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Old 09-03-2017, 08:50 AM
 
564 posts, read 296,223 times
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I would like to improve on the three years of Spanish classes in highschool and college taken many decades ago. I'm living in SoCal recently and have Mexicans working here daily. There are several schools nearby and dozens of ESL classes available but not a single SSL class! No one I spoke with at two schools had even heard of such a thing.

Why not? Do they exist somewhere? Am I left to buy a commercial product?
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Old 09-03-2017, 08:58 AM
 
Location: Orlando
1,986 posts, read 2,635,623 times
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If you're specifically asking about "SSL" classes, I'm not surprised you're getting no responses -- I've never heard of "SSL."

However, I looked very quickly at the offerings in Spanish at my local community college just now, and there are several courses offered in Conversational Spanish, Elementary Spanish I and II, Intermediate Spanish ... etc.

Maybe if you change your search terms you'll do better?
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:09 AM
 
Location: Loudon, TN
5,780 posts, read 4,833,476 times
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Yes, community colleges usually have Spanish language courses. Also most of the "Learning Exchange" type organizations have them. Also, you could try on-line courses, or something like babble.com, or spanishprograms.com, or Rosetta Stone.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:23 AM
 
564 posts, read 296,223 times
Reputation: 1155
Quote:
Originally Posted by WellShoneMoon View Post
If you're specifically asking about "SSL" classes, I'm not surprised you're getting no responses -- I've never heard of "SSL."

However, I looked very quickly at the offerings in Spanish at my local community college just now, and there are several courses offered in Conversational Spanish, Elementary Spanish I and II, Intermediate Spanish ... etc.

Maybe if you change your search terms you'll do better?
ESL courses are offered as night courses at lots of highschools. One needn't drive miles away to a CC or university. That's what I mean. Sorry not to have been clear. I understand demand would be less, but I would think there would be some interest.

Maybe a tutor is the answer.

Still, I wonder why more of us aren't learning how to communicate with the many Spanish speaking people we encounter here daily.
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Old 09-03-2017, 09:51 AM
 
Location: Idaho
4,624 posts, read 4,462,694 times
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Three years in high school and college? I submit that you know Spanish a lot better than you think. If you are typical, you can understand a whole lot more than you feel confident in speaking.

Best way I know how to gain confidence is to start using it. In retail establishments or fast food places. When you see an obvious Spanish speaker, and being in SoCal, they are 'everywhere', try to speak to them in Spanish. People are very understanding and helpful if you try to speak their native tongue. I have found that they won't necessarily correct me if I'm off, so if I'm not sure, I ask how to say something or did I say something correctly. Practice every chance you get and you'll be proficient in no time.

Be aware that colloquial Spanish is a lot different than what we learned in school. For example, in some areas, it is more common to say, "¿Cómo andas?", (literally, How are you walking?), instead of what we learned in school, (i.e., "¿Cómo estás?", (How are you?)).

Spanish is such a beautiful language. I wish I were more fluent.
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:09 AM
 
1,568 posts, read 579,579 times
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I happen to be a FB friend of our local Friends of the Library. They just had a recent post about the free-online sources available to learn foreign languages through many public libraries. I think you do have to have a local library card and your local library library needs to subscribe to a service [most of them do, I think]. The amount of free online services/subscriptions you can use through the library is truly staggering!
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Old 09-03-2017, 10:20 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,558 posts, read 39,944,045 times
Reputation: 23688
Quote:
Originally Posted by volosong View Post
Three years in high school and college? I submit that you know Spanish a lot better than you think. If you are typical, you can understand a whole lot more than you feel confident in speaking.

Best way I know how to gain confidence is to start using it. In retail establishments or fast food places. When you see an obvious Spanish speaker, and being in SoCal, they are 'everywhere', try to speak to them in Spanish. People are very understanding and helpful if you try to speak their native tongue. ...
Spanish is such a beautiful language. I wish I were more fluent.
Maybe a tutor is the answer.

Excellent answers.

my plans... (Cuz I have a lot of volunteer business clients who are primary Spanish speakers, they are great to work with)
  • use Spanish whenever I can;
  • Spanish radio (TV if I had one...)
  • Mentoring
  • Volunteering
  • Language immersion school in Central or South America (Very, very cheap for the quality experience + travel... do course for a month, travel for a month, come back for 2 week course refresher / tweaking.)

End game... a one yr trip in SA. Maybe living in a SA country with affordable Healthcare

One of my friends did a 'diplomat' language school and learned Spanish in 6 weeks.
A co-worker moved to Guatemala, another had a dad who worked in PR for the US CIA (2 yr assignment). I envy both their fluencies and the quality of life they have been availed through additional languages. (Great friends, culutral exchange, volunteer opportunities in SA and in USA, service to others.

Course work alone will be a long and tedious process for a retiree looking to 'bone-up'. I prefer Plan B... Use it, force yourself into cultural and business exchanges that REQUIRE it.
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Old 09-03-2017, 11:04 AM
 
659 posts, read 324,857 times
Reputation: 1974
I would assume that entry level Spanish course assumes you are learning it as a non native speaker. You can also learn by entry level language books with CDs . Through repetition, you learn to speak it with the right accent so that you are understood. I learned Chinese this way and Chinese had no problem understanding me. Find some TV channels and listen as much as you can to gain comprehension and situational context
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Idaho
4,624 posts, read 4,462,694 times
Reputation: 9040
Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
...
  • Spanish radio (TV if I had one...)...
Many, probably most, DVD discs have a Spanish language audio track. You also have the option to display closed captions in Spanish/English while the movie is playing. However, added special features are usually in English, (unless it is a Spanish movie, of course).


Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
End game... a one yr trip in SA. Maybe living in a SA country with affordable Healthcare
I very highly recommend you consider Uruguay as your base. Fairly close to Buenos Aires when you want a touch of craziness. Politics tend toward socialism, but they are doing it right! It is a very stable country. Commonly referred to as the "Switzerland of South America". Many people think the country is 'boring'. But, boring isn't all bad. (disclaimer: I was married to a Uruguayan woman for 11 years, so I'm a bit biased.)
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Last edited by volosong; 09-03-2017 at 12:18 PM..
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Old 09-03-2017, 12:43 PM
 
Location: SoCal
13,225 posts, read 6,320,879 times
Reputation: 9827
I'm taking Spanish class next semester, preparing for my trip to Spain. But I didnt have any problem when I went to Mexico because I know French, unlike my husband when knows German.
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