Sunday, June 5, 2011

Podcasts for beginner-intermediate Spanish lessons

In high school, I was fortunate to have a Spanish teacher who seemed to know that I had some proclivity for foreign languages. I had once done a small bit of supplemental work (reading Le Petit Prince [The Little Prince]) beyond the French I took each year, of which she may have been aware, being the Department Chair.

This Miss York (Thank you!!) suggested that I skip 2nd year Spanish, so I ended up taking 1st and 3rd year. I had to hustle to get up to speed in the 3rd year, not having been exposed to the 2nd year material, but it was well worth it to develop a Spanish language foundation that would encourage me in future years to keep at it.

For some time, I've thought that if I again had my high school Spanish textbooks (which were loaned to students each year by the school, as I presume is the norm in U.S. public schools), I should be able to, reasonably quickly, refresh some of the grammatical knowledge I once had. However, podcasts remain rather more convenient, and I found one which feels pretty good for my level, although to date I've only listened to a small portion of its content.

iTunes U, DePaul College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Basic Spanish, by Claudia Fernandez, is my choice.  Eventually I hope to again be able to compose meaningful new sentences on my own (too bad you can't split infinitives in Spanish, I'd obviously love to do so). For too long I've been living off of random sentences like:
  • El mago hace muchos trucos de mágia. (The magician does many magic tricks. ["does", not "makes", Google Translate!]), and
  • Las ardillas buscan nueces en los árboles. (The squirrels look for nuts in the trees. [not "The squirrels in the trees looking for nuts", Google Translate!])
which I've picked up from a Transparent Language RSS feed.

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