The road after Duolingo? (Spanish tree)
Hello! I'm studying Spanish hard and it seems like I will be finishing the Spanish tree here on Duolingo pretty soon. My question is, where do I go from there in terms of free online resources? I read people's estimation that Duolingo basically covers A1 and A2. Save for enrolling in a paid course, what would you recommend one should do after finishing the tree?
The biggest areas where Duolingo lacks are building vocab and getting experience listening to/speaking "real-world" Spanish. So whatever you do, keep those things in mind as goals.
Some common "next steps":
Watch some Spanish video/tv. In addition to 'Destinos', mentioned above, I really enjoyed @Extra (find it on youtube). It's shorter, but starts up a little faster. And, at least for me, as a "comedy" it was more fun to follow along. And of course, there's the Spanish soap opera channel if you want to watch people in love triangles trying to murder each other, all while fighting rare, tropical illnesses :)
Some people (like yours truly) do the reverse tree after finishing your tree in one direction. This won't help you go "further" in your language, but it is somewhat useful for solidifying what you already know.
I'm really enjoying BliuBliu recently, for my "extra-curricular" learning away from Duolingo. Saw it mentioned in the forums and tried it out myself. They attempt to "build" your vocabulary by starting you off with words you're likely to know from your primary language. Interesting concept, and the text samples they give you can pretty entertaining too.
Tackling a book in Spanish. The Harry Potter series and The Hunger Games are fairly often mentioned here, but really anything you find enjoyable will work.
Get yourself a Spanish penpal/Skype buddy. Not really my cup of tea, but lots of people swear by this method. (I think there's a site called LanguageExchange that works off of this idea.)
Google for a free video series called 'Destinos' It starts at the beginning but the the later lessons would be good. That and lots of movie/TV watching to improve listening skills and reading for vocab and grammar/syntax.
In addition to 'Destinos' which is quite good, I really enjoyed @Extra (find it on youtube). It's shorter, but starts up a little faster. And, at least for me, as a "comedy" it was more fun to follow along.
Thank you so much for this recommendation! I am watching episode 1 of Extr@ right now and it is awesome. Can you think of anything similar to it, aside from Destinos?
I wish. As far as I know, @Extra is in a class on its own, as far as this made-up "low-level content mixed with entertainment value" metric goes.
If you're willing to stray from the sitcom genre though, The Time Between Seams is a show that was produced in Spain and very popular there. It's definitely higher-level Spanish than @Extra, but it's available with English subtitles online (Hulu and elsewhere).
There's always Telemundo's youtube channel too, which has CC in both English and Spanish for most shows: https://www.youtube.com/user/telemundotv/videos
I think khan academy would be perfect for you . You can learn all kinds of stuff and it is free
That really depends on what you enjoy, what you like to do and your learning style. If you enjoy politics, there are specific free resources online. Do you like fast music or slow music? Romantic, jazzy? Did you know that a number of Anne Rice books are available en español?
I would strongly suggest that you combine what you enjoy with learning Spanish. It worked for Tim Ferris (http://fourhourworkweek.com/2009/01/20/learning-language/) You can practically use the web, and free tools to custom tailor your language learning experience. Spanish can be secondary.
Try creating an alternate FB account, change your name to Maria Torres. Make friends, meet new people or follow them and hit the "me gusta" button on Spanish things. Just write in Spanish.
123teachme has some basic conversation lessons that includes audio. http://123teachme.com/learn_spanish/hello_in_spanish
One thing about Destinos, while they speak clearly and slightly slower than normal, most of the content takes place in Spain, so there are some elements that you may hear that are not taught on DL. But having said that, its positives outweigh that by a mile. I haven't watched in a while, and I was able to keep up with most of the dialogue back when i was still in my spanish tree. I have finished and am in a reverse tree, and have come a long way since then, so I may go back and continue where I left off with it. Good luck.