Cable series as a tool to work on your Spanish

When someone is learning Spanish in Chicago or any other city with significant Spanish-speaking demographics, one would think there are many opportunities to strike a conversation with a friendly Latino/a and practice what you have learned in your Spanish classes. The truth is if you don’t have to interact with a monolingual Spanish speaker because of work, chances are you won’t see yourself in many situations in which you are “forced” to use your Spanish. And even if you do find yourself using if from time to time, you need more exposure to develop the muscle memory you want. Get your hands on whatever you can: music, film, comics, and TV: New cable series present sort of an “accidental resource”. For some reason, most movie DVD’s in the Spanish language do not include Spanish subtitles for the hearing impaired as an option. This is a bummer for people looking for effective exposure to the language. However, it turns out Cable series DVD’s on the other hand not only offer dubbed in Spanish audio but also Spanish subtitles. Now, if one is not used to watching audiovisual material dubbed in a foreign language, it most likely will appear quite bizarre at first but if it is possible to get used to it rather quickly. Today I’m recommending Game of Thrones because the show and the books are great and it is the only cable series DVD set I own. I hope to be able to recommend others in the future. I watched almost an entire episode of the third season DVD set and I’m happy to report that the audio and...

Libre ya de amores

I have always liked Miguel Bosé. This multitalented artist produces high quality pop music. Here is a lyric video of his latest single: Libre ya de amores. Did I mention I am a huge proponent of music as a way to practice your Spanish and develop the muscle memory you need to achieve...

Una mujer con sombrero

Here’s another amazing song in Spanish. From Cuba’s Nueva Trova icon Silvio Rodríguez, this video subtitled will help you practice your Spanish without compromising on the music’s...

Gracias a la vida

  Music is a very effective tool to improve your Spanish. There is a lot of great music in the Spanish language. Like this jewel by Mercedes Sosa. Warning: Once the song is done, the subtitles turn to...

Apps will help you learn Spanish

Recently, there was an article in the New York Times on language learning smart phone apps.  I think to effectively learn Spanish one needs an “all hands on deck approach” and phone apps happen to be a great resource. ” IF you’re looking to learn a second language like Spanish, forget the old-fashioned repetitious lessons you remember from school. There are plenty of smartphone apps that offer worthwhile language lessons in entertaining, bite-size chunks. Learn Spanish by MindSnacks, a free app for iPhones and iPads, makes lessons fun. The app teaches you words, phrases and grammar by actually making you giggle” Read the full article...

A second language: Your mind’s fountain of youth

In an Op- Ed to the New York Times, William Alexander relates his experience learning a foreign language and its impact on his aging mind: “After a year of struggling with the language, I retook the cognitive assessment, and the results shocked me. My scores had skyrocketed, placing me above average in seven of 10 categories, and average in the other three. My verbal memory score leapt from the bottom half to the 88th — the 88th! — percentile and my visual memory test shot from the bottom 5th percentile to the 50th. Studying a language had been like drinking from a mental fountain of youth.”   Read his full article...