05 January 2011
By Carolin Schoeller
Welcome back! This week, we’ve gathered a collection of random yet valuable links for you to help you acquire some basic ideas of the Spanish language before you go to South America. This will be very useful if you want to get a general feeling for the language and develop the same passion which millions of others already have for that beautiful language called Spanish.
1) BBC Languages: On BBC Languages, you can learn the basics of a whole range of languages, one of which being Spanish of course. You can make use of the interactive video courses, weekly email tips, games, the phrase of the day and lots of other resources and links. Here you find pretty much all of the fundamental information to get you started in the process of learning Spanish grammar and vocab. The Cool Spanish section is slightly unintentionally comical at times, as it provides you with a great repertoire of slang such as 'Esa tipa es la chorba de Jorge' ('That chick is Jorge's bird') and 'Manolo tiene un pedo de mucho cuidado' (Lit. 'Manolo has a very well cared for fart. Manolo's really drunk').
2) Music for Learning the Spanish Language: This website has an amusing mix of songs for all kind of school subjects. If you miss your days back in nursery and are particularly keen on the learning-by-singing approach, then you will absolutely adore the funky songs concerned with topics like body parts, numbers and animals. My personal favourite is Hip Hop Cocina (which even tells you to 'Stand and “groove” while clapping to the beat of the song'). Hooray!
3) Spanish Internet Radio and Online News Radio: On this page you find a huge selection of Spanish-language online radio stations. Tune into a couple of stations from different countries in order to tell apart the differences between the local accents. You can listen to radio stations in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru - the four countries in which we currently feature language schools and destination guides on Catch the Lingo. If you especially like the melody of one of the accents, then why not choose to travel to that region for your Spanish course?
However, no matter how beneficial these online resources are, it is vital to remember that they are by no means sufficient if you want to learn Spanish properly and understand what this fascinating language and the Hispanic culture are all about! As outlined by Eamonn in a previous blog, computer-based language tuition never substitutes actually learning Spanish in a country where the language is spoken, or as Eamonn put it: “it’s important to bear in mind that just like sport, where training without match practice won’t ever make a good player, language without real-life practice won’t ever make a good speaker.” Nice little analogy.
Read you next week,
This blog is a collection of snippets of interest, opinions and useful info on learning Spanish, volunteering and TEFL in South America (just Argentina and Chile for now but soon to include more countries)? click here if you are looking for our main site.