Monday, June 14, 2010

spanish learning update

alright, so, i've been listening to spanish radio and tv. i suppose this might be against Krashen's comprensible input because i don't know 99% of what's being said. but, Chomsky's LAD (which i haven't read yet) suggests that exposure is a key factor in picking up lang. so, i'm listening to spanish radio when i can b/c i want to get a feel for the language, pronunciations, phonetics and all.

in the meanwhile, i've found a couple of free sites that are useful to learning conversational spanish. first is BBC Languages (yes, british broadcasting corp). i like the site a lot. design-wise, say in "Spanish Steps," you start with basic words and phrases (such as in travel) of a variety of categories. pick "taxi" and in the center of the window, there's a yellow card where words and phrases will appear. to the right, there are icons/pics that indicate Spanish words, English words or just audio. click on these and the corresponding choices will present themselves. either case, you hear the spanish audio. these lessons are brief and at the end of each small lesson, there's a summary plus there are options to replay the summary and take a quiz. the quiz is comprised of a film strip with pics. to the right of it are empty boxes. to the right of these boxes are words and phrases which you can pick and drag and drop into the empty boxes that are next to the appropriate pictures. essentially, you are matching pics and words/phrases together. this is done with flash.

the other site is the Foreign Services Institute's language lessons. pick a language and the site will take you to a table of contents of lessons. click a unit number and media player with only audio plays. listen and repeat. this one is tough because the phrases get longer and faster.

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