Do you want to improve your Spanish skills? I've been teaching students just like you for 10 years! I have lots of tips & tricks to help you do your very best in speaking, reading, writing & listening in Spanish! How can I help you do your very best?
By finding out about YOU!!
Did you know that people learn in different ways? We are all different and our differences make us who we are! ¡Qué chévere! How cool! Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What do you feel you're pretty good at?
What are your hobbies?
What other subjects do you enjoy? How do you learn best? For example, do you learn better by watching someone do something new or by listening to someone explain what to do?
Or do you learn best by doing something hands on?
By getting to know how you learn best, you'll have the tools to help you succeed in anything you do! I can offer you the most effective strategies to...
Today one of my Spanish students was learning vocabulary related to personal appearance (hair and eye color, height, etc) and had previously learned professions, so to practice all of this vocabulary, we played a couple rounds of 20 questions. We alternated
who was thinking of the person and who was guessing so that she could practice both speaking and listening as well as practice her question words! She really enjoyed this, and I have used this method in the past with students which was very successful. It's
a fun way to practice a variety of vocabulary and use imagination.
One of my favorite tools to use when starting lessons with students is Facebook. It's great because most students have smart phones and can open the app right there. And, you get your students to talk about people they know, or people they would like to
know more about (celebrities and such). For my Spanish students, we open up a friend's page and just like that we create sentences and ask questions about:
-where people are from
-where they live
-what they like to do, read, listen to, watch etc.
-what they did in the past
-relationships (family, marriages, friends etc.)
-how they are characteristic wise or condition wise
For Spanish specifically, it is a great opportunity to use the verbs:
Since English speaking students sometimes struggle with the different uses between ser and estar, and the use of tener with regard to age, it's...
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts, I work with students of a variety of levels to improve their Spanish speaking ability. Meeting with a student twice a week can make it quite difficult to keep sessions fresh and exciting and to come up with conversational
topics that haven't previously been covered.
Today one of my more advanced students wanted to practice using the correct imperfect and preterit conjugations and so he described to me, in great detail, his favorite movie. Since most people can talk for a long time about their favorite movie, and it
is easy to prod more shy students into engaging on this topic, I thought it a great topic choice on his part and will steal this idea to use with other students.
Pretend you are Christopher Columbus, writing to the King and Queen of Spain to beg them to finance your trip to the Americas. Explain to them what you need, why it is necessary, what you hope to gain. In Spanish this requires the use of the subjunctive!
I have often struggled with finding a fun activity to get students to practice writing the subjunctive in context, and came across this idea the other day. I used it this past weekend with a student who found it a fun yet challenging task.
One piece of advice I would say is to have a mini word bank of phrases that might be useful for them, as this was the only real obstacle to my student's success!
I have used this website for years. It is a free source of tutoring for any student wishing to understand Spanish grammar. You can read or print out the explanations. There are several quizzes to help your comprehension. It is also very USER FRIENDLY.
Spanish is becoming more and more important with regards to business. Learning Spanish will enable you to better communicate with Spanish speaking employees or co-workers. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to offer your product or
service to the 350 million people whose mother tongue is Spanish? In North America, Hispanic consumers are the fastest-growing market segment. As for job opportunities, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have Spanish on your resume.
In the United States, knowing Spanish can be particularly helpful if you work in healthcare or education. Increasingly, the building trades are employing more and more Spanish speaking workers. One thing is certain. If you are bilingual,
you will be more marketable and have more career choices than your monolingual counterpart. Globalization, with it's accompanying free trade agreements is shrinking the business world, and those who know more than one language will definitely have the edge.
I feel lucky to have grown up bilingual. I have my mother to thank for that, who insisted I learned a foreign language. I also attribute my passion for travel to my maternal grandfather. He was a top executive at Braniff International Airlines in Argentina
and we were fortunate enough to travel for free when we were kids thanks to him. I also look up to my grandmother. She was a world explorer and wanderer herself; she took me and my brother everywhere on her trips.
What my mother didn’t know – and maybe regretted later – was that by insisting on a bilingual education, she was encouraging her daughter to leave her home country.
And that’s exactly what I did. With mastery of the English language, which I learned early in preschool in Argentina, I left home as soon as I became of age. Driving by the domestic airport (“Aeroparque”) as a kid meant freedom. It was a gateway for exotic
adventures across distant lands. I always knew I’d be a perfect adventure-goer...
Do you realise how important is to understand Spanish or to have a basic understanding of the Spanish language right now in the US?
Ask ex-mayor Bloomberg from NY if it is important or not. Sadly the High School and College curriculums are not adapted to what really helps understand the language. They focus on grammar so much, that they forget how to teach to learn. If you can handle
a conversation in Spanish after several years of High School and College lessons, even being a straight A student, please raise your hand. I haven´t met once yet.
And trust me, it is the same the other way around. Spanish schools teaching English didn´t get me far either. Best way to learn the language: Traveling. It might get tricky and expensive, but it is the best way. Second? I believe is music. If you listen
to spanish songs and try to understand what these guys guys are singing, you might be surprised on how much can you learn. (Do yourself a favor and skip the reggaeton, please). That´s...
You don't need to spend hours memorizing new words or making simple concepts more complicated than they need to be to learn Spanish. The best way to learn Spanish is to focus on the similarities between English and Spanish. The fact is that whether or
not you realize it, you already know some Spanish.
One book that I highly recommend is Madrigal's Magic Key To Spanish. This book takes you step by step to make you highly proficient in the language. I am not saying that this is a substitute for any class, but it is an excellent complement for nearly any
Spanish class. I used this book after not taking Spanish for a while to make me proficient again. I also continue to use it when I don't like the class textbook and need to show a more clear picture of the concept.
Here are some examples of how to make Spanish easy in which Madrigal's Magic Key To Spanish illustrates:
Do you recognize what any of this means?
I frequently work with students who wish to improve their conversational Spanish skills. I strongly believe learning to actually speak the language is the hardest part for most students, because it is almost impossible to practice unless you have someone
with whom to practice. I have certain students who I see on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, and only tutor them in conversational Spanish. For me, keeping these lessons interesting can be a challenge, especially with shy students. To combat this, I recently
purchased a conversation starter game called Rory's Story Cubes. These are ridiculously great and have been a huge success among my students. Not only do the cubes give students the opportunity to use their imagination, they are also a great way to practice
Spanish! I have challenged students to tell stories using only the past tense, or only the future tense, or by incorporating a command into each sentence. By putting stipulations on what they can and cannot say, you...
If you want to smile in Spanish, roll the r by trying to purr like a cat, push your lips towards your cheeks and say "reir"!
Speaking a foreign language is most frustrating when you know exactly what you want to say in your first language, but you either don't know how to say anything similar in the foreign language or anything that captures the exact nuance.
The process if less frustrating if you accept that you should not think in your first language and that you may never be able to capture the exact subtlety. It's absolutely okay that you cannot express yourself as eloquently and exactly at times. There
are certain times when you need the exact word or exact phrase because of a nuance, but there are other situations where a generic phrase will do.
This post is focusing on idioms and phrases that are useful to know and that can be used in many situations: they will be adequate, even if you could have picked a more colorful phrase in your native language.
Think of learning Spanish phrases this way: every time you learn a phrase, you add it to your bank of...
Jokes are a fun way to learn vocabulary, practice phrases in context, and review grammar. Some of the information I provide below just skims the surface, so please stay tuned for more details on topics (such as verbs like gustar, possessive pronouns, and
reflexive pronouns) or use other references for more information.
1.¿Por qué está triste el cuaderno de matemáticas?
Porque tiene muchos problemas.
Why is the math book sad?
Because it has a lot of problems.
Por qué means why and porque means because.
All words that are at least 3 syllables and end in ico/s or ica/s have an accent mark on the vowel that is 3 syllables back. The rule wouldn't apply to the words chico/s and chica/s because they only have two syllables.
Problema ends in a, but it is masculine. A trick: many common words that end in ‘ma’ are masculine (el sistema,el tema, el programa, el idioma, el clima) and all words that end in ‘dad’ are...
It could be anything: paint, draw, even a new language. The idea that you are done learning once you reach a certain age in your life is as ridiculous as the notion that all women should be homemakers. In fact, it is never too late to learn anything! Take
me, for example. I am a magazine editor who found a new life teaching about the very subjects that I learned in college and applied throughout my professional life.
My goal is to ensure that you will learn as quickly as possible any or all of the four subjects that I'm approved for in WyzAnt. Whether you want to understand the finer points of proofreading, or need to learn how to speak or write in English or in Spanish,
I'll give you the tools that you'll need to become an expert in your selection from lesson one!
Meeting with internationals has been one of the great pleasures of pursuing International Relations and Spanish studies. When I chat with people from other counties, the topics of culture and traditions inevitably come up. One of the most interesting topics
I share is Thanksgiving. Since it is a uniquely American holiday, internationals love to hear about the food, family, and fun that surround the holiday. It is worth the effort to learn the Spanish vocabulary for Thanksgiving so that you can easily share your
festive experiences with other people. It may open the door to a fascinating discussion of interesting holiday traditions in other cultures.
Here are a few key phrases to help describe the day:
Día de Acción de Gracias Thanksgiving Day
Ms. Betty Lynn Snyder, a sixth-grade teacher at Forrest Park Elementary, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas is my most memorable teacher. She was a great teacher because she made us think, write, and create. In Ms. Snyder's class I learned about Shakespeare's sonnets,
The Belgian Congo, Nigeria and conserving natural resources. She was ahead of her time: she was a Project-Based Learning (PBL) Queen! The independent project learning broadened my knowledge of the world and of myself.
It was through Ms. Snyder's class that I became enamored of the story of diplomat and Ambassador Ralph Bunche. This was particularly important, because I was the only person of color in my class--before our schools were officially integrated--and she found
a way to create diversity in our learning. Thus, I always felt comfortable in her classroom and, in fact, I was elected secretary general of the mock United Nations.
As I recall, Ms. Snyder had two sons--one of whom was named Edward,...
You can find my mini-lesson on Wyzant >> Resources >> Lessons >> Spanish >> Grammar
Spanish Grammar: Direct and Indirect Objects
My goal is to simplify concepts so they can easily be memorized and generalized. Que disfruta su leccion en espanol!
This post is about television...the boob-tube....the object of the couch potato....the nemesis of many students. We all know that television (including netflix, hulu +, roku, and even DVDs) can be real time-wasters. When we need a brain-break, or just
need to chill out, the TV can be so attractive! Yeah, I know what I'm talking about because I've been there too.
Here's a quick tip for advancing your Spanish language learning: the next time you are in the mood for an old favorite movie, try switching the sound track to your foreign language, but leave the subtitles in English. As you listen to the dialogue, your
brain 'receives' the meaning via subtitles. What you are listening to, then, is "comprehensible input" which is absolutely key to effective language learning. In addition, you hear and internalize the sounds of the language, which will benefit your pronunciation
and your comprehension as well...
I discovered my passion for the Spanish language on a church trip to the Dominican Republic ten years ago while serving a group of amazing people there. At the time I was a junior at Western Michigan University and was majoring in Creative Writing. I had
only taken a few years of Spanish in high school and was very shaky with speaking. However, something amazing happened while I was there! I found myself being able to communicate and slowly understand. A little boy named Jorge was sitting with my friend and
I one night and slowly repeating "estrella" when it suddenly clicked. I have little Jorge to thank for igniting that passion in me. I went on to double major in Spanish and Creative Writing, then continue to get my Master's degree in Spanish literature. Through
the years I have lived in Santander, Spain; Queretaro, Mexico, and finally Barcelona, Spain for the past five years. My husband (who is Spanish) and I just moved back to Michigan and are starting...