Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free Online Courses to Prepare for the AP* Spanish Language and Culture Exam

What is EdX?

Long story short, EdX is an online website that hosts courses from colleges around the world. Any one can take these classes online for free. You won't get actual college credit for them, but you will get the knowledge, and they can be shown on your LinkedIn profile or gain you certificates.

From the EdX website:
Founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012, edX is an online learning destination and MOOC provider, offering high-quality courses from the world’s best universities and institutions to learners everywhere.
With more than 85 global partners, we are proud to count the world’s leading universities, nonprofits, and institutions as our members. EdX university members top the QS World University Rankings® with our founders receiving the top honors, and edX partner institutions ranking highly on the full list.

 EdX Spanish Courses

Courses change depending on the date, however if these courses are no longer available, search through the EdX catalog.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

El corazón delator - Edgar All Poe - Spanish Short Stories

We all know that the fastest way to improve your language skills is to practice, practice, practice. A great option is to read a story that you're already familiar with, but in Spanish. This gives you a chance to use educated guesses and context clues to understand complex vocabulary and grammar patterns that you may not be familiar with.

Feel free watch the video below to hear the audio, or read the story below. Keep in mind that since the text is translated, I couldn't find an audio and a text version that used the exact same translation throughout. So there are differences between  the video and the text below.

Without further ado, here is the Tell-Tale Heart translated in to Spanish, El corazón delator.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Free Online Places to Learn Spanish

Learning a new language doesn't have to be an expensive activity. There are plenty of free options to learn Spanish that you can use so long as you have a device that can reach the internet.

Free online interactive websites

There are a ton of free online websites that can help you learn Spanish (or any language). Don't believe me? Google "learn Spanish online free". Go ahead, I'll wait.

See? There's a ton. Thankfully, I've already used...well way too many of them. Joining a new website is sometimes my way of procrastinating. The downside to a lot of free websites, is that a lot of the content is free, but there's also a lot that is only for "premium" users. 

That being said, here my favorites include:
  • DuoLingo - Completely free-no content locked behind a pay wall.
  • Busuu
  • LiveMocha (I use to like LiveMocha more. It's recently been bought out by Rosetta Stone)
Ask a librarian! Seriously, most libraries have a ton of resources available.

Local Library

Most local libraries will have some sort of language learning section. It can vary from one or two books, to entire sections. Now days a lot of libraries also offer items digitally, so you can check out books on your phone and computer. There are also high quality language learning software and websites that are available for free through libraries. Just ask a librarian!


The modern library! Using Youtube you can learn Spanish from native speakers all over the world. Of course, you do need to be careful. Just because someone can make a video about Spanish, doesn't mean that they should be teaching it. So if something sounds suspicious, double check it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Best Spanish Language Spotify Playlists

Here are a five of the best Spotify lists to find music in Spanish (that doesn't sound like it should be played in a chain Tex-Mex restaurant).

  1. Viva Latino - Updated weekly - hot current music
  2. Exitos Mexico - Mexican hits - not everything on this list is Spanish language (it currently includes Missy Elliot and CeeLo Green) but it does show what is currently trending on Mexican Top 40 stations.
  3. Spain Top 50 - Chart toppers from Spain.
  4. Musica Folklorico - Ok, so these are older, but they're still worth listening to. They'll give you a chance to listen to Spanish in a different accent, and tend to have a slower tempo, so they make for great listening practice.
  5. Calle 13 - I just really like Calle 13. 
What's your preference when you listen to Hispanic music?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

70m2 A Spanish Short Movie (with English Subtitles)

Here's a short movie (less than 15 minutes long) where Ivan is trying to celebrate his anniversary, but chaos seems to follow him. Lots of cringe worthy moments.