The following is a guide of what to do each day of the week to take your Spanish to the next level. These are all suggestions based on resources that are available now to help you further develop your Spanish.

 

As our students know, we believe that the more you put into learning a language, the more quickly you will improve. So, you don’t have to wait for the teacher to tell you what homework to do each week — there is a world of resources waiting for you online now! Want to hear real examples of Spanish? Why not google “Spanish TV”? Or “Colombian music”? There really is no limit to what you can find if you are motivated.

 

The following suggested seven-day self-study plan is from an email that my wife Louise sent to one of our clients as part of the normal feedback we provide to our enthusiastic, positive and eager Spanish Kangaroo e-course students who are ready to take their Spanish to the next level.

 

Of course, you can change around the days depending on your own schedules. You could also see our previous blog, ‘the best ways to learn Spanish’.  Here it is:

 

Monday: Song study (you probably know, this is brilliant for language acquisition). We have transcribed and translated 12 songs in Spanish to get you started. They are free – just go to www.redenglish.com.au and click on ‘free Spanish songs’. You could dedicate an hour (or more) to immersing yourself in a song! You could listen once all the way through, trying to catch any words and just getting used to the sounds of the language. Then listen again at the same time as reading the Spanish transcript. Then try to make out what's being said. Or, for an extra challenge, try writing down words from listening only (like a singing dictation)! Perhaps then compare the Spanish transcript with the English translation. Then listen again and sing along, many times, until you can match the pace of the singer! We know it won’t be easy but it is fun. Remember, practice makes perfect!

 

Tuesday: Studying The Spanish Kangaroo weekly lesson

 

Wednesday: Attending your Spanish class (if, of course, you are taking a Spanish class or having Spanish tuition sessions – if not, why not do some creative googling today and see what you find to practice your Spanish! You could look up a subject you are interested in, but in Spanish – for example, “world history in Spanish”, “travel tips in Spanish”, “recipes in Spanish” or “lyrics to salsa songs in Spanish” – it’s up to you!)

 

Thursday: Reread and practice your Spanish with the Spanish Kangaroo weekly lesson. Try to extend your learning by doing some extra practice. For example, you could focus on writing down the new words to help cement them in your mind. You could also focus on improving your Spanish pronunciation by recording yourself speaking new words and sentences out loud (for example, the sentences from the 5 Spanish words you already know section of your lesson), then comparing your recording against the audio file or with your Spanish teacher, tutor, or native Spanish-speaking friend.

 

Friday: News – read and study a news article in Spanish, from something like the Colombian national newspapers online: www.eltiempo.com,   www.elespectador.com or the Spanish news from Spain (you could try, for example, www.abc.es).

 

Saturday: Spanish soap opera – there are so many soap operas from places like Colombia and Mexico. It's quite amusing to watch these! And I always say, soap operas, although they can sometimes be a bit ridiculous, are great for language. This is because the characters are often talking about the essentials in life – who loves whom, who married whom, who dies, who hates whom, who loves then marries then dies then hates whom, and so on! Plus, the speaking is totally exaggerated. Just google Spanish/Colombian/Mexican soap operas and check videos, or check Youtube.

 

Sunday: Why not get out and meet people and speak Spanish? If you're in Melbourne, head down to the Spanish club on Johnston Street and order a drink or lunch (http://thespanishclub.net.au/)! When I started learning Spanish, I got some like-minded friends together and we attended some Bingo – great for learning our numbers! Or go shopping at Casa Iberica (http://casaibericadeli.com.au/) and try chatting with the lovely staff in Spanish. Or why not join a meet up group of like-minded people to practice your Spanish and help Spanish speakers practice their English (something like http://www.meetup.com/spanish-148/?).

There, you might even find someone interested in language exchange sessions (meet with someone who wants to practice their English – speak half the time in English to help them, then the other half speaking Spanish to help you – no cost, just helping each other out!). It does not matter if you are not in Australia. These days no matter where you live, it is quite likely you would find Spanish speakers, perhaps closer than you think. It’s all about looking for new opportunities to practice and improve your Spanish communication skills.  

 

Some other ideas could include downloading apps on your phone that are only in Spanish (not for learning Spanish, but actually in Spanish for Spanish speakers – I keep up my Spanish by listening to radio programmes and TED talks in Spanish on http://www.ivoox.com/, for example). Or, if you're interested in reading, you could get some parallel texts in Spanish, that have short stories in Spanish and also translated into English, so you can compare as you read: http://www.foreignlanguagebookshop.com.au/product-detail-long.php?id=9780140265415&New+Penguin+Spanish+Parallel+Text).”

 

I hope Louise’s guide of what to do each day of the week gives you some more ideas to practice your Spanish. After all, she speaks fluent Spanish and has only ever attended a handful of actual classes in Spanish – the rest is completely self-taught using methods like those she has suggested above.

 

We wish you all the best in your Spanish-learning journey.

 

Julian Correcha – The Spanish Kangaroo

"Technical writing and editing — Australian engineer and technical writing colleague
Working with Louise, I was impressed by the depth of her knowledge of the rules and conventions..."
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