When I was in college, I studied abroad for a few months. I was fortunate enough to land in England, and had no need to learn another language. Although we had a week off school and travelled to Europe, the 5 years of Spanish I took in high school and college helped. I squeaked by in France but Italy was next. Spanish and Italian have their similarities and I could pick up on things as I went, but there were times I wasn’t sure what I was ordering or how to get directions to something, or which train stop I needed to get off at. This would have helped me tremendously!
The lessons are 20-30 minutes long. I do these on my way home from work. They start out with conversations in the language and then break them done by phrases before putting it all together. They also break down the larger words to make sure you get the pronunciations. You repeat the words and phrases after the speaker to get the hang of it. And then at intervals you’re asked questions, to recall that knowledge. The first lesson is all about saying “excuse me” “do you speak Italian/English” and then also “I speak Italian/English” and “a little”. Then you move on to “I understand” “do you understand” and please and thank you in the next lessons. The nice thing with these are that they go back to previous lessons so you never lose what you’re learning. And the questions help you recall them. Having taken Spanish before, it was actually super easy to pick up on this one than the French I started on.
You can move on to the next lesson when you feel you’ve retained 80%, so you don’t feel you have to keep redoing it, as it will be brought up again in later cd’s. This is an easy way to learn a language and actually learn the phrases you’ll use. There’s tons of lessons, and as I said, you can go back if you need to, but there’s really no need. I feel comfortable enough that if and when I return, I’ll feel a lot more comfortable getting around and being able to ask questions!
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