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  1. Definitely check out Gran Hotel if you're into telenovelas. It's on Netflix and Hulu and it's actually super interesting (if a bit dramatic). The actors talk a bit too fast for my rusty Spanish skills, but I can understand about 90% of the content with subtitles. Unfortunately, the only other shows that I know of are cheesy beginner-type series that we were shown in high school. I'd love to hear others' suggestions, too.
  2. My Spanish teacher in high school told us that the imperfect is used for both habitual actions in the past and can be translated as "used to" in English. I only graduated a few years ago so Google Translate was around, and she would get mad at students that used the phrase "subject + imperfect form of soler + infinitive verb" to demonstrate "used to" in their essays. Of course, she told us that imperfect would cover it and that using soler was a lazy way out. That didn't really sit right with me. Was she right? Or does soler have a use in either formal or conversational Spanish?
  3. It might work if you put some active effort into it. I grew up in an environment that was nearly 24/7 Cantonese (with splashes of English) for nearly five years and the only phrase I definitely know how to say is "I don't speak Cantonese." I can still understand pretty well, but it makes conversations with older relatives rather awkward. Nothing like getting stared down disapprovingly for an entire ten course wedding banquet! I think it would be most effective when combined with another structured program so that they can reinforce eachother (the program giving the theoretical knowledge to understand the practical knowledge that conversation gives). Accents should be taken into consideration as well. I can understand native Spanish speakers from Latin American countries pretty well and pick up on some of the slang. Yet I can hardly understand Spaniards, unless they enunciate every single word. The lisp throws me off that much.
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