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Learning Spanish Part Ten : Even More Horsing Around
There are two additional courses that I recommend. In fact, they are so effective that these, along with The Learnables, I credit with helping on my road to a high degree of spoken fluency. These courses are Pimsleur Spanish and Learning Spanish Like Crazy. Without this trio of courses I would not be where I am today linguistically living in Mexico for going on five years.
These are two of the most popular home study courses that, if you believe the press put out by the folks at Learning Spanish Like Crazy, are in competition with one another. I don't think that the case, however, you will hear all manner of references to Pimsleur as "out-dated" or "teaches vocabulary that is no longer used." Neither is true.
While the methodology the courses use is virtually the same, Pimsleur definitely and unashamedly teaches a vocabulary that is used in formal settings in Spanish speaking countries. I have found what I learned very useful in Mexico, where I live, in situations in which I am with more educated Mexicans. But, when I hit the streets, the stores, the parks, Pimsleur fails me. That's where Learning Spanish Like Crazy comes in. Its approach or "slant" is in attacking the more vernacular or common street Spanish, and I might add, does a very good job. I was floundering until I graduated from Pimsleur to Learning Spanish Like Crazy.
Pimsleur, I think, is the best one to begin with then graduate onto Learning Spanish Like Crazy.
You should do these two courses. You should do them after The Learnables and before entering into a formal class setting whether in your home country or going to a country for a study abroad stint.
Here's the science behind the courses:
Principle of Anticipation - This memory technique will lead you through the listening and repeating of the native speakers on the CD's in such a way that you will know the answer when the narrator asks you how to say something you worked on two or three minutes previously.
Graduated Interval Recall - This step is to build a "Speech Center" in your brain. You don't know you are doing it but soon you don't think about it, you just know what the Spanish word is.
Core Vocabulary � In both courses you develop the vocabulary you need to begin like a first grade native speaker.
Organic Learning � You will be learning the grammar and vocabulary much in the same way as you did as a child learning your native language. There will be no mechanical memorizing of anything and soon you will have the language ingrained into your being.
What needs to be pointed out here is that you should go through each of these courses, The Learnables, Pimsleur Spanish, and Learning Spanish Like Crazy multiple times. This will imitate the same thing which happened in the mastering of your native language�repetition� and will become True Immersion in the language.
Remember that True Immersion is: " Older learners who have been exposed to a translation system rather than an immersion system are suspicious of an immersion system because it is not widely used. Furthermore, they seek translation that keeps them in the English way of thinking, preventing the second language from developing independently from the first language. Immersion systems have as their goal the elimination of internal translation.
Furthermore, immersion systems provide the individual with authentic second language, enabling the person to achieve native-like fluency in the second language. For example, when we say the alarm clock went off (rather than on) we do not challenge the phrase as native speakers. When we say the house is on the river (rather than next to the river) we accept the phrase because we know its meaning. " (Harris Winitz, Ph.D. Language Development, K.C., Mo.)
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