Private Vlogs and Spanish Output Practice

A video blog —also known as a vlog— can be a great tool to practice your Spanish speaking skills. It’s about shooting a video of yourself talking to your cell phone selfie camera. In Spanish 🙂 You can record it with any smartphone and upload it to YouTube for free. Maybe you don’t feel like changing careers and becoming a famous vlogger and influencer with millions of subscribers. It’s all good! I’m not asking you to upload your videos publicly (although you can do it if you want). You can put your videos on YouTube and keep them private [...]

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Adding One New Spanish Word a Day

We tend to underestimate what we can accomplish when we add a little of something every day. What happens when you add one Spanish word each and every day? At the end of a month, you’ll have thirty new words. Maybe that doesn’t sound like much, but it is. One new word a day is more —much more— than zero words a day. Adding just one word works because it’s easy. It doesn’t take a lot of time. It’s not something hard to commit to, such as adding fifty new words a day. The bottom line will be positive, [...]

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Can You Learn Spanish as an Adult?

Yes, you can. Of course you can learn Spanish as an adult. Unless... you can’t. Your ability to learn Spanish might be connected to your assumptions, to what you believe to be true about language learning. Even though you probably know people who managed to learn Spanish in their ripe age, you might think your case is different. You say that you lack talent for languages, that your pronunciation sucks, and that it is already too late to get good at Spanish. Especially that: that you’re too late to the game. ‘I read an article online that tells it’s [...]

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Learning Strategies for Spanish Grammar

Some language learners are fond of doing grammar exercises and memorizing verb tenses. Others just hate anything grammar altogether. And probably will tell you that you don’t even need to study it: ‘Why would I bother? I’ve never really cared about grammar in my native language, and I got good at it anyways. Why should I waste my time learning Spanish grammar? I prefer to learn it naturally’ When I learn a foreign language, I enjoy studying and practicing grammar. Ideally, I will get books written in the same language I’m learning and do a mix sentence-mining, reading, and [...]

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Spanish Dictation with Audiobooks

I have recently been exploring foreign language dictation as a strategy to gain practice writing in a second language. It would be the equivalent of shadowing to the written form. In this case, you also use audio input and immediately convert it to text. How does it look in practice? You can take an audiobook and focus on one or two minutes of content. You listen to a small portion -5 or 10 seconds- and write down what you hear on a pad or the computer. When using a computer, I prefer to do it on Notepad or a [...]

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Learning Spanish with a Teacher

What is the best way to learn Spanish? You can learn on your own, work with a teacher, or even get a language course. Whatever the method you choose, learning Spanish (or any other language) involves other people. Even a self-directed student never learns completely ‘on his own.’ She will have to read or listen to content written or spoken by users of her target language. One of the main advantages of learning Spanish with a teacher is increasing your awareness of things that need improvement. You cannot see your blind spots. How could you spot what could be better [...]

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