I have been usure of what to post recently, as I have not had the time to visit anything exciting.
I have now come to terms with the fact that finding a job is hard in Spain and that I should suspend the search until I receive my working/residency permits in October (hopefully). I am also looking into going back to school to become an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. For now learning Spanish is my full time job. The more Spanish I know, the more job options I will have.
I have several resources to help me learn:
- I bought levels 1-5 of Rosetta Stone Spain Spanish before I left the states. I highly recommend this program. Learning a language is difficult, and Rosetta stone really has paved the path and made it easier. I am almost done with level 5, but I am thinking of going back through again for some serious review and taking more advantage of the online resources. My Rosetta Stone is all in Spanish, and helps you earn through images. It also has different sections that helps you speak/write/read/memorize.
- Intercambios. Intercambios are ideally a language exchange. One hour of one language for one hour of the other. It is an intense and quick way to learn and practice the language. The only reason I did not start them sooner, is that it is a little daunting meeting strangers on their turf. Plus there is the anxiety that you will not be able to communicate. I started intercambios in ernest (every day) about a week and a half before my SIL came to visit, to get my Spanish to a higher level as quick as possible. I have now meet some very nice people and should be able to have intercambios with familiar people on a regular basis. I have also found ways to trade knitting/spinning instruction instead of English for some intercambios.
- Verb Drills. Enough said right? Spanish has so many ways to say one verb - it is all memorization and practice with them.
- TV - there is a lot to be said for learn a language through immersion, and watching TV is a way to do it. However there is not always something good on. ;) Recently I have taken to watching game shows. My favorite right now is "Ahora Caigo" mostly because they put the questions up on the screen as they read them. It IS an intense game show though as the name "and now you fall" suggests (the contestants stand on a trap door and will fall if they do not answer the question correctly).
- Novels - I am reading "the Murder of Roger Ackroyd" by Agatha Christie in Spanish. I got the recommendation from a friend of mine here. She pointed out that Christie writes very clearly and with little slang. If you are familiar with her writing style it makes it quite easy to figure out what is going on. I am currently reading this sans dictionary, and it is going better all the time.
As of yesterday I have finally start talking in Spanish with my Husband! It is only for an hour at a time, but will nicely augment my intercambios. He is from Spain but we have aways talked in English together. Talking in another language with your spouse is quite challenging. I know some of you wonder why we did not start talking in Spanish together before. To which I have to answer: sometimes it is easier to learn from a stranger than those you love best. I have finally made it to the level where I can make myself understood to him with out having to resort back to English for explanations. :)
Small victories sometimes feel large.