Magazines in Spanish
help you expand your horizons!
By signing up for
a magazine subscription, you give yourself the opportunity to dedicate
some time to your Spanish studies each month.
For example, National
Geographic Magazine's Spanish language edition (available through
amazon.com) is an excellent way for you to acquire new vocabulary in
Spanish as well as learn more about the world.
En Español (available through amazon.com) is another great way to learn
more Spanish, as well as stay current with Latino popular culture.
There are lots of pictures, so it's easy to read, even for a beginner.
With a magazine
subscription, you can always look forward to getting something new to read!
Other magazine choices for you
There are many other English language magazines published en español,
including People, Cosmopolitan, Reader's Digest, GQ, Men's Health,
and Popular Mechanics.
To get an idea of what is
available, go to amazon.com. In the search box in the upper left-hand
corner, select "magazines" and then enter en espanol (tilde not required) into the subject box. Then
Chances are, you can find
a magazine that is just right for you. So grab a
dictionary, and come along!
Music in Spanish for
culture, history, & inspiration
Besides being a
great way to learn new vocabulary and train your ear to the sounds of the
language, listening to music in Spanish can teach you much about the
people and culture of the Spanish-speaking world.
about Rubén Blades & "Tiempos"
to selections on Amazon.com
Recommendations for learning from music
The most important
recommendation for music is
to get a CD you like and listen to it again and again.
can find something in a style you like by searching the internet or
visiting your local bookstore or public library.
first, just listen to the music to see how many words you can pick
out. Then read the lyrics as you
listen to the songs, so you get used to how the words sound.
You don’t need to translate every word at first; just follow
along and get the flow of things. Then,
when you are familiar with the CD, choose a couple of songs you really
like, and learn those by heart.
CD’s include the words to the songs, and some give an English
translation. For CD’s
that don’t include lyrics, you can usually find them on the internet.
(Run a search with the name of the artist or group and the word discografía
and you should find
is something for everyone. For example, if you like rock / pop,
you might try Shakira or
Maná. If you like 70's, try
If you like Latin, you might enjoy Rubén Blades or
If you like romantic, try Enrique Iglesias,
Luis Miguel, or
Alejandro Sanz. If
you like punk / rap, check out Molotov. If you like Christian
music, listen to Crystal Lewis
(Spanish albums may not be available
on Amazon). If you like world beat, try Manu Chao or "Buena
Vista Social Club."
in music is personal, so you have to find something that's right for
way, you will be motivated to listen to the songs over and over, until
the sounds and patterns become so natural and automatic to you that you
can sing along without even thinking. You can do a
Latin music search on Amazon to find something that suits your
Here are some other artists that have been recommended by students:
Unplugged is a live collection of some of Mexican rock band Maná's
greatest hits. According to Amazon.com editor Joey Guerra, "..the Mexican band
employs a variety of styles to perfect its pleasing pop sound... Lead
singer Pher brings to mind icons such as Sting and U2's Bono..."
Customer reviews to this
album are high, and the reader who recommended the album to us said it
includes the English translation side by side with the Spanish
Click on the album icon to listen to selections!
Estefan's CD Mi
Tierra is a good way to ease into the sounds of Spanish,
and have fun as you learn new words. The vocals are clear and easy
to understand, and the content is appropriate for most groups. The music
is in Spanish, and the CD comes with the written Spanish lyrics and
their English translation. Read along in Spanish!
a Latin music search on Amazon
de Mi Padre is a CD of traditional Mexican songs, performed by
Linda Ronstadt. Students find the lyrics easy to follow, and those
familiar with Linda Rondstadt's music enjoy hearing her sing in
Spanish. A good introduction to Mexican folk music.
building fluency with basic Spanish, try Pimsleur
Quick & Simple Spanish. The Pimsleur audio
method lets you practice, practice, practice until you really
learn it. No book is required; just listen and repeat!
It's a great way for beginners to learn a few key phrases and
learn them well.
learners may wish to get a book in Spanish that is also
available (unabridged) on tape or CD. You can listen to
the speaker as you follow along in the text, or just use the
book as a back-up in case you don't understand something.
If you are not up to reading a novel in Spanish, try the
children's or young adult section.
Out of Beginner's Spanish
good reference book for people who have had some Spanish, but
didn't understand all the details, is Breaking
Out of Beginner's Spanish by Joseph Keenan. The section
on pronunciation is very helpful, and the text explains some
tricky grammar issues in simple language. Keenan has a great
sense of humor, so for a grammar book, it's pretty entertaining.
A good resource for improving your understanding of written Spanish
Better Reading Spanish
by Jean Yates.
The book features short selections grouped by topic (food, art,
movies, sports, etc.) and follow-up questions that teach
students to use reading strategies such as skimming, using
cognates, and finding context clues, to get meaning from the
text when they don’t understand every word. The idea is to learn
how to read unfamiliar material without looking everything up in
the dictionary. This is an
excellent text to use on your own to improve your Spanish, but
it also works well with an adult advanced conversation class.
The exercises give the students something to work on at home,
and the reading selections provide interesting topics to discuss
originally developed to teach English, these pictorial reference
books are available in several bilingual editions, including
English / Spanish. The labeled pictures provide a great
way to build vocabulary!
New Oxford Picture Dictionary (English/ Spanish version)
by Norma Shapiro and Jayme Adelson-Goldstein, is a fascinating
reference to everyday vocabulary. Over 3,700 words are
illustrated in full color and grouped into thematic areas.
A great tool for learning either English or Spanish.
The Basic Oxford Picture Dictionary, which is simpler
than the New Oxford Picture Dictionary, and emphasizes
Oxford Picture Dictionary for Kids (English/ Spanish
version) by Joan Ross Keyes, teaches everyday vocabulary, with
emphasis on contexts that are of interest to children. The
illustrations are engaging, and the same characters appear
throughout, so it seems more like a picture book story than a
dictionary. Fun to read for both adults and kids!
ESL / ESOL
If your goal is to
teach English to speakers of other languages, we also recommend Picture
This, by Laurie Johnson.
n' Learn Spanish is ideal for children and older
learners with a sense of fun. The audio program uses upbeat
rhythms and music to teach vocabulary and expressions in Spanish
and English, and the companion booklet lets you read along.
Great reinforcement for basic vocabulary and expressions.
If you want to
keep studying, one option is to
take a college level Spanish class. If you don't have a
university in your area, you may be able to study through
Or, if you prefer
to study on your own, you might look into the "Destinos"
program. This college-level grammar text is based on a
series of videos that take you on a tour of the Spanish speaking
world within the context of a soap opera drama. For more
information about "Destinos," see the McGraw Hill
If you're just wanting to practice your
conversational skills, you might form a
Spanish book discussion group. Find a book
that fits your level and your interests, and organize your own
group around that! Look for books that are originally
written in Spanish and NOT translations, as these sometimes are
not well done and might confuse you if your goal is to learn
Spanish. If you're not ready for a novel, try a young adult
novel, and if you're not ready for a young adult novel, try a
text such as
Better Reading Spanish.
resources & links
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