How many times have I heard this: "I'm too old to learn Spanish." Or, "Only kids' brains can absorb new languages." While I would like to just say "phooey!" and leave it at that, I've come to see that adults who say such things are in one of two groups: Traumatized Former Language Students, or Victims of Ageism.
There's a problem with language education in America: we don't do it. Why is it that the average person from any African national speaks four or five languages, with no language lab, little money at the local school, and no fancy computer apps? Because the people around them speak multiple languages: It's part of the culture. But also, sadly, it's because of a history of colonialism and the predominance of English in the world. French, Urdu, English, Patois. These folks switch between numerous linguistic codes with utter facility from an early age. It's a natural part of their culture. People in Africa (and Europe) expect multilingualism...
Most language learning resources focus on the process of what YOU can do to learn a language.
But what I'm interested in is how a language is an organic, living, naturally occurring phenomenon, like rivers, trees, and humans, and what that has to do with efficient language learning, as well as what it has to do with the nature of life/God/the universe (as a bonus).
The mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci used a set of numbers (Fibonacci numbers) to describe how rabbit populations expand. The numbers are 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ... (each number is the sum of the previous two numbers). This "golden" ratio also describes flowers, trees, rivers, seashells, galaxies, and the human face.
Language also grows this way in your mind -- particularly if you're a child. My goal is that it grow that way also in the mind of the adult.
The way it looks is that for every language you grew up speaking there are a number of situations you've experienced in...
These days I'm having so much fun living the dream! While doing phone interpretations today in Spanish/English and allowing my latest intern Alaina to shadow me (a whole new way to look at tutoring), she asked: "When we're listening to the clients, I still don't always know what they're saying? When did you finally start just getting it when you were interpreting?"
I shared with her, smiling, that my first in person interpretation was ROUGH. But to answer her question more directly, from my 20 years experience vantage point, I couldn't remember exactly HOW I finally got over the hump.
As I thought back, I could remember that it has a lot to do with smiling, laughing, being personable, and LOVING THE PEOPLE AND CULTURE you are interpreting. I also recommend finding a close friend (and perhaps even better boyfriend/girlfriend) to get to know up close in your target language.
The most important...
I really love this post about "leer vs. leerse." If you are an advanced Spanish learner, you have certainly come across this scenario. This post beautifully explains the difference between these two forms of the verb "leer."
I have found it very useful to take walks when my Spanish tutoree gets worked up. When we walk we discuss things around in Spanish. For example, we learned colors the other week, so we walked around and she told me the colors of everything she saw around her in Spanish.
In English we have 5 vowels orthographically(in spelling), but phonetically(in terms of speech sounds) there are 14 different vowel sounds! Spanish only has 5 vowel sounds! This can make it rather difficult for Spanish speakers to pronounce English words. For English speakers learning Spanish, this means that we have to narrow down our vowel pronunciations.
When it comes to pronunciation, I always tell my students to practice their vowel pronunciation in Spanish:
a-e-i-o-u is pronounced, in Spanish, "ah"-"ay"-"ee"-"oh"-"oo"
The good news is that these vowels never change in Spanish pronunciation. Once you get those down, you can pronounce any Spanish word with confidence.
1. Whatever the target language is, write it out and leave a space underneath to help with translation.
2. Flashcards for target language. Make 2 set and you can play a matching game with both your native language and language being learned.
3. While using flashcards, you give yourself 3 seconds to translate. You will have 2 piles: 1 for correct answers and the 2nd for the ones that you are having trouble with. Then mix again and try them all.
4. Listen to the target language. Watch TV, listen to the radio or find meet-ups.
5. Use tips that work for you. Tweak them til it fits you!!!
I am new to WyzAnt and I am excited to become a tutor! Let's work together and improve your knowledge and grades!!
Currently, my best subject -though I can tutor in other subjects- is Spanish (bonus: I have Latin Heritage). Please check out my profile for schedule and contact info.
Any questions let me know.
I am comfortable using online sessions and I can work using the online without problem.
Online sessions are not limited to proximity.
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...
While tutoring is about making sure you learn the material we are discussing, it should always have a balanced amount of learning and fun! Here are some ways I keep my tutoring sessions a fun place to be:
1. Games - Learning is most successful when it's fun! When applicable, it can be a great change of pace to incorporate a game into the tutoring session.
2. You get to be the teacher - Nothing shows me that you know your information best than when you can teach it to me! On this day we might switch jobs, and you will pretend to be the tutor helping me, your student.
3. Songs - Sometimes the best way to memorize information is to put it in a song. Acronyms, lists of names, dates or even important people can make their way into your favorite song and then you'll never forget that information.
4. Performances - for my music students, we will spend a lot of time working on technical skills to apply to your music making. But some of the...
If you have reached the present perfect and past perfect tense, you are a good way into your Spanish studies and it's time for a serious talk about grammar.
I don't know of any shortcut around regular practice. However, you can do yourself an enormous favor by taking the time to discover what you mean to say in English before you attempt to construct the grammar in Spanish.
It is possible to learn how to conjugate verbs in the present and past perfect tenses without truly understanding their meaning or where and when to use them in writing or conversation. If you are reading this, you've likely set higher goals for yourself.
Let me begin by introducing the present and past perfect tenses in English. After we've grasped the purpose of these verb forms, we can move quickly and easily through the "rules."
Recall that in the simple present or simple past tense we say "I live" or "I lived." "I love"...
There are a few teaching strategies I've come up with - not invented, but rather discovered - in my time as a tutor that seem to keep the student both interested and focused. Of course, these may not work for other subjects. I teach language, a beautiful art in and of itself!
One strategy is to start with the building blocks of language- the atom, or proton, or electron, or quark (I suppose this is now the smallest accepted particle of matter): vocabulary, both nouns and verbs, with pictures. Then sentence structure, and finally grammar.
With the student, I build the language with them as one would build a model airplane. The key is to keep them involved. Language instruction in any kind of lecture format simply does not work.
The other strategy is something I use with more advanced students, or even ones with some basic foundation of a language. Starting with a text in Spanish - be it Unamuno or Cervantes, we start reading together. Throughout, we stop at vocab...
Are you interested in learning Spanish but need a more structured course to help you get started? I have a great beginning Spanish curriculum that is ideal for the school-age or adult learner. The focus of the curriculum is to learn the basics to actually communicate in the language. Lessons are fun and are infused with language and culture. Contact me for more information on the classes I offer and how I can cater to your individual learning needs.
I highly recommend WordReference.com for Spanish language learners. There you will find excellent and thorough definitions of Spanish words, conjugation charts, and the extremely useful forums. The forums are great for explanations of idiomatic expressions and other topics that a dictionary cannot fully explain. Check it out!
Hola! Soy Wanda Maldonado y te quiero ayudar. Primeramente necesitas un buen ánimo y deseos de aprender. Aprender español no es facíl pero con mi ayuda y con tu disponibilidad se que lo podemos lograr!
Structure is necessary, it keeps things organized but unplanned topics can also present great learning opportunities. If the student is excited about something, we talk about it! There are always chances to learn new vocabulary words and even hit up some practice with grammar. After all, conversation is just that, going with the flow and seeing where things go. Be spontaneous amidst the structure.
Another aspect that is helpful and fun is to center lessons around my students. It's their life and their experience they'll want to share, so we work around that.
Kids games are fun even for adults! It's okay to play "Ispy" (Yo veo) when we are learning colors or talking about specific vocabulary. We even play scrabble for those who really want a challenge. It's a wonderful opportunity to see how many words you already know and learn new ones when I play words you don't recognize. Jeopardy is also another great game I like to include. If...
Monday : HOLA!!! COMO ESTAS?
repeat this 20 times during your day and tomorrow we will learn the second phrase and we will put it together !
Have a great day!
Look for the Latin roots in Spanish and French words that may also be found English. This helps one remember vocabulary and appreciate the connection between languages!
Here are some examples!
1. Aprender is 'to learn' in Spanish (apprendre in French), which corresponds to the English word 'apprentice.'
2. Escribir is to write in Spanish (écrire in French), which corresponds to the English word 'scribe'
(escribe = he writes).
3. Dormir means 'to sleep' in Spanish (dormir in French as well), which corresponds to the English words 'dormitory' and 'dormant'.
4. Abrazar is 'to hug/embrace' in Spanish (embrasser in French), which corresponds to the English word 'embrace'. Keep in mind that in French it means a "kissing embrace" versus a "hugging embrace".
And there are many more! Please add to the list!
It is important to note that the Latin...
Spanish is definitely as exciting language to learn. And as a native speaker not only do I enjoy teaching it but I also love teaching about the cultural history of the Spanish speaking countries.
I can teach other subjects to most dedicated to elementary students but that doesn't mean I can't teach middle or high school students.
Feel free to send me a message with any questions you may have. I ensure you that I will reply to them in a timely manner.