I learned Spanish entirely on my own, online, and I'll show you how you can, too!
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Friday Linkfest – 6/15/12 – Five awesome new Spanish blogs and more!

Hey guys, since I’ve starting posting frequently again I thought I’d bring back something I did a few times about six months ago and then stopped because I stopped posting altogether due to other commitments (primarily my book on The Telenovela Method which should be coming out sometime later this year – sign up for the newsletter if you’d like the chance at a free copy and to be notified as soon as it’s published!).  What I do is just post links to stuff that I’ve come across throughout the week that I think my readers might find useful, I’m primarily getting these from people whose blogs I read and who I follow on Twitter.  Let’s get started!

Spanish Playground – I think I may have mentioned this blog before, I’ve definitely tweeted about it a few times, but what this is is a website for people who teach Spanish to children.  Now, you know how enthusiastic I am about using language-learning material intended for children to help beginning adults learn the language (see my post Why You Should Use Kids’ Stuff immediately if you haven’t read it already!), and I would honestly say that 80-90% of the stuff she posts is fantastic for learning Spanish if you’re an adult at a beginning or intermediate level: it’s intended for a learner who’s at that level and it’s designed to be as fun and entertaining as possible…it’s designed for people with short attention spans, in other words, so I suspect it’ll be great for a lot of you, haha.

Most importantly, it’s fun.  A good bit of what she posts is probably a bit basic for me, but I still find myself doing them a lot of the time just because it is fun–things like songs or games, like today’s post on “guess the word” with a short video (do it! it’ll take you 30 seconds, tops, and it’s fun!).

The Spanish Blog – This is a blog run by Laura Garrido Eslava, a Spanish teacher from Bilbao in Northern Spain.  The real goldmine on this site is her free Spanish video lessons that contain a total of 270 video lessons (all free) and span Beginner, Intermediate, Upper-Intermediate, and Advanced levels in addition to a bunch of other things she’s done like her parallel text series (which I love) where she teaches you about various cities in Spain while using parallel texts (that is, the Spanish and its English translation are next to each other on the same page) and an audio reading of the Spanish to teach you Spanish. I just finished writing about this excellent series in the parallel texts section of my upcoming book.

I’ve recently taken up an interest in Spain; previously it was only Latin America that interested me, but after having just finished the fantastic Spanish-language movie that is Pan’s Labyrinth (that DVD comes with Spanish subtitles and is on sale for only $5.73 right now!), I became much more intrigued by the country and decided to look around a bit and see what was out there.  I’ve come across three blogs that I really like, they’re primarily about the country of Spain and only occasionally focus on the language but I’m certain I’ve got a good number of readers who are interested in traveling there so I’m definitely going to include them here:

1. My Spanish Adventure – Will moved to Spain from London back in 2011 for the express purpose of learning Spanish so his blog seems to be a bit more focused on the language than others.  Oh, and I also did a guest post for him a few weeks ago.

2. Kaley…& Más – Kaley is an American who initially went to Spain on a study abroad program in 2009 but fell in love with the country and then with one of its inhabitants–she is now engaged to a Spaniard and in the process of sorting out the wedding details as well as getting ready to move to Madrid with her fiance.

3. Spanish Sabores ["sabor" means "flavor or taste" so "Spanish Sabores" is "Spanish Flavors"] – Lauren is originally from Sutton, Massachusetts but spent some time in Spain teaching English where she met her new husband (check out her wedding photos, they’re fantastic, and OMG those shoes :P ).  They’ve decided to stay in Spain together and are moving to Madrid soon.  One of the focuses of her site is recipes, both Spanish and American, and I highly recommend you check them out if food and cooking interests you.

I tweeted this and just wanted to mention it here because I thought the concept of using video games to learn a foreign language was brilliant – it fits perfectly into my philosophy of using fun stuff that you enjoy to learn a language.  Check out Matt’s post on using Mass Effect to learn French over at Spanish-Only.

Ryan over at Ryan Goes Abroad published his plan on how he was going to learn Portuguese in a hurry before he left for Brazil – I thought that was very well put together and could definitely be adapted to nearly any other language.

I know I’ve mentioned them before and they’re in the sidebar, but I don’t think I’ve put Notes in Spanish in a Friday Linkfest…so I’m going to.  They have a ton of wonderful free lessons organized by skill level with Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced sections.  Absolutely something you should check out if you haven’t already.

A guest post by Wojtek over at Linguatrek concerning time management and the Pareto principle in the context of language-learning gave what I thought was a very good basic overview of the subject that I agree with: it really is all about baby steps.

Aaron at Every Day Language Learner did a great post on accountability that utilized my “consistent persistence” principle that I think everyone should read (the individual quoted in the first paragraph really knows his stuff, trust me ;) ).

And lastly, just for fun, head on over to Omniglot real fast for something I thought was kind of funny: Queen’s English society throws in the towel (the society in Great Britain responsible for promoting the learning and usage of “the Queen’s English” has gone defunct due to lack of interest…I’m sorry but that’s just too funny).

A quick note before we finish up: if you’re interested in teaching yourself Spanish…

I have a short post and video (that are free to read and view of course, won’t cost you more than a few minutes of your time) on how to do precisely that with the system that I put together which allowed me to become fluent in Spanish in just 6 months after years of trial-and-error by watching Spanish-language TV shows (like telenovelas, hence the name of the system) and movies, reading Spanish books and comics, and listening to Spanish music. If this sounds interesting to you, check it out by clicking the link below (the following link should open in a new tab or window for you when you click it so I’m not asking you to leave this article here):

“The Telenovela Method of Learning Spanish” (a “telenovela” is a Spanish-language soap opera, they’re what I initially used to teach myself Spanish!)

I also include some quick and valuable tips for learning Spanish as well as a couple of the most useful free Spanish-learning websites that I recommend.

Cheers,

Andrew

Are you interested in learning Latin American Spanish with an emphasis on speaking (as opposed to reading or writing) it? Are you a beginner who doesn’t know how to get started and is afraid of doing it the wrong way?

Then you’ll want to read this very short recommendation I’m going to make that I suggest you at least check out and evaluate right now if you’re serious about getting fluent in Spanish, particularly if you’re more interested in learning to speak it than read or write it, and even more so if you’re primarily interested in learning Spanish as it’s spoken in Latin America (Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, etc.). What I’m going to recommend:
  • Will teach you to speak everyday conversational Spanish, Spanish as it’s spoken by native speakers every day in Latin America when they converse with their friends, parents, colleagues, store employees, spouses, etc.
  • Is available entirely online via their website and lets you download all of the course material, that way you can use/access it anytime from anywhere if you’ve got internet access plus you can download things like the audio lessons to listen to later on your MP3 player while exercising or driving.
  • Includes very extensive post-lesson testing to not only ensure you’ve thoroughly learned the material but also to help you review it at the same time. I guarantee you’ll master the Spanish they teach you such that you’ll be able to call on it instantly later on when you need it such as when talking to native Spanish speaker.
  • Provides a very active private forum (dozens of new posts per day, members only) where you can not only get help from fellow students but also native speakers and Spanish teachers whose job it is, specifically, to help you.
  • If this sounds like something that might be of interest to you, I highly recommend you sign up for their free 6 day trial that will give you complete access to the full course, for free, and no you don’t need to provide a credit card:

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June 15, 2012   No Comments