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Hola de nuevo, chicos y chicas:

How are you doing today? Have you been studying Spanish? Good for you!  Or should you NOT be studying in order to improve your Spanish???

If you are a beginner or lower intermediate student, yes, keep studying! But maybe you need to stop if you are an intermediate student trying to reach an advanced level, or an advanced student trying to become fluent. Why do I say this? Let’s find out in today’s blog.

The language learning journey begins…

When we start learning a language, we use many resources. We usually have books, we use apps like Duolingo, we listen to podcasts like Coffee Break Spanish, and we watch Youtube videos for language learners.

All those things are very useful. However, once you get to an upper intermediate/advanced level, it will not help you to advance.

Think about it: most of those resources and tools are aimed at beginners and intermediate students. If you are not a beginner or a low level intermediate student anymore, it’s not suited for you. At that point, you need to do something else. Otherwise, you end up being stuck in the same level for YEARS, potentially forever.

What do you have to do once you get to an upper intermediate level?

Should you NOT be studying in order to improve your Spanish???  Well, you kind of have to forget about studying Spanish. Yes, that’s right! When you get to that point, you shouldn’t learn Spanish in the traditional way. What you need to do is to incorporate the language into your life.

Incorporating Spanish in your life doesn’t mean more studying. What you need to do is to start living your life in Spanish. How do you do that?

Instead of reading books on HOW to learn Spanish, you read books IN Spanish. Don’t to Podcasts that TEACH Spanish, listen to podcasts for Spanish speakers. Instead of watching Youtube videos about grammar, follow youtubers that do their videos in Spanish for a Spanish speaking audience.

So basically you have to ditch the student mentality and make Spanish a part of your everyday life. Read the news in Spanish, watch TV in Spanish, Listen to Spanish-language radio stations…live your life in Spanish everyday like a native speaker would. You should NOT be studying in order to improve your Spanish!

Have a good week and see you soon!

Octavi

PBO teachers to share their favorite resources to learn Spanish!

Bienvenidos al blog una semana más,

Have you learned a lot of Spanish during the last week? I hope you did. As you know, coming to one or more of our conversational classes @ PBO is probably the best way to learn the language. However, there’s plenty of things you can do when you’re not in class to keep learning and improving your skills, even when you are not at PBO.

Out there, the amount of resources to learn Spanish is so big that it can be hard to find the best ones. In fact, it’s hard to determine what are the best resources, because every student is different and something that works for someone might not be ideal for someone else.

This week, we asked the PBO teachers to share their favorite resources to learn or to practice Spanish with us. Today we’re going to see half of them, and next week the other half. Here we go!

 

National Geographic – Adri

This is the official magazine of the National Geographic Society. It primarily contains articles about science, geography, history, and world culture. It has excellent and very assorted articles.

https://www.ngenespanol.com

 

Muy interesante – Gracia

“Muy interesante” is a monthly popular science magazine which deals with fun facts and current events, such as the development of nanotechnology, physics, biology, astronomy, genetics, neurosciences, new investigations and inventions, and world affairs. As the name says in Spanish, its articles are very interesting.

https://www.muyinteresante.es

 

XHUAN-FM (Fusión 102.5) – Susanna

A public radio station licensed to Tijuana, Baja California, owned by IMER (Instituto Mexicano de la Radio), Mexicos public radio network. Like the Public Radio stations in the United States, IMER presents a variety of discussion and music programs. It’s a good choice to listen to while driving.

https://www.imer.mx/fusion/

 

BBC Mundo – Susanna

BBC Mundo is the BBC’s service for the Spanish-speaking world. It is part of BBC World Service. The website offers news, information and analysis in text, audio and video.

https://www.bbc.com/mundo

 

Why Not Spanish – Vanessa

Cody and María want to help you improve your Spanish and get over the fear of actually using it in real life. They bring you tips, fun facts,  listening activities, and lessons.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIdFcLCIJQ_YMrormG_nU8w/featured

 

Easy Spanish – Vanessa

Their videos are subtitled in both Spanish and English, show local language and culture in natural, everyday situations, and mostly consist of street conversations with native speakers from Spanish speaking countries.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL4AMMMXKxHDu3FqZV6CbQ/featured

 

Tapas de español – Vanessa

Short and entertaining videos about grammar explanations for Spanish learners of all levels.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLUKlJas17MPjEkmt-94rSsap3Ntedy3sc

 

These are all the resources for this week. Perhaps you know some of them, but don’t worry if you didn’t find anything new, next week we’ll introduce more resources. Oh! And thank you PBO teachers for sharing them with us :).

 

¡Nos vemos la próxima semana!

 

Octavi

Por favor, háblame en español

¿Cómo están, estimados alumnos y alumnas?

This week we got the inspiration for the blog “Por favor, háblame en español” from one of our students. During class, this student was sharing with everyone how frustrating it is when all the people talk to him in English when he tries to speak Spanish in Mexico. I’ve heard similar stories from several students in some of my classes too. I completely understand the frustration students experience, and let me tell you, it happens to me too!

Sometimes I say something in Spanish to people who are speaking in Spanish, and they look at me as if they had seen an alien. Most of the time they look bewildered and hesitate before choosing a language in which to reply to me.  I would say that 80% of the time they choose English. Then they compliment me with this: your Spanish is really good! Usually I just say that I’m from Spain and then they switch back to Spanish before I have to say “Por favor, háblame en español.”

I had the same experience when I was living in South Korea, so I found a way to make Koreans talk to me in Korean.  I also came up with a trick or two in case my method didn’t work.

First, I made sure that the first sentences I would say before addressing someone were as grammatically correct as possible. Then I tried to pronounce them very well. I chose simple sentences, in that way I was able to say them pretty past, with confidence and with good pronunciation. I think it worked because Koreans couldn’t hear any English accent in my Korean, so they thought that I either spoke Korean so well that they could use Korean with me, or that I wasn’t an English speaker.

My method usually worked, but in some cases I got answers in English. What did I do then? I used one of my few tricks. Trick number 1 consisted of saying (in Korean): Sorry, I’m from Spain and I don’t speak English. ¿Do you speak Spanish? I used that trick for 5 years and nobody ever said they spoke Spanish, so they did not keep using English; except once or twice.

I remember a man who worked at the snack bar of a cinema I used to go to. He was very stubborn, and always talked to me in English, even though I kept speaking to him in Korean. That was the kind of situation where I used trick number 2. This trick consists of saying that you are a Spanish (it was Korean for me) student and that your assignment is to speak with a native speaker for 5 or 10 minutes. I love trick number two because people almost never refuse to help you. You can usually practice and ask questions freely, knowing they won’t switch to English.

I would also like to say that this is the perfect time to announce that the Pura Buena Onda pins are coming soon! Have you seen them on our Instagram or Facebook page? They say: “Por favor, háblame en español, soy estudiante de Pura Buena Onda”. What a great idea, right (thank you Jean E. for suggesting it!!)!? Now, when you wear the pin, people will see it and they will be more prone to talk to you in Spanish. They might even strike up a conversation in Spanish with you before you know it!

Muy bien, chicos y chicas. As always, I hope my little method and couple of tricks work for you. Give them a try, they always worked for me ;)

See you next week! ¡Nos vemos la próxima semana!

Octavi