Read this blog ! Practice your English! Come on ( venga ya)!. No deadlines (fechas tope). No exams. It's just a fun way to learn the language.
A challenge! A goal! A necessity?
What's your biggest challenge right now? --To LEARN English or to IMPROVE your English! That's right. You need to be able to communicate in English, read in English, write and understand spoken English. And you need to do it NOW!
How are you going to do this? You're too busy! You work or study 9 or 10 hours a day. Then you have to get home and pay attention to your family. You need to spend at least a few minutes with your spouse and the kids. Or maybe you just need time for your friends.
Well, that's fine. It's important to have some free time. However you need to start working on your English NOW! Well, you really needed to start yesterday, or back in September, or on January 1st or many years ago. Unfortunately you didn't, so NOW is where we are, so....let's start right NOW! YOU have an "asignatura pendiente"
Are you going to learn English if you are in an entirely Spanish environment? NO. NO, you're not. What can you do, starting TODAY, to change that situation. How can you create an atmosphere more conducive to learning a second language?
That's right. Surround yourself with that language, in this case ENGLISH !
1.You like music. LISTEN TO it. Get a print out of the words and learn them. Read them! Sing them!
2. STOP and TALK to people you hear speaking English. Just say "Hello" or "Good Morning" and ask a question.---"Excuse me. "Where's X restaurant? -or-Do you know where Plaza Mayor is? -or-"Could you tell me where the bus stop is? ---Anything to start a conversation.
"I never see any English speakers," you say. That's just not true. There are many foreign students here at the university. Approach them. Talk to them. Other foreigners? Go to any of the major museums, train stations, tourist areas of town.
"I'm shy. I can't just walk up to a tourist". Yes, YOU CAN! Take a notebook. Write down 10 questions. Walk up to an English speaker and say you need some information for a BLOG in English and could they please help you. Your notebook makes you look like you're doing serious research. Be friendly: make a new friend.
3. Watch DVDs. Get foreign films. Watch them first in Spanish or your native language so you enjoy the film and understand everything. Then watch it again in ENGLISH with ENGLISH subtitles. Voilá....you understand much more than you thought you would. Watch a little bit or whole scenes again and again until you're comfortable with what you hear. Go back to the same film again a few days later.
4. Read! READ! READ! Get simple books, even children's stories. There's a lot of repetition in children's books. Just think about "Goldilocks and the 3 Bears", "The 3 little Pigs" That's too easy. Try "The Little Prince". That one's available in dozens of languages. Read to your children or brothers and sisters or to your mirror. Now we're combining quality time and language learning. Get adventure stories. Lots of past tense to review there. Read in your native language. Then read the same book in English.
5. Write! That's the hard one because you need someone to correct you. Keep a journal and go back and look at it months later. You can correct yourself! Send an email in English to a friend who knows the language better than you do. Hopefully that person will answer you, in English. Try it. Try chats. Emails and chats can become learning tools. Send a brief paragraph about yourself and see if someone who speaks English and wants to learn Spanish answers. Remember to include your name and email address.
6. This BLOG is here to encourage you. It's a way to get into contact with others. Send me a "comentario", a comment, about yourself. Don't forget to include your email address. We'll see if anyone writes back to you. Send me a paragraph about yourself and I'll put it on our bulletin board for other students to see. Remember to include your email address. Here's an example:
My name is Pepe Perez. I'm 20 years old and I study Advertising at the UEM. I live in Madrid, Spain, but I'd like to go to the US when I graduate. I'd like to exchange emails with another student. I can help you with your Spanish if you help me with my English. Pepe (email address).
"Mensaje recibido?" NO MORE EXCUSES! Learn English.
We're here to help you, and encourage you, and if necessary push you a little. The more English you speak, the more employment opportunities you will have. Take our advice. Start NOW. It's never too late.
pay attention: prestar atención
spouse: marido o mujer
the kids: los críos
environment: ambiente, lugar
surround: envolver, meterse en medio
bulletin board: tablón de anuncios