Friday, December 21, 2018

--- Spanish ---

Well, I have my Spanish textbook and workbook and am ready to embark on this year-long (and maybe more) adventure. I'm starting with MIT's Spanish I course, which is available on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCourseWare site ( The online course tells you which materials they use (you have to buy your own but they're not expensive) and provides a syllabus, calendar of activities, assignments, related resources, and in-class activities (which has handouts as PDFs).

I have set up a LibreOffice Calc spreadsheet as a notebook and I have other resources that I will be using including the exercises and games on  the Digital Dialects website ( There is also a (fairly) nearby branch of the Denver Public Library (the Schlessman Family Branch) that has a regular Spanish conversation group. I may attend that once I become a little conversant.

The MIT course uses a Spanish TV series (which can be accessed through the Annenberg Foundation website as a core learning experience and a companion textbook and workbook. There are 26 episodes and 52 class sections. The course is designed as a semester course but I will be taking more time with it for additional exercises (and because I'm old).

I think I've mentioned that I've tried to pick up Spanish twice before and failed. As you get older, it's harder to pick up new languages. German and American Sign Language were easy and Spanish looks like it should be easy also, and I would like to be able to converse with my Hispanic neighbors.

There are many ways to pick up a new language - commercial and free Internet resources and community programs. It's fun and you can spend as much time and money as you want. Especially check out the MIT OpenCourseWare language courses.

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