Oh hi there non-existent readers of my blog, after a ridiculously busy couple of months I’m back.
I have about 10 weeks to go until the DELE, and I have so much to improve on. Mainly writing skills and debating skills – the two things that need the most concentration. It’s easy to sit down and study the subjunctive for two hours, but writing and speaking require the use of different parts of my brain.
I’ve had a really busy day at work, and all I want to do is fanny about on the internet, eat some pasta and watch some crap TV, not spend 2 hours writing essays en Español. I find motivating myself in the evening really difficult.
To aid in the re-igniting of my study flame, here’s a rundown of some Spanish study tools that I’ve been enjoying of late.
For a measly €20, you can buy individual study chapters from the Instituto Cervantes’ AVE Global – Aula Virtual Español. If you aren’t attending specialised classes and have the DELE C1 looming, I highly recommend purchasing the C1.4 chapter “DELE que DELE”. I’m only partway through it, but it’s full of writing prompts and practice exercises that mirror those found in the DELE C1. Great if you’re getting in a bit of a rut with self initiated study.
Thanks to my tutor Esperanza for this one – a great site full of various exercises covering all aspects of Spanish language. I especially enjoy the sections that use commercials and news clips as tools. The advert for a special range of Father’s Day Jamón is worth watching on its own:
Gramática Básica del estudiante de español
I”m getting tired of the Practice Makes Perfect series. Overly long explanations of grammar points, in English, that drag on for pages and pages, and exercises so easy that someone with a sense of logic who doesn’t speak a word of Spanish could get top marks. “Change the following into questions by adding interrogation marks”. Copy them out word for word and add ¿?. Yawn.
Enter my new favourite. I’ve been told this is a book that lots of Spanish children use in school. You might think, as an advanced learner, that you’ll be wasting your time with a book aimed at A1 – B1 learners, but I’ve been able to demystify the subjunctive and zero in on all the fiddly grammar points I still have trouble with. All explained clearly and with exercises that don’t feel pointless.
Chicote, Buenafuente, Alaska y Segura
When all else fails, like tonight when my brain refuses to kick into action and my eyes are heavy, I turn to streaming TV en Español. Current favourites:
- New series of Pesadilla en la Cocina– Chicote is back and as exasperated as ever. Perfect for learning a multitude of insults (not very useful in the DELE but useful in life)
- En El Aire – currently on daily, topical, stupid and funny. I’m a fan of Andreu Buenafuente.
- Alaska y Segura – despite my love for both Alaska and Santiago Segura, I haven’t been watching this as much as En El Aire. But episode 10 has got me very excited – featuring Alex de la Iglesia and Carlos Areces, and completely themed around horror. I think they made it just for me.
I’m going to admit study defeat tonight & settle down to watch Alaska y Segura. It still counts, right?