How to keep up language skills over a break?
Congratulations for finishing your semester! Whether this is your first or seventh semester, completing this course of study always requires effort and consistency. But what about the off season?
Language learning, just like any physical skill, withers away without practice. If you’ve done great (or not-so-great) this semester what you do in the next few weeks matters!
Can’t take one more minute of Spanish? That’s ok! There are a lot of passive “hacks”. Try turning your social media into Spanish for a day or putting subtitleson Netflix or Hulu in Spanish. You don’t even have to be actively reading these things and they will start getting into your head.
Want more of a (fun!) challenge?
Netflixeando: The following shows and movies are in Spanish and are super fun and worth it.
- La casa de papel (Money Heist): A fun heist series from Spain. If you liked the Oceans 11 films this is for you.
- La casa de flores (House of Flowers):Super quirky and stylized series from Mexico. If you liked Desperate Housewives this is for you.
- El ministerio del tiempo (The Ministry of Time), Chicas del cable (Cable Girls): I don’t know these well but they’re highly recommended and good for folks who like a dash of history and drama
- News in Slow Spanish: Great podcast and they used to include a brief grammar tutorial too.
- Radio Ambulante: NPR’s Spanish Language podcast, if you listen online they have scripts to follow along reading.
- SO, so many more. If you find a good one, pass it along!
My favorite tip is to read my favorite books in Spanish. If you already know the story, you can get lost in a fun book so easily. Other favorite lower level novels are:
- Los cuentos de Eva Luna (Allende)
- Balún Canán (Castellanos)
- El llano en llanas (Rulfo)
- La crónica de una muerte anunciada (García Márquez)
Speaking: italki.com is my favorite websites. You can either pay teachers to chat with your OR trade language practice (in tandem conversations) with people from around the world. Just pick your country and make a new friend!