https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion

The benefits of mixing it up...

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Somebody asked me today how I can possibly practice Spanish for four hours in one day. I explained it to her and I thought maybe it would be beneficial to post it here also.

Today, I logged onto DuoLingo and did my required 30 XP to meet my daily goal. Some days I do a lot more, but I wasn't in the mood for extensive DuoLingo time today, so I logged off after that.

But I did manage to get in quite a bit of Spanish listening practice.

I watched a couple episodes of La Niña, a Spanish-language TV show on Netflix. It's about a teenage Columbian girl who was forcefully conscripted into a guerrilla fighting force at the age of 10. The story is about her journey to return to real life after all she has experienced as a soldier. It's really good (although fast, I have to slow the Spanish down to 90%)

While doing laundry, I did a couple of 5 minute rounds of practice on www.conjuguemos.com, which I highly recommend for practicing verb conjugations.

Later I watched the NFL Superbowl with the SAP set to Spanish (So I heard Spanish-speaking broadcasters calling the game). The game was kind of dull but learning the Mexican Spanish equivalents for football terms (like "taclear" for tackle) made it pretty interesting.

Finally, just before bed, I listened to three short stories in Spanish on YouTube, all of which were very good (about 10 minutes each).

So between DuoLingo and "Studytainment" (entertainment that also helps enhance my Spanish study), I got in four hours of beneficial practice WITHOUT feeling burned out at the end of it.

It was a good day!

2 weeks ago

53 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/ignatznkrazy
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Great advice. I will say the best Spanish football term I've learned from listening to games on the SAP channel is pañuelo de castigo ("punishment handkerchief") for the penalty flag.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Yeah, I laughed quite a bit when I heard that, LOL.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Dutchesse722
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Sounds like a great strategy for effective language learning! Thanks for the link to the verb conjugations. Definitely going to start using it as well. I've been watching a TV show in Spanish called La Promesa; it's a crime series, and also very good for getting used to hearing conversational Spanish. I watch it with Spanish subtitles. If you haven't already, try out the Duolingo Spanish stories and/or podcasts. They're good for picking up conversational words and phrases.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/01LearnFrench01
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You make like these Netflix programs.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Thanks!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Danielle939905

Those sound like great ideas. Thank you for sharing. I'm going to look up la nina now. I've been looking for shows that are originally in spanish, so thank you.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I really like it. I didn't know a lot about the conflict in Colombia and how it affected people's lives, so it's pretty fascinating.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/hjh414399

I watched it too! Totally compelling. I'll watch it again so as to learn more of the vocabulary. Highly recommend this serial. Thanks for the verb conjugation site--it is so very good--I'll be using it daily now. Lingots to you.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/psionpete
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An interesting insight into your study day, thank you!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/AnnKidd4
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Toma, te doy un lingot. Tienes un plan de estudios maravilloso y estoy segura de que lograrás hablar español perfectamente grácias a tus esfuerzos. Enhorabuena.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Muchísimas gracias!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/markit8dude

That's impressive. I have trouble some days getting my goal of an hour of studying in but some days I'm really motivated & get much more.

I tried watching La niña when it first came out but I felt like I was pausing every line to look words up. Maybe I should try again. When you watch shows are you trying to actively listen & learn new words or are you just relaxing and enjoying them?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I really just listen and try to understand and enjoy the show. I will pause if there's something I don't understand that seems critical to the plot but most of the time I just listen and try to comprehend as much as I can. I am at an intermediate level right now, so I can usually follow what's going on even if I miss words here and there.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QdynKqEI

At intermediate level oral comprehension ... is there one thing in particular that presents that biggest challenge: conjugated tenses, pronominal verbs, pronouns, vocabulary, speed, etc.?

I really like your study program, by the way, because it has a good mix of layered approaches, coupled with a mindset to get context rather than each separate component part. Having acquired French many years ago, I think in that language using phrases and ideas, rather than mere assembled words, and I think your approach builds toward that goal. I'm working on that myself now in Spanish and am not there yet.

Good post on this.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Thanks! I'd have to say the speed at which Spanish is spoken naturally is the biggest challenge. When studying, we hear every word enunciated clearly and separately but in real life they tend to run together or the end of a word will be "swallowed" and not really articulated. Sometimes I have to turn the playback speed down to 90% but that's getting rarer now as I am getting used to the speed. My ultimate goal is to listen at normal speed with no Spanish subtitles. I'm not quite there yet either.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/betsys2003
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I watch shows with subtitles on. I think I'd get more frustrated and stop doing it if I didn't, and it's better to be exposed to the sounds than not at all.

I also sometimes put Spanish or French subtitles on my regular English-language Netflix shows. Obviously a different purpose, but I've learned some words for sure. Then if I'm tired I don't really read them, but they're there.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I do too actually. I watch with Spanish subtitles on because sometimes I can't catch a word if it's slurred or spoken quickly.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/DonnaCouli

Wow, you are very inspiring. I am going to look up conjuguemos.com and try some of your other ideas! Thanks for the great tips!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/PrincessPolly1

Thanks for this post! Good advice!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sue.Kelly

Just been on conjuguemos; love it! Thanks so much for the link and your other ideas.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I'm glad, I really like it too. It's really helped me nail down conjugating all the tenses and moods.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/unithorn
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I'd never heard of www.conjuguemos.com, thanks for that link! Do you know if there's a similar site, but for noun and pronouns?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Sorry, I haven't come across one. But I'll post it if I find something similar. www.spanishdict.com does have some grammar quizzes, you might try there.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/unithorn
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Thank you!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/chinadan12

lingot

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/QdynKqEI

I've started using conjuguemos since you last mentioned it -- great site. Someone else has mentioned the duo stories, which I've also started and am now into Set Five. They are fairly short and quick to get through, but certainly helpful for improving reading skills. I also appreciate the regular introduction of new verbs and vocabulary, which I check with an open page set up to spanishdict.com. I would say they are worth adding to the skills practice list. I'll be moving on to the Podcasts later and then to the "studytainement" movies as you've done.

Que bueno trabajo!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Spanishdict.com is a lifesaver isn't it? I pretty much keep it open all the time, LOL.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Frivalry
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Conjuguemos looks like a nifty site for several other languages too. Have you tried Clozemaster as well, and if so, how does it suit you as a power learner? (BTW, whether human, the male Spanish speaker there sounds as if he's the same hombre as the one on DL!) Would also like to know if you keep up with any of the news in Spanish, downer though it may be in any language.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Hi, I haven't yet tried Clozemaster but I've heard it recommended so I will check it out. I do sometimes listen to the news in Spanish, it exposes me to a whole different set of vocabulary that I don't encounter elsewhere.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahSande2

Wow that is very helpful! Thank you for sharing. I am looking for ways to change it up throughout my day. I am going to check out the website you mentioned. And maybe find some TV shows, but I am a beginner still. Not sure which show would be best for me. Maybe a kids show?

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Hmm, not sure but I did run across this link:

8 Spanish TV Shows to Help You Pick Up the Language Fast

In particular, it says "Extra" is perfect for beginners and it's available on YouTube: All Episodes of "Extra". Apparently the show was created to help teach Spanish.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/SarahSande2

Thank you!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Susancave

Thank you ever so much for guiding me to the conjuguemos.com website: it's exactly what I've been needing!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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You're welcome, it's super useful to me as well!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Prattle
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I'm also playing a computer game, "life is strange-before the storm" in spanish. there are several languages you can choose. the spoken parts are english with spanish subtitles but the decision trees are only in spanish. I got to call the bouncer at the night club a "little girl" for having flowers on his harley.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I'm not much of a gamer but that sounds like a great way to practice. I am a Christian and I've been listening to and learning Spanish praise music. Basically I'm trying to integrate Spanish into as many areas of my life as I can.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Denaniel
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Thanks for all the tips! I just checked out conjuguemos for my German studies, and I really liked it. Another approach to using subtitles that has worked well for me as an intermediate learner, is to watch a Spanish/German/other non-English movie once with English subtitles on, and then watch it a second time with subtitles turned off. Once I know the plot and gist of the dialogue, it makes it easier to catch the meanings of words I don't yet know when watching the second time.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Yeah, I do that too sometimes. I watch the first time with Spanish subtitles on and if I like something enough to rewatch it, I'll the turn the subtitles off the second time. Since I know what is being said, the 2nd time I can just focus on how it is said and how I can better comprehend it when I am listening.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/skyflakes95
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Great ideas! I'll have to try out short stories on youtube.

And I LOVE La Niña so much that it has practically ruined a lot of other shows for me. So much happens every episode and a lot of the subplots are written as subversions or deconstructions of a lot of the corny telenovela tropes you'll hear about. It's a war drama, a family drama, a crime thriller, a medical drama, a school drama, a coming of age story, and there are several love stories in it. Though it's definitely not for everyone, obviously there's a lot of sensitive subject matter and some of the later content borders on mature.

I don't know how far you are into the show, but one thing you might notice is how differently characters of different backgrounds speak.

Belky is from a working class family from a rural area near Villavicencio and they use only "usted" when addressing a second person, even the parents call their young daughters "usted." Victor is also working class and uses "usted" even with his close friends. He's originally from Boyacá, and his mother uses the second person pronoun "sumercé." This pronoun comes from "su merced" ("your mercy" or "your grace"), and from what I understand, "usted" actually has similar origins, coming from "vuestra merced" (also "your mercy" or "your grace"). For some reason, "sumercé" has been preserved in that particular region of Colombia. I don't recall where Yolima is from, but she sometimes uses "vos." In contrast, the upper class characters from Bogotá seem to follow the rule of "tú" for informal and "usted" for formal.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Yes, I have noticed the variation in the second person singular. At first I was a bit confused (maybe Belky's mom was using "usted" to indicate how distant they had been from each other?). Then I realized that Manuel also uses "usted" with Belky and I realized it must be a regional variation. I am 12 episodes in, so not very far. I think the subplot I am enjoying most right now is the cat-and-mouse between Belky and Colonel Barragan. The show is so interesting that I would watch it even if I weren't trying to learn Spanish. :-) It's also prompted me to look up some books so that I can learn more about the real-life conflict between FARC, the Army and the paramilitaries.

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/JaeleiKatz

wow im learning Spanish and this is very helpful gracias!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/ajala_comfort

Gracias, para these tips! I am a beginner in Spanish and find these methods very useful!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Sheila248142

Love the term "Studytainment"!

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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:-)

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Marc319403

Thank you for sharing these tips. I'm going to apply them to my own Spanish learning :)

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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Welcome!

2 weeks ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Mello407328

That is impressive...

I studied spanish and french in school. But, that was over a decade ago. I travel a lot and was feeling it nowadays that I need to learn a language properly.

I have just started on Duolingo and find it quite enjoyable. My goal is set at 50xp.

But, I love your approach. I think I will take a page out of your book and apply your strategy.

1 week ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Jaelzion
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I hope it works for you!

1 week ago
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