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Saturday, October 29, 2011

NBTMV on Learning Spanish (Especially Speaking)

I explain my approach to learning Spanish, especially how I overcame my fear of speaking in a new language. Just listen to the video :-)  To see my video in Spanish, explaining the same method, please see the previous blog: NB-TMV - un método para aprender un idioma nuevo.

Here are some more things to help you...

I relied on Pimsleur lessons for the first step-- Listen and Repeat - -to learn Spanish pronunciation. They had CDs, each 30-minutes long, where a native speaker speaks and, where appropriate, pauses and lets you repeat what was said. The method recommends going through only one CD per day and I could do this on my commute to work. I went through three levels - - 90 CDs - - which you may consider doing to get an overall feel for the pronunciations plus learn some common phrases and words along the way. This would take 6 months or more to complete. You can check out Pimsleur on Amazon and then see if you want to invest in it or try borrowing the CDs from your local library. By the way, if you want to just check out the Pimsleur method, you can start with the lower-cost first book+CD, called goSpanish. I had used something similar and then committed to the whole series after I liked the approach.

The other option is Rosetta Stone. I had tried this for French (which I gave up after some time) and I think it'd work as well, but this requires to complete the lessons on a computer.

For the Listen and Understand step, which you should do continuously, search for local Spanish radio stations or watch Telemundo or Univision on cable.  To begin speaking Spanish, you should consider spending some time (at least a week) at an immersion class in a nearby Spanish-speaking country such as Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, etc. I spent a week at the Christian Spanish Academy in Antigua, Guatemala - -that school was very good and affordable (and Antigua is a very nice town to visit). I stayed thw week with a host family (see photo below). Now, I continue weekly lessons over their elearncsa program. 

Naba Barkakati with other students and host family in Anitigua, Guatemala
There are even books that you can consult to learn about Spanish immersion programs such as the one shown below for Mexico. I have also listed below some books that I have purchased for my own use and that I have found useful for learning Spanish vocabulary and grammar. Believe me, once you can speak some, you won't mind putting some effort into learning more vocabulary and polishing up on your grammar. 

By the way, to check verb conugations or translate words online, I use the Spanishdict web site.

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