Effortless English Archives

Automatic English For The People

Friday, May 26, 2006


by AJ

I feel like Im slowly building momentum with my Spanish studies. In the beginning I found it difficult and somewhat frustrating. But with the current approach Im using, Im enjoying it more and more. I feel a sense of empowerment as I gradually understand a little more each week. And I feel no stress because at this beginning stage, Im focused solely on reading and listening. No pressure to speak or write. That will come later, after Ive absorbed much more of the language.

Essentially Im using the approach recommended by The Linguist. Here is my typical daily schedule:

40-60 minutes of Listening
10 minutes of reading
10 minutes review of vocab/phrases

When I listen, I usually do the following:

First I review the last 5-10 chapters in Las Puertas Retorcidas. These are chapters that Ive already read and listened to previously. Usually Ill listen to them again, each day, 1-3 more times.

Next I listen to the day's new chapter. After one listening, I listen and read at the same time.

Then I find the words/phrases I dont know. I use the word list & translation to find their meaning if its not obvious from context. I write down these words and review the list a few times.

Then I listen to the chapter repeatedly for the rest of my daily listening time. I put my ipod on repeat... so the chapter plays over and over and over again. As long as I can, I listen intently... often reading along at the same time. When my mind starts to wander I take a break. But later in the day I will pop in the earplugs and repeat listen.

Sometimes this is done with concentration. Sometimes its more background listening as I walk around.

I now have two more chapters left in the book. Once I finish it, Ill probably take a couple of weeks and listen to the entire book each day... reading along when possible.

Then Ill move on to other material.... probably Teresa Sanchez's SSL podcasts!

San Francisco, CA