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On vacation in Mexico? Attempting to hold a conversation with a Spanish-speaking in-law? Have you already been living here for years? EVERY language has its "common mistakes foreigners make when trying to speak it". Avoid these 3 VERY embarrassing mistakes while speaking Spanish... 1. Number one on my list would have to be the very common mistake in translating the English word, "preservatives". In Spanish you should NOT say, "preservativos"!!! Unless of course you meant to say, "condoms"... CORRECT TRANSLATION: "conservantes" or "aditivos". 2. What would you guess is the Spanish word for, "embarrassed"? "Embarazado"? Not quite, because this word means, "pregnant male"! CORRECT TRANSLATION: "apenado/a" or "avergonzado/a". 3. "Estoy caliente" said Julie, as she took her jacket off at her fiancé's family reunion in Guadalajara, Mexico... read more

10 Tips to Advance Your Second-language Learning Process Speaking a second language is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal. Not only is it fun and cool, but it opens doors to experience another culture in new, exciting and personal ways. And if you're working on speaking a language that others speak in your community, it can also open doors for you professionally. So, if you're itching for some tips to help advance your language learning process, have no fear…I'm here to share with you 10 of my trusty tips for how I learned to speak my second language! (How well do I speak it, you ask? Well, native Spanish speakers often think I’m a native Spanish speaker, just to give you some context.) These are all things that I did myself, so I’m confident in recommending them all to you! :) Let’s get started with some specific tips, and then move on to my more “philosophical” and general advice: 1. Watch television shows, movies and videos in your target language For those working... read more

I'm new to tutoring and to WyzAnt, but I know I can make tutoring and lessons fun just by using the knowledge I have and what I have learned from my classes in Education.  Spanish is about communicating and the best way to learn Spanish is to use it in real-world applications. So, here are my top 5 suggestions on how to make lessons fun in Spanish:   1.  Put down the text book! Talk to the student as if you are having a real conversation   2.  When learning about everyday objects around the house have the student create labels in Spanish and post them on things such as:  Door, bed, slippers, toothbrush, ect.  So, that they will see them everyday and learn the words as they use them.   3. Find a book, comic book, or any other type of reading that interests them instead of just have them reading straight out of the textbook.  If it's a topic they are interested in they will want to read it!  They can read it to... read more

There are many arguments schools give for having Latin as a language course: Its being the basis for a host of other romance languages; its use in the legal or medical fields; and even (which is a bit far-fetched in my mind) for forming the mind to function more logically. Students who are obliged to take Latin will inevitably question reasons such as these or any reason a teacher or headmaster might give for studying Latin... and rightly so. If students are not satisfied with the answers teachers give, new answers should be sought, answers that get to the heart of the matter of “why Latin?” Anyone who speaks a handful of different languages can tell you that when they speak those languages they can sometimes take on a very different character. When I am with a group of Italian friends my way of communicating becomes much more ebullient, my need for personal space is instantly shed and an exaggerated intonation is applied to every word I say. Moreover, my facial features are... read more

Duolingo is a free website and mobile app for language learning. Lessons include translating sentences, identifying objects, repeating words and much more. It is a useful tool that I have been having a lot of fun with lately. I recommend to check it out if you are studying English as a second language, foreign languages, or you enjoy learning in your free time. 

Learning a second language is not an easy task, but there are some things you can do at home to help your change the subtitles to be read in your target language so you can read as well as listen to the words in the film that are spoken at a fast pace. The World Cup is on TV right now and you can set your TV to Spanish language and subtitles as well to really get a great listening and reading exercise.  There is French Tv as well, called TV 5 that yo can get through your cable company or directly through TV5.    I love foreign films and I encourage students to try and watch a foreign film to help their listening skills. They don't talk to fast, you listen too slowly… its a skill one has to practice and learn. 

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: -names -age -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: -ser -tener -vivir -estar -hacer -gustar -llamarse -ir   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 a great... read more

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