Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Spanish & Thai Updates

by AJ

My efforts to learn Spanish this week include the following strategy:

1. Free reading
Im reading a couple of books simultaneously... of mixed levels. Most of my reading consists of low level (level 1) graded mini-novels (available from TPRS site and Amazon). These are easy to read and enjoyable. I rarely use a dictionary while reading these... and learn new words from context.

The second book Im reading is "Tuck Everlasting" in Spanish. This is well above my current level... Im using it to build vocabulary. I typically work through one or two pages a day... looking up words I dont know- then writing them in a small notepad. I learn 20-30 new words a day in this way. Its more work than the easy mini-novels, but still pleasant. I enjoy decoding the story... like solving a puzzle... and Im learning a lot of new words (which makes the easy reading seem even easier).

2. Listening

Each morning I listen to an audiobook for about 15-20 minutes. Im listening to a low level book from TPRS called Patricia Va a California. Ive already read this book several times, so I know most of the vocabulary. This is also a pleasant experience as I understand most of the language and am gradually getting better.

Today I will get an ipod shuffle and download the audiobook (and soon, more books) so I can listen to it/them when I travel to the Rangsit campus or otherwise have free time during the day.


1. I continue to study the Thai vowels.... the multi-location ones are very difficult to remember. Each day I read "Daycha looks for Crabs". My problem is (as always) Thai pronunciation. I cant do this alone. Last night I had Wat read the words to me. But I need more... so Im going to record him reading the "Daycha" series of books so I can listen to the pronunciation every day. Hopefully this will speed my incredibly slow and frustrating progress (or lack thereof).