Who doesn’t use Duolingo when learning a language. I’m nearly finished my tree but I keep forgetting to do it everyday, so I need to stick with this one more. But it’s a good starting point for learning.
There are quite a few videos on how to learn Spanish, but I particularly enjoy the channel ‘WhyNotSpanish’. She is really nice and she explains things clearly and simply. I really enjoy her channel.
Another channel I watch is Extra en Español. A Spanish tv show for learners. It’s a bit cringe-worthy sometimes but it’s useful for your listening!
Irish Leaving Cert Spanish Past Papers
For my Leaving Cert in Ireland, I studied French (which I totally forget). These exam papers are the important exams for entry to University. You have ordinary level (which is a lower level) and higher level. Here they have stories that you read, fill in the questions, and then you have an email/ letter you must write.
You can find the website here; Leaving Certificate Sample Spanish Papers
So on the Ordinary level which I’m doing now, for the email/ letter which you have to write, what I do is first say it to my fiancé. He will help me fix any mistakes. So I will practice saying it aloud a few times, then I will write it down. I think this is useful for me.
Sample Spanish books on Kindle
I really enjoy learning Spanish by reading. Before going to sleep I would usually try and read a few pages of a Spanish book that I have in my Kindle. There are lots of spanish books on Amazon, but of course you need to pay for them. But I figured out I could simply download a free sample of whatever book I wanted, then I could read and practice using the samples. Sometimes they give quite a few pages of the book, so that keeps me going with my reading practice!
Speaking with my fiancé
I try and talk with him everyday in Spanish, and when we are on the bus going somewhere. But of course we always revert back to English!
I used Anki flashcards for when I was learning Chinese, and it proved quite useful. For spanish, I use Anki and a method for learning languages. I will explain it.
For Nouns, first I will write the alphabet A-Z. I will have two of these. One will be for men, another for women.
So for example, the word government, el govierno. El is going to be for male. So all nouns that begin with el will be male. All with la will be female.
Ok, so for el gobierno, what I do is think of a male with the name beginning with G, because gobierno begins with G. I think of George Clooney.
Now I need to think of an image of George doing something related to government. I picture him in my head holding a placard with the words ‘Shut your gob you government!’. (In Ireland people sometimes say ‘Shut your gob’ to someone to stop talking’).
So I try and remember that scene until it’s easy to remember. Then when I see the word ‘el gobierno’ I can picture George Clooney holding the placard and shouting!
I’ll give you another one. La bufanda. Scarf.
I picture Beyonce holding a scarf and saying BOO to all her fans. So Boo to her fans. La Bufanda!
This is a good way to memorise words. I’ve only started doing this so I’ll see in a few weeks if I’ve retained any of these words!
Also for verbs, because they don’t have a gender, I just choose a fictional character and do exactly as I done with nouns.
I think this method of learning is called the ‘Marilyn Method’.
My problem now is that I lose motivation sometimes, and then I spend a few days not learning anything. Plus when I’m working the last thing I want to learn is study! So I need to try and practice everyday!