Luckily, my first chapter working in ¡Arriba! begins just where I left off with Sol y viento…food. But who wants to stick with just the textbook? Unfortunately, when you want to go beyond your book for expanded vocabulary and better comprehension, it’s hard to find more than just long vocabulary lists on the web. And while there’s nothing wrong with lists, I find it hard to make those words stick when I have no phrase, context, or tangible object with which to associate them. Nonetheless, there are some nice collections of food words out there, like this one at vocab.co.uk (be warned that this particular page includes some words—el zumo, la patata, etc.—that are peninsular Spanish and not generally used in the Americas). But for me, I keep returning to the wonderful land of YouTube.
There are a couple of types of YouTube videos out there that can help a beginning student. The first are videos made by educators or language instruction sites. Most of them are just rehashes of vocabulary lists with some generic pictures thrown up on screen for association reasons. But better than most are Señor Jordan‘s short bits, like this one on vegetables.
But of course, there are some really bad educational videos out there too, and they always seem to come in the form of songs. Maybe this diddy that burrows into your brain and refuses to come out helps you, but for me it’s just…
Personally, I find the best way to learn vocabulary and context is by watching kids shows like Pocoyo. Generally new words and grammar are easy to grab, and the dialog isn’t so advanced that the student finds herself lost in a narrative wilderness. However, I will be the first to admit that kids shows aren’t always super interesting (Pocoyo excluded). So perhaps I should start looking for a telenovela that takes place in restaurant instead. Until I find it, enjoy Pocoyo’s imaginary restaurant, as well as two educational videos aimed at kids. By the way, the last one left me wondering just what the heck the Arizona Nutrition Network is.