Quieres practicar español.
Just like many skills, it’s important to practice speaking a language regularly.
I have been taking Spanish classes since I was in 6th grade. I went to a middle school in Greer, SC that had a great curriculum for advanced students. I had no idea when I started the class what an impact that it would make on my life. I can still here the class reciting verb tenses over and over.. Tengo, Tienes, Tiene, Tenemos, Tenéis, Tienen…
To keep up with my Spanish over the years, I have tried many things.
My current favorite apps.
Duolingo – I have used this for about a year now and my Peace Corps language trainer has asked that we use it to prepare for our training in Peru. It has a variety of activities including a review of how you actually say words and sentences.
Spanish Smash- This is a fun game that requires a little dexterity. I can’t tell you how many times I have practiced the vegetables as I still seem to forget cucumber (pepino), eggplant (berenjena) and celery (apio).
Spanish Classes and Meetups
I have taken classes over the years at various schools- NC State, UT and Austin Community College (ACC). I had a good teacher at ACC this past Fall and recommend their classes if you want just a weekly class.
There are a wide variety of language schools and several meetups focused on conversation in Austin; however, I wasn’t able to fit that into my schedule. I know I’ll look to meetup groups when I get back to continue to converse in Spanish on a regular basis.
TV Shows and Films.
For me, Spanish film is all about Pedro Almodóvar, I think his films introduced me to Foreign films as he came to fame in the US while I was entering college.
I hit the used book stores and thrift stores regularly to find children’s books in Spanish. The simple sentences help me to practice and to attempt to memorize common phrases. I found a math book a few months ago that I have used to learn new words. At times it is hard to believe that I was able to read books by Cervantes, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer, José Zorrilla, and Federico García Lorca. I am looking forward to reading some novels from Peruvian authors and perhaps going back to some of the authors from years past.
A favorite passage from the ever famous “Don Quixote”:
“What giants?” Asked Sancho Panza.
“The ones you can see over there,” answered his master, “with the huge arms, some of which are very nearly two leagues long.”
“Now look, your grace,” said Sancho, “what you see over there aren’t giants, but windmills, and what seems to be arms are just their sails, that go around in the wind and turn the millstone.”
“Obviously,” replied Don Quijote, “you don’t know much about adventures.”
― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote