LINKS FOR LEARNING SPANISH –
ENLACES PARA EL APRENDIZAJE DEL CASTELLANO
HOW WE LEARN OUR NATIVE LANGUAGE AS CHILDREN –
NOTE – It is best to repeat this same process as adults (although your knowledge of one language can facilitate this. Oddly enough, at the same time, our first language will try to constantly interfere with our mastery of the second language.) As toddlers, we mimic single words that we hear (not read initially), and repeat them and hear them back from those taking care of us to get us on the way to ‘acceptable’ pronunciation, including praise as a reward. Eventually, mastery occurs of that vocabulary item and we move on to the next word. It is a painless, even fun, process that does not involve worksheets, tests, or nervousness about being on public display. We are excited to babble everything we know and are hungry to pick up even more words/phrases to fit in with the big people. Soon we get to the point of putting words into some sort of short phrases or even complete basic sentences, but we get by with simply uttering a few single vocabulary items (=words) to express meaning, and are quite able to get the idea across. If all you say is “ice cream” to your father…he’ll immediately surmise that you mean, “I would love an ice cream cone right now.” This is why you, as a second language learner, should concentrate on single vocabulary items and short phrases for a good period of time, and not worry so much about ‘fluency’ per se. This gives you immediate success and avoids frustration. You make progress every single lesson.
Master a good collection of words and the rest – including syntax (the order words are supposed to be put into in a sentence) and structure/grammar – can kind of come on their own. A little guidance at that point about these things can help, and I can give you some sites that deal with this in a clear, easy to grasp way, because it doesn’t need to be ‘heavy-duty’ or boring. Any discussion of structure should be more like a roadmap to help keep you from being lost than any sort of intense instruction. However, I recommend that, even with structure, listening (A LOT!!!) (repetitively) and saying things out loud after what you hear (mimicking) is the way to go.
Remember the power of just SAYING isolated words to someone in your new language, as close to properly pronounced as possible (hence the practice and repetition/ mimicking of a good speech model) + the power of RECOGNIZING those words coming back at you in spoken language, is awesome — even when you aren’t picking out/comprehending a bunch of the other words besides the ones you know. Gradually, (although faster than you might expect or even realize) you will begin to pick out more and more of what is being said (it’s called acquiring an ear for the language) (often from context clues, gestures, images, etc). Your ability to speak ‘fluently’ will always lag behind what you will be able to understand passively. That is just the way of the language world. Both directions of the language will get better the more you practice. LISTEN A LOT! REPEAT A LOT!
My role is to provide you, the student, with plenty of easily accessible models of speech (with images and text).
I have always looked for sites to help in the above process.
I used to explain to students that these sites don’t lose patience with people for whom mastery may not come as quickly, [so you can repeat things as many times as you like (which is beneficial anyway)], are easy to use, use audio and graphics mainly, with some written text of vocabulary attached so you can write the words in a notebook (digital) or on flashcards.
NOTE – These sites are free and as such often come with ads in the margins, doing all they can to distract you, to entice you to go hither and yon and get away from your task at hand. Don’t click on them. Stay focused on what you’re trying to master.
I think these are easier to use on a larger screen like a laptop or good size tablet.
VOCABULARY LISTS – BY THEME (From Spain – so the pronunciation will be a LITTLE different than Latin American Spanish — but is not a problem in any way)
Click on each picture – it’ll take you to audio list of much of the vocabulary in that particular theme. Go through them as many times as you want in order to know them and feel comfortable with pronunciation – then test yourself by saying the word BEFORE clicking for the audio.
While this site has lessons, games, and tests tabs at top…I recommend just doing the steps I gave you above.
DAYS OF THE WEEK – MONTHS OF THE YEAR
Click on the headphone icons to the right of these for audio. Once you’ve gotten these down, click on the PLAY THE GAME for practice.
Used to spell something out loud. Good to know these too.
Click on the first link to go listen to the entire alphabet. Good for putting on while you’re doing something else and repeating after each. Then you can click on the individual letters for more practice. I used to test my students by having them spell words in Spanish using the Spanish alphabet. Then I would spell out words at a normal rate of speed and have them write the word down. Good practice. Just pick any words and spell them out once you have the Spanish alphabet learned.
Here is an audio file that gives you an example of my spelling in Spanish.
By theme, some with pictures, some not. Just click on the audio button for each word as many times as you want.https://www.linguasorb.com/spanish/vocabulary/
WELL, YOU CAN START WITH THE CONSIDERABLE AMOUNT OF CONTENT ON THESE SITES AND FOLLOW THE ADVICE I’VE GIVEN. SEE IF IT HELPS. I’LL BE BACK WITH MORE LATER.