To help me and others learn Spanish I am creating short videos talking about current events. Above is the first video and it is titled, Lady Gaga, Donald Trump and the Super Bowl. Check it out and if you like it, let me know (thumbs up and subscribe). Also, hit the CC button when it begins to read the Spanish.
I have been a member of Memrise for 2+ years. Its system of courses has something to fit almost all of your needs as a language learner. The good thing about Memrise is that it turns learning into a game. I can remember many nights where I battled with other people for 1st place in a course. In this video I talk about my experience with Memrise and what can be done with the program.
Okay, so I created a Youtube Channel, Home Grown Spanish, to share my experiences with the language. It is a work in progress, but it will improve over time. My main goal is to share and connect with others, so I hope it works.
This video demonstrates how I have fun with Spanish.
I have two courses on Memrise for my students in Communication (Communication Theories and Dr. Akil’s Public Speaking Exam). However, I never thought to use Memrise for my book, MUSCLE: El Inicio. My wife suggested I do so and I thought it was a great idea. It is now available and I will be adding more chapters in the following days.
Here is the pitch I use for the course:
This course reviews the hardest Spanish words from the bilingual reader novel, MUSCLE: El Inicio. This short novel is for advanced beginners and intermediate readers. Each chapter consists of 5-7 sentences and is written in the present tense. It is for readers who want real and exciting stories, but are still learning the language. Check out MUSCLE: EL Inicio on Amazon, iTunes and elsewhere where books are sold.
One of the best tools I have found to improve my Spanish is LanguageComics, which can be found on YouTube and Vimeo. The creator of the comic, Andy, is on another level when it comes to creating material for language students. He creates the comic for both Spanish and French learners so it pulls double duty. It is also bilingual with the English underneath the target language.
The main character is a twenty something guy who goes through ups and downs trying to live a life in the city. The comic is funny, slick and has entertaining music and quality narration. I went through each of his 100+ comics twice on Youtube when I found it.
The main purpose for me learning Spanish is to have fun with it, so this fit perfectly with my goals. So, check it out and if you like it, tell someone about it. I believe he deserves more credit and eyes on his creation.
This book caught me by surprise. It is not your regular bland story for beginners. LA Casa: Short & Easy Spanish Novel for Beginners is about a family that finds the perfect house or so they think. The story picks up quickly and I found myself asking the characters (out loud) why they chose to do certain things. I also found myself concentrating on the story and not the level of the material. I have to admit that the book was nothing like I expected.
The bi-lingual book is written for people at the A2 level (Advanced beginner) and it has an interesting design. Twenty-one chapters – Ten sentences each chapter – No more than 12 words per line. That was the format.
It was a quick and easy read and I finished it in about 25 minutes.
Joe Arenas, the author, has written a jewel of a short story here and I think it would a good tool in the quest to retain or increase your level of Spanish.
I have at least 300 different books, audio programs, textbooks, etc., that I have gathered over the past two years to learn Spanish. The items range in age from the early 1900’s to 2016. Over 100 years of language goodies. I have found that there are a lot of older materials available that do a great job of teaching Spanish just like new offerings do. They also cost a lot less.
As I was a little bored., I wanted to try something different so I started searching through my home library. I pulled out an old book, Calidoscopio, from Harcourt Brace, Inc. Published in 1985, it is not ancient, but it is not a book currently being produced. Here’s a description of the book:
Calidoscopio gathers pieces about current and historical events, popular fashions and traditions, humorous and serious topics, scientific data and folk wisdom. These pieces are presented in such a way as to be not only readily accessible to both the beginning and advanced students, but to be informative and entertaining as well.
As you can see from the picture, it covers many different topics, within the same page. At times, I need this type of variety in order to keep from getting that feeling that I am grinding instead of having fun with the language. The book is 115 pages and has 24 chapters, so it will not take long to complete. However, it packs a powerful punch as I am learning a lot about culture and life that regular books don’t offer (even if it is random).