The Chicago Spanish Language Meetup Group Message Board › Inexpensive ways to improve Spanish.

Inexpensive ways to improve Spanish.

Miguel A
Miguel_A.
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Dear Spanish Speakers,

I am receiving occasionally requests about INEXPENSIVE ways to help our beginner Spanish Speakers to improve their skills. Any suggestions in this regard would be HIGHLY appreciated. Please, send me your suggestions.

Thank you in advance!

Miguel
A former member
Post #: 4
Miguel,

I'm sure some of these are not new but might as well start a list as members add suggestions.

Besides setting up a time for telephone conversation with willing parties here are a few inexpensive ways to improve beginner's skills:

1) volunteer to teach Spanish speakers English either through an 'organization' or simply someone who needs help. They can help each other. Churches and libraries generally need help. Become a mentor. 2) Assist a teacher who teaches Spanish 3) Watch the Spanish news on Univision or Telemundo 4) Browse the internet , not only are there sites in Spanish (i.e. Univision, AOL en Espanol,) but many U.S. companies today have a few pages in Spanish: i.e. Allstate.com. So beginners can read on many topics in a known environment, and of course there are the different Spanish speaking countries' websites. 5) have some of your meals regularly in places where you can practice. This is something I do to practice Italian. 6) volunteer in an activity where Spanish is spoken. 7) Use the CD's available in the library and watch the foreign films 8) create and tape your own lessons so you can listen and review while shopping, waiting in line, driving or exercising 9) you can also download material to your iPod. 10) Google 'Practice Spanish on line' and several free sources are available. 11) a traditional way is to post words, phrases and questions around one's home, but without translation. 12) anytime/anywhere you hear Spanish being spoken presents an opportunity to introduce yourself as a Spanish student and learn a new word or phrase from them.
13) use the free on line translators to learn to say specific thoughts in preperation for a meet up activity, phone call, etc. 14) even as a beginner, reading, especially magazines/newsletters of one's own interest, can be a great way of picking up new words and phrases.

Espero que los principiantes encuentren estas sugerencias util.
Miguel A
Miguel_A.
Group Organizer
Chicago, IL
Post #: 281
I am including a summary of sugestions that I have received by email. Please, feel free to add your own suggestions below in this same threat. For privacy reasons I am not including the names of the senders, but I can send you further details if needed.

Miguel

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Wikibook: Learn the Spanish language

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Private lessons - [ . . . ] At a school, private instruction will be expensive ($45 - $70) per hour. I found an excellent teacher through craig's list. She charges just $30 per hour, and if you pay for 10 hours in advance , she will give a discount.

Here are 2 websites/other ideas.
Website - http://www.lomastv.co...­
Don't know if you're familiar with this site, but it is really good. It costs just $10 per month and you could spent several hours per week using it if you have the time. ( I wish I had more time to use it). There is a free on-line demo. If you have not tried it check it out.

This website is free. It has a conjugation trainer, which is perfect for beginners!
http://www.spaleon.co...­

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1. En Chicago hay 3 canales en la tele en español. Algunos de los programas tienen subtítulos en
inglés y español. Se puede grabar el programa, verlo sin caption o con subtítulos en inglés o español y puede
cambiar. Realmente no se necesita dicionario porque ya está escrito en los dos idiomas.

2. En el red uso un sitio http://studyspanish.c...­ Se puede aprender la gramática y los verbos. Tienen más o menos 100 ejercisos.

3. Hay un lugar se llama intercambio cultural en el red. Se puede encontrar personas quien quieren aprender inglésa cambio de ayudar a aprender español.

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Podcasts:
If you have an ipod HAY MUCHAS podcasts; my favorite is Coffee Break spanish. For about $17 a month, you can also get an enhanced version (you get to download PDF guide), but the free version is almost identical.

Spanish learning web sites:
I noticed the BBC has some great resources online;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/...­

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Just meet in a bookstore to talk and practice Spanish! The dictionaries, grammar books, etc are right there to refer to for references and coffee is cheap! Look for free events....I know on the 16th, Instituto Cervantes is having a presentation in Spanish by an author from Chicago. They provid tapas and drinks for free.

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Some sort of exchange could help beginners who are studying Spanish. I used to do an exchange with a girl from Spain - she helped me with my Spanish, and I helped her with her English. This is the most obvious trade, but others could work:
I'm interested in learning latin dance, yoga, advanced saxophone lessons, other languages (including sign language), some computer skills (music notation) etc., and would gladly help a beginner Spanish student in exhange for help with these things... in fact, you can refer anyone who thinks that they have something interesting to offer to me... as long as they are a serious student, and are willing to attempt speaking with me en puro espanol, preguntandome "como se dice" cuando no saben... I have learned a lot of Spanish from giving guitar lessons in Spanish.

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A former member
Post #: 3
HI I AM A NATIVE SPANISH SPEAKER WHO BECAME NON VOCAL ( IN SPANISH)FOR MANY YEARS BUT LISTENING TO THE MUSIC THERE ARE SOO MANY KINDS LIKE FLAVORS FOR ALL TASTE BUDS
SPEAKING OF FLAVORS WHY NOT DATE A NATIVE SPANISH speaker WHAT BETTER WAY BUT immersion! THANKS EMYLEE
A former member
Post #: 5
this course is much cheaper than Pimsleur or Rosetta Stone.

http://RocketSpanish....­
A former member
Post #: 1
Check out www.byki.com
It's "before you know it" and it's a free (awesome) flash-card program.

Also: Attend the Saturday meet-ups!

OR: become my friend and come to movie night at my house on Sundays!
Melissa
curlysunset
Addison, IL
Post #: 82
Spanishdict.com is wonderful. I just found this website. They offer lessons as well as vocabulary lessons.
A former member
Post #: 1
Hi there Miguel,

I've just started a blog which people can subscribe to for free. The idea is to provide all kinds of communicational work in Spanish. Cool stuff that can give people who are trying to become fluent opportunities to learn through the culture. Also, it will include different kinds of language tips. It's not so much for beginners as it is for intermediate and advanced students of Spanish.

People can visit it by going to my website http://www.SpanishWit...­
and click on blog or just go here:

http://www.spanishwit...­

If you are new to subscribing to a blog, you may find the following useful:
Depending on your operational system and/or the browser you use, you may or may not be able to read an RSS feed. But everyone can subscribe by downloading an RSS feed reader like Google Reader. It's free and easy. Here is a video I found that explains very well how an RSS subscription works. It's a bit silly but very clear and only about 3 minutes.

> http://www.youtube.co...­

Saludos,

Christian
Julia B
Julia_B
Chicago, IL
Post #: 1
Hi everyone,

When I began taking lessons I tried watching the Spanish-language news, but they talked too fast for me to distinguish the words. Instead I found a novela in which the actors speak more clearly. It's called El Rostro de Analia, and it's on at 8:00 on Telemundo (channel 44).

I've been watching this for a few months now and I understand a little more each week. After I installed my converter box I turned on the Closed Captioning in Spanish (as Edwin suggested, thanks!) and that helps a lot also. I understood a whole conversation because I was able to see it as well as hear it. :-)

Another suggestion I've heard from more than one person is to watch Spanish-language children's shows such as Plaza Sesamo.
Julia B
Julia_B
Chicago, IL
Post #: 2
I found a very cute, sweet Spanish-language children's show and learned a little Spanish from it. It's called (I think) Piggly Winks and it was on Saturday at 9:00 (I'm pretty sure, it may have been 8:00) on channel 62. I was sleepy and found it by channel-surfing, so I'm sorry I'm vague on the details. It's a nice non-violent show that's easy to take in the morning. :-)

I usually have my Spanish lesson Saturday morning so I don't know if I'll get to see it again, but if so I'll write down the details.
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