A dashing (and humorous) young lad named Andrew Tracey had an idea; a silly idea in fact. He thought he could watch movies in Spanish and learn the language. Hmmm, having fun and learning at the same time. I like that!
Using himself as a human linguistic guinea pig, Andrew tested this approach and found that his idea worked really well. It worked so well that he’s become quite the Spanish Jedi. Fortunately he decided to share his ways with the rest of us through his book; The Telenovela Method.
A telenovela is a Spanish language soap opera. They are just as cheesy and inane as their English language cousins. You needn’t worry about being exposed to any quality acting during your viewing experience with a telenovela. They are basically crap.
Usually, crap is bad. In this case, crap is good because it’s a really fun way of learning to speak Spanish. Also, as Andrew points out, it’s a fantastic way to learn common, spoken Spanish. Note the emphasis on the word “common.” Hey, everyone should have a Spanish dictionary but how often will a typical conversation include words such as immunogenetics or geopolitics? Umm, just about never. Dictionaries are super-duper as reference material, but they aren’t very useful in deciding what words and phrases you should be studying. This is where Andrew’s approach really shines; learning the common, spoken language. Not only will you be exposed to common vocabulary, phrases, and idioms, but you’ll start to get a feel for the hows and whys of the way people actually speak.
Personally, I think crap can be pretty funny. But, if you are simple unable to stomach the soap opera sewage, fear not, The Telenovela Method has you covered. In fact, the soap operas are only a small part of the much bigger picture Andrew paints. He introduces you to an abundance of movies, television programs, books, and online material that run the gamut from comedic to dramatic.
The Telenovel Method emphasizes choosing forms of entertainment that you enjoy and turning them into learning experiences. I’m a big proponent of the value of having fun while learning and Andrew is as well.
Ok, if you are thinking all you need to do is whip out a Spanish language movie, watch it a few times and you have the Telenovela Method down, think again. Through experience, Andrew has perfected his approach and shares the step-by-step details of how he does it to really benefit from learning while being entertained. It’s not the idea that’s the key, it’s the execution.
Am I saying this is a “lazy couch potatoes of the world rejoice” moment? Nope. Nothing in the book is actually hard to do, but it does take some effort and commitment. I think Andrew’s favorite saying is ” You must be persistently consistent,” and that is what is required to make his approach work. Then again, that’s what’s required to make any approach to learning a new language work, so that shouldn’t scare you.
I purchased the Kindle version of the book for about 10 bucks and it was money well spent. I recommend you add it to your arsenal of tools for learning Spanish.
The Telenovela Method is available on Amazon.com.