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Old 08-31-2006, 10:02 PM   #1
luvpoohbear
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Need help with clase de espanol......

I am a non-traditional student, (just a nice way of saying "old'') and I am taking a Spanish class.

I need some advice on getting extra practice and learning tools. I have good pronunciation and can read it better than I can speak it.

I want to learn it so bad. I took 2 years in high school, and 2 continuing education classes, but I lost most of it.

I am very frustrated right now. I took the first part of this class over the summer and made an A, but I feel like I should know more than I do.

Can you recommend any software, books, cd's, etc. that might help me out?

I am especially having trouble with verbs. Not so much with conjugation, but with remembering what they mean.

Any advice or help would be most appreciated!

Muchas gracias!! Buenas noches!!
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:02 PM   #2
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the best way to learn a language is to become immersed in it. Ideally you would spend time in a place where lots of people speak spanish such as miami and by need you would start speaking it. Since, that is not feasible my advice is to do the next best thing.

Practicing verb conjugations and memorizing vocabulary is all fine and obviously necessary, but the only way to truly retain something is to see it used in real speech. I'm sure you get spanish channels wherever you live. I would seriously start watching tv in spanish. A soap opera might be nice since unlike english ones they have a pretty easy plot to follow and they have a beginning and an end. Also, the actors are so over the top you will have little difficulty in following what is going on. It might be frustrating at first but with time you will pick up more and more things. Your ear will get trained and you will learn how people really speak as well as common slang and the like.

this is seriously a great way to learn, I learned a lot of english this way when I first moved to this country at the age of 12. I minored in italian in college and I use tv shows and movies I dl from the internet dubbed in italian to keep my italian fresh.

I hope this helps
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Old 08-31-2006, 11:43 PM   #3
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I agree with stanncie, watching tv in spanish will help you, also watching the news in spanish would be pretty good idea. The channel Univision would be the best channel to watch. I think reading around in this forum would help you better understand the language and how to speak it. Any information or help that you need could be found in the Spanish Google search engine:
http://www.google.com/intl/es/

Im sure there you can find some helpful sites that can assist you with your verbs. Any specific questions you have about the meaning of verbs or anything else, you can send me a PM and Ill be more than happy to help you
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Old 09-01-2006, 08:31 AM   #4
Michele
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Stephanie-


I am in the same boat as you. I took 2 years of Spanish in high school in the late 70's then went to our community college for 3 semesters a few years ago, when I was 37.

I am missing the same thing, practice. I can read Spanish and I have subscribed to a couple of Spanish language magazines to keep up with that. But I have noone to talk with.

I did what everyone here suggested, we got satelite TV so now I get 2 channels in Spanish. I can't quite get into watching the soap operas (Don't have that much time) but I enjoy trying to follow some of the news reports.

I also listen to a lot of music in Spanish. We have XM radio in the car, so I listen to the Spanish channels there. It's hard to know which CD's to buy, so I watched the Latin Grammy's. I figured the people who won them would have good CD's. Juanes is my favorite. Sometimes I even get out the lyrics and translate them.

Anyway, with all this I still don't feel confident enough to actually try to speak spanish with someone. I really can't think of anything that would replace conversational practice.

Hey, check into that. I know my community college offers a conversational spanish class as of last year. I haven't had time to take it yet, but that would be great practice.

Buena suerte!
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:45 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Michele
Stephanie-


I am in the same boat as you. I took 2 years of Spanish in high school in the late 70's then went to our community college for 3 semesters a few years ago, when I was 37.

I am missing the same thing, practice. I can read Spanish and I have subscribed to a couple of Spanish language magazines to keep up with that. But I have noone to talk with.

I did what everyone here suggested, we got satelite TV so now I get 2 channels in Spanish. I can't quite get into watching the soap operas (Don't have that much time) but I enjoy trying to follow some of the news reports.

I also listen to a lot of music in Spanish. We have XM radio in the car, so I listen to the Spanish channels there. It's hard to know which CD's to buy, so I watched the Latin Grammy's. I figured the people who won them would have good CD's. Juanes is my favorite. Sometimes I even get out the lyrics and translate them.

Anyway, with all this I still don't feel confident enough to actually try to speak spanish with someone. I really can't think of anything that would replace conversational practice.

Hey, check into that. I know my community college offers a conversational spanish class as of last year. I haven't had time to take it yet, but that would be great practice.

Buena suerte!

Well Music is my specialty
And since spanish is my first language, and did live in Nicaragua for 3 years, and visit often, I have gotten into spanish music quite a bit. To just list a few of some bands you guys might want to check out:

-Jarabe de Palo
-Mana
-Soda Stereo
-Juanes
-Cultura Profetica
-Gypsy Kings (beautiful guitar sounds)
-Ottmar Liebert (spanish guitarist - very few lyrics, but great music)

These are just a few, and they are defenitely some of my top favorites. Their music is really good and their lyrics are poetic (now if you can just understand them ) I can go one and on talking about them and other bands, but this I think is a great start. I could also include Shakira, I only like her in Spanish though, not a fan of her English music. I suggest checking out some of her older stuff, its really good

I hope this helps, it will defenitely get you to enjoy some spanish music. If anyone has any questions as to what other artist or specific albums, I am more than happy to answer any questions.
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:40 PM   #6
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Thanks for the list of music Ricky, I'll definitely check out some of those. I was embarrassed to add earlier that I am also a ...Ricky Martin fan. In fact, I started back with the spanish classes because I wanted to understand his spanish songs.

But I must add that I do not like any of his english songs, I prefer Vuelve and Las Almas del Silencio.

Sorry to highjack the thread Stephanie, back to you, I recommend spanish music and a conversational spanish class.
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Old 09-01-2006, 03:20 PM   #7
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In the schools here, they reccomend a website called StudySpanish.com. It is good with verbs, as the key to learning those is to practice conjugating. I found that when I started taking French in addition to Spanish, both became easier.
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Old 09-01-2006, 07:17 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!!! Watching Spanish television is a great idea, only one problem, we don't have cable/satellite. We decided it had to be the satellite or the internet, and because I am in college I need the internet so I chose that one.

Maybe I can look for some audio cd's of conversational Spanish.

You didn't hijack anything Michele!! Nice to know someone else out there feels my pain. Hey, I happen to like Ricky Martin!!

Someone told me a long time ago that a good way to learn Spanish is to listen to Spanish music, and try to make sure the jacket has the lyrics on it. My biggest problem is, I don't know who to listen to. I don't want to waste my money on a cd that I will end up hating. Thanks for the suggestions Ricky! I will definitely check out some of your selections.

Thanks also to stanncie and Mickey1122 for the suggestions!!

I really appreciate all your help!!
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Old 09-01-2006, 09:56 PM   #9
katiesmomluvsdizne
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I am right there with you

Quote:
Originally Posted by luvpoohbear
I am a non-traditional student, (just a nice way of saying "old'') and I am taking a Spanish class.

I need some advice on getting extra practice and learning tools. I have good pronunciation and can read it better than I can speak it.


I am especially having trouble with verbs. Not so much with conjugation, but with remembering what they mean.

Any advice or help would be most appreciated!

Muchas gracias!! Buenas noches!!
I don't have any suggestions, just wanted to say that I too am an oldie going back to school and am just in my 3rd week of Spanish class and will have 3 MORE semesters after I finish this one!!! First test is on Thursday. Our book came with workbooks and CDs which is nice, but the whole package cost $170!!! My DD (9) said that I needed to switch the language to Spanish on all of out DVDs, she said that will teach me. I haven't tried, maybe it will work. Good Luck! BTW-I am going to miss a week of class to go to WDW!!
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Old 09-01-2006, 10:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katiesmomluvsdizne
Good Luck! BTW-I am going to miss a week of class to go to WDW!!
Thanks!!! Oh yeah, so am I!!!!! I have already warned my professors!!!
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Old 09-02-2006, 08:30 AM   #11
Michele
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katiesmomluvsdizne- Great idea!!! Watch movies in Spanish.

Stephanie-Check out that list WebmasterRicky gave us too, especially Juanes.
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Old 09-03-2006, 06:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luvpoohbear
Thanks for all the suggestions everyone!!! Watching Spanish television is a great idea, only one problem, we don't have cable/satellite. We decided it had to be the satellite or the internet, and because I am in college I need the internet so I chose that one.

Maybe I can look for some audio cd's of conversational Spanish.

You didn't hijack anything Michele!! Nice to know someone else out there feels my pain. Hey, I happen to like Ricky Martin!!

Someone told me a long time ago that a good way to learn Spanish is to listen to Spanish music, and try to make sure the jacket has the lyrics on it. My biggest problem is, I don't know who to listen to. I don't want to waste my money on a cd that I will end up hating. Thanks for the suggestions Ricky! I will definitely check out some of your selections.

Thanks also to stanncie and Mickey1122 for the suggestions!!

I really appreciate all your help!!

Hi girl! You live in Atlanta, tune to channel 34 on your regular TV and there you have UNIVISION on regular TV, channel 34, is the only Spanish free channel.

I live in Flowery Branch GA
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Old 09-03-2006, 01:31 PM   #13
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Luvpoohbear,

Yo hablo español nativo, pero he aprendido otros idiomas como italiano y portugues usando CDs. Prueba ¨Ultimate Spanish¨. Yo los usé con los dos idiomas que te indico y me funcionaron muy bien. Los puedes conseguir en Amazon.

Pero mi consejo principal es que uses el idioma sin miedo a equivocarte. Es por eso que te escribo este mensaje en español, para que aproveches y me respondas también en español y comiences a practicar. Los CDs o programas de televisión te pueden ayudar a mejorar el ¨oido¨, es decir a entender mejor la pronunciación, pero lo único que realmente te va ayudar a aprender un idioma es usarlo.

Yo aprendí inglés en High school en mi pais de origen, también viendo televisión aprendi mucho, especialmente frases y ¨slang¨, pero no fue hasta que tuve que usarlo diariamente en el trabajo (trabajaba para una compañía americana) escribiendo emails y atendiendo eventos en USA que logré dominar el idioma.

Así que ha escribir en español!!
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