Ask a Question

(Create a thread)
Go Back   Spanish language learning forums > Teaching & Learning > Teaching and Learning Techniques


The impossible spanish learner

 

Teaching methodology, learning techniques, linguistics-- any of the various aspect of learning or teaching a foreign language.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old February 28, 2012, 10:23 AM
PoquitaChapina PoquitaChapina is offline
Opal
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Native Language: English
PoquitaChapina is on a distinguished road
The impossible spanish learner

Buenas dias a todo

I would like to discuss learning techniques and which techniques would work best.

I have been trying to learn spanish since I was 14...failed repeatedly in spanish classes, although I have a spanish speaking parent and spanish was spoken in the home regularly. I feel that since english was the only language spoken TO me and not spanish, that is why I didnt learn. In spanish classes, grammar and all was completely lost on me. I wasnt even good at grammar in english! That is why I failed.

I can understand words and phrases without having to translate them in my head. I can understand most spanish conversations but only getting the jist of what is being discussed.. its the grammar that gets me..and the past/future tenses.

Now, what I would like to know is if studying the grammar from a textbook (which hasnt helped in the 4+ years I spent studying it in school), or is the immersion technique better?

I listen to spanish music on a daily basis. My favorite artists sing in spanish. I hate spanish television shows EXCEPT for Decisiones Extremas (which is subtitled anyways).

What kind of techniques are best for an impossible spanish learner?
Reply With Quote
   
Get rid of these ads by registering for a free Tomísimo account.
  #2  
Old February 28, 2012, 11:49 AM
aleCcowaN's Avatar
aleCcowaN aleCcowaN is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Posts: 3,022
Native Language: Castellano
aleCcowaN is on a distinguished road
If you are older than 17-18, some formal study of Spanish grammar is almost mandatory. I don't think that just a textbook -it'd be boring, to say the least-. One niece of mine was raised in a Spanish speaking home -she's French- but she got very bad grades in Spanish because she understood but she didn't use subjunctive -or she did the French way- among a lot of things you lose by learning a language in the living room or the kitchen of your home.

The by-product of learning Spanish grammar is that you'd learn a lot of English grammar too (once you start to pay attention to such hidden structures, you process your native language too). By trying to learn some English, I certainly improved my knowledge of Spanish in a greater extent, not because of the "new" things but because many among the old ones "made sense".
__________________
[gone]
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old February 28, 2012, 02:53 PM
Rusty's Avatar
Rusty Rusty is offline
Señor Speedy
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 10,541
Native Language: American English
Rusty has a spectacular aura aboutRusty has a spectacular aura about
I agree that grammar has to be a part of your learning and, as Alec pointed out, it will reinforce the English concepts you already know. Learning to speak, write and read in English (note that English spelling rules mandate that a capital letter be used for language names) wasn't done without grammar. You used grammar to form your very first intelligible sentence. Without it, your sentence wouldn't have been intelligible. Perhaps you didn't understand the grammatical naming conventions taught in school, but you definitely knew the grammar. If you didn't, you wouldn't have been able to understand anything the teacher said and you wouldn't have been able to write your post about it. You use grammar every single day.

Spanish is not English. The grammars are very different.
There's no shortcut. You will have to take the same steps to learn Spanish that you took to learn English.

Listening to the language used on a daily basis would be your first priority. You have to hear it used before your mind can even start to make sense of it.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old February 28, 2012, 06:20 PM
poli's Avatar
poli poli is offline
rule 1: gravity
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: In and around New York
Posts: 7,373
Native Language: English
poli will become famous soon enoughpoli will become famous soon enough
If you can get someone to speak with in Spanish it will be especially helpful, and greatly improve the listening experience.

Reading helps. If you look up words in an on-line dictionary while reading on-line you may improve your vocabulary. Write down the words you
look up, and go over them from time to time. You may be amazed how much you can learn.

Don't let grammar frighten you. Its intricacies are innate in human brains.
When you study a foreign language, it's helpful understand the grammar mechanism which comes natural to us. In Spanish, pronouns, especially direct and indirect object pronouns, are important to learn. It may help to know exactly what they are in English and then delve into then in Spanish.
__________________
Me ayuda si corrige mis errores. Gracias.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old February 28, 2012, 07:57 PM
marmoset marmoset is offline
Pearl
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Colorado, USA
Posts: 117
Native Language: English
marmoset is on a distinguished road
Hola Poquita,

I'd like to add just a couple things to the others' great advice.

For one thing, as silly as it may sound, calling yourself the impossible Spanish learner, will hinder your progress. I suggest you focus on the positives (i.e you wrote a rather long and decent introduction post in Spanish, which is a lot more than many can do on their first post here). Also, realize that language acquisition is something that occurs slowly but surely. It won't happen over night or in 3 months (in spite of what some products/programs would have us believe).

Labeling yourself as the impossible Spanish learner will make you more likely to think so over and over and feel defeated every time you come to a difficult point in your studies. Now imagine that each time you come to a stumbling block, you instead, think, "This is difficult but I am learning slowly but surely. I definitely know more now than I did last week/month, etc."

One final point, if I may. Either imagine, or take 30-60 minutes to see what you'd be up against if you wanted to start learning, say, Japanese or Chinese or Arabic. English and Spanish have a lot more similarity. These others are much more different and would be a much more daunting task to take on. I hope that will make you feel the relative simplicity of learning Spanish.

Good luck with your studies, and don't feel defeated when you have to go back to basics. It's not a waste of time.

__________________
"Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful." - Thich Nhat Hanh

Last edited by marmoset; February 28, 2012 at 08:02 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old February 28, 2012, 08:20 PM
chileno's Avatar
chileno chileno is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Posts: 7,863
Native Language: Castellano
chileno is on a distinguished road
Just continue to read more posts, poquita.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old February 29, 2012, 09:33 PM
PoquitaChapina PoquitaChapina is offline
Opal
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 9
Native Language: English
PoquitaChapina is on a distinguished road
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I know I hate grammar, and that I cant learn Spanish without it. But I look at it this way...when I first learned english I was not worried about grammar. I learned it just by listening and interacting. Cant I just do that with Spanish?

Thanks Marmaset for for the encouragement. It seems like I think I am understanding fine, but then I get really lost. I feel most defeated when I cant speak. I ask my boyfriend to speak Spanish to me (he is fluent), and he doesnt like to, but when he breaks down and does, all I can do is say words of love and talk dirty to him. There is only so much of a conversation I can have with him when all I do is tell him 'como te quiero mi amor, mi cielo, mi corazoncito" Then when I want to tell him something relevant I stutter and take 3 seconds to figure out each word.

I am going to try to find a learning strategy to help it along, but I just dont know how to go about it. Every night I watch a music video with lyrics on YouTube and try to recognize the words and vocabulary. I guess thats why I an only tell my boyfriends words of love and dirty talk lol
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old February 29, 2012, 09:57 PM
wrholt's Avatar
wrholt wrholt is offline
Sapphire
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 1,313
Native Language: US English
wrholt is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoquitaChapina View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I know I hate grammar, and that I cant learn Spanish without it. But I look at it this way...when I first learned english I was not worried about grammar. I learned it just by listening and interacting. Cant I just do that with Spanish?
...
You could try, but from what current research theories have to say, the older you are the less likely it is that you can learn another language well just by listening and interacting.

These theories claim that when a child is born his or her brain is exquisitely adapted for learning language, and over the next 6 years the child learns perfectly the language(s) it hears regularly just from listening and interacting with people. Unfortunately, starting at around age 6 the continuing growth and development of the child's brain causes the child to gradually lose the capacity to learn a language perfectly just by listening and interacting. Most people become incapable of learning another language without some type of concious effort, coaching and attention to grammar by the time they are teenagers. The older we get, the more concious effort, coaching and attention to grammar we typically need.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old March 01, 2012, 06:48 AM
chileno's Avatar
chileno chileno is offline
Diamond
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Las Vegas, USA
Posts: 7,863
Native Language: Castellano
chileno is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by PoquitaChapina View Post
Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I know I hate grammar, and that I cant learn Spanish without it. But I look at it this way...when I first learned english I was not worried about grammar. I learned it just by listening and interacting. Cant I just do that with Spanish?
Sure you can!

Quote:
Originally Posted by PoquitaChapina View Post
Thanks Marmaset for for the encouragement. It seems like I think I am understanding fine, but then I get really lost. I feel most defeated when I cant speak. I ask my boyfriend to speak Spanish to me (he is fluent), and he doesnt like to, but when he breaks down and does, all I can do is say words of love and talk dirty to him. There is only so much of a conversation I can have with him when all I do is tell him 'como te quiero mi amor, mi cielo, mi corazoncito" Then when I want to tell him something relevant I stutter and take 3 seconds to figure out each word.

I am going to try to find a learning strategy to help it along, but I just dont know how to go about it. Every night I watch a music video with lyrics on YouTube and try to recognize the words and vocabulary. I guess thats why I an only tell my boyfriends words of love and dirty talk lol

If you have any questions post here or contact me at my email. It should be here in my profile.

Last edited by AngelicaDeAlquezar; March 01, 2012 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Removed link that should be rather shared through private messages.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old March 27, 2012, 11:03 AM
jorge jorge is offline
Opal
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 2
jorge is on a distinguished road
Different Ways You Can Teach Yourself Spanish:
· Watch the Spanish channel – I would actually watch the Spanish channel and the regular television shows would give me problems. I found that watching the commercials actually helped me out a lot! They are easier to learn because the vocabulary is not as complicated as a normal sitcom. You can also find some English commercials that are on the Spanish channel so you can figure out what the words mean because you’ve seen it already. Try it.
· Get help from your Spanish speaking friends – Make it a daily habit to try and have a conversation at least once a day with your Spanish speaking friends. Let them know what you are trying to achieve and they will be glad to help you. Having Spanish conversations can improve your vocabulary, pronunciations, and help you sound more natural.
· Find a good course to use – Getting a good course that teaches you Spanish is a great way to improve your fluency. If it’s online, or on CD’s, remember to be consistent and follow the directions exactly as they ask you to. Good programs are not hard to find nowadays as there are many to choose from. Pick one, start it, and finish it. Check out a free spanish course. hope that helps.

Last edited by Rusty; March 27, 2012 at 11:05 AM. Reason: removed link and associated wording
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmark this thread at:

 

Link to this thread
URL: 
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
Just Another Spanish Learner dawnsan Introductions 15 February 13, 2011 07:18 PM
New Spanish Language Learner kimiroger Translations 1 August 24, 2010 04:20 PM
Qué onda?!Mexican Spanish vs Spanish from Spain and Spanish from Latin America Villa Culture 6 April 08, 2010 11:50 AM
When you watch a Spanish-language movie, use Spanish, not English, subtitles Tomisimo Teaching and Learning Techniques 19 November 30, 2009 06:54 AM
Spanish Final and Last Spanish test score Jessica General Chat 19 June 02, 2009 03:46 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:08 AM.

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

X