General Question

sjg102379's avatar

Any tips on how to maintain my foreign language skills?

Asked by sjg102379 (1230points) May 28th, 2007
I speak Spanish pretty well, but happen to live in what seems like one of the only places in the United States where Spanish is not widely spoken. How can I maintain/advance my Spanish without being able to use it daily?
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9 Answers

gailcalled's avatar
Tough problem. Where do you live? Is there a college or University nearby? Or a small Spanish-speaking area? Check the yellow pages. Or Craig's list for bartering language lessons for something...window washing?
occ's avatar
Rent spanish-language films...there are some great ones. Anything by Pedro Almodovar...or if you want to practice listening to Mexican accents, Amores Perros or Y tu Mama Tambien. Argentina: La Historia Oficial ...Chile: El Chacotero Sentimental...the list goes on and on
occ's avatar
Another option is to look for a local youth center that does ESL tutoring...you can be a tutor once a week and you'll get to speak lots of spanish.
occ's avatar
also, without having to rent films, watching the news on univision or telemundo can be a great way to boost your vocab.
gailcalled's avatar
Good ideas but listening comprehension is very different from being able to speak a language. That requires you to hang around w. native speakers as nuch as possible. And OCC is right;
gailcalled's avatar
Spanish covers a multitude of linguistic variations due to the dozens of countries where it is spoken.
evander's avatar

Conversing regularly with native speakers is of course the best, but as a way to maintain and grow your vocabulary you can read regularly in Spanish. I will oftentimes read out loud to maintain and improve my fluidity in forming the sounds and sentence structures. However, this depends on where you are in your Spanish; practicing pronunciation errors should be avoided.

I've found Harry Potter in Spanish to be a good level for a proficient speaker to be able to read and follow the story, but not get bogged down looking up every other word. The reading should be something you enjoy, so if you are having to stop to look up every word then change to something at another reading level. You can sometimes skip looking up some words you don't know if you still understand what is going on, then after you see those words enough times you will start to understand their meaning based on the different contexts. This will help you to think in Spanish, rather than seeing a word and thinking of its English translation.

brittbaker's avatar

I like to buy those little tapes or CD’s and just listen to them in the car and stuff.

faceman's avatar

talk to yourself

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