40something Spanish Log

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SCMT
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40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Thu May 30, 2019 9:10 pm

Hello all! I’m a 46 year old trying to learn Spanish, and I am starting this log to track my progress and receive any useful feedback from knowledgeable forum members. I live in the US, and my company has operations in the Spanish speaking world, so after a couple of previous false starts I have decided to learn the language to a point where I can have conversations with my professional colleagues and read work documents, news items, and literature in Spanish. I have been actively studying since January, so about 4 or 5 months.

I am on the verge of completing Pimsleur Latin American Spanish, with about 10 lessons left in unit V.

I am working through Assimil’s Spanish with Ease, currently on about unit 35. I have also been playing with scriptorum for past lessons and echoing the audio without text, although I’ve just started, so I’m not sure how effective these techniques are for me.

I try to read something every day, usually whatever article in El Pais catches my eye. I use an online dictionary to help me through readings, and I do them intensively for the first few paragraphs, extensively once that becomes tiring or tedious. I try to list any unknown words that seem important or keep recurring for later study, although I'm still working out that method.

I plan to start tutoring sessions on italki as soon as I finish Pimsleur. I have also dabbled with Spanishpod101 and Madrigal’s Magic Key, mainly for the end of section drills. I’ve looked at FSI but haven’t really engaged in it. I tried Duolingo but did not think it was helping me very much.

I believe reading is ahead of my other skills. I know I need practice producing both speech and writing, and I still have trouble parsing words in spoken Spanish, which requires conscious thought, which gets me behind in conversation. I also understand the verb tenses pretty well but confuse them terribly when producing any of them that require “haber” in any form when speaking. I’m really hoping regular italki sessions will help with these elements.

So thanks to anybody taking an interest in this project, and please feel free to contribute any comments or advice you think might be helpful!
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jeff_lindqvist
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby jeff_lindqvist » Fri May 31, 2019 12:20 pm

Welcome to the forum! There are many Spanish speakers here. Iguanamon has a log where you'll find good advice in general, and about Romance languages in particular (including Spanish).

One resource which I've found very useful is Veintemundos which has short articles - audio+transcript. A variety of accents are used. (Unfortunately the site seems to be down at the moment.)

¡Buena suerte!
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Cavesa
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Cavesa » Fri May 31, 2019 12:23 pm

Welcome, SCMT!

I'm looking forward to reading your log! It looks very promising!

For those verb tenses and their use, I'd recommend either the books Gramatica de Uso del Espanol (the lowest level is yellow, you can't mistake it for anything else, the book taught me so much!), or Kwiziq.com (or both).
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SCMT
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri May 31, 2019 1:38 pm

jeff_lindqvist wrote:Welcome to the forum! There are many Spanish speakers here. Iguanamon has a log where you'll find good advice in general, and about Romance languages in particular (including Spanish).

One resource which I've found very useful is Veintemundos which has short articles - audio+transcript. A variety of accents are used. (Unfortunately the site seems to be down at the moment.)

¡Buena suerte!


Thank you, jeff_lindqvist. I have read iguanamon's article on the multi-track approach and found it very interesting. I will be sure to check out his log. I am not familiar with veintemundos, but it sounds like something that would be very helpful for listening practice. I will definitely try it.


Cavesa wrote:Welcome, SCMT!

I'm looking forward to reading your log! It looks very promising!

For those verb tenses and their use, I'd recommend either the books Gramatica de Uso del Espanol (the lowest level is yellow, you can't mistake it for anything else, the book taught me so much!), or Kwiziq.com (or both).


And thanks, Cavesa. I have seen "Gramatica" recommended on this site before, but I assumed it was a collection of grammar rules and usage. On second look, it appears that it is more of an exercise book, which may be exactly what i need. Is this correct?

For example, something like "La fiesta habria sido mas divertido, si no huberia llovido" The party would have been more fun if it hadn't rained, I understand and can explain the grammar points, and i can translate it into English, given a little thought. Producing it would be a mess of tenses and participles and gerunds. I think that is one weakness of Pimsleur (which I have enjoyed very much, and which has improved my Spanish immensely.) You practice creating constructions like that maybe 10 times, and you may revisit something similar a couple of dozen in later lessons, but I really need to do conditional imperfect 1,000 times and conditional perfect 1,000 times in different iterations both together and apart.

So it is a hole in my development that I recognize, brought on by the method I've chosen, and I appreciate the suggestion for a remedy.
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Kraut » Fri May 31, 2019 1:45 pm

These are my favourite tools for online work:

diccionario reverso
https://diccionario.reverso.net/espanol ... 20a%20rabo
Can be made into a pop-up dictionary if used together with "Pop-Up Dictionary by R Leung"

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TransOver

quickest online pop-up translator

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... nfo-dialog


Spanish verbs

conjugation and example sentences (with audio)
123teachme

https://www.123teachme.com/
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Fenderman
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Fenderman » Fri May 31, 2019 1:57 pm

Welcome to the forum! Another serious of books you could add to your daily routine for studying grammar are the "Practice Makes Perfect" series. They're very good and the chapters aren't too long so you could knock one or two out at a time.

Good luck and I'll be following your log!
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SCMT
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby SCMT » Fri May 31, 2019 2:02 pm

Kraut wrote:These are my favourite tools for online work:

diccionario reverso
https://diccionario.reverso.net/espanol ... 20a%20rabo
Can be made into a pop-up dictionary if used together with "Pop-Up Dictionary by R Leung"

--
TransOver

quickest online pop-up translator

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/deta ... nfo-dialog


Spanish verbs

conjugation and example sentences (with audio)
123teachme

https://www.123teachme.com/


Thank you, Kraut.

I've avoided pop-up dictionaries under the theory that actually having to look up a word might help with retention of it, but I really can't say how much that is happening. I typically have El Pais open in one window and SpanishDict.com in another, or a physical newspaper and the dictionary on my phone. I'd love to hear about other methods, though.


Fenderman wrote:Welcome to the forum! Another serious of books you could add to your daily routine for studying grammar are the "Practice Makes Perfect" series. They're very good and the chapters aren't too long so you could knock one or two out at a time.

Good luck and I'll be following your log!


And thanks, Fenderman. I will look at them as well.
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Cavesa
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Cavesa » Fri May 31, 2019 3:01 pm

SCMT wrote:And thanks, Cavesa. I have seen "Gramatica" recommended on this site before, but I assumed it was a collection of grammar rules and usage. On second look, it appears that it is more of an exercise book, which may be exactly what i need. Is this correct?


Yes, that's correct. It uses the not unusual system of doublepages. On the left side, you've got an overview of the grammar feature with examples (which I think are excellently chosen), on the right side the exercises. Key at the back. I think this is one of the best resources, very learner friendly, rich in content, and also great value for the price. The A level is the basic one, but it is so thorough and it really helped me improve a lot!
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Brun Ugle
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Brun Ugle » Fri May 31, 2019 6:16 pm

I agree with Cavesa about the grammar workbook series. I’ve done the A and B levels so far and found them excellent. I also used the FSI courses to drill the grammar. That really helped me to make the verb tenses more automatic.
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Kraut
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Re: 40something Spanish Log

Postby Kraut » Fri May 31, 2019 9:00 pm

free intermediate grammar

eleFANTE. GRAMÁTICA DEL ESPAÑOL COMO LENGUA EXTRANJERA, NIVEL B

https://marcoele.com/gramatica-b/

beginners

papELEs. GRAMÁTICA DEL ESPAÑOL COMO LENGUA EXTRANJERA, NIVEL A

https://marcoele.com/gramatica-a/
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