I show you how I use fun and interesting Spanish media like music videos, TV shows, and movies to learn Spanish.
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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 side note: if you’re learning Spanish or thinking about doing so, you need to know about this…

I’ve got an entire book about how to put together your own personal, custom Spanish-learning system that’s based on using online resources (mostly free) and Spanish-language popular media such as TV shows, movies, books, etc.  It’s designed especially for beginners and intermediate learners, it shows you how to get started right by learning modern, normal, everyday spoken Spanish (what native speakers actually use to talk to each other in most common situations) so that you’re learning the most useful type of Spanish and not something outdated or overly formal like what you might find in a textbook.  The biggest emphasis, however, is having fun because if you don’t do that then odds are extremely good you will fail because the most common reason people fail to learn a language is that they get bored and frustrated and then they quit!  If you get to choose whatever TV show, movie, or book in Spanish that seems like it would be interesting and/or entertaining to you, and then use it to teach yourself Spanish, how could that not be fun?!  In this guide I even include 4 lists, each in its own appendix at the rear, of all the free online resources you will ever need as well as a review of many of them and information on how to use them.  If this sounds like something that might interest you, please check out my book here on Amazon.

Also, I’ve got two posts that I’ve put up that I’m recommending everyone interested in learning Spanish go read if they haven’t already (if you have, ignore this, sorry): How to avoid wasting months learning Spanish the wrong way (basically this is my “how to get started right in learning Spanish” post for complete beginners) and The Telenovela Method where I cover how to use popular media like movies, music, and books to learn Spanish. Additionally you can check out the front page for a more complete list of my best and most popular posts.



Get my list of the internet's top 33 FREE Spanish-learning resources here!

I put together a list of the internet’s Top 33 Free Spanish-learning resources, my favorite language exchanges and Spanish chat rooms, and more. I’ve spent a great deal of time putting together a 3-part series of articles for you on the internet’s best free resources for the Spanish-learner that you’ll get when you sign up for my newsletter–in addition to all of what you get below, I’ll be sure to send you any updates about cool new sites, resources, and learning tips and techniques that I come up with (I’m currently putting together a whole series that will teach you in great detail precisely how I go about learning a new language):

Part 1: A very long list of my favorite Top 33 free online Spanish-learning resources (tools, references, sites with free lessons, articles, blogs, forums, etc.) that’s far too long to include here, especially with all the other stuff I’ve got here that’s available just on this site alone, and I’d like to offer it to you (completely free, you don’t have to do anything other than sign up) right now.

Part 2: I explain what language exchanges are (essentially they allow you free access to an unlimited number of native speakers to practice your Spanish with), why they’re absolutely essential if you’re teaching yourself (I’m serious when I say this: it’s impossible to get fluent without them if you’re learning a foreign language on your own), how to use them, and which ones are the best.

Part 3: I cover chat rooms which are specifically devoted to connecting you with native Spanish speakers who want to learn English so you can chat with them in Spanish (and they’ll help and correct you) and then you do the same for them with their English (these are completely free to use, but rather hard to find, but I’ll tell you where the best ones are!). Sign up below!

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June 15, 2012   No Comments