Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Ongoing language-learning challenges, and team challenge logs (but not individual logs)
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Allison
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Allison » Mon May 30, 2016 3:03 pm

Allison wrote:May monthly challenge
May Day, International Workers' Day, Cinco de Mayo, May the Fourth/Star Wars Day—there seem to be a bunch of holidays this week, so my challenge for May is to find out about a holiday celebrated in a Spanish speaking country and tell us about it. It could be a holiday unique to that country/countries or maybe one celebrated elsewhere too but with specific traditions or meaning in that country/countries. The holiday itself does not have to be in May.


El Día de los Santos Inocentes es una fiesta como “April Fools Day” en países hispanoparlantes. Es el 28 de diciembre. Unas personas gastan bromas a otras personas y muchos periódicos y sitios web publican noticias de mentiras que les hacen reír a sus lectores.

Como muchas otras fiestas con costumbres divertidos, esta fiesta tiene una historia triste. Es una fiesta cristiana sobre la masacre de todos niños que tenían dos años o menos viviendo alrededor Belén porque el reino había oído que Jesucristo era una amenaza al reino y creía que Jesucristo estaba en el pueblo.
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Correcciones son bienvenidas.

Spanish Super Challenge, as of March 1, 2017:
SC: 1598 / 5000 pages
SC: 3771 / 9000 minutes
SC: 305 / 610 days

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Allison
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Allison » Tue Jun 07, 2016 3:11 am

Hey Team Spanish!

I think I'll take a break from the monthly challenges unless/until inspiration strikes (or someone suggests something).

Meanwhile, the one year anniversary of my re-starting Spanish was last month. It's a little surprising to think of the difference between a year ago and now. I started off slow, just going to class once a week and doing my homework just before class each week. It's been about six months since I started branching out from classes to self-study and using native materials. And now I'm engrossed in my telenovela, reading Isabel Allende, and having conversations entirely in Spanish! I'm looking forward to seeing where I'll be at the end of the "Total Annihilation" of 2016.
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Correcciones son bienvenidas.

Spanish Super Challenge, as of March 1, 2017:
SC: 1598 / 5000 pages
SC: 3771 / 9000 minutes
SC: 305 / 610 days

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Hank
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Hank » Tue Jun 07, 2016 1:03 pm

Allison wrote:Hey Team Spanish!

I think I'll take a break from the monthly challenges unless/until inspiration strikes (or someone suggests something).


Estoy de acuerdo. Fue divertido, pero no hay muchas personas que participar. Prácticamente sólo los dos. Voy a continuar a leer tu registro de la lengua. ¡Mucha suerte! ¡Viva español!
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Allison » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:28 pm

We're halfway through TAC! Time for a roll call—if you're still around, please check in and tell us how it's going.

I've taken a look back at my log from the beginning of 2016. Back then, I hadn't started any "real" books or TV shows. I'd never really written anything longer than a short paragraph and even those took a lot out of me. I'd never had a "real" conversation entirely in Spanish. All of those have changed.

Through the months, I've gone through a couple cycles of the psychological ups and downs of "learning Spanish is so much fun!" to "I don't think I'll ever improve" and back again. At the moment, I think I'm in the former with reading and the latter with listening. With reading, I'm reading a John Grisham novel translated to Spanish without looking anything up and I'm enjoying it greatly. I'm a bit restless when it comes to my listening. I'm continuing to watch La reina del sur but I also want to branch out and watch or listen to other things. I believe Hank has experienced the following as well: it feels like watching La reina del sur has magically improved my listening comprehension of everything that's not La reina del sur much more than my comprehension of La reina del sur itself.

My productive skills are also much improved: my conversation class has made me more comfortable speaking, and my writing has improved enough that I can just jot out a few lines if I need to and I don't feel the need to get it corrected because I'm confident it's close enough to correct to not be confusing. In general, a big part of my improvement is that it takes me a lot less energy to do the same things now than it did before.

The bottom line, and the most important part, is that I'm still working on my Spanish. How about you?
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Correcciones son bienvenidas.

Spanish Super Challenge, as of March 1, 2017:
SC: 1598 / 5000 pages
SC: 3771 / 9000 minutes
SC: 305 / 610 days

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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby James29 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 9:48 pm

I'm still here too. I'm mostly just reading books, listening to the news in the morning, going to a weekly meetup and an occasional skype chat. I wish I could watch more TV, but I just don't have the time or willpower to sit in front of a screen if I don't have to. I'm doing something in Spanish almost every day, but I've changed my priorities a bit this year and focusing my primary effort on some professional and personal things I need to accomplish. I'm at a point where I don't mind if I don't advance for a while. I'll probably get back into full Spanish mode in the new year.
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Tomás
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Tomás » Mon Jul 04, 2016 10:24 pm

I've been studying Spanish for nine or ten months now. I have done Spanish every day this year, usually about 1-2 hours per day. Most days I get at least 30 minutes of listening and another 30 of reading, minimum. I am studying grammar every now and then out of the Madrigal book, but still have some more verb stuff to learn. I probably let that slide for too long.

I read the news everyday at VOA and El Pais, and listen to either VOA or NHK news as well. I have started a number of fiction books, but I can't finish them for lack of interest. I am now reading Bernal Diaz del Castillo's memoir of being a conquistador and invading Mexico, written in the late 1500s when he was pretty old. I only understand 80% of the words, but it's enough to know what the basic story is. This old guy definitely keeps my interest.

My goal for this summer was to do FSI and start talking on Italki, but I haven't done that yet. I need to kick myself and get that started. It's been too easy just to passively take in the native materials I like and not do anything else.

I read in the news today that some guy fell off of Machu Picchu yesterday. And just yesterday I was watching the dubbed National Geographic documentary on Machu Picchu and wondering how Incas with vertigo fared there. I was getting vertigo just watching the show. What an absolutely amazing place. Please try not to fall off of it.
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Hank
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Hank » Tue Jul 05, 2016 3:45 pm

I'm still here and still plugging along.

Allison wrote:I'm continuing to watch La reina del sur but I also want to branch out and watch or listen to other things. I believe Hank has experienced the following as well: it feels like watching La reina del sur has magically improved my listening comprehension of everything that's not La reina del sur much more than my comprehension of La reina del sur itself.


That's really weird isn't it? I have good days and bad days with La reina del sur. I watched an episode last night where I followed along fairly well except for Patricia and Fátima. I'm slowly getting the hang of Patricia's speech, but Fátima continues to be a complete mystery to me. I found an interview with the actress that plays Fátima. She's difficult to understand even when she's not using whatever accent she's using in the show.
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Allison
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Allison » Mon Dec 05, 2016 3:12 pm

If you're following this thread and haven't seen this thread yet, please check it out. iguanamon has suggested a new Spanish study group, similar to the French group. I think it's a great idea. I joined TAC in 2016 because I wanted a Spanish-learning community and study group, but I've come to see where it can go wrong, as can be seen by the fact that this is the first post in this thread in five months! I think a permanent, revolving group that doesn't have requirements for participation can have a better outcome.

Edit: And iguanamon has created the Spanish Group!

Regardless of my TAC disillusionment, I do want our team to finish out this year strong, so I'm going to ask everyone to post here sometime over the next month, reflecting on your 2016 TAC. Fair warning that mine will probably be in English, because I've had some trouble over the past month or two carving out time and energy for my Spanish.
Last edited by Allison on Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
0 x
Correcciones son bienvenidas.

Spanish Super Challenge, as of March 1, 2017:
SC: 1598 / 5000 pages
SC: 3771 / 9000 minutes
SC: 305 / 610 days

Tomás
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Tomás » Mon Dec 05, 2016 4:20 pm

I started learning Spanish in fall 2015. At the start of the this year my goal was to have learned grammar, done FSI and begun language exchanges in the summer. None of that happened. FSI is tedious, and I have not found the motivation yet to do Skyping--although I still want to and plan to someday. In my defense, I had a long illness during the summer that sapped my energy for difficult studying. Instead, I watched the James Bond movie marathon on a Spanish tv channel.

On the bright side, I did do at least some small amount of Spanish reading and listening pretty much every single day of the year. It has become a habit for me. At this rate my improvement will be slow, but steady. I can now read most news and magazine stories and some novels. I am reading "El Tunel" right now without a dictionary, and have no trouble following the story. Great book, BTW.

On the listening side, I can understand most news and political shows on TV. "Al Punto" on Sunday mornings is my favorite Spanish tv show, and I can understand everything on the news and politics stories. I have trouble with some of the entertainment interviews at the end of the show, possibly because they interest me less. I can follow audiobooks of novels written for teenagers or barely literate adults. For example, I am listening to a Dan Brown novel right now in my car when I commute, and have no trouble keeping up. Not such a great book, but the voice actor is so good that he almost makes up for it.

I have begun a number of MOOCs in Spanish, and actually completed a few. It kind of amazes me that I can do this.

So while I did not meet my studying goals, I did make good progress, and I am okay with how things are going. So what if it takes me a few years longer than I thought it would when I began? I am enjoying it and will have no trouble continuing at the same pace I have been on. My only regret is that my receptive skills are far outpacing my productive skills.
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Allison
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Re: Team Spanish - TAC 2016

Postby Allison » Sat Dec 31, 2016 7:32 pm

2016 in review
Where I was January 1, 2016:
Reading: Had read a kids book of about 5400 words/10 chapters, about a chapter a day. Still had trouble with some sentence structures. It was difficult to skim headlines for news articles I was interested in.

Listening: Listened to Buenos Días América regularly. It was a triumph to understand two sentences in a row. Hadn't started any TV.

Writing: Had written something longer than a couple sentences for the first time.

Speaking: Spoke some in class. Hadn't really had a conversation.

Where I am December 31, 2016:
Reading: I can read adult novels. I read books and news articles regularly. Sentence structure doesn't confuse me. I look up vocabulary I don't know when I'm reading intensively, but I'm capable of reading extensively with only rare lack of understanding.

Listening: I watch TV regularly, sometimes with subtitles, sometimes without. With subtitles, I don't have problems understanding. Without subtitles, it depends on the show, but at worst, I can understand the gist and some details.

Writing: Throughout the year, I wrote several thousand words, some of which I got corrected on lang-8. I tried out HelloTalk, though only for a day. Right now, I do not have a writing routine.

Speaking: I took a conversation class, which went well. I used Spanish with a client at work, but it was a bit of a struggle. Right now, I do not have a speaking routine.

How'd I do?
Basically, I improved a ton in reading and listening, and a little in writing and speaking. This is because I practiced reading and listening a ton, and only practiced writing and speaking a little. Regardless, I had a very successful year for Spanish.

And that's that for my TAC 2016!
4 x
Correcciones son bienvenidas.

Spanish Super Challenge, as of March 1, 2017:
SC: 1598 / 5000 pages
SC: 3771 / 9000 minutes
SC: 305 / 610 days


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