Thursday, October 27, 2016
Notes and Podcasts

I found a couple of sites that use podcasts to teach Spanish. So I thought I would share them with you. One of them is on the subject of the greeting "que tal." That you can listen to on the blog, The other podcasts are on the site You don't need books or paper. All you need is a listening ear. A couple, Ben and Marina, take you through the podcasts. They have intermediate to advanced listening levels. You can find this couple on youtube also. Just do a search for "Ben Curtis." If you feel like taking notes, no one can stop you. I would take notes when listening to new material. That way you have concrete matter with which to handle. You can take notes when listening to "noticias" (news) or to telenovelas. You can take notes while reading the "noticias" too. If you hear snatches of Spanish conversations you don't understand, take notes about them and ask people later about what it all means. An example is that of an online friend of mine. He kept hearing the word "donde" frequently and never knew what it meant. He found out from me that it means "where." I hope you like podcasts and news and learn Spanish from them. Jot down all your notes and study them later.

Posted at 02:28 pm by JollyS
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Thursday, September 29, 2016
Word Bank

Want to create a word bank for Spanish words? All you need is a box such as a shoe box or other box, a pair of scissors, and paper. Collect words you have recently learned and write them on paper. Cut them up and put them in the box. You can inspect it monthly to see how many words you have learned. You can also cut up words you see in a newspaper. Keep two columns titled, "words I know" and "words I don't know." Choose words you know and write them on paper. You can make it an activity to learn the words you don't know and eventually add them to the word bank. Keep a tally of how many words you learn in a month. It will be exciting to see your progress each month. Saving words will become a natural habit, and you will be surprised at how much you can really learn.

Posted at 09:55 am by JollyS
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Friday, August 26, 2016
Sea of Words

A pagragraph is like a sea of words. It's a rectangular block of words that are mixed with regular words along with articles, prepositions, adverbs, pronouns, etc Imagine that you are diving into the paragraph looking for words. How many of them do you know? How many don't you know? Choose the words that are chunky, not the little ones that cement the other words in place. Choose a Spanish book or a newspaper. Look at a paragraph and pretend it's a sea and you're diving for words. It will be interesting to put them in columns titled, "Words I Know" and "Words I Don't Know." Take the words you don't know and go to the web and type in "Sentence Maker Spanish." When you get the page of the sentence maker, type in the words you don't know one at a time. Can you figure out what the word means from the sentence that is given? Use the other words in the sentence to give you clues. This is an interesting way to get close to words and paragraphs. It will help you pay attention to detail and to focus. Sentences are also like beads. The words are strung together in order. The way the writer puts the words together is creative and artistic. You can also create your own sentences with the new words you discover. Find a sea and dive in! You'll love discovering new words.

Posted at 09:36 am by JollyS
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Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Mystery Words

I try to go to places where I will find Spanish words I don't know. Today, I read passages from the Holy Bible in Spanish. There were a lot of words there that I didn't know. So everything was new to me. The words were like little mysteries I had to solve. What is this word? What does it mean? Also, there was the satisfaction of finding out and knowing what the words meant. I looked in the Book of Proverbs which is chock full of these mystery words. Two words I really liked were "colinas" and "sabiduria." Another place you can find new words in Spanish is in menus at restaurants. The meal itself is a mystery, because you don't yet know what the words mean. When you order the food, then you know what the words or phrases meant to say. You can also ask the waiter or waitress to explain the words in the menu. That is a great way to immerse yourself in the language. Mystery words, then, are something you can always look at when you are anywhere on the globe. I want to look at travel magazines in Spanish or any other magazines in Spanish. They would be chock full of new mystery words also. I hope I have piqued your interest in finding mystery words to solve. You get to be a detective and solve a whole lot of cases this way. Remember every new word is a mystery to solve.

Posted at 04:24 pm by JollyS
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016
Give Spanish A Listen

New Spanish listeners often think that Spanish is spoken too rapidly. Spanish speakers do speak quickly. It is difficult to hear the words individually within the spoken sentences. Here are some ways you can get used to listening to Spanish. It is not enough to read, write, or speak Spanish. One has to listen to it to get used to the speed. It takes time to get used to it. You can choose an article from a newspaper or write a paragraph in Spanish. Record yourself reading the article. Read it fast. Then read it slowly. Practice listening to what is being said. This will also give your tongue practice in pronouncing Spanish words. You will also learn the structure of the sentences and phrases. It will become more familiar to you. Another thing you can do is listen to dialogue in telenovelas. At first, you might think they are speaking too quickly. Later, you get used to the speed, and you can pick out words and phrases they are using. You can write down some of the sentences they speak and practice learning them on your own time. Listening to Spanish is just as important as reading and writing. It will develop your ability to have conversations in Spanish. So give Spanish a listen. You'll have a great time following Spanish in this way.

Posted at 07:12 am by JollyS
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Monday, May 23, 2016
Word List

Here's a site that lists one hundred or so Spanish words to learn. You can listen to what the word sounds like by pressing the loud speaker next to it. Try to practice some at a time if you feel there are too many words. It is good to have a core of about 100 words with which to work. Happy learning!

Posted at 10:34 am by JollyS
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Friday, April 22, 2016
Chevere! A Mystery Solved

Have you ever heard of a Spanish word that you didn't know? This happened to me years ago when I watched the telenovela, "Cristal." I was watching telenovelas to improve my Spanish. Three of the characters, Zoraida, Inocencia, and Cristal were using the word, "chevere" a whole lot. I was curious about the word. I thought it meant "precious" or "expensive" based on the context of the sentence. I was really stumped. I began to ask around about the word and ran into dead ends. People kept telling me that it meant "cheese." I thought about the show and why would they be stating "cheese" all the time. So, that was a no go. Just the other day, I found this blog: (Feb. 7, 2016 entry) The writer was talking about "chevere" on it. For me, the mystery was finally solved. I was so happy, because she is a linguist at heart, and I was able to get to the answer through her blog. Take a look at the blog entry for the answer. If you ever hear of a word that you don't know, don't give up. It is fun to interview people even though people may not know the answer. It is also challenging to look on the net or a dictionary for the word. The more words you know, the better! Happy word hunting!

Posted at 10:45 am by JollyS
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Have you ever thought of reading Spanish headlines as a way of practicing Spanish? They're short. They're sweet. They're full of content. Reading headlines keeps you abreast of various topics that are important to the Spanish world. You can find out what the article is about before you read it. That way, you cut to the chase. You can also skim the articles in online "periodicos" and see what topics they cover the most. Are they about Zika? Are they about terrorists? Are they about Trump or other candidates? You can then narrow down what articles are the most interesting and then read the ones you like. Headlines are short and chunky, but they lead you to investigate the articles that you most like. You can feel like a detective learning about topics as you peruse them. To find headlines, you can type in "Spanish Periodicos" on your search engine, and it will give you a list of newspapers you can visit. Two examples are "El Pais" and "La Prensa Grafica." There are many others you can look up. Collect the most interesting headlines. Conduct a vote about which headlines you like the most, the ones that draw you to read the article, and the ones that really deliver. Take the winning headline and read the article. Look around! There are tons of headlines on the web. If you like to read papers that aren't on the web, you can do that also. You can check out the headlines in the same manner. So happy reading! Read all about it!!! :)

Posted at 02:35 pm by JollyS
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Friday, February 26, 2016
Labeling and Cards

Hi to all Spanish learners! How is your day going? Are you ready to try some more ideas? I have two ideas on how to practice Spanish. One is to buy some index cards or post it notes. Label objects around the house with the cards. Write the names of the objects in Spanish. For example, you can label the sofa with "sofa," or the chair with the word, "silla." Try to label inanimate objects. Pets and humans might get mad if you label them. Lol! The other idea is to take the cards or post it notes off and use them as blank flash cards. You can write on the blank sides the meaning of the word in English, if you wish. Practice the words in this way. You can also buy Spanish flash cards at a book store. Try writing sentences with the words on the cards. That will help you remember the words within the context of other words. I also want to tell you I am practicing Spanish via emails. Find some friends or others in an online community such as Craigs List that want to practice Spanish with you. Write back and forth in Spanish. Don't worry if you're a little rusty. Practicing is what counts! Have an amazing day!

Posted at 10:34 am by JollyS
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Thursday, January 21, 2016
Spanish Firsts!

I used to collect the firsts of the New Year, such as the first song of the New Year I heard or the first breakfast I had and etc. So I thought why not do that with the subject of Spanish. You can record the first Spanish person you see. You can jot down the first Spanish word you see, the first Spanish song, the first Spanish phrase, or the first Spanish meal you have. You don't have to force the events to happen, just jot them down when they happen naturally. There are a lot of firsts that can happen when you come down to it. So be patient and have fun with the activity. Things will jump out at you as you continue your new year. Here are a few other ideas: your first Spanish ad you see, the first Spanish dessert you have, the first Spanish conversation you have, and the first Spanish sports team you see. Have fun finding your Spanish firsts! The New Year will be full of them. Don't worry if you haven't found everything in January. You have the entire year. Happy New Year! Feliz ano Nuevo!

Posted at 09:58 am by JollyS
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