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About laura

  • Rank
    Language Newbie


  • Currently studying
  • Native tongue
  • Fluent in
    Spanish, English
  1. I have two daughters who were both born in Spain. We now live in Scotland. My husband is English. We are happy in general with how they are progressing with their two languages, but it is not straightforward. You have to keep them going with cartoons, books, music, etc in the weaker language (Spanish for us now) and regular time with the family in Spain. We have also been taking them to a Saturday Spanish school here in Edinburgh which is amazing. Lots and lots of Spanish children, good teachers and fun classes. The biggest thing is that they want to speak Spanish with the friends they make there and as a result they improve quickly and painlessly. Kids pick up languages really easily and, as someone else in this thread commented, they understand well but can be lazy to speak. The best way for them and for us is if the whole process is natural and organic and they actually want to speak simply because they want to. Finding friends and fun situations on a regular basis is vital. Here are a few other good tips and a bit more on the topic.
  2. I am wondering what everyone thinks about swearing in a second language. I think it is one of those areas of language reserved only for the most confident speakers who have managed to get a good grasp of their second language culture. It is interesting, maybe even "impressive", when someone gets it right and swears with a perfectly aimed and constructed truly native sounding expression. Or is it just offensive and to be avoided at all costs in one's own language or any other. My husband is doing quite well now at swearing in Spanish. Or maybe I should say he is doing badly as some of the stuff he comes out with now is quite filthy. He seems very proud and finds it all very funny. He likes how the Spanish swear words sound and think they are milder than their English equivalents. I am not so sure. I think we just get used to our own swear words and understand their full force better. Here is an interesting article on the topic, but I would like to hear everyone else's opinion.
  3. The more we read and write...

    I prefer to keep things as natural and loose as at all possible. I think it is better not too think too much about the process, but to make sure we focus on enjoying it genuinely. It should become part of our lives. I find when I enjoy something I am doing in my second language I improve and remember things quickly and well and the whole process is sustainable. Simple as that. I am anti-study and pro pushing myself hard with things that can be tough at first like debating, talking in big noisy groups, watching movies or listening to music. I think the most important skill is definitely listening because once you can understand native speakers easily in any situation everything else gets a lot easier. And until you can it is always a struggle. Jump straight in the deep end! It can only get easier.
  4. How do you learn a language best?

    Making the second language part of your life and using it because you want to use it not because you feel you have to study. Find things that you can manage in your second language (even if only just) and genuinely enjoy doing and then do them regularly. Choose lots of different media and vary between speaking, reading, writing, listening. Oh, and don't make these kinds of mistakes!
  5. For me it was definitely better to learn a basic amount of grammar and vocabulary first and then move on to interacting with native speakers. Once I was clear with the fundamental tenses and conjugations I pretty much left grammar alone and just concentrated on my listening skills. Listening is the number one priority. If you can understand well you will attain a high level. I think it is vital to be brave and get stuck in to conversations with native speakers early (most of the time just listening), watching TV, reading, writing, etc. Just like kids do when they learn their mother tongue. Skype classes are an awesome way to get in contact with natives and they internet provides us with all of the material we need to practice. Here are a couple of good articles discussing what you shouldn't do and what you should. The most important things are to enjoy what you are doing, be prepared for the long haul, be open minded and curious, and mix with native speakers.
  6. Hi, One of the keys to speaking any foreign language to a high level is building a big repertoire of vocabulary and being so familiar with it that it rolls of the tongue at any (correct) given moment. It takes a long time to build vocabulary and you have to have a lots of patience. But it is imperative that you plan your approach and are constant and consistent. Here are some great tips on how best to make vocabulary building a fun and painless part of your everyday routine: http://coursefinders.com/en/studentlibrary/1450/top-tips-on-how-to-remember-second-language-vocabulary Maybe you could all suggest some more? Looking forward to hearing your ideas. Laura
  7. Hola, For me the best way to study Spanish is definitely to draw from a wide range of resources as often as possible. And for this to happen the key is that you have to genuinely want to do it. It can´t feel like studying as you will get too bored and lose interest. Things I love are films, TV, music and radio, so those are my top resources. If you love reading, get hold of some Spanish books that really appeal to you. You have to try and make Spanish a true part of your everyday life and not look upon the process as "studying". Here is an article about learning Spanish using music that expands on what I am saying. Hope you find it interesting: http://coursefinders.com/en/studentlibrary/1293/learning-spanish-using-music Saludos, Laura