WAYS TO PRACTICE AND LEARN OUTSIDE OF CLASS
- QUIZLET! (And don't tell me after being in class, you haven't heard me talk about Quizlet!)
- LiveMocha.Com – A free language learning site – where you can learn and perfect Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, etc AND help someone learn your native language too! Get out the headsets, microphones and get on in, bonnet!
- Be an exchange student! Travel to a country where they speak the language you want to learn! Go, explore and TRY IT! While you are there, try NOT to hang out with only English speakers and practice at every opportunity available! (Shopping, restaurants, hotel, phones, directions, maps, places of interests, kiosks, etc.!)
- Use an audio recorder! Practice your vocabulary aloud while reading! (No, we will not think you are nuts!) If you get confident, offer to make the next vocabulary podcast for themaxfacts! Record yourself talking, play it back, and do it again!
- Flashcards: More than just a tool for speeches! Write the Spanish word on one side and then draw a picture (NO ENGLISH WORDS!) on the other side. Lay them about the house as "booby-trap quizzes" and "on the spot" practice! Put them on the stairs – then don't pass by without practicing! Put them on your door, in your favorite coat's pocket, on the fridge, etc. You can even make slideshow-vocab flashcards and put them on your iPod! Put the most challenging words in the most frequented places. Start with 10 words or so, master them, then add 5 – 7 more to the mix! Keep reviewing "old" terms too!
- Use a dry erase marker on your bedroom windows! (No worries – it comes off if you are just writing on the glass.) Or the bathroom mirrors! No spacing out any more – you'll have to read the Spanish! AND your brain will remember the wacky place you wrote the terms!
- Watch movies, listen to the radio/podcasts, watch TV/Cable in Spanish, etc! In Olympia, you can get two Spanish-speaking radio stations (1360AM and 99.3FM) and there are several Spanish cable channels. You also have access to a growing population of native Spanish-speakers as well as stores and restaurants where you can practice in person!
- Read! Read! Read! Read about people, sports, culture, news, geography, etc! Anything you can get your hands on, like Latina, People en español, Sports Illustrated en español, etc. All available in Olympia, Lacey, Tacoma, etc.
- Use the internet to explore the language, learn about people, culture, food, traditions, modern times, news, politics, etc. Yu can find websites in Spanish, magazines, email-pals, etc. You can find sites to practice Spanish and learning activities. Check out google.es or google.mx = search google in Spanish too!
- Practice with your friends! When you talk, substitue the English for the words that you don't know in Spanish! You'll be amazed how much you can say after practicing for a short period of time! Keep up this practice – it's difficult at first – but INCREDIBLY rewarding later!
- Listen to music in Spanish! iTunes, Best Buy, Circuit City, etc all have top musical artists. You can even find the Top 40 radio lists online (like here) or listen to the radio in Spain or Mexico, etc via iTunes for FREE!
- Try keeping a journal in Spanish! Write as much as you can in Spanish and substitute only when necessary! Again, this one is tough -but very rewarding!
- Make a Spanish wish-list! Start a list of things you want to know how to say or understand! Expressions you want to say or have heard while watching the telenovelas or listening to the radio, etc. ASK your teacher, friends, and seek out answers on the internet or by asking a native speaker!
The key here is: Use it or Lose it! Practice anywhere, anytime, anyhow, anyway! Those few minutes in the lunch line? SPANISH TIME! Showering? Brushing your teeth? SPANISH TIME! Riding in the car? fishing? hiking? SPANISH TIME! Write, Read, Sing, Speak, and Converse in Spanish!
Have fun! Find your own creative, energy-infusing way to practice and learn! Whatever works for you – do it! As long as it is ACTIVE, you will benefit from it!
Remember that ACTIVE PARTICIPATION is KEY to your success!
Have more ideas? Send them to me! I'll be happy to post them and give you the credit!