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Old 9th October 2007, 07:06 PM   #11
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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".
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Old 23rd October 2007, 05:13 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben View Post
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)

Last edited by mija; 24th October 2007 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 25th November 2007, 04:53 PM   #13
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I've been a bit lax about my Spanish lately... perhaps it's because I have the attention span of a fly... anyway, I try to read exclusively in Spanish, listen to podcasts. There's a series I've been listening to that's quite good, La historia de quién soy (http://www.vozlatinaradio.org/radio-historia.php). I also try to watch movies in Spanish, but I've seen all the ones available at my library. What I really need help with is conversational Spanish. I might be able to set up something here in town with a very nice lady who wants to help me. The poor thing doesn't know what she's getting into. She's a native of Mexico. I really should take advantage of Skype more...
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Old 25th November 2007, 05:10 PM   #14
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I've been a bit lax about my Spanish lately... perhaps it's because I have the attention span of a fly... anyway, I try to read exclusively in Spanish, listen to podcasts. There's a series I've been listening to that's quite good, La historia de quién soy (http://www.vozlatinaradio.org/radio-historia.php). I also try to watch movies in Spanish, but I've seen all the ones available at my library. What I really need help with is conversational Spanish. I might be able to set up something here in town with a very nice lady who wants to help me. The poor thing doesn't know what she's getting into. She's a native of Mexico. I really should take advantage of Skype more...
Hey Karen, long time no see!

True, there is so much to do on the Internet these days that you could spend every minute of your spare time listening to podcasts or watching videos. Apart from that, I have to choose between learning more Spanish or brushing up on my English (I lost track of all the ESL resources on the Internet!).

I have to agree with you though - nothing beats the real thing, i.e. talking to a native speaker on a regular basis. Listening and reading will help you to hone your comprehension and vocab skills, but you need to speak the language as well.
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Old 27th November 2007, 01:08 AM   #15
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Hey Karen, long time no see!

True, there is so much to do on the Internet these days that you could spend every minute of your spare time listening to podcasts or watching videos. Apart from that, I have to choose between learning more Spanish or brushing up on my English (I lost track of all the ESL resources on the Internet!).

I have to agree with you though - nothing beats the real thing, i.e. talking to a native speaker on a regular basis. Listening and reading will help you to hone your comprehension and vocab skills, but you need to speak the language as well.
It's overwhelming the number of sites and such online, isn't it. You're right though... nothing beats chatting face to face.
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Old 27th November 2007, 12:28 PM   #16
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Default My program in Malaga

I've been studying in Malaga, Spain, for about six months and i love it! I'm at the University of Malaga, at their campus for Spanish programs, which is great - near the center of the city. I also attend "intercambio" events almost weekly, which are get-togethers arranged by young people mostly that help spanish people practice their english (or whatever language you speak) and you practice your Spanish with them. It's a great way to make friends also! I would recommend it highly to anyone, and I imagine they have this kind of thing available in any major city in Spain.

A good resource I can recommend is the agency I used to set up my courses and accommodation here in Malaga, and who also provide all kinds of services once you're here. They were especially helpful to me at the beginning when i was pretty dazed and confused to be in a completely new place.

Also, the best thing I can recommend to aprender más is to get a Spanish girlfriend/boyfriend! It does wonders... or at least a really good Spanish friend

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Old 27th November 2007, 01:23 PM   #17
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A good resource I can recommend is the agency I used to set up my courses and accommodation here in Malaga, and who also provide all kinds of services once you're here. They were especially helpful to me at the beginning when i was pretty dazed and confused to be in a completely new place.

Blackle. Bienvenido al foro.

How did you find out about that agency? Was it recommended to you... or are you linked to it in some way?

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Old 10th December 2007, 02:48 PM   #18
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I'm still needing to keep up with my Czech and German since I moved to the Czech Republic, but I try to do something daily with regards to Spanish.

Exercise books and textbooks - went nuts on ebay getting the best deals for these as I can't afford to get the really good stuff first hand. Sometimes sitting down with a good grammar works for me--maybe not with actually speaking it, but reinforcing a lot of the vocabulary and learning new phrases and usages of words. I was primarily a textbook learner before I discovered the wonderful world of language learning on the 'net, so.

Podcasts - from Notes in Spanish, spanishpod.com (which have some really cool insights from Latin America in their new revamped version), and various other language learning sites--some strategies work better than others, but if I mix it up sometimes I find podcasts that have something a little bit different. I really prefer podcast sites that have natural conversations, but sometimes bitesized reinforcement-style aural learning is good for me when I am short on time.

Reading online newspapers in Spanish--either from Spain or Latin America. I'm a fairly wide reader and am interested in politics/culture/scientific development/everything and actual Spanish books are hard to find here, so online newspapers really help. Also, working on the Project Gutenburg Distributed Proofreaders project is surprisingly good for the way that I learn--because I have to look so carefully at the words when I am proofreading I find I a) learn a lot about Spanish history/culture/literature by osmosis and b) improve my confidence by realising that I actually understand a lot of it!

Listening to Spanish radio. Radio helped me a lot with comprehension in French and Czech when I was learning both, and same goes with Spanish.

I follow a couple of Spanish language blogs and although I'm a bit shy about commenting, I ought really muster up the courage and start a dialogue with them as their insights are really interesting.

On Facebook there is a language interchange application where you can language exchange with other students and I've found a lot of really good friends that way (teaching English/French/Czech/German in exchange for Spanish/Portuguese/whatever they have to offer).

Singing Spanish songs and taking cultural classes help as I often don't have the schedule to go to formal group classes where I live.

I also really love Spanish poetry and literature, although up until this point I've mostly read it in English translation--here is my reason to branch out. Same goes for Spanish language film, too.


Creative writing and poetry. I'm not very good at it in Spanish, but I know it certainly helped broaden my sense of wordplay in English and French so I'm all for creative writing and getting feedback from writing communities.

I'm also beginning to find Skype partners to converse with in Spanish (hint hint--always welcome to find more).

Oh, and I randomly speak to myself in Spanish sometimes, or to the dog. The dog is pretty used to it by now as I used to only speak to it in Czech, so I reckon it's a smart pup.

When I am not completely swamped with study and I am a bit confuzzled after having to speak in a language other than my native all day, I might try and spend a day speaking or thinking as much as possible in Spanish, though this is rare and I often need to check a dictionary. Interesting tactic and kind of works for me, though.
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Old 19th December 2007, 11:06 AM   #19
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First off, this might seem suss as it's my first post but I assure you, i'm not here to advertise.

I personally learn mainly from http://www.123teachme.com/learn_spanish/ . I like the way it is set out, with no real lesson 'plans' just a bunch of topics. The lessons are usually pretty simply, easy to understand and have audio examples. I usually save these and put them under categories to create winamp playlists. I also make my own vocab quiz's out of a quiz making program I found online. These have been particular helpful with things like learning the days and months of the year.
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Old 19th December 2007, 12:17 PM   #20
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First off, this might seem suss as it's my first post but I assure you, i'm not here to advertise.
Welcome to the forum. You may find us easier to convince if you tell us a few things about yourself - you can do that through User CP. I guess you're from Plymouth?
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