Old August 28, 2012, 05:31 AM
Kingfisher's Avatar
Kingfisher Kingfisher is offline
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: England - North West
Posts: 12
Native Language: English
Kingfisher is on a distinguished road
The learning process

Hey guys.

So because this sort of thing interests me, I was thinking about my own interesting and probably not strictly recommended learning process concerning Spanish and how it would relate to other peoples.

I missed the opportunity to study it whilst in school, or college for that matter, being unfortunately put off languages within my early years. I've succeeded in locating classes for my level, (beginner, ) but as my teacher likes to remind me it's a long hard road. I pick up words, quite a few from the internet but there's still a quite a way to go before I can use them confidently within sentence constructions; particularly the reflexive 'se' and all it's uses is a little tricky to get my head round at the moment.

I'd be very interested in hearing the learning process for other people who weren't native or didn't immerse themselves within the language, something that isn't possible for me yet (although I would love to live in Spain sometime in the future, if only temporarily.)
Reply With Quote
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
Old August 28, 2012, 08:35 AM
wrholt's Avatar
wrholt wrholt is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,324
Native Language: US English
wrholt is on a distinguished road
Missed opportunities don't matter any more; the best time to start learning a language is today. And your teacher is right: mastering another language is a long, hard road, but like all roads one traverses it one step at a time. In the case of learning a language, it helps to pay more attention to the step you're taking right now, and if you're taking a class it helps if you can trust the teacher to point you in the right direction for the next step.

My road to learning Spanish did include 3 bouts of "immersion" of a sort, which helped immensely with developing aural/oral skills, but most of the learning of grammar as well as development of reading/writing skills happened in formal classes. The formal classes were:

(1) the 3-year course at school starting when I was 14. My teacher was a native speaker of English, and he was the only teacher in my school for Spanish, French and driver's education.

(2) 5 courses at university, which were the obligatory courses for the minor concentration in Spanish Language and Literature and the core of the major concentration. They were:

(a) composition and conversation (a double-credit course), taught by a team of 2 instructors, a woman from Cuba and a woman from Argentina.

(b) introduction to Spanish literature: a survey course that taught the basics of literary criticism for the primary types of written matter. Lots of reading, lots of in-class dicussion, lots of papers, all in Spanish, taught by a US-born and -raised professor.

(c) history of Spanish literature I (10 century to 14th century), taught by a US-born and -raised professor, and II (15th century to 19th century), taught by a professor from Colombia. Lots of reading, lots of in-class discussion, and lots of papers, all in Spanish.

(d) Spanish phonetics and phonology (linguistics fundamentals useful for prospective teachers of Spanish and for improving one's accent and intonation). The instructor was a US-born and -raised man who was particularly interested in and skilled with the linguistic aspects of Spanish.

I'm glad I took the 3 literature courses, but they are also the reason that I chose not to continue with the major concentration in Spanish: I do not enjoy analyzing and critiquing literature.

My 3 bouts of "immersion" were:

1. My family hosted an exchange student from Chile for 10 weeks during the second year of my school course (shortly after I turned 16). We sometimes spoke with one another in Spanish, although he spoke only English with everyone else at home and almost everyone else at school.

2. I visited Nicaragua as an exchange student for 10 weeks after completing the 3rd year of my school course (when I was 17). A couple of the people in my host family could speak some English, but mostly everyone spoke with me exclusively in Spanish. This experience had the greatest impact on my aural/oral skills.

3. During my first year at university my residence hall roommate was a Venezuelan man who was learning English in the university's ESL program. He knew practically no English at the beginning of the year. By the end of the year we probably spoke with one another in Spanish and English in equal amounts.

Since completing my last formal class more than 30 years ago, most of my continuing learning of Spanish has happened informally through the use of self-teaching materials and reference materials, listening to audio and video, and participating in forums such as this one. Sometimes I have had a lot of opportunities to use Spanish on a daily basis, and sometimes I haven't.
Reply With Quote
Old August 28, 2012, 12:37 PM
Meeks7300 Meeks7300 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
Native Language: English
Meeks7300 is on a distinguished road
I've recently started using Mexican music to help with my Spanish. I think most people recommend this, but they discourage the use of pop music. I don't really like pop American music, but found a little bit of Mexican pop that I enjoy. This has helped my vocabulary alot and I've only been doing it for a week or two. I have a long way to go. I just keep in mind that persistence is key.
I also read news stories from Mexico and south America. The advantage that music has over this is that you listen to music over and over again so the words are repeated. News stories get old after once or twice reading them.
Reply With Quote
Old August 28, 2012, 05:00 PM
AngelicaDeAlquezar's Avatar
AngelicaDeAlquezar AngelicaDeAlquezar is offline
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Mexico City
Posts: 8,314
Native Language: Mexican Spanish
AngelicaDeAlquezar is on a distinguished road
@Meeks: Music is fine for improving vocabulary, but be careful, as very often they are full of grammar and syntax mistakes. ;(
Ain't it wonderful to be alive when the Rock'n'Roll plays...
Reply With Quote

Bookmark this thread at:


Link to this thread
HTML Link: 
BB Code: 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts
BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Site Rules

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Silkscreen process for t-shirts - 'serigrafia' ? Brownold Vocabulary 1 July 21, 2012 11:15 AM
Your Personal Learning Process NiCACHiCA Teaching and Learning Techniques 38 June 28, 2009 01:20 PM
Due process hearing procedures lblanco Translations 3 October 16, 2008 01:03 AM

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 03:08 AM.

Forum powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.