SpanishPod101
SpanishPod101.com Blog
Learn Spanish with Free Daily
Audio and Video Lessons!
Start Your Free Trial 6 FREE Features

Archive for the 'Spanish Online' Category

3 Reasons Why Playing Games Helps You Learn Spanish Faster

Discover 3 ways that Spanish learning games and video games can help you learn and master Spanish faster, retain more, and enhance your language skills.

reasons why playing games helps you learn faster

Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Spanish Language from the Beginning!

Can You Learn Spanish Using Games?

Yes, Spanish learning games and even video games can help you learn and master Spanish faster and improve overall comprehension. Research studies have concluded that video games enhance traditional learning methods and make mastering a new language like Spanish fun and exciting. Without the firm foundation in grammar and vocabulary provided by conventional learning programs, however, you will not be able to learn Spanish with games alone. But when you combine the solid educational foundation like you’ll get at SpanishPod101 with the benefits of Spanish learning games, you learn faster and retain more than with traditional learning alone.

Let’s now take a look at three of the biggest benefits of using video games to learn Spanish:

Video Games Help Improve Linguistic Skills and Cognitive Development

When combined with a solid foundation in vocabulary and grammar, video games help students improve reading, comprehension, and even speaking skills. The results are even more pronounced in struggling students. According to a recent national survey, more than 78% of teachers noted that learning games, even video games, were effective in helping struggling students compensate for learning gaps in their traditional studies.

So how do Spanish learning games, or even video games, help students improve their linguistic skills and cognitive development? The key is practice, practice, and more practice!
Learning games and video games naturally require the integration of several linguistic skills including reading, listening, speaking, and even writing in some games. And by removing the fear of making mistakes so common in students in traditional classroom settings, students are free to practice the language and further develop their linguistic and cognitive abilities in the process.

Do a compliment in Spanish? Break-Up Lines? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

Learning Games/Video Games Provide In-Context Learning

Students naturally learn faster and comprehend more when they are forced to use the information often and in real-world situations, even the fake ones created by Spanish learning games and video games. Essentially, this is immersion-based learning or contextual learning very similar to what one experiences when living abroad and being forced to interact with people in another language. So by providing both context and constant feedback, video games allow students to actually use the knowledge they gain in classrooms or conventional study to learn and master Spanish or any new language faster.

Spanish Learning Games Make Studying Fun and Alleviate Stress

Homework, quizzes, tests, and even in-class assignments can cause a great deal of stress and anxiety in students, particularly those who may be struggling to keep up. This stress and anxiety can actually derail a student’s progress and cause them to feel isolated from their more successful peers. But video games and even most learning games are the great equalizer because they help alleviate stress, increase social engagement, and yes, even help students have fun while learning Spanish or any new language.
In fact, research recently published in The Washington Post shows a wide range of health benefits from video games and learning games including the fact that they:

  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Depression
  • Help Reduce or Alleviate Symptoms of Insomnia
  • Help Alleviate Transitory Stress Symptoms
  • Scientists have indeed discovered that not only can you learn Spanish or any new language faster thanks to video games, they can also provide a wide range of potential health benefits as well. However, learning languages through video games alone is not really a feasible alternative to progressive, structured learning like you find in classrooms or programs like SpanishPod101.

    Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Start Learning One of our 34 Languages!

    The Limitations of Learning Languages Through Video Games

    While great supplemental learning tools, video games and even more formal learning games are simply no substitute for structured learning programs for two reasons:

  • Learning Games Not Designed to Provide a Foundation in Grammar or Vocabulary: Without the foundation provided by structured Spanish learning (classroom or online), video games or even language learning games only teach specific phrases and concepts. Now within the context of the video game, these phrases and concepts make sense but most would have little practical value in the real world.
  • Lessons Are Not Structured or Progressive in Nature: Structured learning requires students to be provided with basic building blocks of knowledge (like grammar or vocab lessons) that are then expanded upon in a progressive fashion until mastery. Video games and even many language learning games really only quiz and reinforce what students already know instead of providing structured lessons that can be built upon for future learning.
  • Spanish learning games and even video games are great supplemental tools to help students learn and master a language faster. Scientific studies and recent research reveal that video games can help contextualize formal lessons from structured learning, enhance linguistic skills, alleviate stress, and even provide a wide range of potential health benefits. However, learning languages through video games (even learning games) has limitations and is no substitute for structured lessons that provide a firm foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    SpanishPod101 is the world’s most advanced online learning system with tons of HD video lessons created by real Spanish instructors. With more than 500 million lesson downloads and 10,000’s of success stories, SpanishPod101 can provide you with a world-class foundation in vocabulary and grammar.

    Combined with Spanish learning games, our cutting edge online language system can propel you to mastering the language faster, more easily, and at far less expense than traditional classroom instruction.

    4 Reasons Why Spanish Slang Words Will Make You Fluent

    Learn 4 honest reasons you need Spanish slang words and why they are so vital to truly learning and mastering the language.

    Teachers may normally cringe at the thought of their students learning Spanish slang words. After all, slang words and phrases are typically defined as being grammatically incorrect. So why would your teacher want you to spend time learning the “wrong way” to speak Spanish? Here are 4 of the top reasons why you should study slang words and expressions when learning Spanish or any new language.

    reasons to learn spanish slang words

    Create Your Free Lifetime Account and Start Learning the whole Spanish Language from the Beginning!

    1. Native Speakers Use Slang Expressions in Everyday Conversation

    If you are going to study a foreign language and plan to use it to speak with native speakers, then you have to learn slang words and expressions. Otherwise, just using formal expressions and grammar may alienate you from native speakers and make it more difficult to establish a real connection. So it is best to at least learn some common slang words and expressions if you’re planning to meet or speak socially with someone.

    2. Slang Words Are Used All Throughout Spanish Culture

    If you turn on any popular Spanish TV show, listen to any song, or watch any movie, you are quickly going to see the value of learning Spanish slang phrases. Just like everyday conversations between native speakers, Spanish culture is filled with slang phrases and expressions. Without at least some knowledge of the more common slang phrases, popular culture and most conversations will be very confusing and potentially alienating.

    Want to Amaze Native Speaker? Be a Good Lover? Our Vocabulary Lists are Made for You!

    3. Slang Expressions Help You Better Express Your True Thoughts and Feelings

    Only relying on formal grammar and vocabulary is very limiting, especially in social situations. Just like in your native language, using the appropriate Spanish slang words can help you express a broader range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings.

    4. Proper Use of Slang Makes You Sound More Natural

    We’ve all met foreigners who technically used formal language perfectly but still sounded odd and well….foreign. But when you use the right slang words and expressions, you will sound more natural and like a true native speaker. If you notice, even most politicians include a sprinkling of slang expressions and words throughout their speeches to help them sound more natural and to better connect with the audience.

    The Dark Side of Slang Expressions

    Learning Spanish slang words can indeed help you sound more natural, better understand the people and culture, and make integration much easier. However, there is a dark side: using the wrong slang expressions can also make you look foolish, uneducated, and potentially disrespectful.

    But how do you know which slang words or phrases to use and when?

    The truth is that you can’t learn the most modern and appropriate slang words in textbooks or formal classroom settings. By the time the information gets incorporated into a formal curriculum, it’s already outdated and no longer in use by actual Spanish people. And while you can learn current slang expressions from Spanish TV shows, movies, songs, and games, you may not understand the context. If that happens, you may use the right Spanish slang words but in the wrong situation and still look like a fool or possibly even offend someone.

    Step out from the darkness and Get Your FREE PDF eBook to Start Learning Spanish!

    So where can you learn current slang expressions and the right context in which to use them?

    At SpanishPod101, native speaking instructors create audio and video lessons that can include slang expressions and words. Our instructors provide context and examples for all the Spanish slang words used in any lesson to make sure students understand the right time and place to use them.

    Spanish slang words and expressions may be grammatically incorrect but they are vital to truly understanding and immersing yourself in the culture. In fact, it will be very difficult to fully understand any movie, TV show, song, game, or even 1-on-1 conversation without knowing a few of the more common slang expressions.

    However, it is important to learn the proper context and use of even popular slang expressions or you may come across as confusing, disrespectful, or uneducated.
    At SpanishPod101, you’ll learn how to use slang phrases and words to draw the right attention and avoid these problems.

    Don’t forget to sign up for a Free Lifetime Account on SpanishPod101.com to access tons of FREE lessons and features to become fluent in Spanish!

    Top 20 Spanish Words and Phrases you need to survive the Apocalypse

    Zombies are coming, and they speak Spanish! Do you have what it takes to survive? No?
    How lucky you are, we have exactly what you need. Here is the Top 20 Words and Phrases you need to survive this Apocalypse!

    top Spanish words and phrases to survive zombies apocalypse

    Click here to listen how to pronounce those phrases!

    infección (n)
    infection

    espantoso (adj)
    scary

    calavera (n)
    skull

    tumba (n)
    grave

    ¿Cuál es tu película favorita de zombis?
    What’s your favorite zombie movie?

    https://media.giphy.com/media/kfztfA622HDGM/giphy.gif

    Click here to access this lesson for free!

    apocalipsis (n)
    apocalypse

    levantarse de la tumba.
    rise from the grave

    ¡Zombis! ¡Corre!
    Zombies! Run!

    Si hubiera un ataque de zombis, ¿a dónde irías?
    If there was a zombie attack, where would you go?

    sobrenatural (adj)
    supernatural

    https://media.giphy.com/media/idXYLeInD4wkU/giphy.gif

    reserva de alimentos (n)
    food supply

    muerto viviente
    walking dead

    piel de gallina (n)
    goose bumps

    imaginación (n)
    imagination

    cultura pop (n)
    pop culture

    https://media.giphy.com/media/3o85xHe5CUfiRi0d5m/giphy.gif

    Start Learning Spanish Right Now!

    agua dulce (n)
    fresh water

    cadáver (n)
    corpse

    horripilante (adj)
    gruesome

    esconder (v)
    hide

    cementerio (n)
    graveyard

    Want to amaze zombies? Become their friends? Learn Spanish with our vocabulary lists!

    More sample sentences, vocabulary, audio and video lessons when you sign up for free at SpanishPod101.com.

    How to Learn Spanish in Your Car?

    How to Learn Spanish in Your Car? Learn language in car

    Stuck in traffic? Losing time in your car? Have you ever felt that in all this wasted time, you could have watched the 750 episodes of One Piece, finished the last Super Mario ten times, or even better…you could have learned Spanish? Between family, friends and work, in addition to this time-consuming commute, it can become difficult to find time to properly learn Spanish.

    Fortunately, every problem has a solution, and what could be a better solution than turning that commute time into learning time? Stop passing the time mindlessly listening to the radio and try some of our best tips for mastering Spanish in your car!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/3o6Mb2Qgu6RbzYlByU/giphy.gif

    Click Here To Start Learning Spanish Right Now!

    You can learn Spanish in your car, hands free
    While driving, it’s important that you keep your focus on the road, so this is why our top tips won’t require you to use your hands!

    Listening to Spanish audio content in the car is a good way to learn
    This is because it is a fun and efficient way to learn. With SpanishPod101.com podcasts, you will be able to discover Spanish culture through topics about everyday life. Instead of the radio, listen to a Spanish podcast adapted to your level, from Absolute Beginner to Advanced, and you will make progress sooner that you would expect!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/pXsF2CgWoiel2/giphy.gif

    You can listen to Spanish music in the car
    Did you know that you can learn Spanish by singing while driving? Listen to songs from cartoon or drama and try to identify some words you learned.

    Challenge yourself! Use the Spanish you’ve studied up to this point and see how much you understand! Making the jump to real-life Spanish is a scary one, but friendly children’s songs are a great place to start!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/gPPA7RUH34HSg/giphy.gif

    Click Here To Sign Up For A FREE Lifetime Account!

    You can learn alone in your car
    When you’re driving alone, you can be as loud as you want – there is nothing better for remembering your Spanish lessons than repeating loudly, again and again. Next time you see a driver who seems to be talking alone, you will know he or she is just learning Spanish!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/uSXTDFYDWpelW/giphy.gif

    You can learn through repetition with your passengers
    If there are passengers in the car, it can be more stimulating to learn together. You can set a role play with Spanish dialogues. With SpanishPod101.com, you can download all the lessons transcript including the dialogues, as a PDF. Print it out and have some fun speaking in Spanish!

    One of the passengers can answer the quiz available on each of our lessons, while another can correct that person. Listening to someone at a more advanced level of Spanish or a better accent is positive and helps you improve.

    You can learn Spanish offline
    Do you have a poor connection or are unable to use the Internet? It’s not a problem for learning Spanish! Before you start your commute, use our App to download the lessons you want to study and the podcast you want to listen to in your car, and you will be able to enjoy your lessons offline. Entering a tunnel won’t be a problem anymore. What a pleasure to listen to audio content without having the host freezing every 5 seconds!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/yjos61Qgsy17q/giphy.gif

    Click here to download the App and learn offline!

    You can learn every day at your own pace
    One of the best approaches for learning a language is little by little and often. It’s not efficient to take in a huge amount of information at one time. What you need is to study on a regular basis – a little bit of Spanish every day. You commute several days a week, and that is all time you can take advantage of!

    You have the freedom to choose the lessons and podcasts you want to focus on, at your own rhythm. You may want to do a little revision or discover how to talk about a new topic. And if you’re wondering what to learn next, you can use the new Learning Paths, which is our customized pathway feature that gives you a step-by-step way to learn Spanish without getting lost!

    https://media.giphy.com/media/rdma0nDFZMR32/giphy.gif

    Click here to access Learning Paths at SpanishPod101!

    If you don’t have a car and commute by another method, these tips are still valid! Learning Spanish is no longer limited to the classroom or your house; there are so many benefits to learning in your car or elsewhere. Reaching a conversational level will take you less time than you could ever have imagined! Don’t forget to sign up for your Free Lifetime Account and enjoy our content!

    10 Monthly Goals to become fluent in Spanish

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/cdn.innovativelanguage.com/sns/em/blog/2016/05_May/monthly_goal.png

    Hey Spanish Learner!

    Shortcuts for learning and tips to remember Spanish words are useful but it’s even also important to fix objectives to reach every month! What Is Your Language Learning Goal for the Month?
    In your journey to become fluent and conversational here are 10 monthly goals you can go after!

    Click Here To Start Learning Spanish Right Now!

    1) I’ll finish Survival Phrases series on SpanishPod101.com by listening to two lesson a day.

    2) I’ll give a 3 minute introductory speech in Spanish to my Spanish friends.

    3) I’ll finish reading one Spanish book by reading 10 pages a day.

    4) I’ll pass my Spanish test.

    5) I’ll write 10 postcards in Spanish to my Spanish friends.

    6) I’ll memorize 5 Spanish songs.

    7) I’ll finish memorizing 350 words with Flashcards on SpanishPod101.com.

    8 ) I’ll fully understand one Spanish movie by watching it every day.

    9) I’ll learn how to talk about past, present and future events.

    10) I’ll master 150 words by memorizing 5 words a day.

    No money, no credit card required, just you and the ton of lessons!

    If you follow those monthly goals, you will be sure to make some amazing progress. And remember, if you’re really interested in getting on the fast-track to fluency, sign up for a FREE lifetime account at SpanishPod101.com!

    Top Five Phrases You Will Hear in a Classroom

    Today’s lesson will focus on the top five phrases you will hear in a classroom in the Spanish Language. If you don’t know these already, they will be very useful to you.

    Perdón, tengo una pregunta… (”Excuse me, I have a question…̶ ;)
    This is a common and polite way of getting someone’s attention to ask a question, whether it’s a
    teacher, a friend, or a stranger.

    Cómo se dice…(en español)? (”How do you say that (in Spanish)?̶ ;)
    Use this phrase to ask for the Spanish equivalent of an English word. Rather than asking in English,
    “Hey, how do you say that?” asking in Spanish will earn you brownie points with your teacher. It will
    also help keep your brain in Spanish-speaking mode.

    ¿Qué quiere decir? (”What does that mean?̶ ;)
    You can use this phrase to ask for an explanation, you can ask your teacher this if you didn’t
    understand a word, or you could ask your friends this when they are they are insinuating something
    sinister.

    ¿Cómo se escribe? (”How is that written (spelled)?̶ ;)
    This question is helpful in clarifying words. Although Spanish is largely spelled phonemically (i.e., it
    spelled as it sounds), you may find yourself asking this question if the person you’re speaking to
    pronounces a word in a way you’re not familiar with.

    ¡Salud! ¡Dinero! ¡Amor! (”Health! Money! Love! (Bless you!)̶ ;)
    These are obligatory words to say when someone sneezes, and they represent the three standard wishes
    in the Spanish-speaking world. With the first sneeze, we wish salud (”health”). The second sneeze
    elicits dinero (”money”). The third sneeze elicits amor (”love”).
    These were some the top five phrases you will hear in a classroom.

    Go ahead and try these phrases next time you’re in your Spanish class, it’ll make asking questions easier!

    Five Things Your Spanish Teacher Won’t Teach You

    Today we are going to teach you commonly used phrases and/or words in Spanish a teacher would not teach you. Below are some examples!

    The “Dude” Words
    Many varieties of informal Spanish have a “dude” word that peppers their sentences. It’s considered
    very informal, and your Spanish teacher will not bother to address you in this way, but in informal
    situations, you’ll hear it all the time. Different countries have different words for this word.

    The “Wow” Words

    Here are several ways to express surprise in Spanish: hijole, andale, vaya, caray, jolín, and guao.

    Pedo

    If you look up el pedo in the dictionary, you’ll find that its primary definition is “fart,” so you can
    understand why your teacher is not excited about teaching it. But when you get in an informal situation
    with Spanish speakers, you’ll hear that word, and not in the context of gas. It actually has several meanings and uses.

    Compliment Everyone (Hola Guapo)
    One aspect of Spanish-speaking cultures that Americans tend to notice immediately when in a
    Spanish-speaking context is the abundance of affection and compliments. Anyone can learn to compliment in Spanish, even
    those who are brand new to the language, with a few set phrases.

    Cool
    The use of padre to mean “cool” or “awesome” may be purely a Mexican phenomenon; so might be chido. Spaniards and South Americans have their own disctinct word for this exclamation.

    These are just some of the many examples we use at Spanishpod101, so be sure to keep checking for more Spanish Blog updates!

    Top Five Mistakes Not to Make When Using Spanish!

    In this All About, you will find out the top 5 mistakes often made in the Spanish language. Knowing them will help you not to make them!
    Mistake Number Five: Crimes against Gustar
    Spanish people translate me gusta and me gustan as “I like,” and if you like something singular you say me gusta, and if you like something plural you say me gustan. Gustar is a verb that actually means “it gives me pleasure” so if you conjugate it like other regular verbs, you might be saying something wrong.

    Mistake Number Four: -r Fixation
    One big mistake people make when learning Spanish is fixating on the -r. The trilled -r intimidates some people so much that they decide they can’t learn Spanish; others try to trill every -r they see, which sounds ridiculous. First of all, if you can’t trill your -r, it’s not a big deal; people will still understand you perfectly.
    Second, there are plenty of native Spanish speakers who never learned to trill their -r, so again, it’s not a big deal.

    Mistake Number Three: Who You Callin’ Tú?

    This distinction between tú and usted is often to difficult for Americans to grasp or even to remember, and more often than not, many go all over the Spanish-speaking world addressing everyone they meet as tu. This is an error of register. Usually Spanish speakers will forgive this mistake as a second language thing, but knowing when to be familiar and when to be respectful goes a long way in making a good first impression.

    Mistake Number Two: Order! Order!
    It’s common to see newer speakers of Spanish misunderstand repeated explanations, expecting the first noun they hear to be the subject of a sentence. For example, if you hear A los Jackson se te vamos a presentar mañana, a new speaker of Spanish might think, “Whoa, the Jackson family is going to do what?” Spanish has more flexibility in word order than English.

    Mistake Number One: Silent -h means SILENT!
    Here’s a common pronunciation mistake that English-speaking learners of Spanish can totally avoid. That -h you see in Spanish words never, never, NEVER makes the English /h/ sound. First of all, if you see it with a -c, as in -ch, that’s easy enough: it makes the /ch/ sound like in “church.” But if you see that -h without a -c, then that -h is silent. And when we say “silent” we mean “no sound.”

    Those were a few of the five most commonly made mistakes in Spanish. We hope this helped along your learning path!

    Top Five Tools to Learn Spanish

    Featured today in this lesson, we will supply you with a few five great tools to learn how to speak Spanish! Keep these tools under your belt and it’ll make your learning experience smoother and easier.

    Tool Number One: A Spanish Dictionary
    Bilingual dictionaries used to be a burden to the language student; it used to be that only the larger-sized dictionaries were complete enough to be useful, but these large-format dictionaries were difficult to carry around. Nowadays, web-based dictionaries are the standard; they are complete enough to help you with your composition assignments, faster than paperbound dictionaries, and available in any web browser or smartphone.

    Tool Number Two: A Verb Conjugator
    A verb conjugating reference is an absolute necessity when studying Spanish. Many verb conjugation tables have been published, but for years, the standard was “501 Spanish Verbs: Fully conjugated in all the Tenses in a New Easy-To-Learn Format Alphabetically Arranged” by Christopher Kendris and Theodore N. Kendris has been around. Whatever you use, get something that helps you conjugate those verbs.

    Tool Number Three: Spanish Grammar Reference
    Before the Internet, students with grammar questions often had to rely on textbooks they had once used. Nowadays, we can find grammar information easily through the many online grammar guides.

    Tool Number Four: Learning through Spanish Entertainment
    Language is not just an academic pursuit; it’s important not to lose sight of the fact that there is a vast amount of entertainment available in Spanish produced for its hundreds of millions of native speakers. Finding sources of reading and listening pleasure not only provides a source of entertainment, but it also offers grammar examples, vocabulary, and colloquial expressions.

    Tool Number Five: Spanish-speaking Friends and Loved Ones
    This is by far the most essential, most efficient, and most rewarding source of learning: people you care about who speak to you in Spanish. Through them, you’ll learn to communicate, negotiate, and express yourself in Spanish in ways that none of the tools previously mentioned can even approach.

    These are five tools that are excellent means of learning how to speak Spanish!

    All About Latin American Pop culture

    As popular culture changes quickly and drastically, this lesson focuses on the most recent pop culture phenomena in the Spanish speaking countries.

    Popular Music
    The Spanish music scene at the moment is dominated by Reggaeton, a mix of hip-hop and reggae that developed mostly out of the music scenes of Puerto Rico, New York, and Miami. With that said, there has also been a steady growth of EMO and electronic bands in the Spanish-speaking countries, which has brought forth fashion styles and trends associated with this music genre: skinny jeans, converse shoes, snug shirts, and full-fledged black outfits.

    Cinema
    The revival of Spanish-speaking independent cinema has also propelled major production companies to produce more mainstream films, reviving a sector previously dedicated to low-quality films catering to a small population. You’ll still find these films running on TV and in some low-budget theaters. The genres include cheaply produced action movies and racy comedies where double entendres were a big part of the dialogues.

    Popular Television
    Latin America has one major exporter that has been consistent throughout the years: the tele-novella. These mellow dramas are produced across Latin America, but three countries that have transcended international borders are Mexico, Columbia, and Brazil. Unlike their American counterparts, these shows do not go on for twenty years or more. These plot lines generally have a definite end, and the stories last for only a couple of months before ending. Some, however, have been known to run for over a year.

    The information about Latin American Pop culture here is simply scratching the surface. There is many more types of Latin American pop culture out there! please fill us in with what kind of Spanish pop-culture you enjoy!