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Learning a second language is a highly complex, time consuming and costly process, mainly due to three factors:
1 - the broad range of communicational situations the learner is exposed to.
2 - the many separate, but interrelated factors that the speaker must be aware of, to produce a speech, i.e. phonetic, grammar, semantic, context, goals, strategies, body language and so on.
3 - the language vagueness, i.e. and by vagueness we mean the different meanings a phrase can have depending on the context it has been used in.
Frustration, dropout without completion, low self-esteem, longer timelines and higher costs are among the consequences of taking the wrong approach to learn a foreign language. The good news is there is another way to quickly and effectively learn a second language.
You usually hear people saying that they can understand a lot more than they can speak. Do you know why? Well, language is a skill and not information. The only way you can develop a skill is by practicing and in this case that means repetition. You can be presented with information in form of grammar or explanations of sentence patterns and you can learn it, but that is only awareness, now you can recognize phrases or pattern or word sequences, but you cannot produce. The only way to develop your conversational skills is overlearning, i.e., repeating patterns until they are embedded into your subconscious mind. Repetition is the key to become fluent in a second language and that is what this course is about: to make you a fluent Spanish speaker
We keep the grammar at the lowest level and focus on overlearning. We will teach you how to become fluent in Spanish in no time.
Remember that to speak like a native doesn’t mean to sound like a native but to think like a native. A native doesn’t need to think about what they need to say, they think about how to achieve their communication goals and they don’t need to think about which words to use, that is subconscious. That is the main objective of the course, to make you think like a native Spanish speaker.
This one is the first part of a series of courses that we will release in the near future.
The course is divided into 5 sections:
3.Spanish irregular verbs
4.Basic sentences and useful phrases
5.Basic dialog with repetition-, substitution- and response drills.
If you are in any of the following situations, then this course is definitely for you:
- You need to learn to communicate in Spanish in no time to boost your professional career.
- You are learning Spanish but you don’t make progress with your communication skills.
- You are about to give up your Spanish course, you are frustrated
- You are about to move to a Spanish-speaking country and want to quickly learn to communicate in Spanish.
- You have learnt Spanish at a certain level but now you are in a Spanish-speaking country and don’t survive conversations.
- You just want to learn to communicate in Spanish to have fun and enhance your culture and horizons.
- You need an effective roadmap to learn to communicate in Spanish.
If you decide to take this course you will receive more than 25 years of experience learning and teaching foreign languages (Spanish and German), surviving in multicultural environments and using the language skills to boost my professional career. Of course you also will have the advantage of combining my Spanish native skills with my professional education as a Linguist and expert in teaching a second language.
There is much to learn from every section here, so work through them all in turn and make sure you extract the most benefit from them. The course is designed to be dipped into quite easily as well, so you can always refer back to it…….
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|Section 1: Train you ears first: Spanish pronunciation|
Train your ears first!
The main objective of this course is to develop your communication skills, namely your conversational skills, and pronunciation is the basis of all real fluency. You can understand anything that you can meaningfully say. Remember that pronunciation is the basis for comprehension.
This lecture will present you with a basic introduction to Spanish phonetics. You will learn the Spanish alphabet, including how the letters are pronounced. Some words with each letter are then provided. Remember that repetition is the key word. Try to repeat all the sounds in the most accurate manner.
This lecture covers the Spanish vowels and diphthongs. We introduce you to the pronunciation of Spanish vowels and the rules for pronouncing vowel combinations, or two consecutive vowels, in Spanish. Many examples are provided for you to practice the correct pronunciation of the Spanish vowels and diphthongs.
This lecture completes the first section on Spanish pronunciation by presenting some guidelines about how to pronounce the consonants of Spanish that are quite different from their English counterparts.
|Section 2: Basic Spanish grammar|
This course is not about grammar. Our main objective is for you to be fluent speaking and able to understand conversational Spanish. Nevertheless you do need some basic grammatical knowledge. That is precisely what the lectures in this section deal with.
This lecture specifically will teach you how to build up sentences in Spanish by using the subject - verb - object (SVO) structure. Besides, the lecture covers the definite and indefinite articles in Spanish.
Noun-adjective agreement in Spanish is an important element of learning the language, and there are some important rules to master. In this lecture you will learn more about noun-adjective agreement in Spanish and the use of possessive adjectives. Repetition drills are presented by a native speaker to improve your pronunciation skills.
This lecture presents an introduction to the Spanish personal pronouns and to the present tense conjugation of the regular verbs. You will learn how to use the personal pronouns as subject and the rules to conjugate the Spanish regular verbs in the present tense.
This lecture presents the conjugation model of the Spanish regular verbs ending in 'ar' with some examples.
This lecture presents the conjugation model of the Spanish regular verbs ending in 'er' with some examples.
This lecture presents the conjugation model of the Spanish regular verbs ending in 'ir' with some examples.
|Section 3: The Spanish irregular verbs|
This lecture provides an introduction to the Spanish irregular verbs. The focus is on the verbs 'ser and 'estar' (to be). You will learn how to conjugate and use these verbs. Examples are given to practice your pronunciation and to start picking up sentence structure patterns.
This lecture will teach you how to conjugate the verb 'ser' and 'estar'. Examples are provided to practice the pronunciation.
This lecture will teach you how to conjugate the verb 'ir', 'haber' and 'tener'. Examples are provided to practice the pronunciation.
|Section 4: Basic sentences and useful phrases with repetition drills|
In this section you actually begin to use and learn more Spanish by listening and repeating. You will learn forms of greetings in Spanish and will also learn when to use them.
In this lecture you will be presented with a list of useful phrases for everyday life. With this set of phrases you can make your way through the day in Spanish.
|Section 5: Basic dialogue with overlearning techniques|
This section introduces a basic dialogue and the repetition-, substitution- and response drills that will help you master basic sentence patterns in Spanish. The objective here is that you dominate the dialogue to perfection based on the repetition drills that follows. Once you have control of the basic structures you can use them to create your own phrases.
In this lecture you will be exposed to repetition drills of the basic dialogue.
You will now hear the same dialogue but broken into pieces, this way you can adapt yourself to the Spanish phonology. Repeat every word or phrase you hear as accurately as possible.
Repetition drills provide a controlled practice stage in which you have the chance to focus exclusively on Spanish and start to familiarize yourself with it. What you say and how you say it is controlled by the activity and restricts you to the target item. You are not required to speak spontaneously, and therefore do not have to focus on what you want to say at the same time as considering how to say it.
This lecture deals with substitution drills. Substitution drills help you with association patterns and vocab development.
Substitution drills enable you to focus on structure while learning related vocabulary. You will learn how to use similar phrases for different kinds of situations and you will feel the confidence to engage in conversations on different topics.
You will first receive a model word or a sentence and repeat it. We will then substitute one or more key words, and you have to say the new structure.
After doing the drills, you will be surprised about how quickly you can build your own basic sentences in Spanish.
Substitution drills 2
In this lecture you will practice response drills.
Response drills will show you how to provide information about yourself, objects or surroundings. You’ll be able to give and or select between different options provided in the audiotape.
Response drills help you to enhance your ability to associate the grammar previously learned with the regular vocabulary that is required in each situation presented.
You will hear a question in which options will be provided; your job is to answer these questions according to the given model. They all require full sentence answers and you will practice your vocabulary as well as develop a set of answers for frequently asked questions.
Jorge Emilio Alfonso is a Linguist turned entrepreneur with more than 25 years of professional career. He was born in Cuba where he graduated as Master in Arts, Major in German Literature and Language with Highest Honors (summa cum laude) from the Havana University. After graduation Emilio received a scholarship by the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service) to do a Master of Teaching German as a Foreign Language at the Freiburg University in Germany.
Emilio speaks Spanish, English, German, Dutch, Italian and Russian fluently and French and Portuguese at a basic level. He is sharing more than 25 years of experience learning and teaching foreign languages, surviving in multicultural environments and using the language skills to boost his professional career. He knows exactly what it takes to learn a foreign language and to become fluent in it.
Emilio is passionate about pragmatics and the critical role pragmatics plays in the learning process of a second language. He believes adults can learn a second language in a short time period if the appropriate approach is used. Content standardization, well-defined learning objectives and the use of overlearning based on repetition-, substitution- and response drills are the key components of his approach.
He lives in Belgium with his wife, who also speaks several languages fluently: Dutch, Spanish, French, English and German, and with his three children who are bilingual, one in Spanish and English and the other two in Dutch and Spanish. A real multilingual environment. He has his own consulting company named Pharmaeconomica which offers health economics services to pharmaceutical companies.