Friday, December 2, 2011

Here's What I'm Reading...

Here's What I'm Reading This Month. . .
Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish
By: Joseph J. Keenan

During my travels abroad, I grew to admire those students of the language that could just throw themselves into the culture, pick up on the nuances of the language, and converse with the locals without reserve or hesitation.  This willingness to jump right in and practice your head knowledge by not letting spontaneous conversation scare you is the difference between knowing and understanding Spanish to actually speaking it.  The author of the book Breaking Out of Beginner's Spanish, Joseph J. Keenan, draws from his experience of learning Spanish by traveling to Spanish-speaking countries and speaking it.  Keenan encourages readers from his trial and error to experience that learning Spanish and moving into fluency can be done.  He gives tips on cultural awareness, advises on tricky vocabulary and cognates, compiles lists of simple greetings and phrases for memorization, and much more.  The text is almost conversational in nature, and answers all the little questions that arise for any student of the Spanish language that actually wants to start using the new, beautiful language they have worked so hard to study.  Keenan points out in the beginning of his book, "One maxim says that you can chart your language-learning progress by three landmarks: speaking and understanding the basics, then learning the language well enough to use it and understand it on the phone, and finally being able to understand the jokes."  That last level of progress seems far-off for me, and that's why I want to keep reading this book!  Go check it out for yourself at the library, or buy it from a local bookstore, and let me know what you think or what you learn!  Happy reading! 

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