Learn & Practice Spanish
Do you desire to learn Spanish?
Are you traveling overseas to a Spanish speaking nation?
Do you want to talk with your Latino neighbors and customers?
If you answered yes to any of these, this post is for you.
La Paz is often asked about the best ways to learn Spanish. While we are not a Spanish language institute, we can offer several options to consider to learn and practice your Spanish.
Of course, the best and easiest way to learn how to speak Spanish is to live in a Spanish-speaking nation, immersing yourself in the culture and surrounding yourself (and your senses) with the language. There's simply no better way to learn a language than to live in it. There are language institutes across Latin America designed specifically for this purpose, and the course length for these institutes vary, but usually last at least 6 weeks to 6 months.
But, if you don't have that avaialble to you, here are some other resources to utilize.
Smart Phone Apps
Free Mobile Apps
This app really focuses on the 1500 most important words that are most common used in daily situations. It utilizes audio and voice responses to improve conversation and comprehension.
Rosetta Stone (free Demo) -
This app introduces the user to phrases, images and sounds with zero english translation. **NOTE, The full Rosetta Stone language software program can be used at the Chattanooga Public Library for free (if available) with a library membership.
This app sole purpose is to get the user to memorize spanish words. The user can pick between different categories such as: “Advanced Spanish”, “Spanish Vocab By Frequency”.
The same creators that developed memrise, also created Cat Spanish. It utilizes cats in its learning program to add a kind of humor. Most of the lessons review commonly used phrases in spanish.
Is an app that centers around listening to a conversation between to native speakers to work on language comprehension. The dialogue is repeated multiple times for added clarity.
Is a mobile application that connects you with native speakers around the world. It allows you to have face to face conversations over the phone or communicate with voice messages with speakers of your skill level. It’s sort of like a virtual or mobile intercambio program for the purpose of learning and practicing language. You quite literally link up with a real person and converse through the app. There are paid add-on or booster options for advanced learning opportunities.
SpanishDict is a Spanish-English translation app that also incorporates some language learning activities. You can sign up for daily/weekly vocabulary words to be sent to your email.
Apps for a Small Fee
This app uses various mini games to teach different world languages. Like many youtube channels this app believes that interacting in a real way with the language will speed up the acquisition process.
This app focuses on language acquisition by utilizing recordings of real conversations. Like Open Language, the importance of comprehension and working vocabulary acquisition are stressed.
MosaLingua (4.99 app store) (5.99 Google play)-
Spanish app that focuses on most important 3,000 words in the language. This places focus on the ability to utilize the language in everyday situations rather than learning words you may not use.
This app uses CEFR like open language, but utilizes more than just dialogue. It also gives you texts of the necessary vocab, and you can share your recordings with members of the community.
Very similar platform to Busuu where it has a predetermined sequence that it follows. This app is very similar to a normal classroom course and can be done at your own pace. Very helpful learning vocabulary.
SpeakEasy was designed to be a friendly helper with learning common phrases. This is basically a recording of a travel phrase book with common spanish phrases spoken by native speakers. Not very helpful with learning grammar like most of the other apps.
More from "The Spanish Guy (formerly Gringo Español)"
The Spanish Dude- (one of his videos is shown above) (YoutTube Channel)
This channel gives practical spanish lessons, from vocabulary to cultural lessons. Gives a working knowledge of spanish while trying to make viewers understand the differences between spoken spanish in different regions. The Spanish Dude also offers (paid) online Spanish courses through his website. His quirky and fun videos often create a laid-back, yet effective approach to language learning. He also has a paid student portal where he incorporates a more advanced lesson plan, with downloadable study cards.
Dreaming Spanish- (YouTube Channel)
This channel utilizes the power of storytelling in spanish to give “authentic” experiences to the listener. This is believed to help speed up the process of creating a working vocabulary. This channel is also less focused on grammar than traditional spanish and courses.
The Spanish Blog- (YouTube Channel)
This channel provides daily spanish lesson by a native speaker. This lessons help greatly with pronunciation and vocabulary. She also has a blog where one can purchase full courses. She also provides lessons that can be downloaded for the student on the go.
Watch Netflix Shows in Spanish with Spanish Subtitles
Local Classes & Courses
Chattanooga School of Language (website)
Not only do students at this school learn a different language but they also learn about different cultures aspects, such as customs, music, food and film. They offer different classes for children, adults and professionals.
Language South (website)
A camp for 4th to 9th graders that challenges, supports and inspires each other as they grow in their spanish-speaking abilities and explore the language and cultures of the spanish-speaking world. This is an overnight camp running from june 10th until june 16th.
Chattanooga State Community College (website)
Through the continuing education department at Chattanooga State, you can take a semester course in various levels. Fees vary depending on the class.
Informal Opportunities in the Community
La Paz Chattanooga Intercambios
There are two types of intercambios facilitated through La Paz Chattanooga.
Potluck Intercambios involve bilingual La Paz volunteers who open up their homes (or a nearby community location) to a small group of ten to twelve individuals, half from the native English speaking community and half from the native Spanish speaking community. Together, they share a potluck style meal and an informal conversation (30 minutes in each language) for the purpose of language practice and cross cultural exchange.
ESL Class Intercambios are designed to give immigrant participants involved in the English as a Second Language (ESL) courses offered through our partners an opportunity to practice the English they are learning in class. For native English-speakers wanting to practice their Spanish and learn more about another culture, they can sign up to volunteer and engage in an ESL Class Intercambio and join in a conversation aimed to assist one another in learning and practicing each other's native language. While learning English if vital for the immigrant students, we see great value in also empowering them to teach their native language to our English speaking volunteers.
To participate in either form, you must sign up as a La Paz Chattanooga volunteer.
La Paz Chattanooga’s La Palabra Book Club (website)
The goal of La Palabra is to learn more about Latin American culture through the lens of its authors. While fictional novels are the standard, the group will occasionally read a non-fiction or informational book as well. The book club gatherings are fun and laid-back, as participants often bring snacks and their beverage of choice to enjoy and share. They will also on occasion choose to go to a museum or see a film that relates back to Latin American culture. A list of past readings is available to view on a board on La Paz’s Pinterest account.
Want to join La Palabra? Contact us.
Café y Conversación (Facebook Page)
"Café y Conversación," is an informal gathering of adults who come together to utilize and practice their conversational Spanish. These informal gatherings are held once a month and led by Elijah Anderson-Barrera, the World Language Chair at The Baylor School.
Spanish Meetups (website)
There is also weekly meetups where participants can practice with other people over pizza. They meet every Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. at Gondolier Pizza (6901 Lee Highway). To participate, you must sign up through the Meetup app.
Director of Community Engagement
Welcoming the foreigner in our community and helping them feel at home is something of great importance to me. That is why I love the work that we do here at La Paz. There is a growing number of Latino residents who are beginning to make Chattanooga their home. And in the midst of getting acclimated to the community, they face many challenges (including a huge cultural barrier). I know how that feels having lived overseas. How will you help them to get settled and thrive in Chattanooga? Chattanooga is stronger together. Get involved with La Paz!