Tips for Learning Spanish
Before Moving to Mexico
If someone asked me what I would recommend as the most important preparation for expatriation to Mexico, it would be to learn Spanish. Here is a description of the curriculum I suggest you follow:
The Learnables Languages
This picture-aural system follows the last 40 years of linguistic research in second language acquisition. You receive true immersion in the language. For more info: www.learnables.com.
This is the second stage of acquiring spoken fluency. First, you engaged in input with The Learnables. Second, you begin your output stage with The Pimsleur Spanish system. This is your first attempt at speaking the language and you will develop much vocabulary. The retail price for this course is $345. You can find the best deals discounted 40 percent or more at: www.yournewlanguage.com/index.php. There is also the opportunity to download Pimsleur or listen to it online at pimsleur.english-test.net/pimsleur-download.html.
Learn Spanish Like Crazy
This soon to be two-level course follows the style and approach of The Pimsleur products. You will learn a tremendous amount of vocabulary and will get massive exposure to how Spanish is spoken in Latin America. Pimsleur is excellent in giving you exposure to how educated Spanish-speaking people converse. However, when you are on the streets of Latin America, you will hear many differences in the Spanish you learned with Pimsleur and what you will learn with Learn Spanish Like Crazy. The reality is that there is street Spanish and there is formal Spanish. You have to know both and be able to switch back and forth. This course is one of the newest players in home study language products, so the prices are still at retail. You can download the entire course for $97. This is a good deal and worth the effort considering the cost on Amazon.com for the CDs is $217. For the complete story on this course and the imminent release of level two, visit: www.learningspanishlikecrazy.com.
Immersion Plus Spanish
If you cannot hear the euphony or music of a language, you will rarely, if ever, be able to understand what someone is saying to you. Though I went through massive Spanish preparation before coming to Mexico, I did not count on the speed at which the locals speak. This course addresses this common issue. You may order Immersion Plus Spanish from Amazon.
This course will further train your ear in the music of the language. It records live interviews with Spanish speakers from Colombians to Spaniards, and dissects the interviews for grammar and vocabulary. Then, the speakers speak at different speeds so you can follow with or without a transcript. Amazon.com offers the product for $11.01. (Type in “smartspanish” as one word.)
A great idea is to check eBay.com for these courses being sold used.