False Beginner in Spanish

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elAmericanoTranquilo
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False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sun Sep 18, 2022 6:54 pm

Hi all,

I decided to learn Spanish for the first time 3 years ago, taking 2 semesters of classes at the local community college, and making it (almost?) to the A2 level. Conversation and improving my speed of responding were the biggest challenges for me.

I resumed my studies last month, with some new motivation: I will be visiting Spain for 2 months in February 2023, and I am seriously considering moving there permanently! This time I decided to go the self-study route, so I'm very grateful to have found this forum. I also have another nice advantage when it comes to motivation: my fiancé is pursuing this journey with me, and she is at a very similar level to me in Spanish. We do some learning together, but also on our own, due to differences in our schedules and learning styles.

I'm following a multi-track approach, with some components inspired by examples from SCMT and this blog post by Ian Carnaghan. I've also discovered many interesting tips from videos and articles by Alexander Arguelles, and I read "How to Learn a Language" by Paul Pimsleur.

My Current Approach:

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Lesson 29
* 30 minutes / 1 lesson per day, first thing in the morning
* I'm using the App version, which has some interactive content in addition to the audio, but I'm mostly using the audio
* I recently started using a handheld bluetooth remote to pause the audio when I'm prompted to speak

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 195 words (Beginner I, Chapter 2/3)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
* I'm mostly using the "Build Your Vocabulary" and "Listening Exercises" materials
* I wanted something I can make incremental progress on with my phone in short bursts and Speakly seems okay for that, so far. It feels like it has more depth than Memrise, which is what I used for this a few years ago.

Consuming Content - Video
* My fiancé and I watch a 30 minute episode of extra@español most evenings. We have watched all 13 episodes, and we're almost finished watching them all a second time. On the first viewing I completely understood maybe 25% of the lines, and now it's maybe 40%? I plan to keep watching the episodes over and over for as long as I can take it :)

Additional routines that I would like to incorporate:

Assimil - Spanish With Ease
* I have the book and the audio files, and I've just finished editing the files as recommended by Dr. Arguelles
* Today I will start with the first lesson!
* I'm going to try to follow the 15 minute per day approach recommended by Dr. Arguelles, based on my notes from his video:
1. Blind shadowing - listen and speak along with text and try to understand it as you say it based on prior lessons
a. Hope to understand 50-60%
2. Listen to the Spanish, Speak Spanish, while looking at English
a. Hope to understand 80-90%
3. Read Spanish, Speak Spanish, tracking along reading English at same time (one hand tracing under Spanish, other under English)
4. Read Spanish, tracking along reading English, and stopping to read grammar notes
a. This is where real learning takes place, it will take more time
b. Make little * marks in book for areas that give you trouble, to remind you to review closely again next time
c. Do the exercises
5. Read it again and make sure that it flows, only follow English if you really need to
a. Should feel pretty good, maybe 1 or 2 points unsure of
6. Blind shadow
a. Should be 90% confident, global understanding
b. Steps 1-6 used 10 minutes of total 15 minutes
7. Review previous lessons
a. During beginning learning stage, do new lesson first, then old ones
b. When reviewing the oldest lesson, spend less time on it - shadow it in Spanish
c. When reviewing more recently completed lessons, reference English translation more

Consuming Content - Reading
I don't have a consistent schedule for this, yet. Two challenges:
* At my beginner level, a lot of the readily available content is too advanced for me
* It's been hard for me to find time to fit this into my schedule
My new plan is to set aside time for this extra reading, but on weekends only
* I found the children's books Elefante y Cerdita at my local library - fun reads for me at my current level
* I also found some Graphic Novels based on classic adventure stories. The language in these is slightly more advanced, but the illustrations help to provide context
* I also have a short soap opera story in comic book form from one of my old text books, with accompanying audio files. I plan to format this so that I can easily see the frames of the comic and hear the audio simultaneously. It's nice because it progresses through A1 to A2.

Building Vocabulary / SRS
I don't have a consistent schedule for this yet, either (beyond what I'm doing in Speakly).
* I've played around with ANKI and found that it's not fun for me.
* I found an easier to use SRS tool called Mochi, and this is the one I think I'll use if I want to do SRS on my phone.
* I'm interested in trying Goldlists, but due to time constraints, I think I will try making it a weekend-only activity.

Next Level Studying
As I finish Pimsleur (121 days from now!) and Assimil (100 days from now!), I will be looking for other content to study. Some potential options:
* Beyond the Basics (Living Language Group): I bought an inexpensive used copy of this to see if it might make a good follow up to Assimil
* Online language exchange or paid tutors, focusing on conversation
* Immersion classes or semi-private lessons during our 2 months in Spain in early 2023.

I like the idea of doing these logs on a monthly basis, as a way to formalize my planning, document my progress, and hold myself accountable. Thanks again for this forum and for any advice or suggestions!
Last edited by elAmericanoTranquilo on Thu Jan 26, 2023 6:16 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby Iversen » Sun Sep 18, 2022 7:13 pm

Welcome to the forum - y buena suerte con tu español
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sat Oct 08, 2022 10:59 pm

Update for October 8:

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Lesson 48
* 45 minutes / 1 lesson per day, first thing in the morning
* I recently started using a handheld bluetooth remote to pause the audio when I'm prompted to speak. I think this is helping a lot. I takes me a little longer to get through the lesson, but it gives me time to think through my response before I hear the answer. It's made it more satisfying and fun for me.

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 272 words (Beginner I, Chapter 2/3)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
* I've ramped this down to a bare minimum most days:
1. Learn 10 new words via the Speakly SRS vocabulary builder
2. Listen to a listening exercise twice while doing chores in the kitchen, reading along with the text occasionally.

I was initially excited about Speakly, but I have less enthusiasm for it now, because some of the SRS exercises seem a bit ambiguous. Also, I like that they have listening exercises, but they are very long (5-8 minutes), with just a single speaker, and the content ramps up very quickly to A2 level by the third exercise. They are definitely challenging for me, though after repeating them 7 or 8 times, they start to become more understandable.

Assimil
* I'm on lesson 21, though I don't think I've found the ideal way for me to go through this material yet. I tried the Arguelles blind shadowing + reviewing older lessons and it wasn't engaging for me. I do, however, like their grammatical explanations. What I've been trying lately is putting about 3 phrases from each lesson into the Readlang SRS flashcard system.

I read through the new lesson each day about 3 times while listening to the audio. Then I read the grammatical explanations, and then I review vocabulary by looking at the Readlang wordlist and doing the flashcards. It gives me more of a feeling of accomplishment, but I'm not sure I'm really getting a lot out of the flashcards.

Spanish Verb Tenses Book (Dorothy Richmond)
This is something I added to my routine, because I wanted a more comprehensive view of conjugation patterns, covering the most important tenses for Spanish. I'm really enjoying working through this book. I remember some of it from my A1 and A2 courses a few years ago, and I have those old textbooks, but I like this book better for a few reasons.

First, it covers the tenses very concisely. Second, it covers what I think are the most common tenses and moods, including things like speaking about the future using ir, the present progressive, and the present perfect. Third, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it comes with an app that makes it very easy to self-test using the book's exercises. In particular, it's been a lot of fun for me to do the paragraph translation exercises at the end of each chapter using the app, because I can record myself over and over until I get the exercise 100% (okay maybe 95%) correct. If I were writing out the answers in the book, I would probably only do it once and settle for grading my initial attempt.

Consuming Content - Video
* My fiancé and I have watched all 13 episodes of extra@español twice now. I plan to watch them a few times more, paying close attention to the details. I've been uploading them into Readlang to help with that. At the moment we're taking a break from Extras and watching Narcos, but the dialogue is a little to advanced for us to follow in detail.

Consuming Content - Music
* I found some karaoke-style covers of classic rock songs in Spanish. Right now I listen to these during my morning workout. Next step is to study the lyrics more closely using Readlang so that I can follow along better. I like this material because the sentences are simple and I know what the songs are about, and the music itself is fun for me to listen to.

Additional routines that I would like to incorporate:

Consuming Content - Reading
* It's been hard for me to find time to fit this into my schedule
* I found the children's books Elefante y Cerdita at my local library - fun reads for me at my current level, but I still need to incorporate them into my routine.
* I've started looking into graded readers (preferably with audio) and also children's stories (Brother's Grimm, Hans Cristian Anderson, Horacio Quiroga) but I haven't started reading any of them yet.
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sat Nov 05, 2022 12:59 am

Update for November 4th:

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Lesson 74
* 1 hour / 1 lesson per day, first thing in the morning
* I'm really enjoying Pimsleur and I'm still using a handheld bluetooth remote to pause the audio when I'm prompted to speak.

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 385 words (Beginner II)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
1. Learn 10 new words via the Speakly SRS vocabulary builder
2. Listen to a listening exercise twice while doing chores in the kitchen, reading along with the text occasionally.

I'm enjoying Speakly as a way to steadily build vocabulary via their idea of a word frequency list. I really like that their examples are in complete sentences, with audio, and that I can answer most questions by speaking. I'm still doing the listening exercises even though they can be a little boring and sometimes are a little above my level.

Assimil
* I'm on lesson 44, though I'm losing enthusiasm for it. I like their grammatical explanations but the dialogs are a bit quirky. I may adjust my strategy again. I have a long list of flashcards from Assimil that I've entered into Reading, but I find it annoying to work through them. Maybe I'll pare down the word list to just the most useful phrases.

Spanish Verb Tenses Book (Dorothy Richmond)
* I'm still enjoying this book, particularly the regular paragraph translation tasks. I do one on most days.

Consuming Content - Video
* My fiancé and I have watched all 13 episodes of extra@español twice now, and we watched Narcos, but it was over our heads We then tried Dueños del Paraíso, which is pretty entertaining, and has the advantage of being a very long series, but again it's a little too advanced for us right now. New plan: That 70s Show. The language looks to be very practical, and there are 200 episodes. Unfortunately the subtitles don't match the dubbing, but I've been able to use the whisper AI tool to generate subtitles that mostly match.

Consuming Content - Music
* I found some karaoke-style covers of classic rock songs in Spanish. Right now I listen to these during my morning workout. I really need to take a more systematic approach with this material. I would like to start focusing on one song each week, studying the translation first, and then playing it throughout the week.

Consuming Content - Reading
* I bought 10 short stories (A1 and A2) by Paco Ardit, along with the audio files. The A1 material looks to be a perfect level of comprehensible input for me, and the audio is very high quality. I've read about 30% of the first book. Next I want to make a routine around this, e.g. read 3 pages every day, and then listen to the audio while I reread each page.

Additional ideas I'd like to incorporate
I've been reading about the language teaching philosophies of Paul Nation and Gianfranco Conti, and I'm working on adapting some of their recommendations into my self study plan. In particular, I signed up for sentencebuilders.com, and I'd like to try working through some of the exercises associated with one sentence builder over the course of each week.
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Fri Dec 09, 2022 8:11 am

Update for December 8th:

Over the past month I've stuck to my core tracks of daily Pimsleur and Speakly, and mixed in some other content irregularly. I also spent a bunch of time identifying and preparing content for future study. That part has been fun and successful - now all I need is the time and energy to work through the extra content!

I will have more time soon, though - I'll be taking a 2 month trip to Spain in February, during which I can study Spanish full-time. I've started to look into options for immersion classes or private lessons while I'm there. I'm curious as to how big of a leap I might be able to make if I arrive there having finished Pimsleur and Assimil and then take some intensive courses.

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Lesson 108
* 1 hour / 1 lesson per day, first thing in the morning
* Pimsleur is a lot of fun for me. I know I'm not retaining it all, and I require a little extra time to respond, but it's very satisfying when I get something right. I'm not sure what I'll do after I finish the remaining 42 lessons. I'm hoping I like FSI as much as Pimsleur. From what I understand that it's more intense and more challenging.

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 540 words (Beginner III)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
1. Learn 10 new words* via the Speakly SRS vocabulary builder
2. Listen to a listening exercise twice while doing chores in the kitchen, reading along with the text occasionally.

* One thing I noticed is that I'm not actually learning 10 new words a day - I'm scoring 10 points in the Speakly vocabulary builder, but some of those words are repeats. According to The Word Brain, a good learning pace would be 20 new words per day, in order to achieve a vocabulary of 10,000 words (not including cognates) in 25 months, so I'm clearly not keeping up with that pace. Not through Speakly at least. I did take comfort when I learned that Speakly teaches the 4,000 most frequently used words, because I like using the app.

Assimil
* I'm on lesson 61, after skipping a few days. I realized I was dreading Assimil for a few reasons: I was doing it late at night when I was tired, I was doing it at my desk in "serious study" mode, and I was drilling some pretty tough flashcards I made of the Assimil content in Readlang. I'm back onto it now, after giving myself permission to approach it more casually.

I also put the Assimil content into Flashcards Deluxe. My new routine is I enter the English translation of the day's lesson into the flashcards app and listen to the whole passage a few times and then listen and read each sentence within Flashcards Deluxe. It feels more fun to me this way. Then I do the second wave lesson, though I'm not advanced enough to actually translate English back to Spanish as they recommend.

I know that I haven't worked through Assimil as intensely and with as much repetition as recommended by The Word Brain, or by Alexander Arguelles, etc. But I figure something is better than nothing, and I do end up remembering some of the vocabulary and grammar tips. I've started doing some of my Assimil flashcards in Readlang again, but limiting the review size to 8 at a time to make it a little easier.

Spanish Verb Tenses Book (Dorothy Richmond)
* I like this book and its paragraph translation tasks, but I've dropped it from my routine for the moment.

Consuming Content - Listening and Reading
* I finished the first book in my 10 pack of graded readers by Paco Ardit, and I'm 50% through the second one. These have been great for me - I read ahead first and then listen to the audio. I want to make more time for this.
* For the past 2 weeks, on most days I've been listening to about 10 minutes of the stories from https://aiopop.com/#spanish, while reading along, or just listening while doing chores. The author also recommends heavy repetition and using a google sheet to track those details. It seems like a good idea, but I haven't incorporated that yet. The stories are interesting and there are associated vocabulary lists, but I haven't actually studied those.

(I have a nagging feeling that I should be doing more vocabulary study, but I haven't found a fun way to do it yet)

Consuming Content - Video
* From a log on this site (sorry, I don't remember whose edit - thanks to grayson!) I learned about a fantastic series called Español Sí. Lots of interesting dialogs that are just slightly above my level, along with grammar lessons in spanish. I've watched 4 episodes and I think there are 66 more!

Consuming Content - Flashcards from Videos
* I had a lot of fun with this, though it was time consuming. I used an app called Knowclip on my computer to create subs2srs-style flashcards from two shows - the first episode of Extr@s and the first episode of That 70s Show. It's a time consuming process, but making the cards provides exposure to the material and to the translation, and the end result is a really nice deck with audio and captions in both languages. I'm excited to do more of this and to dig into the decks that I've made so far.

Consuming Content - Music
* I still listen to covers of classic rock songs in Spanish during my morning workout. I want to find the time to turn some of these songs into flashcards so I can really learn them.

Language Learning Research
I'm still mining old threads on this site for tips, and reading various books about language learning. So far I think my favorites are the ones by Paul Pimsleur, Paul Nation, and Bernd Sebastian Kamps. I'm also halfway through "Babel No More," and Barry Farber's book.

Reading "The Word Brain" was inspiring to me, because while it explained that thousands of hours of study are needed to achieve fluency, it also made it clear that it's a very achievable goal for almost all of us, given enough time and dedication.

Overall, I'm excited because I'm starting to be able to work with content that is a mix of being comprehensible to me, or just over my level but accessible via translations and context (described by EMK as Cheating and Consolidating)
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sat Jan 07, 2023 11:51 pm

Update for January 7th:

I'm now about 5 weeks away from my trip to Spain. We're splitting our time between 2 different cities, and the overall trip will last 2 months, so I'm thinking I could take a 3 week intensive course in each city, maybe A2 level for the first one and B1 for the second?

I was reading more about the CEFR system and the DELE and SIELE exams. I like the idea of taking the SIELE as a form of self assessment, after I've returned from the trip. Looking through a SIELE exam prep book also gave me a better sense of what knowledge is needed for each CEFR level.

Related to this, I have gained a better understanding of the challenge of mastering verb tenses in Spanish. I think I now know enough now to "see around the corner" in order to understand what I need to learn. I was actually pleasantly surprised to realize that I've been exposed to the basics of 10 tenses or moods, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the conjugations for many of those don't seem too complicated, and they are sticking nicely in my brain.

This feeling was solidified through something new that I added to my study routine - verb conjugation practice using linguno.com. I really like this site because it shows the verbs in the context of full sentences, and it has audio, and it let's me select a collection of tenses and moods to practice, along with a custom set of verbs (I started with the 100 most popular).

I was motivated to work verb conjugation practice into my routine after I read "The Word Brain." Prior to that, of course I knew it was something important, but that book explained it as something that can be easily trained and conquered. I had tried using the conjugato app previously, but I found linguno to be a really nice upgrade, for reasons mentioned above. Linguno also passes the crucial "fun test" for me - I make myself do at least 2 sessions of 10 verbs every day, but I often find myself wanting to continue beyond that.

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Lesson 133/150
* 1.5 hours / 1 lesson per day, first thing in the morning
* As I approached the end of the course, I tweaked my Pimsleur routine a bit. Now, each day before I listen to the next lesson, I do the 30 or so item "quick match" quiz that the app provides for the previous day's lesson. Then I also do their new "voice coach" exercises for the previous day's lesson as well. This adds another 30 minutes to my routine, but the extra repetition and being able to read while listening and get feedback on pronunciation has really given me a more solid sense that I'm internalizing the material.

After I get to the end of the Pimsleur course, I plan to work through all of the lessons again, but only the quick match and voice coach functionality, as a way of practicing fluency. This should cut my time spent on Pimsleur down to 30 minutes per day, and I plan to replace the other hour with FSI.

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 665 words (Beginner III)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
1. Complete 10 exercises in the Speakly SRS vocabulary builder.
2. Listen to a listening exercise twice while doing chores in the kitchen, reading along with the text occasionally.

Conjugation Practice
10-20 minutes each day on https://linguno.com, taking conjugation quizzes covering a mix of 10 different tenses and moods.

Assimil
* I'm on lesson 88, though sometimes I end skipping my extra step of reviewing cloze deletion cards in Readlang. I also again read some of the Assimil threads on this site and the original Arguelles post on HTAL about how he uses Assimil. It's much more intense (more repetition and memorization) than the way I'm using it.

As I finish up Assimil, I'm trying to decide if I should make another pass over it (beyond finishing the second wave) but do it more intensively, or move on to another course that targets intermediates (e.g. "Beyond the Basics" from Living Language, or "Enjoy Spanish" from Teach Yourself)

Grammar Books
As I prepare to take immersion classes in Spain that will be taught only in Spanish, I was reminded by the advice from "The Word Brain" to only take grammar lessons from instructors who explain it from the point of view of your native language. Along those lines, I want to build up a solid base of knowledge on A2 and B1 grammar before that material is presented to me solely in Spanish, so at that point it will be more like a review.

So, in addition to Spanish Verb Tenses by Dorothy Richmond, I spent some time looking at other books. I read a few chapters from the books in the "Practice Makes Perfect" series by Eric Vogt. He has 3 books that focus on specific areas that I know I need to work on - becoming fluent with the various past tenses and choosing the correct one, learning how and when to use the subjunctive, and mastering irregular verbs. I liked the style of the books and I plan to dig into them more and do the exercises.

I also borrowed the McGraw-Hill hybrid English versions of the Gramática de uso Español books from Luis Aragonés and Ramón Palencia from my local library. They are very comprehensive and the format is nice. I wish I had the time to work through them!

Consuming Content - Listening and Reading
* I finished 2 books in my 10 pack of graded readers by Paco Ardit, and I'm on the 3rd one. I read them first and then listen to the audio a few times afterwards. I also made flashcards for words from the books that I didn't know. Interestingly, for the first book there were about 100 words I didn't know, out of 3500 or so total words, meaning that I knew 97.1% of words in the book - right in the target range for comprehensible input!

* I'm also still supplementing my daily listening with about 10 minutes of the stories from https://aiopop.com/#spanish, mostly just listening while doing chores.

Consuming Content - Video
* I still really like Español Sí, I just haven't had the time spend watching more of it yet.
* For fun, my fiancé have been watching the HBO show "White Lotus" with Spanish audio and subtitles. The show has been pretty slow going and simple, but the nice side effect of that is the Spanish is also very slow and simple. And, the subtitles match the audio exactly. I also found a few other dubbed shows on HBO where the Spanish audio matches the subtitles, notably "Southpark" and "Flight of the Conchords", with the latter including songs in Spanish!

Consuming Content - Flashcards from Videos
* No real progress on this this month, although interestingly, when I went back to review the audio flashcards I made for Extr@s, I found that the speaking sounded incredibly slow to me. I had known that they were speaking slowly by design to make it more understandable to beginners, but I take it as a sign of my progress that it now sounds so slow to my Spanish listening ear.

Consuming Content - Music
* No real progress on this - I want to find the time to pick one song to start and turn it into flashcards so I can really learn it.

Books on Language Learning
* "Success with Foreign Languages" by Earl W. Stevik - pretty interesting read, discussing what works for different people when learning a language, using examples from interviews with real students, and tying it back to academic theory. I've almost made it to the last chapter, in which the author will summarize his learnings and make recommendations.

* "How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately" by Boris Shekhtman - short book describing a few simple but very powerful ideas around how to better handle conversations in your L2. I'm going to combine the advice from this book along with some of the suggestions from "Language Hacking Spanish" by Benny Lewis to create a few scripts that can be the basis of islands of conversation that I will try to use when I'm visiting Spain next month.
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby stell » Sun Jan 08, 2023 1:56 am

I’m enjoying your log! I see a lot of my own Spanish journey in yours. I don’t know if you’re looking for any other resources, or if this one will fit your current level, but I found that Notes in Spanish intermediate gave me a HUGE comprehension boost. I would listen to an episode three or four times during my commute, and each time it would be easier to understand. While I struggled my way through the first few episodes, I found that I understood very well after listening to all of them.

https://www.notesinspanish.com/category/intermediate-spanish-podcast/
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sun Jan 08, 2023 8:03 am

stell wrote:I’m enjoying your log! I see a lot of my own Spanish journey in yours. I don’t know if you’re looking for any other resources, or if this one will fit your current level, but I found that Notes in Spanish intermediate gave me a HUGE comprehension boost. I would listen to an episode three or four times during my commute, and each time it would be easier to understand. While I struggled my way through the first few episodes, I found that I understood very well after listening to all of them.

https://www.notesinspanish.com/category/intermediate-spanish-podcast/
Thank you for your encouragement and for the reminder about Notes in Spanish! I actually checked out their beginner material earlier in my journey, and their intermediate stuff may be worth another look.

I also checked out your log, and I can relate to your comment about newscasts not being so fun to listen to... I saw you mentioned the nómadas podcast - I have that one on my list as well, for when I get a little more advanced.

At the moment though, first on my list for when I have extra time is Español Sí :)
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby elAmericanoTranquilo » Sat Feb 04, 2023 2:29 pm

Update for February 4th:

I leave for Spain tomorrow! I signed up for a 3 week / 20 hour per week intensive course with up to 7 other students. It sounds like the class may end up being smaller than that, which would be okay with me. I also considered 1 on 1 lessons for 5 to 10 hours per week, but decided to err on the side of more time, in order to force myself into more time practicing conversation. I hope to find other ways to converse with native speakers outside of class, but this should give me a base.

As far as my study program goes, the big news this month is that I completed both Pimsleur and Assimil! I've been looking for interesting courses to fill those slots in my daily routine but I haven't yet completely settled on what to include next.

I looked at FSI (I have the digital download of Platiquemos) and I'm interested in working through it, but I decided to wait until April for that, after I've returned for Spain. In the meantime I've been listening some to the audio from Living Language Beyond the Basics. I also have the intermediate level book Enjoy Spanish with audio and I'm looking forward to working through it, but I think it may be a little more challenging, so I'm doing Beyond the Basics first.

I've replaced my daily Pimsleur listen and respond time slot with Learning Spanish Like Crazy (intermediate). The level has been really good for me - it seems like it picks up right where Pimsleur level 5 leaves off. The format of each lesson is a little different than Pimsleur, with more repetition within each individual lesson, and more targeted focus within each lesson, but that's fine with me. The audio quality is good, too. I got it through an Audible trial, so I was able to listen to samples beforehand. Some of the voices on the other versions of the courses were a little grating to my ear, but I like the voices on the package that I picked.

Pimsleur Castilian Spanish
* Current Progress: Completed 150/150 lessons, review of old lessons: 15/150
* 10 mins of review each day, doing the Quick Match and Voice Coach exercises in the App - 3 lessons per day, for fluency practice. So far the answers are coming to me very quickly, so it's a lot of fun.

Speakly App
* Current Progress: 744 words (Beginner III)
* 10-20 minutes per day, in the evenings
1. Complete 10 exercises in the Speakly SRS vocabulary builder.
2. Listen to a listening exercise twice while doing chores in the kitchen, reading along with the text occasionally.

Conjugation Practice
10-20 minutes each day on https://linguno.com, taking conjugation quizzes covering a mix of 10 different tenses and moods.

Learning Spanish Like Crazy
40-60 minutes a day on Intermediate lessons - started at 31, now on 35.

Assimil
I went through all 100 lessons and the first 50 a second time. I had planned to continue with a 2nd pass review, but so far it hasn't happened. I may try to work it back into my routine but I haven't figured out how yet.

Beyond the Basics
Lesson 2/20. I like listening to the dialogs (I edited out pauses using Audacity) on a loop, 3 listens per lesson at a time. They are a pretty good level for me. The speech is fast but there are many long passages that I can understand. For the passages that go over my head, I review the translation later and then re-listen.

Grammar Books
Not much work on this lately, though I may read some of the Eric Vogt books on the flight over to Spain.

Consuming Content - Listening and Reading
* I finished 3 books in my 10 pack of graded readers by Paco Ardit.

* I'm also still supplementing my daily listening with about 10 minutes of the stories from https://aiopop.com/#spanish, mostly just listening while doing chores.

Consuming Content - Video
* I still really like Español Sí, planning to binge watch it on the plane :)
* Finished watching White Lotus with Spanish audio and subtitles and started on The Last of Us. Also watched a few episodes of Dueños del parisío. For all of these shows I probably understand 40% of the dialog and 80% of the plot.

Consuming Content - Flashcards from Videos
* I worked for a couple of hours on flashcards for a Flight of the Conchords episode, using the free Knowclip tool. I stopped though because I think I was spending too much time trying to make the cards perfect. I think I'm going to try again by just accepting the auto-generated cards and see if those are good enough for studying.
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Le Baron
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Location: Nederland
Languages: English (N), Fr, NL, De, Eo, Sranantongo (rusty but works).
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Re: False Beginner in Spanish

Postby Le Baron » Sat Feb 04, 2023 3:19 pm

I'm a bit late now you're already leaving tomorrow! However, when you're done with Pimsleur/Assimil, have a look at aioLinguaSpanish. It's subject matter might annoy some people, but they use a form of Spanish (Castilian) which is very current, with vocabulary and ways of speaking that are current rather than formal. You;ve rocketed through Pimsleur/Assimil so you might even find that the audio feels slow(ish), but give it a whirl. Their interest is in listening/speaking for students who have already completed the basis of a language.

It's free. https://aiopop.com/
1 x
Reading - where I alter the target to meet the achievement: 0 / 0
Duolingo Esperanto from French - for fun: 39 / 45
Duolingo Créole haïtien - for fun: 2 / 23
No matter how much you push the envelope, it'll still be stationery..


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