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Yes, I do this!

  • Attend class regularly and come to class prepared.
  • Take vocabulary notes in class and study my notes daily.
  • Complete all assignments including optional assignments in the textbook or e-book.
  • Review corrected essays.
  • Make use of flashcards.
  • Practice speaking Spanish by myself, with my professor and with my classmates.
  • Try to speak spontaneously without translating in my head.
  • Use mnemonic devices (images, rhymes, sounds) to remember new words.
  • Form a study group and study with friends or classmates.
  • Ask for help from my instructor and/or sign up to get tutoring in the Student Success Center.
  • Watch television, movies, and videos in Spanish.
  • Read in Spanish everyday: newspapers, online materials; practice reading aloud.
  • Take opportunities to learn about the cultures of Spanish speaking countries.
  • Join a Spanish conversation group (
  • Speak Spanish even though I make mistakes because I know that progress in a new language is often slow.

Adapted from the Instrutor's Manual to Accompany Tu mundo. © McGraw Hill Education

There are many opportunities for cultural experiences in the Hispanic community. We invite you to participate in some of the following events in various Southern California venues:

  • Conducted in Spanish.
  • No cost, weekly one hour off campus conversation groups.
  • Current or former IVC students in Spanish 2 or above.
  • Grammar review, easy readings, and open conversation.
  • Contact Prof. Beatrice Tseng.
  • Study Spanish has grammar and pronunciation tutorials, vocabulary and verb drills, games, and much more.
  • Lingolex has helpful lists of vocabulary, grammar tutorials, and a link to a Spanish English bilingual chatroom.
  • Digital Dialects has vocabulary games and verb conjugation practice. It is fairly simple but good for beginners.
  • Maestro Spanish has an easy to customize game for practicing verbs in Spanish in any tense. There are also numerous other resources on this site.
  • Learn a Language is a free comprehensive guide to learning Spanish (vocabulary, verbs, phrases, etc.) and several other foreign languages.
  • Don Quijote is a commercial site that offers Spanish language study at over 20 Don Quijote schools in both Spain and Latin America. The site also includes graded lessons in Spanish, Spanish word of the day, verb conjugators, games in Spanish and more.
  • Watch TV news in is the easiest because it is usually somewhat familiar to informed adults. If you are a baseball or soccer fan, watch those sports in Spanish. Don't leave when the ads come on...that is Spanish, too!
  • The Spanish Proficiency Exercises from the University of Texas have varying levels of interviews with native speakers. There is a script available, which you can use to aid in comprehension. Click on “Site Index.”
  • Watch Destinos, a Public Television series of 52 episodes that follows the lives and fortunes of a wealthy Mexican family with a secret. This series starts in Mexico and the United States, and the plot takes viewers to Spain, Argentina and Puerto Rico.
  • Watch all 13 episodes of Extra en español, modeled after the US sitcom Friends. It is closed captioned so you can read along and will expose you to Spanish from Spain. Available on YouTube.
  • Sign up for a local Meet-up where you can practice Spanish with both native speakers and other learners.
  • Use iTalki to connect with both native speaker teachers and conversation partners across the globe. There are three "tiers" of iTalki: 1) professional teachers, 2) casual language partners, (there is a charge for both of these services) and 3) Language exchanges. This last option is free, but in exchange you must help someone learn English.
  • Buy CDs in Spanish or download music. CDs often have the lyrics on the liner notes or you can find lyrics online. Read the lyrics, teach yourself to sing along. Recommended:
    • Children’s music with easy lyrics by José Luis Orozco. But any kind of music that you enjoy and for which you are willing to learn the lyrics, will be beneficial.
    • Del Sol Books has both children’s literature and children’s music from three well known children’s authors. If children’s music does not interest you, then find music that does and teach yourself the lyrics.
    • Search the many YouTube videos with songs in Spanish for children who are growing up in Spanish speaking households.

Hint: music for adults is poetry put to melody and is often quite hard. The advantage of music for children is that it is repetitive and includes vocabulary that all native speakers know but that is rarely taught in a Spanish class for adult learners, the sort of vocabulary we all learn as children and that is part of the collective knowledge of native speakers.

Reading is one of the best ways to broaden your vocabulary range and effortlessly absorb grammar.

Fables, fairy tales, short stories, adapted novels and drama:

  • You can read non-copyrighted fables, fairy tales and traditional stories online at Cuentos infantiles cortos. This site also has a link to a free YouTube subscription to animated stories.
  • Tu cuento favorito has very short stories for young adults and a recording of each one.
  • Biblioteca Digital Ciudad Seva has short stories and poems written by well-known writers, uploaded by one of Puerto Rico’s most prolific writers, Luis López Nieves.
  • Read short, adapted pieces of literature in Spanish. Leer en españolis a series of easy-to-read novels published in Spanish by Santillana. Many come with an audio CD or mp3 download and can be purchased on Amazon.
  • Check out the mystery, romance, and adventure novels written by Paco Ardit. He has written a series of graded novels using the European system of language levels: A1, A2, B1, B2, C1 C2. On Amazon you will be able to browse several pages to see if a novel is at a level that is right for you.
  • Loyal Books has free public domain audio books and e-books in Spanish and other languages.
  • Read short plays in Spanish in Comediatheque. These can be used for reader’s theatre or simply read for pleasure. These plays are lighthearted, and most are no longer than 35 pages, some are shorter.
  • Project Gutenberg and Many Books offer hundreds of e-books in Spanish that can be sorted by genre and popularity and downloaded for free.

Newspapers and articles:

  • Newsela provides current news articles written in Spanish and updated weekly. Each article can be read at six different levels and includes a post-reading quiz.
  • El Remiendo has a variety of articles on fashion, plants, health, technology, dance, pets, recipes, art, beauty, current news, and more.
  • Buy La Opinión, the oldest Spanish language newspaper in the US. It is available at many local eateries in many parts of Orange County. Do not feel obligated to finish an article...just browse.
  • Read Spanish language newspapers online. Go to Prensa Escrita for an extensive list of online newspapers from all over the Spanish speaking world.
  • News in Slow Spanish is a weekly online news program done in audio format. Prices range from $30 to $80 for a sixth month subscription, depending on the package you select. This is a very well-done program, with high interest level.
  • Think Language produces a great audio magazine titled Think Spanish. This is for students at the high beginning to intermediate level. Read it first and then listen to the mp3 recording in your car. A one-year subscription is $169 per year, but they frequently have sales and you can get a year subscription for half the price.
  • Punto y coma is a bimonthly audio magazine for intermediate to advanced learners. You can read the printed version and then listen to the mp3 or CD audio recording. The cost is approximately $100 per year. This same site has many audio books in Spanish for advanced learners.
  • Get a subscription to Yabla, where for $10.00 a month you have access to hundreds of shorts and video promos in a unique software system that allows you to see the script as you listen and watch, see the English if you need it, and then play a comprehension game afterwards. Each video is rated for difficulty.
  • UC San Diego Extension offers two types of certificates:
  • UC Los Angeles Extension offers a certificate in Legal Interpretation and Spanish/English Translation. Duration: 1 year. This intensive program prepares students to pass the California Court Interpreter State Certification Exams.
  • Santa Ana College: This Spanish/English Interpretation and Translation program is an introductory certificate to professionally train students by experts in the field. Students will learn how to use bilingual skills to provide services for business, medical, and legal professions.
  • University of Massachusetts Boston Online offers an online Spanish/English Translation certificate. Duration: 9 months.