Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Internet and Content-Based Spanish as a Foreign Language Learning Sites

A Useful and Versatile Foreign Language Learning Tool

If you’re a foreign language teacher or foreign language learner, you should take advantage of one of the most useful and versatile language learning methods available – the Internet. While using the internet for English as a foreign language learning is not exactly news anymore, using the internet as a foreign language learning tool has yet to be fully explored even among institutes and those whose progress in foreign language acquisition has been stalled. Two highly useful approaches that can be successfully applied to the learning of almost any foreign language are content-based instruction and task-based learning.

Learning Spanish Online Using CBI and TBL

As an example, suppose you want to learn or improve your Spanish using the internet. Using Content-Based Instruction and Task-Based Learning you might go onto websites in Spanish in order to learn by using the foreign language to acquire knowledge in cultural or Spanish-language-related areas like foods, travel, geography, music, folk lore, dance and other Spanish-speaking-country-based aspects. Here are some practical websites you could surf for ideas to boost your Spanish language skills while steeping yourself in related language elements. The sites are in Spanish but are not Spanish language teaching sites, instead the focus is on teaching and learning other themes which are taught and practiced in Spanish. Since they are principally web sites for native Spanish speakers, you’ll be getting authentic language throughout while your foreign language communicative skills take off like the space shuttle.

SENA Virtual (

SENA or the Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje in Colombia offers quite a number of free online courses. These are great for learning and practicing the Spanish language in an authentic context while developing knowledge and skills in other areas too. I’ve actually gone through a couple of the cooking courses offered online here too – with excellent results, I might add. It’s an interesting, delicious introduction into the varied cultures of Colombia. Check out one of the cooking videos I produced during the SENA Colombian Foods cooking course in Spanish for “Arroz Llanero” online at YouTube.
Emagister.Com (

This adult education site also features free online courses in Spanish. The areas of specialization here include Business Administration, internet, marketing and sales, and human rights, as well as finance, accounting and technical science and mathematics course offerings. (

This website boasts more than 1242 free online courses in Spanish. So whatever else interests you, you can very likely practice your Spanish language reading, writing and comprehension skills using authentic language. More than 270 internet and computer courses are offered including topics in Power Point, MS Word, Excel, Photo Shop, MS Office, Linux, Java, Flash and programming language tutorials. Another 390 plus courses are business administration and information based to help to hone your Spanish language and business operation skills. This could offer some great insight if you’re living and working in any one of the world’s 21 Spanish-speaking countries. (

At this likewise excellent web site for a flurry of free online courses in the Spanish language, the extensive lineup is headed by courses in Cooking, crafts, pets, painting and drawing in addition to several self-help course offerings. I found some of the cooking courses online here to be especially interesting too. After all, you do still EAT, don’t you? (Yeah, I thought so!) Well then, one great way into a foreign culture is through its foods. (

Another good site with a Spanish ton of free online courses for those willing to take the plunge in ramping up their Spanish language skills to new and greater heights. The course theme areas vary from Arts and Culture to Science and Technology through Economics and Business in addition to Computer Sciences and Tourism and Gastronomy.

So your Spanish language acquisition can not only be intersting and fun but lively and delicious to boot. Who said that foreign language learning has to be boring, tedious or dull? In the words of Shaggy, “It wasn’t me”!

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, prolific writer, author and public speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, "If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

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