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Photo by Thibault Penin on Unsplash

In my first post on this subject, I said I’d do another list of some of the shows I’ve been watching to keep practicing Spanish every day. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed the shows I picked, though a couple did leave something to be desired. But even the shows I had some complaints about had plenty of value for language practice. So without further ado, here are a few of the programs I’ve been watching lately.

Isabel

This one remains my absolute favorite of all the Spanish shows I’ve ever watched. I watched it from start to finish on Amazon Prime, though they seem to be wishy-washy in their commitment to keeping it available for streaming. This is another historical fiction offering from Spain, and it is one of their best. It follows the story of Isabel I of Castile, the female half of the Spanish Monarchs and the woman credited with setting Spain on its path from being a peninsula of tiny, warring kingdoms to one of Europe’s first modern nation-states. We begin with Isabel’s journey to the court of her half-brother Enrique IV (played by Pablo Derqui, which is totally worth mentioning), and follow her all the way through to her death in 1504, dealing with the drama that led up to her ascension and everything that came after. …


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Photo by Joe Caione on Unsplash

The other day I raised my foot to stick it on the couch pillow only to find one of my dogs was laying there, squished down into the cushion pile, and I’d just kicked him in the face. It wasn’t a hard kick, but he had been so comfortable. I definitely felt bad for waking him up. I patted him on the head and apologized, but afterwards I wondered if that apology meant anything to him, or if he just thought I whacked him in the face and then talked to him in a funny tone for reasons he’d never understand. Do dogs have enough of a handle on human behavior to actually comprehend the meaning of an apology? Or do they lack the emotional depth to understand feelings of regret and remorse? …


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Foto por Charles Deluvio en Unsplash

Hace un poco, escribí un artículo sobre mis programas favoritos para ayudar a los estudiantes de español a practicar. Ahora voy a publicar el mismo artículo, pero para estudiantes de inglés. En esta pieza, enumeraré mis programas favoritos en inglés en Netflix y como pueden ayudarte practicar en este idioma. Obviamente, como ingles hablante nativa, no puedo hablar sobre la experiencia de aprender inglés desde estés shows. Pero era maestra de inglés como segundo idioma y soy una estudiante de segundo idioma, entonces, creo que puedo formar una opinión bastante competente sobre el valor de estés programas como herramientas de enseñanza. …


How I’m escaping from my paralyzing desire for perfection in my writing, and how you can too

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Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

When I first read David B. Clear’s post entitled “The 7 Types of Writers,” I decided pretty quickly that the kind of writer I am depends heavily on the kind of writing I’m doing. For instance, in my technical work, I am a total pragmatist. It’s impossible not to be when you’re wrangling engineers and IT pros and dealing with competing priorities. If everyone around you likes your work and wants you to keep it the way it is, you develop a sort of “if it ain’t broke” attitude in order to avoid getting too bogged down to hit your deadlines. When I’m blogging, I’m also pretty pragmatic. I want my work to be enjoyable, clear, concise (as possible), and engaging. …


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Photo by Hannah Wright on Unsplash

Many people start their language-learning journey with a whole lot of enthusiasm and only a little realism. Unlike knitting or rowing or gardening or any number of other things you can learn to do halfway decently within a few months, language is a complex mix of grammar, syntax, vocabulary, culture, dialect, regional slang, and politics that takes time and know-how to even begin to master. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of people give up either because it’s harder than they thought it would be or they don’t really know the right methods for language acquisition. You have to learn how to learn a language — and there are a ton of pitfalls to watch out for on your journey to fluency. …


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Photo by Mollie Sivaram on Unsplash

About a year into my Spanish-learning journey, I switched from watching Spanish-dubbed shows I’d already seen in English (think South Park en Español) to actual shows originally filmed in Spanish. It took me some time to figure out what I like in Spanish-language shows, and I had plenty of false starts where I watched a few episodes and gave up. However, I eventually got pretty good at picking a show I could watch just as much for entertainment as for language acquisition, so I thought I’d review some of the best ones I’ve seen on Netflix recently. …


Como hablar en mi segundo idioma me hace una comunicadora mejor

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Photo by Elle Hughes from Pexels

Cuando me propuse a aprender español, encontraba muchos retos y sorpresas. Las reglas de gramática eran diferentes de inglés. Incluso ahora, los acentos diversos son difíciles a entender si no tengo mucha practica con ellos. Tengo problemas con autoestima y confidencia en mis conversaciones. Y practicar cada día resultó más arduo que preví.

Sin embargo, con los retos venían triunfos. Después de uno o dos años de estudiar, me di cuenta de que cuando hablo en español, hay ciertas costumbres que tengo en inglés que no puedo hacer en español (o al menos no puedo hacerlos con tanta intensidad). …


Unfiltered Real Talk from a Former Homeschool Kid

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

With the schoolyear commencing all over the country, many more parents than usual are distrustful of the public and private school systems due to COVID-19. Many states haven’t gotten their illness numbers under control. Lots of schools have had positive tests and resultant shutdowns and quarantines within days of resuming classes. Multigenerational houses across the country fear what may happen with kids leaving the safety of self-isolation on a near-daily basis. Parents are questioning how many public schools are really ready to conduct online classes in a manner conducive to effective and thorough learning.

With all the uncertainty and fear surrounding in-person schooling, there’s been a huge spike in interest in homeschooling. Thousands of parents who would never have dreamt of at-home learning even a year ago are suddenly Googling it, seriously considering it, prepping for it, or even beginning their first home-based semesters. …


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Photo by Kyle Glenn on Unsplash

This is probably not going to come as a shock to anyone, but there are now more bilingual and ESL speakers in the US than ever before. If you haven’t been living in a cave for the last few decades, chances are, you’ve come into contact with a few of them. Maybe you’re even close friends or romantic partners with someone whose primary language is something other than English.

If you’re close with someone who speaks English as a second language, you can sometimes feel you’re walking a minefield of potential missteps that you as a native speaker can make at any time — maybe you’ve already been insensitive or thoughtless. Most of us don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings, so these missteps usually aren’t intentional. A lot of the time, we don’t even immediately know if we’ve done anything wrong. …


What to do if you have the opposite of writer’s block

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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

I have a confession to make: I’ve never really had writer’s block. When I was at university, I sat through countless workshops listening to my fellow English majors complaining about staring at a blank page all night or worrying they weren’t going to have enough essay to make the minimum word count, but no matter what the topic, I just couldn’t relate. My problem was the opposite; I was always wondering how the heck I was going to trim my papers down below the maximum word count. …

About

S. Ellen Ireland

Ellen Ireland is a freelance & technical writer, aspiring novelist, singer, amateur chef, & professional homebody who lives in Texas with her spouse & dogs.

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