Thursday, December 11, 2008

the spanish plan

Now that I'm finished with my Spanish lessons, I need to keep practicing if I want to improve.

I have a couple ideas that don't require a lot of money.

Conversation Exchange
It's a free website that joins people who want to practice a new language with a native speaker.

For me, all I did was create a simple profile and I received numerous emails of people wanting to practice their English.

I only want to meet with native Argentine speakers. Argentines pronounce words differently, use 'vos' instead of 'tu' and use some different words than other parts of the Spanish speaking world. I also want to only meet with Argentines because it's not just about the language, I want to know about the culture and customs too.

This weekend and next week, I'll meet with 5 Argentines; all men. I'm not sure how I feel about this. I would prefer to meet with women, but we'll see how it goes. I'll meet with them at a cafe in a crowded area, in my barrio (neighborhood). I'm going to suggest we speak 15 min. of Spanish and 15 min. of English.

I love reading the news, so I made a deal with myself that I'd only read the Spanish newspaper if I wanted to see what was happening in the world. All I want (for now) is to be able to read the headline and the first paragraph. Equipped with a dictionary this takes time.

Today around 3pm I went to a cafe. I realized I forgot my dictionary, but I spotted some free magazines that the cafe had. I grabbed a fashion magazine and found it to be easier to read than the newspaper. It was a little more of a confidence boost and it was fun to look through too.

Study memorize study memorize...
There's really no other way than to study, memorize and then practice. I'm trying short bursts of Spanish studying all day.

It's not coming easy and I don't see progress. I know it takes time.

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