Weekly Tip & Optional Homework Week of 6/2 for week of 6/9/14

Weekly Tip:

Goal written by one of PBO’s Students: “Practicar más con mis compañeros de trabajo.”


Saying that you’re going to practice with your co-workers and actually doing it is a whole other thing. In the moment you get embarrassed, or you think you’re going to inconvenience them or you’re pressed for time, etc. There always seems to be a reason why it doesn’t happen.

My personal approach to these things is to approach it little by little. I recommend setting a very small goal, not deciding “I’m only going to talk to so-and-so in Spanish from here on out” – because that is very unlikely to happen. Instead decide that you’re always going to greet your co-worker in Spanish. You could actually build on this type of a conversation little by little, adding something every few days, that will eventually lead to more conversation. For example:

Day 1: ¡Buenos días!

Day 2: ¡Buenos días! ¿Cómo amaneciste esta mañana?

Day 3: ¡Buenos días! ¿Cómo estás? ¿Estás listo para la reunion esta mañana?

Day 4: ¡Buenos días! ¿Qué hay de nuevo? ¿Tienes planes para este fin de semana? Yo voy a…

And just like that, little by little, you add to the conversation to make it last 10 seconds longer, 30 seconds longer, a minute longer. etc.

Another option is to decide how many times a day you’re going to speak to a co-worker in Spanish. Maybe at the beginning it’s just first thing in the morning. Maybe then you add at lunchtime to the mix and later when you’re leaving. There are several ways to build on what you started. It helps to tell your co-workers that you would like to learn Spanish. Generally speaking people are very responsive to that.

You can also ask your co-worker to teach you one word or sentence related to your job every day. That could be a minute or two that you share and build on as well.

My point is to start small. If you have a big goal (only speak to my co-workers in Spanish) and you find yourself not doing, it could very well be because you need to pull back and go into it slowly and steadily. Eventually you will achieve your goal. Inch by inch, it’s a cinch – right?


Optional Homework

TUE – WED – THU classes

The optional homework is to listen to actively listen to something for 30 minutes or longer. It could be:
– a podcast (my favorite is radioambulante.org),

– a tv show (telenovelas are the best for learning purposes – specially if you watch one from beginning to end over a period of time),

– a movie (if you need subtitles make sure they’re in Spanish not English),

– the radio (I like 104.5),

– an audiobook – whatever you want.

One important thing: If you’re in Intermediate level 2 or higher, we would recommend to start listening to things made for native speakers, not for Spanish students. At some point you will need to develop your listening skills and this is a good level to start making that transition. If you ever want to understand native speakers in a natural setting, you must expose yourself to listening to them for some time before you’re able to understand them. I know that listening can be frustrating when you don’t understand much, but it does get better with practice. It’s all about practice 🙂

 For those of you that want more homework: Spend 30 minutes listening to something 5 – 7 days this week.


MON – FRI – SAT classes

The optional homework is to check out the site http://spanishobsessed.com/. Next week you can tell us what you though of it.

For those of you that want more homework: Spend 15-30 minutes every day checking out what the site has to offer.