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Old April 14, 2012, 10:25 PM
duaa duaa is offline
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Advice

I need advice. I recently graduated from college in December. I went to Mexico after that and was there for two months. I understood 85-90% of everything, but when it came to speaking and vocab I could only say 60% of what I wanted to say. I majored in Spanish and history and so I am feeling extremely bad. I want to improve my ability to speak the issue is I don't know how? I do practice Spanish where I am. Any advice you guys have would be great because I am feeling very discouraged.
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  #2  
Old April 14, 2012, 10:47 PM
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Rusty Rusty is offline
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Don't feel bad or discouraged. It takes a lot of time to work up to a level of confidence with the language. Expose yourself to lots more speaking practice. Make words your own by associating them with images instead of a translation into your native tongue. You should be thinking in Spanish when conversing in Spanish.

Last edited by Rusty; April 14, 2012 at 10:51 PM.
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  #3  
Old April 15, 2012, 08:44 AM
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chileno chileno is offline
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Start reading out loud while recording yourself. Listen to the recording, and adjust your pronunciation and intonation according to what you think it should be, or better yet, get a novel that's narrated by a native, from the country of your choice, and start imitating what you hear, while recording yourself etc...
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Old April 15, 2012, 09:28 AM
duaa duaa is offline
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Thanks for the replies! The issue has less to do with prononciation and more to do with lack of vocab and some grammar errors. I am not sure how to fix the issue as I have taken all the classes of spanish I could at my univercity, although I have no issue taking another class at a tech college. I feel helpless as I am back at the usa where everyone speaks english.
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Old April 15, 2012, 05:54 PM
wrholt wrholt is offline
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Echoing Rusty: for speaking/listen and improving vocabulary, one needs LOTS of practice in MANY types of contexts; many commonly-known terms and expressions are specific to particular contexts or domains but rarely-used outside of those domains. For example, the terms one needs to know when talking about one's car or truck at an auto repair shop in Mexico don't show up very often in a dramatic novel by an Argentine writer.

For improving the finer points of grammmar, group classes are useful to a point, but eventually your at the point where your particular set of grammar issues is relatively idiosyncratic and group classes end up mostly reviewing topics that you have long-since mastered. At that point one-on-one coaching becomes more effective at identifying the specific issues that cause problems for you and helping you master them.
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Old April 20, 2012, 09:46 AM
lauraashley lauraashley is offline
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I have the same problem. Its so frustrating when you can write and understand everything but the words just dont flow out of your mouth.
I use the website Livemocha and it has helped me so much. You can speak to anyone in the country (whoever is online) and either set up a Skype chat, or chat on Livemocha, or even just use their preset speaking practice assignments and record yourself speaking. If you do this, there will always be someone online to correct it. They can record themselves speaking the prompt to correct you and its just awesome!
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