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Duolingo....how far will it take you?


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#1 Ottakee

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 04:39 PM

This is for myself....a middle age mom who never had any foreign language in highschool or college and now wants to learn conversational Spanish to use in our area with our growing Hispanic population.

So far I am on day 3 or 4 of Duolingo. What else is good for me? Esp things that can be done in small 5-15 minute segments.

I also hope to connect with native Spanish speakers at church and in the area to get a bit of conversation skills.

#2 wendyroo

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 05:01 PM

I like to pair Getting Started with Spanish with Duolingo.  GSwS teaches explicit grammar (along with some vocab) in very short, 5-10 minute lessons; this complements Duolingo's more immersive, learn-by-doing method.

 

In my experience, Duolingo + GSwS + conversational practice will allow you to hold slow, somewhat stilted conversations about many common topics.  You will be dipping your toe into a couple different tenses, but will still be most comfortable in straightforward present tense.  You will know lots of common words, but will come up vocabulary-short if the conversation strays beyond the most basic, preschool-level topics (foods, the body, animals, nature, community locations, etc).

 

Wendy


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#3 SusanC

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 05:15 PM

You might be interested in skimming through the book Fluent Forever. My library has a copy and so far the suggestions seem to echo my anecdotal experience. Don't be overwhelmed by his suggestions, but you may want to get one or two of the books he recommends.

I (and the Fluent Forever guy and boardie Tranquility7) highly recommend setting up an Anki deck for studying vocabulary. I was able to do it on my own, but his website has a bunch of great tutorials. The app keeps track of which of your flashcards you need to practice when. It is worth the time investment to set up, adding new vocabulary is easy ice it is started.

The BBC has a nice overview of Spanish program called Mi Vida Loca. It has short episodes with some grammar and vocabulary exercises.
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#4 3 ladybugs

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Posted 06 July 2017 - 07:41 PM

I like Busuu. I am not learning Spanish but my son's German teacher told me about it for him. It is nice because it pairs to the European Framework for Languages. So if you were to want to pursue further you could and know exactly where you are at. I signed up for the free version and a few weeks ago I got the whole version for a year for $22. So they do have sales periodically if you are willing to wait for them. 



#5 Ottakee

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Posted 12 July 2017 - 08:03 PM

I bought the Getting Started with Spanish book and am on lesson 7 with that.  I am cruising along at a snail's pace on Duolingo because I have an old mom brain and can't remember this stuff as fast as I used to.

 

The book does help explain the whys and hows of stuff and I am really amazed at how much I can actually understand and read in Spanish with Duolingo.  I am good to go if all I need to do is ask for wine or a bear that eats crabs or a brown sweater :-)

 


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#6 gardenmom5

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 12:52 AM

also do the "tiny cards".  they're flash cards that will help with vocabulary building.

 

I've also recently started french - after working most of the german tree.  (I had german in jr. high and high school.) . . french is easier . . . . except they don't pronounce half the letters . . . .   I'm also doing it with my 12yo. he can repeat a lesson as many times as he needs.

when you open a lesson (by clicking on the "circle") - you should be able to scroll down to read more information on the subject of the lesson.

 

I also will do a search for conjugations, and use the translate feature of the search engine. 

 

eta: for spanish - at the top of the duolingo page - click on "labs".   you can then click on "duolingo stories".  you have a choice of spanish or portugese.

 


Edited by gardenmom5, 17 July 2017 - 12:56 AM.


#7 azucena

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:17 AM

... I am really amazed at how much I can actually understand and read in Spanish with Duolingo.  I am good to go if all I need to do is ask for wine or a bear that eats crabs or a brown sweater :-)

 

I am doing Spanish with Duolingo and am enjoying it; I went to a Spanish-speaking country earlier this year and found that I could get along, even if I'm sure some of my phrasings were a bit comical.

That being said, a few of Duolingo's "basic vocabulary" choices are a little weird.  E.g., I am not sure when I might need to tell people that "The ducks are wounded," but gosh darn it, I could do so if I had to.  



#8 tcb

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 08:34 AM

3 ladybugs what is Busuu?

 

This is a very interesting thread! My dd is doing the Italian duolingo. I need to move on with her to more grammar but it's hard to find good stuff for Italian.

 

Ottakee you might also want to try Language Transfer -  http://www.languaget...omplete-spanish  . I tried to post a link to it but don't think I was successful. Another boardie recommended it and my older dd has done a few lessons and really liked it. It really focuses on speaking the language.

 


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#9 gardenmom5

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 10:39 AM

I am doing Spanish with Duolingo and am enjoying it; I went to a Spanish-speaking country earlier this year and found that I could get along, even if I'm sure some of my phrasings were a bit comical.

That being said, a few of Duolingo's "basic vocabulary" choices are a little weird.  E.g., I am not sure when I might need to tell people that "The ducks are wounded," but gosh darn it, I could do so if I had to.  

 

I sometimes think they put words on the wall - then threw darts to see what they'd use in a sentence.


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#10 Ottakee

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:02 PM

Thanks for the support. I am now 2 weeks into this.

Yesterday at church was our bilingual service (once a month thing) and I was surprised at how much I could catch as the pastor was speaking (he preaches in Spanish and his wife translates into English). I also picked up words in the songs, etc.

I still have a very very long ways to go but it was nice to see some progress.

#11 Ariston

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:18 PM

You might enjoy the Destinos series--its a soap opera geared towards complete beginners.  Even though I speak Spanish its kind of a guilty pleasure to watch over my kids shoulders ;)

https://learner.org/series/destinos/


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#12 3 ladybugs

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Posted 17 July 2017 - 09:50 PM

3 ladybugs what is Busuu?

 

This is a very interesting thread! My dd is doing the Italian duolingo. I need to move on with her to more grammar but it's hard to find good stuff for Italian.

 

Ottakee you might also want to try Language Transfer -  http://www.languaget...omplete-spanish  . I tried to post a link to it but don't think I was successful. Another boardie recommended it and my older dd has done a few lessons and really liked it. It really focuses on speaking the language.

https://www.busuu.com/ They also have a few apps. 

 

If you register but don't purchase right away you will likely find out about sales they have. They are rather frequent.