What works for you?

Hola Estudiantes,

Here you will find tried and true methods for learning a foreign language.  Everyone has their own learning style.  Choose what works for you!


Listen to Tim Doner’s personal motivation of WHY learning languages is important to him.  It is more than a hobby.

Suggestion:  Start at 3:49 – 4:50 (1 minute).  At 8:46 – 9:48 (1 minute) he brings up his own mneumonic technique!  At 10:00 – 11:15, (about 1 minute) he shares a different technique he uses to remember vocabulary.  At 12:50 – 13:08 (18 seconds), he shares Nelson Mandela’s quote (below).  Lastly, go to 15:35 – 16:26 (almost 1 minute).  REALLY GOOD!

Breaking the language barrier | Tim Doner | TEDxTeen 2014




Read below how Belle Beth Cooper learned French in one year!  She said, “From a habit of practicing French for just five minutes a day, I can now read, write, and speak basic French.”


I had dabbled in French before, but I wasn’t very good at sticking with it. When I decided I really wanted to improve my French, I started by building a habit of doing just one Duolingo lesson every morning while I drank my coffee. (If you haven’t tried it, Duolingo is a free web and mobile app to help you learn lots of languages.)

One lesson takes around five minutes, so it’s a tiny commitment, and quite easy to do when I’m sitting around drinking coffee anyway. Eventually I started doing more than one lesson—two, three, sometimes even four or five, if I was enjoying it.

I did as many as I felt like, but I always did at least one.

Only one lesson was required to check off that habit for the day, so it was easy to stick to, even when I didn’t feel like doing any more than that. These days I also use Babbel (a paid web and mobile app for language learning) to get a better idea of the grammatical rules and structures of French, and I’ve finished the whole French section in Duolingo.

According to Duolingo, that means I know about 41% of French! That’s a big achievement from just five minutes a day!

To read the entire article:  https://www.fastcompany.com/3056613/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/how-i-became-a-morning-person-read-more-books-and-learned-


This lady shares how listening to music and watching TV is a natural way to start learning a foreign language.  How easy is that?!  Ivoree, a FUNdamentals’ high school student, enjoys listening to Spanish songs.  ALWAYS ask your parents first before searching for songs and TV shows on new channels.

Suggestion:  Start watching at :10 – 2:00 min.  AND  3:58 – 4:31    Ask a classmate to be your “conversation buddy”.  ¡Si puedes!  You can!


Choose what interests YOU!  Tim Ferriss (American author, entrepreneur, public speaker and polyglot) says reading materials that were interesting to him made THE difference when a learning foreign language!  He enjoyed books on Judo and comics when learning Japanese.  He also speaks Spanish, German and Mandarin Chinese.  Take his good advice to start reading books, magazines, etc. in Spanish!  Just remember to start with Spanish reading level that is BELOW your English reading level since you are just starting out.  The important part is reading about subjects that interest YOU!

Start video time at 7:30 and listen to 9:18 (about 2 min.)  Of course you can watch the whole video, but I did not.


Practice & Memorize

You are already doing what grown-ups do learning Spanish!  David Bailey memorizes answers to basic questions BEFORE he meets new people.

“When you meet new people you inevitably get asked the same things: ‘Where is your name?’, ‘What do you like to do?’. By learning ready-made answers, you get to practice what you learned and build up your confidence.”  by David Bailey, CEO of Spotnight, on Quora.

Click here to see practice worksheet of ready-made answers.  Sort of like the “scripts” we use for one-minute presentations.   fun_sheet



THINKING IN SPANISH? Yes, thinking in your new language will help you ADVANCE!

Make a conscious effort to describe things around you in Spanish.  An easy way to start when you have a very limited vocabulary is to just look around your room, neighborhood, and school and mentally label whatever you can.  If you know colors, scan whatever is around you and think the word for the color of each item you see.  If you have been learning about furniture, adjectives, or people, try the same thing with those words. Whatever vocabulary you are learning at the moment, make a conscious effort to think in Spanish. See it as a game, something to enjoy doing 🙂

Another tip is to speak to yourself.  Put off the fear of looking silly and talk to yourself in Spanish!  This helps you organize your thoughts, and allows you to practice pronunciation. If you don’t like the idea of talking to yourself, make videos of yourself talking to track your progress.  Talk about the weather, the food you ate for breakfast, or your favorite TV show.  You get the idea.

The main ideas in the above 2 paragraphs are from an article found here.  Interested in learning about “passive-to-active vocabulary transition”? Click on link.



Earth, Blue Planet, Globe, Planet, World, Space

Future Career: Do you want to be a diplomat or a missionary OR a world traveler ….you choose!  Click here for one gentleman’s story:

How Diplomats Learn Foreign Languages

8 ways to practice Spanish every day:

8 Ways to Get Daily Language Practice on Your Coffee Break