Category Archives: Learning Project

just keep swimming / solo sigue nadando

As I continue my learning project journey, I am reminded of a line by a famous animated fish.

“Just keep swimming,” stated by Dory in the movie Finding Nemo.

This phrase reminds me to not give up and to keep pushing through, even if I am finding the task to be difficult.

Photo Credit: A. Elizabeth Flickr via Compfight cc

Leaning a language is in fact just that, a difficult task. Over the past few days, I have struggled to keep on top of my daily Duolingo Spanish lessons and I have not used the Tinycards app in over a week.

As I reflect on why I have been neglecting my practice, I feel the more I learn, the more challenging it becomes. In the beginning, it was easy since what I was learning was just the basics. Now that I have moved past that, I am having to combine various parts of the language together. This requires me to retrieve information from my memory and apply it in new and different ways. It can be quite discouraging when you don’t get the answers to the lesson questions correct right away.

That being said, I do know that the only way to learn and retain something new is through practice!

Like my boyfriend, Jose Miguel always says, “práctica, práctica, práctica” and to submerge myself in as much of the language as I can. If he can become fluent in English as an adult, I can surely learn and maintain some basic Spanish.

Moving forward, I am going to hold myself accountable by ensuring that I am practicing daily. I can do this by maintaining a ‘streak’ on my Duolingo account.  Wish me luck!

      

Question:

How are you keeping yourself accountable during your EDTC300 learning project?

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better late than never / mejor trade que nunca

¿Cómo estás?

As I began the second week of my learning project, I was eager to continue learning Spanish and to practice it out on my boyfriend and his daughters. My boyfriend’s daughters are Gaia, who is nine years old and Ever, who is six years old. The girls have grown up with their Dad almost solely speaking to them in Spanish, so their comprehension of the language is very good. They also know exactly what correct and incorrect pronunciation sounds like. The youngest, Ever, is the first to inform me if I am not saying a word in Spanish properly. She is a great little ‘teacher’.

This week on our way to school one morning, I decided to surprise the girls with my new learned Spanish and to show off how much better my pronunciation has become. I said the following greetings, phrases, and common nouns to them; all from memory, I might add. 

  • Hola – Hello
  • Buenos Dias – Good Morning
  • Buenas Tardes – Good Afternoon
  • Buenas Noches – Good Night
  • Como Estas? – How are you?
  • Por favor – Please
  • Gracias – Thank You
  • De nada – You’re Welcome
  • el nino – girl
  • la nina – boy
  • el hombre – man
  • la mujer – women/lady

Both Gaia and Ever were impressed by the number of words I had memorized and with how much my pronunciation had improved.

The Doulingo App is the main resource I have been using to learn Spanish. Having the app on my phone has made learning and practicing very easy and accessible. Any time I have a free moment in my day and/or before bed, I can open the application and work my way through a lesson or two. Each lesson focuses on a particular area of the language and within each lesson, there are a number of mini-lessons. These mini-lessons short and simple, but still ask enough questions so that retention can occur.

This is a video of me making my way through a mini-lesson under Phrases Level 3, to show how quick and easy using Duolingo is to learn and practice a new language. I created this video using Screencastify, a Google Chrome Extension that was introduced to us in our EDTC 300 course. I was really delighted with how simple it was to create and upload this video!

Another resource I find myself using quite frequently during this learning project is the Google Translate App. This application allows me to look up any word, phrase, or sentence in my native language, English, and have it instantly translated into the language of my choice, ie. Spanish. I use this for words I have not yet learned via Duoligio and/or my boyfriend.

Adiós Por Ahora

step two / segundo paso

buenas tardes

It has been a week since I began my EDTC 300 learning project and like my fellow blogger and classmate Miss Savannah stated in her blog post Spanish Update: Week One, learning a language online is a little overwhelming.

There are a lot of resources out there and within those resources, there are many options. For example, I began searching for a podcast that I could listen on my commute to and from work, but there were so  many to choose from. It took a bit of trial and error to find a podcast that would be good for me to start with. I settled on Learning Spanish for Beginners Podcast via iTunes as the each episode is specific and to the point. 

 

Next, I did some exploring on YouTube to see what learning videos were available to target some specifics areas of the language. Again, there were many to choose from and I ended up starting with some videos that are aimed at children. One in particular I used this past week was, Spanish for Kids / Learn Spanish by Learning Time Fun, these videos were a good starting point and easy to follow along with.

I also began using the app Duolingo on my phone to learn and practice the language. Over the week I completed 2 Intro & Phrases levels and 1 Travel, Restaurant & Family level. This app is a great resource and allows me to focus on specific areas of the Spanish language. In order to learn the language, Duolingo uses multiple ways of teaching; images, matching, sentence translation (English< >Spanish), fill in the blank, audio, and speech recording.  This app also makes the learner do over and re-practice the questions/learning that you get incorrect.

Follow them on Twitter @duolingo

My other fellow classmate and blogger Shaelyn Knudson is also learning Spanish for her EDTC 300 learning project. In her blog post Spanish, Week One, she created a fantastic voice-over video outlining the features of Duolingo and how to navigate through the lessons.

A second app I began using, as it was recommended/advertised through the Duolingo app, was Tinycards. Tinycards is a free flash card app that helps you learn and memorize topics via bite-size lessons. This app is another great tool and allows me to continue to practice and memorize the Spanish language.

Follow them on Twitter @tinycardsapp

Going forward I will continue to use the above resources, as well I will practice my NEW learned Spanish on my boyfriend. (That will be a true test of my skills as he is very honest when it come to my pronunciation). I will also listen to Spanish music and try watching a TV show is Spanish with Spanish subtitles!

adios por ahora

in the beginning / al principio

¡Hola!

For my EDTC 300 learning project assignment, I have decided to learn Spanish.

Learning this language is very important to me because it is the first language of my boyfriend. My boyfriend, Jose Miguel and I have been together for almost four years and I have been fortunate that he is fluent in English. Over our time together he has taught me some basic words and phrases in Spanish, but I do not use them nor do I practice very often. My understanding of Spanish has increased a but more than my ability to speak the language by listening to him converse with others. But when him and I talk and text, we default to English.

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This summer however, we are traveling to Spain and will be spending three weeks  with his family, all of whom speak Spanish. This will be the first time I will be meeting them in person and I would love to be able to communicate with them in their native language!

Baseline: 

  • a few greetings
  • the alphabet
  • counting from 1-20
  • some household objects/furniture
  • some food
  • a few verbs (to sit, to pass, to go, etc.)

Plan:

  • daily use of the language app Duolingo
  • YouTube videos to target specific goals (ie. colours)
  • download and listen to podcasts while in the car
  • Twitter to network and connect to others about learning a new language
  • my boyfriend as a face-to-face resource
  • weekly blogging about my progress

Adios until next post!