Best way to learn some Spanish?

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Wilson25
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Best way to learn some Spanish?

Postby Wilson25 » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:17 pm

Wonder if someone can suggest good material for learning Spanish? I've tried children's CD's but they're directed at young kids (mine are 12 and 16). I've also tried what was advertised as a "complete family package" only to find the majority of content was business and travel - still no use for kids. There's so much available I wondered if someone could recommend something?
I appreciate that we can hopefully get tutor/go to classes when in Spain but was hoping to get a good grasp of the basics prior to move.

Thanks
Karen

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safeashouses
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Postby safeashouses » Mon Jan 23, 2006 11:49 pm

The BBC language website is quite good. There may be classes at your local college. I have found the Michel Thomas course, although he's a bit 'boring', to be very good. I loved it when he pointed out that so many spanish words are english words just with a slightly different ending. Which adds weight to my father-in-law's reasoning for adding an o onto the end of his words. :lol:

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Tue Jan 24, 2006 8:49 am

I would second the Michel Thomas 8 CD set as a good starter although it will take you longer than 8 hours to get through the course!

The Pilmsleur audio courses are also good and better for pronunciation that M Thomas, but they are expensive unless you find a cheap s/h copy on Ebay or similar.

I found that the interactive PC based CD-ROM courses I have tried were rubbish and prefer the straightforward audio courses as above.

You could look at www.studyspanish.com for some free tutorials as well if admin allow me the link just for the free stuff.

On top of the audio courses I would recommend you buy a number of books such as a detailed dictionary - the smaller dictionaries can be misleading whereas my large Oxford gives many examples of actual usage. I would recommend a book dedicated to verbs and another one or two to cover grammar in general. As you get better try to read some of the Spanish newspaper sites such as www.elmundo.es.

If you have ever learned a foreign language then Spanish is not too difficult compared to French or German but if you have never done a foreign language you might struggle a bit.

Obviously the best thing when you get to Spain will be proper Spanish lessons. Good luck. :)

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Postby agent_tigerlilly » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:28 am

I can recommend the Rosetta Stone software. I used it prior to coming out here to give me some of the basics. Its also good for pronunciation. Once your out here though as the others have said I'd start some Spanish classes. I looked at Private lessons but have now joined a class run by the town council. Good luck with the move.

jan400
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Postby jan400 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:27 am

The previous suggestions might be ok for the 16 year old but might be a "bit old" for the 12 year old.

My daughter (age 11) has the usbourne Spanish for beginners pack. It has a book, cassette, flash cards etc. and it concentrates on the basics but with a younger slant on it so it might seem more relevant to children.

We had the tape in the car for a while and that worked quite well.

anewlife
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Postby anewlife » Tue Jan 24, 2006 10:46 am

I have the Michel Thomas CDs which are good, but my dad did a Linguaphone course about 30 years ago and he has never forgotten his Spanish, although it is more difficult living in Andalucia as the pronunciation of words are so different here to what he learnt!! I think the best way is to be here and sit and listen to the locals talking and try and join in.

katy
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Postby katy » Tue Jan 24, 2006 1:38 pm

CDs etc. are ok to supplement spanish lessons thats all. Its possible to pick up some mistakes you are not aware of and then its difficult to correct.

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:03 pm

Just out of interest Karen,

Are you planning to put your 12 yr old into a Spanish speaking school? If so, I would be worried if it was my child as they would have an awful lot of catching up to do.

Wilson25
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Postby Wilson25 » Tue Jan 24, 2006 7:48 pm

Thanks for everyone's comments. Michel and Rosetta have had good reviews so perhaps I'll look at those a bit closer.
I appreciate there's nothing to compensate for "the real thing" once we've moved hence we'll get classes/tutor at that time.

Valencia Paul - we will be putting our son to Spanish school. He will have completed S1 at school in Scotland (as he was an early start) but will start first year at Secondary in Spain. I know there are mixed views on Spanish state schools or International but am hoping it'll help him to integrate.

I also believe that if he doesn't pass the relevant exams then he has to resit which isn't frowned upon in Spain.
We'll need to see how it goes.

Karen

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silver
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Postby silver » Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:14 pm

Music...I know all the local kids download the latest songs...if you can find CD in Spanish..or download some, with the kind of music your son likes, he would be "kill a couple of birds with one stone"...(knowing the latest songs would help him integrate too)..at that age they just love to here the same ol song over and over again..so the words would just float in...
What kind of music does he like???
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Postby lis48 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 2:57 pm

I second that Silver. Learning through music will probably appeal more than conventional ways at that age. Watch only Spanish tele when you first arrive, and have Spanish music CDs/radio in the car. If you find a song he likes in Spanish, find the words (put the singer/song title and "lettras" in google) for him to read. But DO start basic Spanish lessons for him before you come. Just ask at his school. The language teacher might teach him one lunch hour a week. If he at least has the basic terms, it will give him so much more confidence. Don't put him in a Spanish school without any Spanish at all or it will be so much harder for him to adjust. If the children aren't happy, then the whole family isn't and you'll spend more money coming back to UK than lessons would have cost.

Wilson25
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Postby Wilson25 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 8:39 pm

Silver and lis48 - thanks for advice. Didn't think of music.
We've tried at school as they do teach Spanish but only from 5th year. I wanted Kerr to give up his French lessons to learn Spanish instead but they wouldn't accomodate him as it didn't fit the timetable.
I've contacted his French teacher (who also teaches Spanish) to ask if he can recommend anything. If this isn't successful I'll perhaps just stick my neck out and ask him outright if he can help in any way.
Failing that I'll perhaps get a tutor here before we move. Kerr doesn't seem worried at all about the challenge but I think when he's sitting in a class full of spanish speaking kids it'll perhaps hit home.
The thing is, the basics that we've learned so far he's picked up like a little sponge so he's keen enough.
Will keep you posted.

Karen

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kevin77
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Postby kevin77 » Thu Jan 26, 2006 9:20 pm

Putting a 12 year old kid into a school when he doesn't speak a word of the language sounds a bit risky. He may have a very hard time, the other kids will be light years ahead. Imagine just becoming a teenager again (OK some need a long memory!) and not being able to relate to anybody your own age. Or he may get sent down to a lower year and resent it. When do you move? Its the most important thing that he should be learning Spanish now, even if his other subjects suffer.

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silver
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Postby silver » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:12 pm

Wilson25...one more thing..which might appeal to a 12 year old..and..if you know where you are going..you could get in touch with your local school and try and find a pen pal...maybe someone on line has kids at school and could find one for you...
No muerdes la mano que te da de comer.

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redsoxbrit
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Best way to learn some Spanish?

Postby redsoxbrit » Fri Jan 27, 2006 12:53 pm

Can anyone point me in the right direction to find popular Spanish music? What do Spanish teenagers listen to and is there an equivalent to our UK charts here in Spain? I hear great (modern) music in the bars around here and would love to be able to buy the CDs and encourage my children to listen and learn from them but I don't really know what I'm looking for! :?

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silver
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Postby silver » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:32 pm

www.mp3.es
or go to music depertment of any hypermarket.
No muerdes la mano que te da de comer.

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Postby Valencia_Paul » Fri Jan 27, 2006 1:45 pm

Karen,

I'm sure one of the best ways for your kids would be for you to set the example and get started right now! Check out Amazon for recommended Spanish books and get started on Michel Thomas or similar.

You know you see a lot of TV programs where the kids go to Spanish school and a while later the kids are speaking great Spanish and the parents have hardly started learning. I'm sure others would have stories to tell whereby their kids don't pick up Spanish quickly enough, maybe start to get ignored by the Spanish teachers and stay down for three years in succession alongside another handful of Brit kids.

I think kids can learn Spanish really quickly when they are 4 to 6 yo, but as each year passes it gets harder.

Good luck anyway!

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silver
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Postby silver » Fri Jan 27, 2006 3:10 pm

equivalent to our UK charts here in Spain

Los cuarenta principales
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redsoxbrit
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The best way to learn some Spanish?

Postby redsoxbrit » Fri Jan 27, 2006 8:18 pm

Right, The 'Top' 40, thanks Silver, I'll look out for that tomorrow 8) !

Wilson25
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Postby Wilson25 » Sat Jan 28, 2006 3:03 pm

I'm on the case - Kerr's current school are getting back to me next week and I'm trying to get a Spanish tutor here for him. I have been learning Spanish myself, I went to evening classes at local school but when you're not putting it into practice it's difficult to retain. Am currently plodding my way through a course at home, which doesn't seem very good, but think I'll try Michel Thomas.
We'll def be trying to learn more when we move as well - we want to be able to speak the language and integrate.
Pen pal is great idea. We're visiting school in Competa in a couple of weeks and will ask Headteacher if someone can become penfriend or I'll ask around.


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