I guess there’s no real reason for me to hold off on beginning until tomorrow, but I’d like to start with as clean a slate as possible, so I keep scouting out my Spanish resources but I’m trying not to use them.
To take my mind off this (although I could be studying something else or actually doing some work…) I thought it might be a good idea to write out a list of the resources I’ll be using for this challenge. More or less everything I’m using is free – because I don’t like to spend too much money, even if I’m not a student anymore. 😉
So, without further ado…
- FSI Spanish Basic Course
You can find this course here, at no cost to you whatsoever – and it’s completely legal. I’ve used FSI courses in the past before, though I’ve never completed one – but this has 55 units, so it looks quite comprehensive. There are links to other language courses on that site too; though I’m sensing the main problem I’m going to have is that, as the FSI courses were developed for Americans, the Spanish taught will probably be South American Spanish, which is not exactly what I’m after. However, I’m hoping that although I’m at a ‘beginning’ level, I’ll be able to spot most of the differences – or that these will be explained.
- Assimil – Spanish With Ease
Assimil is an interesting language method that I’ve never really utilised fully. The name – Assimil – clearly indicated that the root idea is related to assimilation; and this is true, as you are given a text to read and listen to each day, as well as some exercises and minimal grammar notes. The idea is that you eventually become used to the grammar; so that you spend the first fifty lessons just listening and doing the work, then from lesson fifty-one on, you listen to a new lesson and go back to translate a previous one. I tried using Assimil for one fateful attempt at Russian but found that it often gives too much information too quickly; so hopefully this will be okay with Spanish, where I have a bit more of a base. What is strange about this edition is that it has 109 lessons, instead of the usual 100 – but then I doubt I will be super-consistent with this resource anyway, though I will try!
I think more or less everyone has heard of memrise by now, but in case you haven’t: it’s a website for learning words through a spaced repetition system and it’s literally one of my favourite resources ever. There are a ton of different courses on there and I have a couple for Spanish already sitting on my dash – Introductory Spanish 1 and Harry Potter Spanish.
- Coffee Break Spanish Podcasts
I didn’t even think about podcasts until this afternoon, mainly because I don’t really listen to them in any language and listening is never one of those skills I think about. It is one I should think about, however, as it tends to be my weakest skill by far. A quick search on iTunes later and I found the Coffee Break Spanish podcasts by the Radio Lingua Network. I’ve downloaded the first 10 and synced them to my iPod so I can listen to them on my commute this week – and just at any point where I can’t be bothered to do anything, but still want to feel busy.
I always think TV and books (or any kind of watching/reading material) are a good plan, just because I know that for me, I can learn all the words on memrise, or all the grammar from all the books that I want – but it won’t stick half as well as that first time I come across them in context, especially if that context is fun. To that end, and because I do have Spanish up as one of my languages for the Super Challenge, I’m going to try and watch some TV or films and read now and again. I’ve been reading Harry Potter y la piedra filosofal recently anyway (I don’t think I understand as much as I think I do; I just know the story too well by now), but if I happen to finish that, then I have a host of other books I can turn to.
Phew, that’s it. Time for me to turn in now, since I have to get up early for school. 🙁 Buuuuuuuuuut, the challenge starts tomorrow (as does December, which means I get to start on my advent calendar 😉 ) – so if you have any more resources you think I should know about, let me know. Is there something obvious I’m missing?
If not then, well, I’ll be back tomorrow once I see how the first day has gone!