|Erick and I on the porch at our place.|
Before we could begin chatting with Erick, we needed a foundation of at least some Spanish. Scott and I have been using several language learning tools. We tried a lot of different tools and only kept up with the ones that really seemed to help. Here are the primary ones that I use:
Duolingo is a free website that teaches many languages. It is very helpful and allows people to test out of each skill if they already know some of a language. The learning includes writing, speaking, and listening to Spanish. This is what the site looks like when skills are complete and up to date:
Learn Spanish the Novel Way
The book "Learn Spanish the Novel Way - 2nd Edition" was fabulous! It is about a 10 year old boy from Los Angeles who spends a summer with his relatives in Mexico. He learns Spanish from his cousin, who is bilingual. My last few Duolingo lessons were actually fairly easy after having read this book. It would be an awesome book to read aloud with kids, too, if you are all learning Spanish together. There are 84 chapters - one for each day of summer. As you get further into the book, it gradually goes from mostly English with some Spanish lessons to mostly Spanish with some English.
Destinos is a Spanish soap opera created to assist with teaching Spanish in schools. It made it's debut in 1992 so a lot of it looks dated (no cell phones, etc.) but it's been great so far. I have watched 17 of the 52 shows. It also has a vocabulary and grammar quiz with each grouping of episodes. It takes place in many different Spanish speaking countries so you can hear different dialects.
Jordan uploads lessons to YouTube and makes lessons fun when he can. I haven't watched any for a while but when I am done with Destinos, I expect to return to his lessons.
Lessons in person
We took some private lessons when we were in Guayaquil but haven't done the same since we moved to the Olon area. It is in our future plans though. Right now, we are focused on finding property. Once we can establish something of a routine schedule instead of our current hap-hazard one, we will take lessons again.
Learning has been somewhat slowed by the fact that we have spent a lot of time driving the coast looking for property. President Correa speaks every Saturday and we often listen to him. He speaks clearly and enunciates each word so it is easier to understand him than a lot of other people.
Feeling pretty good about my progress and looking forward to learning more each day poco a poco (little by little).
Hasta la próxima vez,