This tip is for those of you who have a goal this year to improve your fluidity as well your grammar.
This is a tricky combination. In order to improve your grammar, you need to slow down. In order to improve your fluidity, you need to stop thinking so much and just let it go.
So how do you improve both? There are 2 alternatives:
1 – Work on one at a time. Decide that for 3 months you’re not going to worry about the grammar and that you’re going to concentrate on your fluidity. And then in 3 months decide that you’re not going to worry about your fluidity and that you’re going to concentrate on grammar, which means slowing down when you speak.
– or –
2 – Concentrate on your fluidity and ALWAYS repeat the sentence correctly when you’ve been corrected (writing it down correctly also helps). This is how you learn grammar in a conversation class. You may have no idea why you use the preterit instead of the imperfect (or even which one you used for that matter), but after being corrected a certain number of times, you just know which verb sounds right.
Bottom line: These are 2 completely opposite goals that are difficult to work on at the same time, but not impossible (idea #2). Pick the road you want to head down and you will get there. But you can’t possibly conjugate in your head and become more fluid. It’s one or the other (at one particular time).
The optional homework is to practice ser & estar.
There is a site – http://www.studyspanish.com/tutorial.htm – where you can find (in Unit 2, chapters 15 – 18) a variety of lessons on these 2 subjects, plus an online quiz & test you can take for free. If you want to do more than that you have to pay, but the free portion is quite good for a review.
Practice and tell us how you did next week…