Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spanish Language Learning Goals for 2009

Every year I like to set goals when it comes to my Spanish language learning. This year I would like to share them with you.

Goal #1 – Listen to the SpanishPod podcasts—all three (main, lesson review, dialogue only) as well as look over the transcripts. I know if I could just do this on a regular basis, my Spanish would improve greatly. Truly, it’s like a one-stop shop for language learners.*

Goal #2 – Listen to other podcasts such as ShowTime Spanish, Español Segunda Lengua Para Todos, and online radio using RadioBeta.

Goal #3 – In addition to reading in Spanish, I will also read aloud for at least 10 minutes every day. This one is easy since I kind of do it already—not every day, but I would say at least 3 times a week.

Goal #4 – Communicate more in Spanish with my boys. This includes more conversation, reading aloud, and playing using the language.

Goal #5 – Set up an intercambio. There is nothing like speaking the language to improve it.

That’s it! I think five is enough. I may add a couple more, but I think this should keep me busy. How about you? What are your goals for learning or teaching Spanish in 2009? Do you have any new strategies you might try in the classroom or at home? Please share them in the comments section.

*Not affiliated with SpanishPod in any way. I just like them a lot! :)

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Bookmarks, a poll and Twitter

I’m staying pretty busy getting ready for the holidays, so I’m afraid I haven’t had much time to post here. Instead, I thought I would share my Delicious bookmarks with you. Also, if you could take a moment to answer my poll, I’d be most appreciative. If you have any favorites that are not listed in the poll, please put them in the comments section and why you like them. Gracias.

One more thing… I also post helpful web sites and other resources pretty regularly on Twitter. If you would like, follow me by clicking here.

¡Felices Fiestas!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bablingua: resource for teachers

Eleena over at Voices en Español just wrote a review for Bablingua. Go check it out! Also, as a Christmas gift, if you subscribe to their mailing list, you’ll receive a free sample. You’ll find more information on their blog.

bablingua ___________________________________________________

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Open University: Languages

And this is why I love Twitter. Just this morning Kevin Gaugler, an Associate Professor of Spanish posted a link to the Open University on iTunes. He recommended that we look at the Languages section which I promptly did. ou

What did I find? Three Spanish language courses for beginner, upper intermediate and advanced learners. 

Portales: Beginners’ Spanish – audio tracks and transcripts  
Viento en Popa: Upper Intermediate Spanish – iPod video, video, transcripts
A Buen Puerto: Fast Forward in Spanish – iPod video, video, audio, transcripts

There are also courses for French and German language learners.

For more information about these courses, visit The Open University’s Spanish Language section.

Oh, if you haven’t downloaded iTunes, click here. You don’t need to be on a Mac or have an iPod to enjoy the benefits.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Book: First Spanish Words

firstspanishwordsFirst Spanish Words
Illustrated by David Melling, Compiled by Neil Morris
Oxford University Press
November 2008
48 full color pages
Ages: 4-8
ISBN: 978-0-19-911004-9



From the publisher:

"… each volume takes the reader on a picture-book journey through a child’s typical day. There is a bird’s eye view of an early morning at home. the journey to school, inside the classroom, at a birthday party and even a trip to the museum and the beach. Aside from the useful everyday items, these books also incorporate many children’s favorite things; airplanes, dinosaurs and even fairy tale characters… These books also include supplementary material—a picture/word matching game, a learning to count page, identifying shapes, opposites, the weather, time, and a comprehensive index.”

When I looked through First Spanish Words my initial thoughts were that this book was doable and not so overwhelming. On each page you’ll find a large, two-page spread illustration based on a theme with vocabulary words on both sides. For example on the Nuestra clase page there are only 18 vocabulary words. In similar books I’ve seen as many as 35-40 which can be quite overwhelming to a child learning a new language. (In total there are over 400 words with English translations.)

Also, I really love the illustrations which invite you to use the new vocabulary—either make up stories about the characters and scenes or play games. For instance, I could see a parent and child playing ¿Dónde está… ? (Where is… ?), ¿De qué color es… ? (What color is… ?) or Veo-veo (I Spy). For more advanced students, you could even make up an entire story to go along with the illustration… Había una vez…

In addition to Spanish, Oxford Press offers the First Words Series in French and German as well.