Skill Level: Basic
¿Tienes hambre? Are you hungry? Well, maybe for knowledge you are at least. One thing I find very important about learning Spanish is not getting bored. So let’s try our best to learn things you can use. And what better thing is there to learn than to know how to actually speak in sentences? Anyone? That’s right! How to speak in full sentences about food. 🙂
As you may have seen in another one of my posts about advancing Spanish fluency we talk about the learning process. Just glancing over some random grammar point is not enough to retain what you’ve learned. You have to repeat, practice then use the material before it sticks in your brain. Imagine talking about playing the piano, perhaps even tapping on a few keys then expecting yourself to play a whole song in front of an audience. Not gonna happen! It’s also why just taking classes alone isn’t going to make you fluent or even hold much of even a basic conversation.
The same thing goes for languages except in you also have to think on the run too. Until you are forced to think about what you want to say you will have a tough time memorizing words, sentence order and so on. So briefly here is the learning system again:
Learn (be introduced to new grammar, vocabulary,etc)-Repeat (write or speak out loud sample sentences)-Practice (at home, classroom)-Use (in real world situations)
Dining is a fun atmosphere in which to use your Spanish and no matter where you live there seems to be at least some restaurants where the whole staff speaks Spanish.
So first step…
Here are some phrases we will start with. We are not going to recreate a whole skit of being at a restaurant rather the parts you speak. So take a peek at the list below.
-Tengo hambre. = I’m hungry.
-Tengo sed. = I’m thirsty.
-querer = to want
-comer = to eat
-tomar/beber = to drink
-dar = to give
-traer = to bring/to come with (side dish with meal)
-entremés(appetizer): sopa de vegetales (vegetable soup), ensalada (salad)
-plato principal(main dish): carne (meat), pescado (fish), pollo (chicken), arroz (rice), platanos maduros (fried sweet plantains), tostones (fried plantains)
-bebida(drink): cerveza (beer), agua (water), refresco/soda (soda), jugo de naranja (orange juice), leche (milk)
-postre(dessert): tres leches (tres leches), flan (flan), helado (de vainilla, chocolate, fresa)= vanilla, chocolate or strawberry ice cream
Repeat + Practice
Now we are going to combine the next steps in the learning process. We are going to make flashcards out of notebook/index cards. Go back over the list and…
1. On one side write the Spanish word in big letters in the middle of the card. In the bottom right corner write the type of word, for example, “verbo”, “sustantivo”, etc…
2. On the other side of the card write the English word in small letters in the middle of the card and in the lower right corner the type of word, verb, noun and so on.
*Note: The purpose of the Spanish being in big letters and the English in small letters is to make the Spanish stand out in your mind. In fact, you could even use two different colors: Spanish in RED and English in BLACK.
**Note: I would recommend drawing the images on the back or finding some pics online to cut and tape to the back of the cards instead of using the English translations. Image association is more powerful than using the English translations. You will need some help from your first language, but the less the better.
Flashcard Drill Instructions
1. Put all flashcards in one pile Spanish side facing up.
2. Guess word in English by saying it out loud. Turn over to check for answer.
3. If correct place in “correct pile”. If not, put in “retry pile”.
4. Go through all flashcards one time. Review “retry pile” cards for correct answers before attempting the answers a second time.
5. Go through flashcards in “retry pile” again.
6. The drill is finished when you no longer have anymore “retry pile” cards left.
7. Restart drill but reversing the language facing up. Now do the same exercise but starting from the other language.
Drill to Perfection
Do the drill enough times to where you can think of the word in either language without any effort.
Complete Sentences/Putting It All Together
At the risk of information overload I decided to place the last step in another post. Please click the link below to finish the exercise.
Speak Spanish Today: at the Restaurant, Part 2