Spanish Group

An area with study groups for various languages. Group members help each other, share resources and experience. Study groups are permanent but the members rotate and change.
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Fatih
White Belt
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Jan 29, 2016 3:08 pm
Location: Istanbul, TR
Languages: Turkish (N), English (advanced), Spanish (intermediate)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?t=4866
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Fatih » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:58 am

Cavesa wrote:It may be just my impression, but there are more people preparing for DELE on this forum now. Are you? It might be interesting to know who my brothers and sisters in arms are.


I'm preparing for november dele exam like you. My primary motive for this is business. If I can pass the c1 exam, I hope that it may open some new career paths for me in the company.
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3906
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Cavesa » Sun Dec 11, 2016 12:03 pm

There are two reasons for me:
1.It is probably the only way to make myself work harder on Spanish and finlly kick myself out of the intermediate phase completely. :-D
2.Spain is still an option after my degree (even though much less now, that I've heard of the way young doctors are treated there in terms of contracts and such stuff), and a doctor has to prove the C1 level in order to work there. B2 is perhaps enough for some other professions, and absolutely a worthy goal and respectable level in general, but it is absolutely useless to me.

So, we are at least two now. Great!
1 x

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Allison
Orange Belt
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri Dec 18, 2015 4:21 am
Location: New York City, NY, US
Languages: English (native), Spanish (high intermediate-ish), American Sign Language (ASL) (I dabble occasionally)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=5177
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Allison » Sun Dec 11, 2016 3:04 pm

¡Hola a todos! Thanks again to iguanamon for starting this Spanish Group.

My log is in my profile, and I try to at least update weekly with what I've done along with any thoughts or comments that have struck me throughout the week. I also try to keep up with others' logs too.

My relationship with Spanish
I learned words and phrases of Spanish in elementary school, then starting learning Spanish for real in junior high, continuing in high school, and ending up taking AP Spanish my junior year. By then, I was a decent though not spectacular level in reading and writing, a terrible level in listening, and somewhere in between in speaking.

Then I stopped learning Spanish. On the strength of what I remembered of my high school Spanish, I tested out of my college second language requirement. Every so often, I would try to read a news article or advertisement in Spanish, but largely I didn't see the need for it, so I didn't focus on it.

Then about ten years later, I became a lawyer and it turns out Spanish is incredibly useful in the kind of lawyering I'm doing. I'm learning Spanish in order to be able to use it professionally, but I also enjoy learning and using Spanish in and of itself and would continue with it even if it stopped being useful professionally.

In about May 2015, I started learning Spanish again as a false beginner. I went to classes for the structure and consistency. They were incredibly helpful. Around December 2015, I started incorporating materials outside of class into my routine, including joining LLORG and reading and listening to native materials. The leveled classes ended about March 2016, then I did a conversation class until June, which was both helpful and not ideal, since the teacher chose conversation topics that I was not necessarily interested in. I've been participating in the Super Challenge since May, and I kept up the pace until I fell behind starting in October. These past few months it's been tough to find the time and energy to put toward Spanish, but I'm keeping contact with it, however minimal some weeks.

At this point, I can read a book without outside help (including dictionaries and the like) and understand and enjoy it. For listening without outside help, some podcasts/shows/etc., I understand and enjoy, and others, depending on accents/speed/topic/distractions/etc., I can get the gist and miss details. I have not been practicing my speaking or writing recently, but I'd put those in the "can get by" category.

I'm excited to reset my Spanish studying to be more consistent in 2017 and I'm excited about this group, which I think will be a great part of our forum.
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mitcht
White Belt
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:38 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1858
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby mitcht » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:04 pm

A decent amount of time since I have been around the forum but a trip to Montreal has me more motivated. In catching up on things i stumbled across this thread. I took the C1 exam earlier this year and am happy to answer questions if anyone has any.

On my background with Spanish. I started learning a bit over 3 years ago when I was torn between starting to learn French or Spanish. I ended up meeting a spanish speaking girl and that settled it. I have done a range of things over the past 3 years to get me to where I am now - watched series and films, listened to podcasts, worked through grammar books, classes online (italki and others). On top of that I am lucky to be able to speak Spanglish every day at home and Spanish with my girlfriends family.

I was thinking about trying to take the C2 exam next year but instead I think I will begin working on French as I keep using Spanish every day.
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Cavesa
Black Belt - 3rd Dan
Posts: 3906
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 9:46 am
Languages: Czech (N), English (C1), French (C2), Spanish (intermediate), German (somewhere on the path), Italian (passive advanced, active basic)
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Cavesa » Sun Dec 11, 2016 10:20 pm

mitcht wrote:I took the C1 exam earlier this year and am happy to answer questions if anyone has any.


I have all of them!

Is your preparation process described in your log?
Was there anything that surprised you in the exam itself, anything different from the preparation material and accessible information?
What was your result? Did it correspond with your own impression on the day of the exam?
What did you find difficult?
Were there LA variants in the exams too?
and tons of other questions are coming as soon as I have a bit more time. I hope I haven't just made you change your mind about volunteering as the information source!
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NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 657
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Estados Unidos (near the Mexican border)
Languages: English - (N)
Spanish - B2 +
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7942
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby NoManches » Mon Dec 12, 2016 1:58 am

Cavesa wrote:
mitcht wrote:I took the C1 exam earlier this year and am happy to answer questions if anyone has any.


I have all of them!

Is your preparation process described in your log?
Was there anything that surprised you in the exam itself, anything different from the preparation material and accessible information?
What was your result? Did it correspond with your own impression on the day of the exam?
What did you find difficult?
Were there LA variants in the exams too?
and tons of other questions are coming as soon as I have a bit more time. I hope I haven't just made you change your mind about volunteering as the information source!


Cavesa the more you talk about this exam the more I start to think its something I should do. :) As much as I enjoy learning as I go, when I have a definite goal I often go into overdrive and push myself to new limits. The only problem is that my reason for doing it would be just so I can say that I'm officially a C1. I'll keep it in the back of my mind for now.
1 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 10795 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 4415 / 10000

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Systematiker
Blue Belt
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby Systematiker » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:01 pm

Something worth looking at is, if you have Netflix and it's available in your region, Cuatro estaciones en La Habana.

I went on to watch the new season of Club de Cuervos, saw this advertised, and got hooked on it instead. It's four movie-length segments, a detective show in Cuba. It's rather gritty, and the language is definitely thickly Cuban, but it's really well done cinema and,min my opinion, gripping (I'm not all the way through yet). I needed subtitles, which are evidently present for Spanish-speakers who wouldn't follow the Cuban (i.e. They don't match the spoken dialogue), but even with that, I have to recommend it.
4 x

NoManches
Blue Belt
Posts: 657
Joined: Thu Feb 25, 2016 2:21 pm
Location: Estados Unidos (near the Mexican border)
Languages: English - (N)
Spanish - B2 +
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7942
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Re: Spanish Group

Postby NoManches » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:10 pm

Systematiker wrote:Something worth looking at is, if you have Netflix and it's available in your region, Cuatro estaciones en La Habana.

I went on to watch the new season of Club de Cuervos, saw this advertised, and got hooked on it instead. It's four movie-length segments, a detective show in Cuba. It's rather gritty, and the language is definitely thickly Cuban, but it's really well done cinema and,min my opinion, gripping (I'm not all the way through yet). I needed subtitles, which are evidently present for Spanish-speakers who wouldn't follow the Cuban (i.e. They don't match the spoken dialogue), but even with that, I have to recommend it.



I saw it advertised too but immediately avoided it because of the Cuban Spanish in it. That accent is just really difficult for me, and I always avoid it (even though I shouldn't).

However, if watching this show and getting used to the accent allows me to improve my listening comprehension, then it might be worth my time. Plus, it's very unlikely that I will spend my entire lifetime only talking to Mexicans. Thanks for the recommendation!

I also saw advertised on Netflix a Colombian show called "La Niña". Looks like it was filmed with the same quality standards in mind. Might have to check that out too
1 x
DOUBLE Super Challenge
Spanish Movies
: 10795 / 18000

Spanish Books
: 4415 / 10000

User avatar
Systematiker
Blue Belt
Posts: 829
Joined: Tue May 10, 2016 6:09 pm
Languages: ENG (N); DEU (C2+) // SWG (~C1); BAR (~C1); SPA (4/3); FRA (~C1); SCO (~C1); NLD (~B2*); LAT (Latinum Bavaricum); GRC (Graecum Bavaricum); CAT (~B2*); POR (~B2*); SWE (~B2*); HBO (Hebraicum); DAN (~B1*); RUS (~A2); KOR (~A1); FAS (still a raw beginner)
*Averaged for high receptive skill
Language Log: https://forum.language-learners.org/vie ... =15&t=7332
x 2065

Re: Spanish Group

Postby Systematiker » Mon Dec 12, 2016 2:13 pm

NoManches wrote:
Systematiker wrote:Something worth looking at is, if you have Netflix and it's available in your region, Cuatro estaciones en La Habana.

I went on to watch the new season of Club de Cuervos, saw this advertised, and got hooked on it instead. It's four movie-length segments, a detective show in Cuba. It's rather gritty, and the language is definitely thickly Cuban, but it's really well done cinema and,min my opinion, gripping (I'm not all the way through yet). I needed subtitles, which are evidently present for Spanish-speakers who wouldn't follow the Cuban (i.e. They don't match the spoken dialogue), but even with that, I have to recommend it.



I saw it advertised too but immediately avoided it because of the Cuban Spanish in it. That accent is just really difficult for me, and I always avoid it (even though I shouldn't).

However, if watching this show and getting used to the accent allows me to improve my listening comprehension, then it might be worth my time. Plus, it's very unlikely that I will spend my entire lifetime only talking to Mexicans. Thanks for the recommendation!

I also saw advertised on Netflix a Colombian show called "La Niña". Looks like it was filmed with the same quality standards in mind. Might have to check that out too


Oh, man, I just switched off my tablet to come on here and talk about both those shows in my log. La Niña is also amazing, I've watched the first couple of episodes. I need subtitles there, too, though, the Colombian is strong.
2 x

mitcht
White Belt
Posts: 41
Joined: Sun Dec 20, 2015 10:38 pm
Languages: English (N), Spanish (C1)
Language Log: viewtopic.php?f=15&t=1858
x 62

Re: Spanish Group

Postby mitcht » Mon Dec 12, 2016 3:47 pm

So i wrote a long response to this and, frustratingly, I appear to have got logged out at some point and lost it all when i tried to submit. Here is my second go.

Is your preparation process described in your log?

Not well. Specifically to prepare for the exam I used a tutor and also worked through two preparation books (edelsa and el cronómetro). I thought they were both largely representative of the exam but I think the listening sections for edelsa were probably on the easy side as you could pick out some answers word for word from the audios which doesn't happen in the actual exam.

Was there anything that surprised you in the exam itself, anything different from the preparation material and accessible information?

No, i think the structure is pretty locked down and you know what's coming in that sense. Some of the texts in the preparation materials can be a bit hit and miss (but i imagine same in the exam), it really makes a difference having a well structured text to prepare the oral/written exam from as opposed to mess you need to try and first group into some sort of logical progression.

What was your result? Did it correspond with your own impression on the day of the exam?

Kind of in line, more on that below. Each section out of 25.
  • reading = 22.5. In line with expectations and about where I averaged on practice exams, I didn't expect major problems here.
  • writing = 16.67. Worse than expected. Admittedly before the exam i had never actually worked on writing but i thought i had prepared pretty well. Not really sure what happened. A couple of things I would do different - practice writing by hand (my task became a mess as i wrote too much and went back to change things and reduce word count). Also, this was my last task and I was kind of drained at this point. I never practiced doing everything in one sitting (i always broke things up), so i suggest doing that.
  • listening = 25. Better than expected, I generally had a few mistakes.
  • speaking = 23. Probably in line with expectations. This was likely going to be my strongest area as long as i didn't get too nervous or thrown off with a tough text.

What did you find difficult?

I don't know that there is one thing in particular but what I was most nervous about was from the practice exams there were a few tasks i could either do really well on or completely flop. Notably:
  • the reading task where you fill in full sentences to a longer text. If you mix one of these up it can throw off everything.
  • the first listening task - similar to above.
  • the first speaking task - if you get a poorly structured text it can make things SO much harder. Twenty minutes isn't that long to prepare and if you also have to try and structure the ideas yourself then it can be tough.
  • the first writing task - as above, if you get an unstructured audio it could be really hard to work with.
My biggest concerns going in were how nervous I would be and how much I'd get stressed out by a poorly organised text. I must admit I didn't like the text i got for the oral section but obviously it worked out OK.

Were there LA variants in the exams too?

Yes, in both the reading and listening (obviously more notable in the listening). I would expect to hear at least 3 accents in the exam (often spanish + argentinian + other). In the exam i took one of the longer listening tasks was with a Chilean. I didn't prepare specifically for this though, I haven't heard much south american spanish (i basically only hear carribean + from spain) and I was fine. I did think that the shorter audios which try to text idioms, etc. definitely hard a bias to Spain which didn't really help me and I had to consciously make an effort to learn some (which i will never use again).

Let me know if there's anything else.
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