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  #1  
Old March 02, 2007, 06:43 AM
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home study course

Hey,
Im really glad to have found this forum. I found it completely by accident as I was using the Tomisimo Dictionary one night. Any way I am a Deputy in Animal Control. I have been studying spanish like a mad man for just a few weeks.I have been amazed at how much I have learned.I have been using two sources to learn from for now. One being Spanish on the Go, and Spanish for Law Enforcement. Most of my learning has come from the Spanish for Law Enforcement.It has been easy so far to stay motivated because the Spanish Im learning refers to what Im doing every day and I come in contact with and deal with Spanish speaking people on a regular basis. It seems like no matter how well I prepare for my the next encounter with a spanish speaking person it always soon gets derailed and Im talking with my hands again and pointing at sections in our spanish version of the Animal Regulations pamphlet. But its good because I will leave the encounter with a new scenario of what I need to learn. The majority of spanish speaking people I encounter are Mexican. I am concerened with making sure I learn the type of spanish they are more familiar with. I will eventually move on to more thorough spanish speaking learning courses. I dont really have a schedule to allow myself to take a class.I am looking for advice on the best home course for learning. I dont want to waste my money on the wrong thing. I have been thinking about eventually getting the Rosetta Stone course or Rocket Spanish. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old March 02, 2007, 08:17 AM
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I've used Rosetta Stone for Japanese and French mostly. I'm so busy elsewhere that I wasn't able to keep up with it, but what I did complete I remembered pretty well. The program provides you with word<>image matching and speaking/writing exercises.

I still believe there's nothing better than a good teacher and human-guided exercises (plus years of experience). As you said, you don't have time, but what you're doing is great; if you were to combine Rosetta Stone with speaking practice with real spanish speakers, you'd achieve some degree of success. But you'd have to do it everyday.
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Old March 02, 2007, 12:34 PM
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Im not sure if thats good news or bad news.I would like to acheive something better than some degree of success. I am realistic though. What if I found a person who's first language is spanish, not a teacher, to help me out? In addition to my home studying.The only problem is most spanish speaking people I meet I usually end up writing a ticket to. I might could find someone though to help me but they wont be an actual teacher. I am pretty diligent when I set my mind to something. Are there anymore suggestions on home study courses?

Last edited by fullbite; March 02, 2007 at 01:43 PM.
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Old March 02, 2007, 08:08 PM
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I don't have much experience with the home study courses, honestly.
Here's my experience. I've been trying for ages to learn Japanese. I have many books and have read a great deal about the language. I can speak well what I know, but I don't have time to practice it so I'm not really learning much.

If you have to time to immerse yourself in a home study course, you'll learn the language and you'll be able to speak it, but practice with a native/advanced speaker is what allows you to understand the more natural-sounding idiomatic points of the language. There's really no "quick fix" to learning a language.
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Old March 02, 2007, 09:21 PM
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home study

Thanks for the replies.I hear what you are saying. I have been immersing myself in it. I guess Im kind of lucky in the aspect that I have a clear cut starting point and can build from there.What I mean is I basically say and ask alot of the same things all day during work. So when I arrive at a spanish speaking residence its the same thing. Ofcourse I always have different dialogues that branch off during investigations. I then leave the spanish speaking residences with new ideas on how I want to expand my vocabulary.I went on two calls tonight that were spanish speaking households. One of them was a man from Mexico. He was standing in his driveway ignoring me when I pulled up.I waited and nothing happened . I rolled down my window and said "Venga aqui". He turned his head so fast I thought he broke his neck. I went into the usual ( in spanish)who owns it, the neighbor called and said this, you must do this,you got to get this, I need this etc... I think he enjoyed the whole experience actually.He didnt get a ticket either. The other was a man from El Salvador. I ve talked to him before. He's a real nice guy. The complaint was unfounded but while I was there I ran some spanish phrases by him. He suggested another word for me to use. SO I am very fired up about learning the language and I fotunately get to use it on a regular basis.
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Old March 03, 2007, 11:16 AM
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Hi fullbite,

To begin with you've got three things that will almost guarantee your success in learning Spanish.

1. You are motivated to learn.
2. You have opportunity to use Spanish on a daily basis.
3. You have the need to use Spanish in meaningful communication. (IE: you must talk to someone in Spanish, who doesn't speak English, and the communication is important).

So to begin with, I think you've gotten off on the right foot.

You've asked about home study courses. I don't have any personal experience with any of them unfortunately. I have studied a lot on my own, but I haven't used any of the courses that are available.

Before buying one of the courses, you might check out some of your local public libraries where they probably have dvd/cd courses you can check out. This is especially true if you live in an area with a lot of Spanish-speaking residents.

I would also recommend you buy and read a book called "How to learn any language" by Barry Farber. You might also find it in a library. In that book Barry talks about a list of strategies you can use to learn a language on your own. If you get into it and use the strategies (to the letter of the law) that he proposes, you can learn a lot, learn it fast and you won't spend much money.

I would do those two things before dropping $100+ on a full-fledged course.

You might also like to read an article I wrote a while back on things you can do to learn Spanish. http://www.tomisimo.org/blog/2006/la...eign-language/
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  #7  
Old March 03, 2007, 11:35 AM
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I just wanted to let you know that after posting this, I got inspired and posted on the blog about all the free Spanish-learning materials you can find at your local library.
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  #8  
Old March 03, 2007, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for the reply Tomisimo. You know I have already bought the dictionary that you recomended and showed a picture of on another post. It is ofcourse very useful but I do have trouble understanding some of the symbols in the pronouniation of the words. For example an upside down Y or a V with a "teardrop" on the bottom of it, or a 0 with a - throught it. I do carry notebooks and jot down things all the time. Ive bought a grammar book,I listen to cds "mostly my law enforcement one" in my vehicle all day while I drive around, I bought flash cards when I got the dictionary at the book store, and I definately talk to myself . I find myself looking forward to getting Hispanic calls to go on.
I dont want to offend anyone on this board by acting like I want to speak spanish for the enjoyment of writing tickets to hispanics. I want to be able to communicate in spanish for officer safety reasons and because I know what its like to be in a country and not be able to understand people, I think it would be awful to not understand the language and have a deputy at your door and not know what they are saying.Then the obviouse reason to advance my career.Not to mention it is an awesome feeling to be able to communicate.
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  #9  
Old March 04, 2007, 02:05 PM
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Im surprised that nobody else has any opinions on home study courses.
Thanks for the advice on the blog Tomisimo.
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  #10  
Old March 05, 2007, 03:44 PM
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HI..I found the book "Spanish for Gringos" to be VERY helpful. I atually started with book 2 and it reiterated alot from the first book, covering the basics and then getting very expansive and (honestly,) confusing. Mainly because I was over my head, but the first half of the book is wonderful for beginners such as myself. I've looked for book 1 but haven't found it yet.
The library is where I found book 2, and one more bonus is that the size of the book, and it being used alot made it soft and able to lay open like a textbook. I have two dictionary/phrasebooks that I bought, new, and they don't stay open...give me dog-eared copies anyday!! Good luck!!
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