Weekly Tip & Optional Homework Week of 6/30 for week of 7/7/14

Weekly Tip:

Goal written by one of PBO’s Students: “No estar nervioso hablando.”


Feeling nervous or embarrassed to speak a foreign language is very common. But let me tell you that it really isn’t necessary.

Here are some things to consider:

–       The other person is probably very grateful or even flattered that you’re making an effort to speak their language.

–       The other person probably doesn’t speak English perfectly and you’re probably not judging them on their English. If you can understand the other person you’re happy.

–       You’re going to make mistakes, so stop worrying about it. As long as you can communicate, the goal has been reached. And the other person is NOT thinking “oh you made a mistake – oh you should have used the preterit – oh you forgot your preposition” – no, they’re thinking “Oh good, we can communicate.”

–       Speaking a foreign language is not easy. It takes a lot of time and dedication. You need to remember how totally awesome you are for studying a foreign language in the first place. It may sound hokey, but it’s true. YOU ROCK! Remember that!


Here are a few tips:

–       Practically everyone loves to play the role of teacher. If you tell someone that you’re learning to speak Spanish & you would like to practice with them, they will probably be thrilled to help you!

–       Find one person that you’re comfortable practicing with until you feel more confident.

–       Do a language exchange – you help someone with their English for 30 minutes and then they help you with Spanish for 30. When you hear them speak English you won’t feel as nervous to speak Spanish.

–       Sometimes hearing your voice in the other language feels weird. Try talking to yourself outloud or reading outloud for 5-10 minutes every day. Get used to hearing yourself speak Spanish.

–       When you start to think in Spanish the whole process will feel more natural. To learn to think in Spanish you need to not revert back to English and use the vocabulary that you have to describe any words you don’t know. You will notice that you’re thinking more and more in your target language.

–       Start small. Start by having VERY short conversations and then adding more to it each time. Por ejemplo:
¡Hola! Buenos días.

¡Hola! Buenos días. ¿Cómo estás?

¡Hola! Buenos días. ¿Cómo estás? ¿Tienes planes para el fin de semana?

–       Be consistent. Try to develop habits – when I go to this restaurant, I speak to the waiters in Spanish – or when I get home to my Spanish speaking husband, we talk about our day for 5 minutes in Spanish – or when I see so-and-so at work, we spend 5 minutes catching up in Spanish. The more you expose yourself to it, the easier it gets 🙂


Optional Homework

The optional homework is to write a song verse following the style of the song “Me Gustas Tú” by Manu Chau. If you’re not familiar with the song, you can listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2oIqlEkX5s

For example:

Me gustan los perros, me gustas tú.

Me gusta el fucsia, me gustas tú.

Me gusta mi carrera, me gustas tú.

Me gusta la playa, me gustas tú.

¡How fun! And anyone who sings their little song next week gets a star 🙂


En español:

La tarea opcional de esta semana…es escribir un verso de una canción, siguiendo la idea de la canción “Me gustas tú” de Manu Chao. Si no conocen la canción la pueden escuchar aquí: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2oIqlEkX5s

Por ejemplo:

Me gustan los perros, me gustas tú.

Me gusta el fucsia, me gustas tú.

Me gusta mi carrera, me gustas tú.

Me gusta la playa, me gustas tú.

¡Qué entretenido! Y le daremos una estrellita al que cante su canción la próxima semana 🙂