Learning Spanish?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by mcf5157, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. mcf5157

    mcf5157 Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2013
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 8, 2014

    I really want to start learning Spanish .. I am just not sure how to go about it. I know Rosetta Stone is a well known route, but I have read and heard unfavorable reviews.


    Have any of you ever taught yourself Spanish from English? If so, how? How long does it take?

    Best,

    MF
     
  2.  
  3. nyteacher29

    nyteacher29 Comrade

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    390
    Likes Received:
    2

    Jan 8, 2014

    I downloaded the app doulingo. I haven't had time to really do it but what I have done I do like. I heard Rosetta Stone is expensive
     
  4. i8myhomework

    i8myhomework Comrade

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Messages:
    290
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 8, 2014

    I learned fluent Italian in three. It happened when it became my major in college. Really, you have to submerse yourself in the language, try talking to other people that know spanish. Maybe take a visit to a spanish speaking country, etc.

    Textbook and rote memorization can only get you so far. Learn the rules, build upon what you know. As for how long, it depends on how quickly you learn, how much time you can spend dedicating yourself to the language.

    Fluency takes time. But it's not impossible. I will add again that it is much easier to pick up when you speak it and use it all the time.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jan 8, 2014

    I second doulingo.
     
  6. Math

    Math Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 8, 2014

    I used that app over the summer. I haven't used in forever though now. I wanted to learn spanish so bad. Now, I can't stand it and I live with two puerto ricans. I do not think it would be a short process. It may take years to learn and understand. I mean after all you are talking about a whole new entire language and understanding it fully, right?
     
  7. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    Jan 8, 2014

    I've been slowly picking up Spanish, just because in Southern Cali it's all around you (and now in Central Valley even more if it's possible). I've been also reading books, mostly vocab and grammar. Those two things come very natural and easy for me.
    Unfortunately that doesn't make me actually speak, so I have no practice, even though 95 % of people around me are Spanish speakers.
    I know so much vocab, grammar and I understand so much.
    So, I registered for a Spanish I. class at the nearby community college. Starts Jan. 13th. Hopefully I get in, I'm the second person on the waiting list.
    And this will count as salary advancement.

    I plan on using and practicing as much as possible, I will have to make myself. Spanish will definitely be useful when I call parents who doesn't speak English.
     
  8. Glühwürmchen

    Glühwürmchen Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2013
    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jan 8, 2014

    Definitely don't do Rosetta Stone! Duolingo (as others have mentioned above) is practically the same thing but free. Don't use it by itself, but it is very good.

    When I was just beginning to learn Spanish (I learned it by myself for a year and now I'm taking Spanish IV in school - future Spanish major), I had good success with The Practice Makes Perfect series of workbooks. They're very detailed (don't get the vocabulary one, it's ridiculous).

    A fantastic website if you haven't found it already is Spanish.about . It has a lot of helpful articles to clarify any problems you're having.

    The best book I can recommend to you is "Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish". Don't let the title fool you, there are many things that will be great for a beginner. It's not really for studying, but when you get bored of studying, it's fun and motivating to read. It will really help your spoken Spanish.

    Let me know if you have any questions! Like I said before, I taught myself Spanish to a decent level in about a year. Keep in mind that I pick up languages pretty fast.

    Also, here's some random tips
    1. Listen to music! There's so much variety. Let me know if you have any particular style you like and I'll give you some recommendations.
    2. Focus on verbs, they are what carry the meaning. A lot of language learning materials teach you stuff like all the fruits and clothing and stuff like that, but they're useless unless you can say stuff like "He was wearing a nice shirt" or "He wants an apple"
    3. Going along with that, focus on familiarizing yourself with all the tenses. Even duolingo waits for a while to introduce the past, but you should try learning it sooner.
    4. Create a routine
    5. Don't be hard on yourself :)

    ¡¡Buena suerte!!
     
  9. Math

    Math Cohort

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2011
    Messages:
    594
    Likes Received:
    3

    Jan 8, 2014

    I wish I was taught as a kid. This process would be so much easier. Has anyone ever thought of having their children tutored in spanish? Honestly, I think at this point I do not have the patience for it. Especially with how it has been going in school lately.
     
  10. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,876
    Likes Received:
    229

    Jan 8, 2014

    I took 3 years in college, then one in College. I also fell in love and married a Mexican, so it´s been easy to be able to use the Spanish I´ve learned. To be honest, though, I really just knew the basics until we moved here to Mexico 4 years ago. Being around the language and in a culture where you have to use the language is the best way, of course that´s not practical for most people. I agree with the poster who said listen to music in Spanish, and I would suggest even watch the novelas in Spanish as well.
     
  11. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    1,841
    Likes Received:
    51

    Jan 9, 2014

    I wrote this long response then accidentally deleted. UGH.

    Basically I feel fluent enough in Spanish after studying abroad a full year, then living in CR with my Costa Rican husband for 2.5 years. People in other countries actually tell me I have a Costa Rican accent when I speak!

    I benefited greatly from reading in Spanish. Read a book where you already know the story.

    Here's some Spanish speaking music artists to look up:

    Joaquin Sabina
    Los Fabulosos Cadilacs
    Celia Cruz
    ChiChi
    Heroes del Silencio
    Los Enanitos Verdes
    Oscar de Leon
    Calle 13

    Good luck, have fun! :)
     
  12. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2007
    Messages:
    14,606
    Likes Received:
    2,713

    Jan 9, 2014

    Fluency takes many years to develop--I'm talking like 10-20 years. Fluency might be a lofty goal right now. It's certainly possible, but it will take a lot of time.

    I think a good goal would be to develop an intermediate, working proficiency in Spanish. To do that, you're going to need to find some way to interact with Spanish speakers in real time. If you can take a college class or two, that's a good start.

    For novice proficiency, things like listening to music, watching TV in Spanish, and using programs like Rosetta Stone or Duolingo are a good start. They won't get you to full or even partial mastery, though.
     
  13. Ms. I

    Ms. I Maven

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Messages:
    5,893
    Likes Received:
    168

    Jan 9, 2014

    Way before iPads came out, I took it every yr from grades K up to college. The last class I took was a conversational Spanish class & then I even had a tutor come to my house once a week for an hr to keep up my practice, but that can't last forever. But, learning in school & out in the real world is totally different. I never used my Spanish other than what I stated above so I eventually lost it. I can read it at quite a good reading speed with a good accent, but I wish I spoke it & UNDERSTOOD it just as well.

    I haven't had a chance to try any of the iPad apps.
     
  14. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Messages:
    4,466
    Likes Received:
    1,494

    Jan 9, 2014

    This! :2cents:
     
  15. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    4,964
    Likes Received:
    1,156

    Jan 9, 2014

    Watching TV in Spanish or listening to music, or even reading are passive activities and will only help for comprehension and building vocabulary.
    You must try to use as 'output' from what you learned as 'input'. (active instead of passive)
    Meaning you must try to use speak and not only listen, otherwise you'll end up like I did with Arabic: huge vocabulary and grammar knowledge, pretty good comprehension, working knowledge of 2-3 dialects, but always had a hard time expressing myself. One professor said it's no use to have such a large vocab in my head if I can't access it. He was right. I couldn't think fast and put sentences together to actually have a conversation, it took me a long time. Only because I didn't have enough chance to practice.

    I plan on watching Spanish novelas with the closed caption on, and pause it frequently to write down unknown words, look them up in the dictionary and keep my own little dictionary. Then I will have to find ways to use them. Luckily everyone around me speaks Spanish (except for my daughter), my students, friends, my boyfriend, even my daughter's boyfriend. My goal is not academic language, but every day language.
     
  16. AdamnJakesMommy

    AdamnJakesMommy Habitué

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    919
    Likes Received:
    40

    Jan 9, 2014

    Honestly, I think the best way is to get a college textbook, corresponding audio and use those. I learned German in college and it was the most comprehensive and best way. I am self-teaching Russian. Anytime I purchased software or programs I always have found them inadequate. The good ol' fashioned textbook with audio is best--it hits everything.

    Grammar is by far the most important aspect to learning a language. When you have that framework, it's just a matter of expanding vocabulary and learning idioms. Software and programs generally have you memorizing phrases. And unless the all speakers of Spanish only speak a few choice phrases, you will be at a loss if you every go to a Spanish-speaking country.

    Supplement the grammar building and exercises you do with the textbook (and workbooks) with reading newspapers, listening to music, and watching Spanish television. If you know anyone who speaks Spanish, engage in discourse with them at every opportunity.

    But do not count on being fluent with Rosetta Stone or any software like that. You will stay at basic conversational skills ONLY. A textbook will get you to "intermediate" speaking abilities. Fluency can only be attained with constant speaking, listening, and composition. You can also lose fluency and forget a second language if not used constantly. Of course, if you lose fluency it is EASY to regain it because the information is still in your brain, you just have to dig it out.

    Learn the framework and then expand vocabulary. Then they can say anything, you will get the jist and then can ask, coherently, what a particular word means.
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. LaFish,
  2. John Macclearon
Total: 305 (members: 4, guests: 269, robots: 32)
test