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misslyn

Jan 17, 2006, 4:37 PM

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Private tutor

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I had the good fortune to find a very affordable, and very well-qualified, private tutor here in San Diego. Having never studied outside the classroom, how can I make the best of my time with her? I'm an intermediate student, read and write reasonably well but have trouble communicating in the "real world." Thanks in advance for any advice you may offer!

Lyn



raferguson


Jan 17, 2006, 8:33 PM

Post #2 of 23 (11691 views)

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Re: [misslyn] Private tutor

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I have always found that a private tutor is by far the best way to learn a language. My suggestion is that you focus on conversation, especially if you have the grammar basics behind you. Outside of class, you should also be reading Spanish, dictionary in hand. It also helps to watch TV in Spanish.

I am assuming that you understand most of what you hear in Spanish. If that is not the case, it may take longer to become conversational, and you may need a lot more TV time.

You should be able to carry on a conversation after several months of once a week sessions with a tutor. It may take a while to get traction, maybe as much as a year, but if you have a decent tutor and stick with it, you will make progress.

I should say that my private tutors have always been native speakers, graduate students who were already teaching their native language in a classroom environment. If you get a random Spanish speaker, I cannot guarantee that the results will be as good.

When I was starting out with a tutor, I found that my brain was fried after the first hour. As your Spanish improves, you may be able to stand a longer session.

Buena Suerte.

Richard


http://www.fergusonsculpture.com


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 18, 2006, 12:01 AM

Post #3 of 23 (11687 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Private tutor

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Is it possible to hire a private tutor, maybe a teenager who would like a bit of income, for a few hours a week? I realize it may be harder to get on track with conversational language, but in MX we're supposed to be laid back and not so much in a hurry.
Getting older and still not down here.


misslyn

Jan 18, 2006, 10:11 AM

Post #4 of 23 (11672 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Private tutor

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Many thanks, Richard. I really appreciate your suggestions. In fact I do not understand a lot of what is said to me. I've watched every episode of Destinos (SO many times) but still don't quite get it all. Also Sabado Gigante but Don Francisco is especially hard to understand. Haven't been able to get into the telenovelas but I'll give them another go. My learning style is more visual than auditory, which could be part of the problem. I visualize everything as I hear it, so not only am I translating, I'm going through that process at the same time. Taking your idea a bit farther, I'll start reading aloud thus killing 2 birds with one stone :)>

My tutor is a teacher from Colombia, studying for her teaching credential here in California. I imagine her rates will go up once she's completed the course so I want to make the most of our time now. I know what you mean about burnout after an hour - I've actually had anxiety attacks while in Mexico trying to keep up with the conversation! Even so, I'm hoping we can work out twice a week sessions.

My goal is to be reasonably fluent by the time I start looking for my retirement home in Mexico, which I hope will be in the next couple of years, God willing and the stock market cooperating. And the next time I go to language school I will opt for private classes.

Mil gracias-
Lyn


jerezano

Jan 24, 2006, 5:48 PM

Post #5 of 23 (11608 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering] Private tutor

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Hello,

Yes, of course one can find a private tutor in Spanish, even in Tacoma, Washington where Ron Pickering is listed as being.

Unfortunately fifteen years ago private Spanish tutors in Texas obtained through University circles were charging some $50 us dollars an hour. I have no idea what they are charging now.

But once in Mexico one can find private Spanish tutors at very reasonable costs from $5 us d a week on up. One big problem will be if you, the student, insist on receiving explanations in English. The better English the tutor speaks, the more money he charges. The other problem is just how good a student you, the person paying, will be.

To learn a foreign language requires dedication, effort, and patience. And of course with a private tutor money as well. Too many of us retirees lack all four. A shame. We have lots of time and damn it we should have dedication, patience and be willing to put in a little effort. Not so.......

Start right here on this free forum with our excellent advisor Señor Queveda and all the dedicated instructors who are lurking here just waiting to help some one out with her/his lessons.

You, Ron, for example. If you are interested in learning Spanish, why didn't you try one or two simple sentences?

Example: I want to learn Spanish. Yo quiero aprender el español. Did I do that correctly? ¿Por qué es necesario usar quiero? Be creative and ask for help. You will get it.

Of course, here you will not be able to speak and hear. But you will learn to read and write which are two of the four essentials. The other two are speak and understand. 50% is sure better than nothing. I wish I could get a 50% return on my investments.

Adios. jerezano.


CCarol

Jan 24, 2006, 5:57 PM

Post #6 of 23 (11605 views)

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Re: [jerezano] Private tutor

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There are many good computer programs that teach Spanish. I bought Visual Link and it has talking and a very simplistic way of learning and hearing the correct Mexican Spanish. It is not Spanish from Spain. You can check it out at www.learnspanishtoday.com

There are lots of others too. I have another more advanced program called Complete Spanish by Transparent Language. With this program you can hear yourself speak and see how close you came to correct Spanish by a graph. That is just one feature.

However, I think immersion is the best way to learn. That is why I want to get down there and just talk to everyone and learn by picking it up and then using my programs will be more effective.

No matter how you cut it....it's not easy! But I keep trying.
Carol



"Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle." (Philo of Alexandria)


Ron Pickering W3FJW


Jan 24, 2006, 6:13 PM

Post #7 of 23 (11602 views)

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Re: [CCarol] Private tutor

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Thanks to both of you for your posts'.
I am looking at the Visual link site & have it bookmarked. I just wish they would speak the word/words slower and then speak them at the speed they are normally spoken. That (IMHO) would make it much easier to understand/learn. Immersion, to my way of thinking is best also. I guess I have the rest of my life to learn once I manage to get down there. (next year if all goes well).
Getting older and still not down here.


CCarol

Jan 24, 2006, 10:35 PM

Post #8 of 23 (11592 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering] Private tutor

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Good luck Ron...The visual link program lets you click on a word and hear it over and over so you don't really need it slowed down. The program also comes with the whole course on CD for playing in your car. I'd say it is basic though so if you want something a little more advanced, you should consider something else. Also, purchasing a Spanish verb book is a must. They have a huge selection at places like Borders.
Carol



"Be kind, for everyone you know is facing a great battle." (Philo of Alexandria)


misslyn

Jan 30, 2006, 9:44 PM

Post #9 of 23 (11525 views)

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Re: [CCarol] Private tutor

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Thanks for the link, Carol, I will check it out. Another program that I've been using recently is "Learn to Speak Spanish Deluxe" from The Learning Company [www.riverdeep.net/learningcompany] which is a set of 5 CDs and a workbook that includes dialogs for typical situations (travel, business, shopping, etc.) and a very comprehensive grammar section. I also have Barron's "Mastering Spanish," a set of 12 cassette tapes and a large workbook, the program said to be used by the Foreign Service Institute for training diplomatic personnel.

Jerezano, I really have found a gem here - my tutor is charging only $10 an hour! We're meeting twice a week now and I can feel a breakthrough coming on. I just came from a class in which she said we are done with the grammar review (hurrah!) and will now focus on conversation, dictation, role-playing and reading aloud. I'm anxious to put the tools she's given me into practice. She and her husband have two family members staying with them for a year who are here to learn English. I hope one or both of them will want to start a Spanish/English exchange.

A few years ago I was corresponding with a number of people on-line. Would anyone on this forum be interested in a private exchange of emails to work on our written skills?

Many thanks to all of you, it's been so encouraging to read your responses and suggestions.

Lyn


Mexicelf

Feb 10, 2006, 12:01 AM

Post #10 of 23 (11446 views)

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Re: [raferguson] Private tutor

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I know French fairly well, but I'm just starting Spanish lessons as soon as I move to La Paz. Don't you think I should attend a language school first to learn the basics of grammar. Tutors may be fine for practicing conversation, but how many of them are trained to explain grammar to gringos? Most Americans that I know couldn't do a very good job of explaining the rules of English to foreigners....


misslyn

Feb 10, 2006, 11:52 AM

Post #11 of 23 (11428 views)

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Re: [Mexicelf] Private tutor

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Oh yes, absolutely, a good school is the way to start. Since you already know one romance language you should advance rapidly. I've been studying Spanish for a while and needed some more specific help with conversation, that's why I looked for the tutor. I think it's helping a lot. We shall see when I get out in the "real world" again.

I know of a language school in La Paz (http://www.sehablalapaz.com/) that appears to be excellent. They also teach medical Spanish which I would love to take for my volunteer job at the hospital. When are you planning to make the move?

Lyn in San Diego


Bloviator

Feb 11, 2006, 7:29 AM

Post #12 of 23 (11421 views)

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Re: [misslyn] Private tutor

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I'm looking for a Spanish tutor Lakeside. Any suggestions? Thanks


zoeq1000


May 13, 2006, 9:14 PM

Post #13 of 23 (10727 views)

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Re: [Mexicelf] Private tutor

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Most teachers I've had do not know much about grammar. They are native speakers but I think you will have to try several to get one who can teach grammar - That is a cat. That cat is hers. To me, that's one way to find out if a tutor knows a pronoun from the same word acting as an adjective. I taught English and I taught person very early because how in the world are you going to know who's talking about whom. That's another basic to find out if a teacher knows. Wouldn't it be great if your tutor also speaks French? I would have a ball with that myself.


sfmacaws


May 13, 2006, 9:54 PM

Post #14 of 23 (10723 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Private tutor

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It's pretty accepted that you need a native speaker for conversation and a non-native speaker who has studied the language for grammar and construction. I suppose the best of both would be a native spanish speaker who is also a language instructor in another language. It's that native speakers rarely learn the theory or rules behind the grammar and construction, they just use it. To explain the rules you have to have learned them.


Jonna - Mérida, Yucatán




misslyn

May 14, 2006, 5:29 PM

Post #15 of 23 (10688 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Private tutor

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I think you are right, Zoe and Jonna, that native speakers often don't know the grammatical construction. Some do, of course, so I shouldn't generalize. My tutor was already a teacher before she came to the states and is now studying for her teaching credential here. And I found her on craigslist of all things - it's amazing what you can find there! You just have to interview someone for a few minutes to determine whether they know what you need to learn.

Lyn


zoeq1000


May 14, 2006, 7:09 PM

Post #16 of 23 (10677 views)

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Re: [misslyn] Private tutor

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That's fantastic. I use Craigslist.com a lot. So good for you for learning Spanish. Do you plan to vacation or live here one day? We love it. There's a great deal of adventure to be had and the Mexicans are so welcoming.


misslyn

May 15, 2006, 2:58 PM

Post #17 of 23 (10658 views)

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Re: [zoeq1000] Private tutor

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Oh yes, definitely. I don't know yet where I want to live, lots of exploring to do first while I prepare for retirement. I'm kind of partial to the Pacific coast, having lived in San Diego so long, so that will be the next trip agenda. If only I could take a month off and see everything!

Lyn


waltw

May 15, 2006, 10:25 PM

Post #18 of 23 (10644 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Private tutor

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I attended an intensive language school in Cuernavaca 16 years ago when I first went to Mexico and didn't know a word of Spanish.
It turned out to be a very good, albeit, intense experience. I was drilled in the language and culture 8 hours a day and then went back to a room that I rented out with a Mexican family, who spoke absolutely no English. Quite the total immersion experience.

However, after about 3 weeks of this, I was able to make myself somewhat understood and likewise, could understand others, if they spoke really, really slow.

I found it was an excellent orientation to the language, culture, etc. and was one of the best learning experiences I ever had. A quick check on the Internet, and it looks like the prices are still quite reasonable.

Another option is to head down to the local university and do an "exchange" with the English students there. 30 minutes of conversational English in exchange for 30 minutes of Spanish. You won't have any problems finding young people that want to do this. Local English language libraries throughout Mexico often have arrangements like this already set up.

For comprehension, I found the cartoons on Spanish television the easiest to understand first. Telenovelas came second, because the plot is always the same (boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets back together with girl.) Understanding the news in Spanish will take quite a bit longer.

One of the most important steps to learning Spanish is learning the Verbs and how to conjugate them.
Below is a link to a good reference book regarding this:

http://www.amazon.com/...=glance&n=283155


misslyn

May 19, 2006, 5:00 PM

Post #19 of 23 (10537 views)

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Re: [waltw] Private tutor

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Here's another good book to have: Spanish Verb Tenses (Dorothy Devney Richmond), also available from amazon.com. I just started working in it and it really makes me think about how to use the verbs instead of just rote memorization.

Walt, which school in Cuernavaca did you attend? Encuentros, by any chance?

Lyn


Camille

May 25, 2006, 7:48 PM

Post #20 of 23 (10450 views)

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Re: [misslyn] Private tutor

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Seymour Resnick's Essential Spanish Grammar is very well organized.....got mine at half.com, invaluable book source..


patch66

May 27, 2006, 7:04 PM

Post #21 of 23 (10405 views)

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Re: [Ron Pickering W3FJW] Private tutor

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Ron,
If you have cable, which I am sure you do, turn to Univision channel 31 in Portland,Or. or Telemundo. As goofy as it sounds, start watching the Mexican soap operas. You should set your television for closed captions. This way, in a short time, you will understand what they are saying. One is both hearing español and seeing the words in español close to the same time. Only problem is that closed captions don't use acentos.
Watching an evening telenovela-currently "Peregrina" has really helped me.
Also, I do take semi-private lessons from a wonderful teacher. He learned Spanish in two years. He passes for a native speaker. Of course he is gifted and a diligent student.
As most students of español, I have tons of books about the language.
I do get National Geographic en español, also Reader's Digest is simple and clearly written.
Rather than HBO, I have Latino Completo-same price.
Saludos,
Emily Patch


Gayla

Jun 15, 2006, 11:55 AM

Post #22 of 23 (10348 views)

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Re: [misslyn] Private tutor

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Lynn, would you be interested in sharing you tutor since IIRC we're neighbors here in America's Finest City? I need to get my Spanish kicked into gear.


Gayla

Jun 15, 2006, 11:56 AM

Post #23 of 23 (10347 views)

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Re: [Gayla] Private tutor

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Oops, that was supposed to be a private message. I hit the wrong link.
 
 
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