I spent my summer attempting to prepare myself for my two upcoming Spanish classes. Since deciding last Spring that I would be studying abroad again I’ve been extremely excited and motivated to learn about Spain.
To start off the summer, I read most of my Rick Steves’ travel book. I also spent a lot of time exploring twitter.com and looking for people and organizations to follow that would help me continue to be thinking about Spain and Spanish. I followed gospain, grahunt and countless others on twitter. I’ve found these people to be very helpful whenever I was seeking advice or just simply wanted to know what is going on in the lives of expats living in Spain. If you have a twitter account and have a question you’d like to have answered about Spain, simply type in your question and follow it by #spainhelp and there are many people following this tag that can help answer your questions.
I guess I should also mention that before the Fall semester of 2009 (the current semester) I hadn’t taken a Spanish course for three years! Needless to say, I was very concerned about my language abilities… Over the summer I spent a lot of time attempting to get my mind to think in Spanish once again. I looked over all of my old Spanish materials and text books but found that rather boring… I went online in search of other ways to brush up my skills. Twitter again was a helpful resource because I followed different news sites that publicize news in Spain (which consequently is in Spanish). In addition to twitter I also went online to my public library site and played around on a program that they offer. The program is free if you have a library membership. It has different exercises and quizzes that you can do to help with language skills. I enjoyed doing this program because it was interactive, however my favorite way to brush up on language skills was by far listening to podcasts.
There are many different podcasts that I enjoy listening to about Spain. For the beginner I would recommend Coffeebreak Spanish. This podcast teaches Spanish from scratch… For the more advanced learner I would recommend Showtime Spanish which is geared for individuals that have already completed the Coffeebreak Spanish podcasts or have some previous Spanish language experience. I also enjoyed listening to a podcast called Slow News in Spanish. This podcast broadcasts current news in Spanish and also teaches language while giving news. I would also recommend podcasts by Ben Curtis; they are always interesting to listen to.
Next time I will share about the exchange program I am creating my application for and the different universities I am interested in attending.
Thanks for reading and if you have any questions I’ll do my best to answer them!