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Revolutionize your language learning experience

I've been re-reading an old copy of Barry Farber's book How to Learn Any Language. The copy I have is more than a little out-of-date, as the author talks about the "innovation" of portable audio-cassette players as a language-learning tool. The internet has opened up countless new tools for learners of foreign languages. If I were to update Farber's book myself, here are the online tools I would add to his list of advice. If you would like the details of any language-specific sites or need help navigating the overwhelming amount of available online resources, feel free to contact me through WyzAnt by email to set up a tutoring session. (I specialize in tutoring Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, and English, but I have also "dabbled" in other languages). Online dictionaries that provide two-way look-up are usually much easier than looking up words in a paper dictionary, especially for character-based languages like Chinese and Japanese. Podcasts online are... read more

Love to Speak Spanish

Spanish is an easy language to learn because it's very consistent. It's a beautiful language. Just listen to other people's conversations, sometimes. Place yourself in a variety of situations where you will hear different kinds of conversations. I still do this exercise after twenty-five years, and always feel edified. Listen to small children speaking Spanish. They will often be speaking a bit slower, so it's easier to follow.

Lectura: Reading

La lectura es una parte integral de la aprendiza en cualquier idioma, si fuera tu materna o una segunda lengua. Cuando lees nueva material, casi siempre encuentras palabras nuevas o unas que ya sabes, pero no has visto utilizado en tal manera. El leer es una vehículo para vocabulario y entendimiento del mundo en nuevas vistas. Hoy, acabo de leer The Bean Trees (Los Arboles de Frijoles) de Barbara Kingsolver. Es una novela forjada con temas culturales e históricos de los años 80 en E.E.U.U. Mañana, voy a empezar su siguiente novela titulado Pigs in Heaven (Cerdos en el Cielo). Ahora te pregunto... ¿Qué has leido tú recientemente? Prueba visitar tu biblioteca local o descargar e-libros gratices en el internet. Reading is an integral part of learning in any language, whether it be your maternal or second language. When you read new material, you almost always find new words or some that you already know, but haven't seen used in such a way. Reading is a vehicle for vocabulary... read more

For my Spanish and English students

I had a Spanish student who said "Spanish is difficult" but my advise is: the longer you practice the habit of working toward your dreams, the easier the journey will become. You are meant for great things. Learn as much as possible. Always follow your dreams. You are a student in the school of life and in many ways your own teacher. Appreciate the lessons you've learned, and enjoy life, others, and yourself. Kisses Rosario

The Gift of Education

On June 2, 1989, my life changed forever. A brand new world was brought to my attention. I moved into the main land of the United States. I am Puerto Rican, meaning natural born American, but was raised on the island of Puerto Rico. Don't get me wrong, I have always been more fourtunate than most people with my condition. You see, I have a condition called Spina Bifida. I guess it would make more sense if I explain myself. Normally, during the first month of a pregnancy, the two sides of the spine (or backbone) join together to cover the spinal cord, spinal nerves and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord). Spina bifida refers to any birth defect involving incomplete closure of the spine. Myelomeningocele is the most common type of Spina Bifida. It is a neural tube defect in which the bones of the spine do not completely form, resulting in an incomplete spinal canal. This causes the spinal cord and meninges (the tissues covering the spinal cord) to stick out... read more

Learning gender

Having met many people who have tried to learn a second language, the one skill they always struggle with is gender designation. As native English speakers, gender designation is unheard of. Things are just that, things. They don't have a gender. (When I try to explain this to my 9-year-old, he bursts out in laughter.) But in many other languages, nouns have a specific gender. Of course, this then affects all other parts of grammar such as verb conjugation and pronouns, but that is a topic for a different blog. I remember starting college and wanting to learn a new language. I have to admit I went down the easy route. As a native Spanish speaker, I knew Italian would be relatively easy. They are both latin-based languages. They have similar words with only a few letters changing (for example, agua in Spanish and aqua in Italian.) After three years, I felt I could take on a third language and I gave myself a challenge: GERMAN! Needless to say, it was a big difference... read more


I just joined the WyzAnt community as a Spanish tutor in Washington County PA. I attended Bethany College and have a BA in Spanish and another one in Visual Art. Also, I have am a certified teacher in both West Virginia and Pennsylvania for Spanish and Art.

Colombia, mi abuelo y yo

Dear Students and Parents, In my last trip to Colombia in May I had the opportunity to attend the International Book Fair in Bogotá. I found a book for young readers called "Colombia, mi abuelo y yo" (Colombia, my grandpa, and me) by Pilar Lozano. It is a captivating narration of a grandfather teaching his grandson about his country, Colombia. It tells interesting cultural aspects about Colombia in South America. I hope you, young students of Spanish, can benefit from reading it.

Mrs. T.'s Spanish Students' Questions and Answers Blog

This blog is available for a meeting place of Marni T's students to ask questions they may have concerning grammar, writing, reading skills in Spanish. It's also a good place to give or receive cultural, historical, geological customns, entertainment, Indians and dialects among the Hispanic countries. I ask the exchanges be kept free of unnacceptable words, and that any info. given will be properly annotated. Thank you!

New Vocabulary: Tips and Tricks

Whether you're learning Spanish, French, English, or even new science or social studies vocabulary, developing vocabulary is the key to a world of new conversations. When approaching a new set of vocabulary, different techniques work for different kinds of learning. Watching movies, listening to music, and interacting with people in the new language are fun and effective means of immersion. When you hear unfamiliar terms, sound them out and jot them down to look up later. When preparing for a test or working with a textbook, a systematic approach can help reinforce and practice new terms. With a new set of thirty words from a textbook chapter, follow these four easy steps to quickly learn up to thirty terms in one sitting: 1. Make a list of new words in the target language. 2. Attempt to translate them on the same line in a second column, using cognates as clues to recall the term in your native language. 3. After attempting to translate all the vocabulary, use a... read more

Spanish 1 and 2

This week, I met two new students who I plan on working quite closely with. They are both very intelligent girls who approached our sessions with diligence and also a sense of humor :0) I wish them much luck for their upcoming (and first!) year of high school and I can't wait to have them speaking Spanish fluently.



A new beginning

I love meeting new students. Today I scheduled a meeting with one of my new students. I can not wait to meet them. I am glad that the parent is so enthusiastic about their child's education. This makes tutoring so much easier and much more fun. I love tutoring in Spanish. I feel that the student and I have embarked on our own private session where only the student and I knows what is going on. When you think of the session that way, it makes the whole lesson a lot more fun and exciting for both you and the student. I cant wait to start the new school year with new students and new adventures.

Que he dicho?

In 2008 I went to Salamanca, Spain for the summer with my friend Cassidy to study Spanish. We had both completed 4 years of high school Spanish courses and a couple classes in college, so we were pretty fluent. We were placed with the Villa family for our homestay and enjoyed our time there with Carmen, Miguel Sr, and Miguel Jr. One morning, Cassidy and I were chatting in English in the kitchen about how she ran out of hot water during her shower when Miguel came in. I began to explain to him that I was apologizing to Cassidy for taking so long. It was just because I had to wash my hair AND shave my legs. "Estaba afeitándome." ("I was shaving.") I said. He immediately started laughing. "Que?" ("What?") I asked him, "Que he dicho?" ("What did I say?") He went in to explain that I should have said "depilándome" because the verb "afeitar" is solely used for a man when he is shaving his face. Any other... read more

Suggestions for Spanish Study

Remember, each student learns differently. When I work with students that are in High School or above, I first ask them the style of learning that best suits them. If they are not sure, I use what I call the triple approach. What I mean by that is I have the students say the word or sound, I show the students a phonetic spelling or an example of the sound in an English word, and I have the students write down the word or concept. For those that need to have something more tangible, when it comes down to vocabulary, I prefer having the item present such as a pencil, computer, paper, etc, so the students can feel the item and make the mental connection.

Spanish 1 and 2

Being a tutor is great for someone who loves being a teacher. I just tutored a great kid who came to the lesson prepared with prior knowledge and a thirst for information. He was very honest with me, which helped me pinpoint our very first lesson and make it a success. I can't wait to impart more knowledge next week and hopefully he will be even more successful in his Spanish 2 class next year at his new high school :0)

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