Submitted by Nikki on
Surrounded by Spanish
The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it. Whether that means living abroad, traveling, or taking advantage of exposure to Spanish in Denver, you will learn to speak and understand Spanish faster than studying in the classroom once a week. The classroom will give you the structure you need to create and build on a foundation, upon which you can explore the language and culture in its authentic setting.
I recommend music, films, television, radio, learning cds, media, and internet resources to keep you improving your Spanish outside of class. Most importantly, I recommend you speak with native speakers of Spanish whenever you get the chance. They will appreciate your effort and you'll get great practice!
You may not understand much of the dialogue in a Spanish language film, but the advantage of watching it is simply more exposure to the language as well as the chance to hear different accents. If you're a beginner, watching with subtitles is a great way to pull out the meaning of words and phrases. For intermediate and advanced speakers, try watching the subtitles in Spanish to work both your listening and reading skills.
You can also choose to have Spanish subtitles on movies or television programs you watch in English, and will certainly pick out some new words or phrases.
Here are my reviews and recommendations of Spanish language films.
Listening to music in Spanish is not only a great way to improve your listening skills, but it's great entertainment as well. There are plenty of great groups and musicians coming out of Latin America and Spain. Here are some recommendations, and most songs and videos are available to watch for free on YouTube. You can look up the lyrics or just try to decipher them on your own. For most people, music is a great learning tool.
Much like movies, watching TV in Spanish can be tricky for beginner students. One of the best programs for learners are telenovelas, much like soap operas. Novelas are great to watch because characters speak slowly in their attempt to be dramatic.
There are many websites dedicated to providing information for learners of Spanish and many of them are free. Many of them have quizzes, written explanations of grammar topics, listening exercises, and podcast lessons. Some of my favorites are:
There a few groups with the goal of getting together and practicing Spanish that are very active in Denver. The Denver Spanish language meetup group will inform you of all events. Events are for speakers of all levels, and include anything from informal open houses to study groups, all of them free!
Listening to language audios in your car or wherever is a great opportunity to hear a Spanish accent and learn independently. I recommend audios that are entirely in Spanish, such as ones done by Berlitz or highly-rated Spanish for Gringos which also includes a workbook.
Medios de comunicación (Media)
Denver has some local bilingual newspapers that are good reading practice and can connect you to what's going on in the Denver Spanish-speaking community.
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