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Monday, October 31, 2005

Newsletter 73: great new features for teachers and students

Despite some problems getting our newlsetter out on the new system, and NO working hyperlinks being sent in our old system, which couldn't read the newsletter I cut and posted from the new one...(grrrrr!) - we are proud to announce our new Spanish Online Newsletter 73 - listed in a new section with the ability to comment, print, emai, etc. Check it out by clicking here or clicking on the image above.

You've read bits and pieces about this new system for the last few months, but many of these features are brand new. I also plan to migrate the blog over there as well, mainly because I can place all of the blog entries into a searchable database, plus I can integrate with a lot of other features that the current blog doesn't have.

Don't worry I'll get back to grammar soon, but I'm trying to keep up with the new technology - and there are a few growing pains associated with that :)


Monday, October 17, 2005

Spanish Forum for Online Discussion!

I need to post a button for the new forum someplace on the blog - I started it a couple of months ago but haven't had time to devote to it lately, but I plan to make the postings a regular part of the newsletter and blog in order to help stimulate conversation.

In the meantime you can check out the posts so far here:
Spanish Forum/Discussion Board


News reading for the day: El Corte

As the news has been full of articles about President Bush's recent nominee to the Supreme Court, I thought it might be interesting to check out the Spanish newspapers and see what kind of articles are coming out. Here's 1 article I found:

Líderes hispanos de Nueva York piden revisar historial de Miers

NUEVA YORK, D.C. (EFE).— Un grupo de líderes hispanos pidió ayer se revise el historial de la candidata al Tribunal Supremo Harriet Miers, ya que se sabe poco de cuál es su posición frente a los asuntos legales que conciernen a los latinos de Estados Unidos.

“Sabemos poco de ella y eso que ella viene de un estado (Texas) donde hay muchísimos latinos. Es importante que la comunidad hispana entienda que las decisiones que toma el Tribunal Supremo nos afectan a todos, todos los días”, dijo César Perales, presidente del Fondo Puertorriqueño para la Educación y la Defensa Legal.

A su juicio, “hay que averiguar cuál ha sido la participación de Miers en los asuntos relacionados con la comunidad latina”.

Key Vocabulary:

la candidata: the candidate (feminine)
Tribunal Supremo: Supreme Court
asuntos legales: legal matters
averiguar: look into or investigate


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Finally: a new Spanish newsletter!

Thanks to all for bearing with me during the absence of postings and newsletters. Truth is, between travel, reading about recent news events, and home life, I've found it hard to find the time! I've also been continuing to finish up the Spanish Verb Visualizer - which I hope will be an effective and unique piece of software.

Here's the lesson from this week's letter, found on your left as number 72. Make sure to check out the travel spot of the week - Nicaragua's San Juan del Sur.

Modal Verbs - Using 2 Verbs Together

Very often in Spanish you'll find 2 verbs used together, in combinations. The first verb will be conjugated, whereas the 2nd verb remains in the infinitive form. For anyone trying to translate literally from English this can seem confusing! Look at the following example:

No puedo nadar

At first glance, it looks like the sentence is saying "I can't to swim" - when in reality it says "I can't swim". When verbs are used in modal verb combinations - the 2nd verb is not conjugated, but rather left in the infinitive form. You would never say "no puedo nado".

There are several key verbs used often as modal verbs - and it's a good idea to practice using them.

Worksheet/Activity: Spanish Modal Verbs

Quiz: Modal Verbs in Spanish


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