Category Archives: #learnspanish

Spanish Lite

I’d like to share with you a series of Spanish language shows that I recently stumbled upon. Extr@ was an educational TV series that ran from 2002 to 2004 in four language versions: English, French, German and Spanish. Unfortunately, only 13 episodes of the Spanish language version were produced, and links to all 13 episodes are below. It is similar to Destinos in that it is a series of episodes that are designed to teach language, however admittedly the Extr@ series is a little more juvenile and cornball in humor. Having said that, however, I have watched the first 3 episodes and found them very entertaining, including some laugh-out-loud scenes. So, if you feel like enjoying a little Spanish Lite, check them out.

Hasta la próxima, Amigos.

La llegada de Sam, Episode 1,
Sam va de compras, Episode 2,
Sam aprende a ligar, Episode 3,
Sam busca un trabajo, Episode 4,
Ha nacido una estrella, Episode 5,
El día de la Primitiva, Episode 6,
La gemala, Episode 7,
La prima de la dueña, Episode 8,
Trabajos para los chicos, Episode 9,
Ana protesta, Episode 10,
Tiempo de vacaciones, Episode 11,
Fanáticos del fútbol, Episode 12,
Boda en el aire, Episode 13,

Also posted in #español, #Spanish

Hear and Speak Spanish

Did you know that MOST of the languages that ever existed were never written down? As a result, it is clear that language is by nature a means of communication that is spoken, heard, and felt. Writing systems that include letters, marks, and symbols which transcribe human communication are a relatively recent development in the history of humankind.

So why are you spending the majority of your time learning Spanish by studying grammar, reading, and writing? I have nothing against grammar study, and in fact I am starting a 12-week Spanish verb study group here in Flagstafftonight. However, the MAJORITY of our time should be spent hearing and speaking Spanish if we really want to accelerate our progress. And besides, aren’t we really learning Spanish so that we can talk with others in Spanish?

On that note, one web site that I have found helpful in tuning my ear to hear Spanish is Yabla. You will get access to hundreds of videos in Spanish, organized by level of difficulty as well as by the type of Spanish accent, and the service only costs $15 a month (and even less if you sign up for more months). Below the videos you can see the subtitles in both Spanish and English if you like, and you can use the pause button on the videos if necessary. And, you can cancel the service at any time. If you are interested, follow this link to sign up:

¡Que le vaya bien!


Also posted in #español, #Spanish

Diversity and the Benefits of Bilingualism

Interesting Stats: There are over 360 different languages spoken in the United States … and of the languages spoken at home, 80% of our country speaks English at home, 12.5% speaks Spanish at home, 1% speaks Chinese at home, half a percent speaks Tagalog (from the Philippines) at home, and the remaining 6% our country speaks some other language while at home.

What a diverse country we have!

Moreover, over 56% of the world’s population is at least bilingual, with many people having the ability to speak multiple languages.

What a diverse world we have!

There are many benefits to being bilingual, and here is one article that describes some of the benefits:

The Cognitive Benefits of Being Bilingual

Also posted in #diversity

Think it is hard to learn a new language?

If you think it is hard to learn a new language, just be glad you didn’t have to learn English as a second language. Check out this article, 10 Reasons Why English is a Hard Language

Also posted in #teachenglish

Native and Fluent Speakers May Read Silently

You can write an email message in only a few of the languages.

Why?  Because most of the languages that have ever existed are spoken languages, and they have never taken on written form.  Humankind was communicating verbally for thousands of years, and in hundreds of different languages, long before anyone figured out how to use written symbols and letters to communicate.

Indeed, I expect that the majority of languages in existence today are verbal languages and have never been written down.  (Not sure about that because anthropologists have for many years been working furiously to document and code in written form the world’s remaining languages to prevent any more from disappearing).

The point is that language, our means of communication, has always been first and foremost nonverbal (womb, warm, hugs, kisses, milk) and verbal (hear sounds, make sounds, hear words, make what sounds like words, hear words, say words, and so on and so forth).  I was participating in conversation just fine for about the first 4 years of my life before someone stuck a pencil in my hand.  (I remember those early pencils, it seems that I was made to write for days, and those pencils would wear a groove in my middle finger between the first and second knuckles).

That brings me back to the title of this blog article:  Native and Fluent Speakers May Read Silently.  That is, they are the only ones who are permitted to read silently.  For the rest of us schmucks that are learning another language and are not yet fluent, we should not be reading silently.  Wherever and whenever possible, we should be reading ALOUD the language we are learning, and we should be saying ALOUD the language we are learning.

Say it ALOUD, and hear yourself saying it ALOUD, in order to accelerate your progress at learning a new language.  And when you’re tired of talking to yourself, or when you think you’ve been talking with yourself too much, or when society is concerned that you’ve been talking with yourself too much, get out there and talk with someone else in your new language.  You need to hear it and speak it, ALOUD, to best train your ear to hear it, and to best train your tongue to speak it.

Remember!  If you are a native or fluent speaker, you may read silently.  If not, let’s hear you!

Also posted in #español, #Spanish