Connections – enseñar (to teach)


I just love making connections and knowing that I’ve just added another word to my vocabulary.

Yesterday, I started to read

    A First Spanish Reader
    </ by Erwin W. Roessler and Alfred Remy downloaded to my Kindle for free from . It's another oldie but goodie, and I learned the word, "enseñar".

    Mi maestro enseña el español.

    Today, while glancing at a blog I follow. I saw…

    Texto bíblico: Salmos 86:11 Enséñame, oh Jehová, tu camino; caminaré yo en tu verdad; afirma mi corazón para que tema tu nombre.

    It took a bit to figure out that Salmos is Psalms. Scrounging through Samuel did not help. But, JOY. I’ve a new word.


    (oh, and enséñame must be a passive construction I’m thinking like gustar. It shall be fun to figure that out.)


How Much Have I Learned?

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I’ve spent the past day assessing my progress.

I’m thrilled to have completed about a quarter of my grammar text, but have I really learned anything?

I know that I’m understanding more Spanish than I was before, but I’m still struggling with regular present tense conjugations.  I lack confidence when I’m conjugating verbs.  So, I need more practice.  Where do I get the practice?  Well, I think the best is to read more in the present tense, so that the conjugations become just a routine.  So, I scrounged through some readers that I put on my Kindle, and I have a reader that I’m going to add to my daily study.  I shall have to get the title., but it’s another free to download and therefore over 100 years old.  The second thing I want to do is practice conjugations.  My grammar text builds on what I’ve learned previously, so I may get more practice as I progress.  But, I’ve also looked at some other texts to see if they may help me with additional review, but I rather pick up the practice via a reader.

A blog that I’d read had mentioned that an efficient way to learn Spanish was to initially focus on the high frequency words.  Of course, I can’t recall the specific blog, but I did find a list of the 100 words.  Woohoo.  I am confident about the use of 50 of the 100 words.  The other 50, some are totally unfamiliar, and others I’m familiar but  not confident.  For example, although I would know the meaning of the word, “sobre” if I saw it in context, I couldn’t distinguish it from saber within the list, so I added both of those words to my 50 that I need to work on.  Although 50% is not very good, it is 50 % more than I used to have. And, now I have a list of words that I can really focus on.

Watching Spanish television has really drummed it into my head that certain words are repeated over and over.  For instance, I wasn’t sure what the word ‘pasar’ meant so, I looked it up in the dictionary, and the dictionary provided the phrase, “se puede pasar?”  — Can we come in”  And, wouldn’t you know it.  But, those words were repeated several times during the episode of “Por Ella Soy Eva” today.

“Por Ella Soy Eva” has become my favorite Telenovela to watch.  Even if I have no idea what’s going on, I can still laugh at the ridiculous situations that the main character gets into as a man pretending to be a woman.

Joy – Starting to Understand


I was hoping that I could figure out how to embed a link within the photo, but nope. I still have more to learn. Here’s the link

I’m sharing this because I was able to read it and enjoy it without looking up any words. SUCCESS.

I’m still still looking at the word “quierer” and trying to make it into an interrogative question, but my brain is slowing working it way around to accepting that it means “to want”.

I’m continuing to work on my grammar, reader, and other activities.

This week in the grammar, the reading selection was about going to the store and buying food. Food, etc. was last week’s special interest, so for the first time, the reading selection was easy and a delight to read.

Plaza Sesamo

I watched Plaza Sesamo this morning which was just delightful, and the letter was T, the number 19, and the word was “to spin.”

We also went to the library, and I picked up some new picture books for this week.  I will need to post a separate post about the books.

I’m finding that irregular verbs and different types of conjugation are frustrating me because now, I recognize that something’s “not right” and when I encounter sentences with different conjugations, I’m at a bit of a loss.  The flip side of that is when I encounter sentences in present tense, I’m understanding fairly well.  It’s the contrast between the two that’s so frustrating.

I’m still having to think when I compose present tense conjugation, so I need a lot more practice.

I’m still trudging through my grammar, but it looks like I’m staying on track with about a unit per week.

Oh, and an exciting moment of the day was when I read one of the Spanish blogs that I follow.  chaqueta iris  I read this blog post right after I read the book Siesta in which the little boy looks for his red jacket, and I was just thrilled to see the chaqueta.   And, isn’t the giraffe awfully cute.  Just a beautiful chaqueta.  Now, to just figure out what iris means.  Is it a name or maybe a color?

Just a Regular Day

Yesterday, I did my grammar, and I’m learning interrogatives.  But, I am struggling with “cuando” and “cuanto”.  Their meanings are so different but they look so similar.  Fortunately, I’m trying to connect “cuanto” to the English word, quantitative.

My ancient reader continues to be a blast and I learned about “ciego.” which is “blind.”  I get a big kick out of the politically incorrect material in this book.  Anyways, the book was reviewing body parts which was how it ended up introducing blindness.  And, later in the lesson, it introduced several family relationships, i.e. cousins, aunts, and even nephews.

And, for some Spanish during my daily activites.

I had some coffee today that I didn’t enjoy at all.  “Me no gusto”   hmmm or is that “Yo no gusto.”

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“El paquete poco de cafe – sobre navidad” which, by the way, imho tastes nasty.

To Do:

1.  I saved a photo of a Spanish menu on my ipad.  I plan to label it in English to expand my food vocabulary.  This is going to be my fun activity, and I’m hoping that I will be able to upload it easily to share on the blog.

2. Read Perros, Perros for the third time to review the adjective vocabulary.

3.  Grammar  Grammar  Grammar and another lesson from my ancient reader.

Oh, great news, I found out that the(my ancient reader) book has a second part.  I’m about a third of my way through the first book, enjoying it thoroughly, and I feared that I was going to finish it and not yet be able to read a typical reader.  I actually can read aloud this book in Spanish in my normal speaking voice and actually understand what I am saying as I speak.  When it introduces new vocabulary, I do have to slow down and decipher, but so far, it’s been really easy to figure things out.  Oddly enough, I have yet to find a modern reader that uses the same technique.  This book is tailored for a specific clientele, essentially an individual who is just starting to learn Spanish and who is literate in English and who can use context to decipher vocabulary.  So, that might be why this technique is so uncommon.  There’s just not enough individuals who would benefit from it.  Or, maybe, it’s inadequate at teaching certain issues in Spanish.  I’m not sure, but this book really motivates me to study Spanish.


My Methods or the Lack of Said Methods

My overall idea is to focus on learning to read and write Spanish.  And, from there to acquire spoken Spanish.

I’m starting with a grammar.

And, then, I’m supplementing with various other activities which are fun and practical.

Those activities include

I’m trying to keep it fun and interesting.

I was reading the blog, How to Learn Spanish (using free online resources!) by Andrew_the_Odd, his post,How to avoid wasting months learning Spanish the wrong way (and learning the wrong type of Spanish)–get started the right way, learn to talk like native speakers do was discouraging as it essentially states that my plan will be fruitless.  But, then again, I’ve never succeeded at learning Spanish before, and so far this is working for me.

I, also, would like to  somehow track my progress aka test myself (assessment).  Although I am not thrilled with this particular self assessment from NCSSFL, it’s the best that I have currently.

I’m considering focusing on a weekly subject such as La Comida for this week.  And, next week might be animals.

Today’s activities- I still need to do my study time, but I found the international kid’s books website.  Awesome website.  I also printed up a kids calendar from a Mexican supermarket, HEB.  Used up a couple ink cartridges.  It was quite colorful and many pages.  Oops.