Best use of dead time for beginners

I am new to language learning(20 days now). I am wondering what
is the best use of dead-time for beginner. Is it worth listening to those CD
based learning tools. At the moment I am listening to Micheal Thomas on
CD. I don’t bother to stop the tape. I just use it for vocabulary building. I also
listen to Teach Yourself Spanish. I never use the books or concentrate on the
material. I would love to use audiobooks but I am not advanced enough for that.

I think that listening again and again lessons you have studied before is a good way to spend dead-time.

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It isn’t particularly exciting, but spamming listening to beginner audio lessons isn’t a bad idea.

I would say for the first month of german, I just kept listening to same lessons of “who is she” over and over and over again. download it or stream in on your phone and put it on repeat. Just keep. listened to a single 1 minute lesson

Listening to advanced material in the beginning isn’t totally useless because it will acclimate your brain to the sounds and timbre of the new language, even if you don’t understand any of the words. Listen to the different and new sounds and the color of the language. Luckily you are studying spanish, so I recommend finding a show or podcast with the voice of an attractive spanish voice.

It takes a little while before you can kind of listen to non beginner stuff and actually understand some of it, like maybe 2 months depending on how often you are studying, but remember just constantly exposing yourself to language is the biggest thing.

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thanks very much

because i can’t use my phone or tablet while i drive:

  1. i put a mix of Spanish language artists (mostly from mexico and Colombia) and i try to listen or sing along. I printed the lyrics but I rarely refer to them.
  2. i use a pimsleur audio program i borrowed from the library (i think that program is worth about $10 of its $240 price, but it is good for survival Spanish-- learning how to order food, go shopping, etc)
  3. i listen to “la mega”, a local FM station. I pay particular attention to the commercials and the hosts.

when i can use my phone or tablet in my downtime, I use both LingQ and Duolingo. I wish I had discovered LingQ years ago! It took me about two weeks to get really hooked on LingQ. Once I realized it was superior to duolingo – even for a1 level basic spanish.

For a time in the spring, I used Memrise daily. But after three weeks I found Memrise tedious (although now I am using again it to refresh my visual memory with Art History, and I think it is better suited for that than for languages)

When I have access to my computer, I try to watch episodes of Destinos (, which was made for Spanish beginners. I average about 2 episodes per month. It is an excellent series because it was designed by professor Bill VanPatten who deeply understands comprehensible input and language acquisition.

Initially, when I first took up Spanish in January 2016, I tried to crash the series but got lost and frustrated around episode 4 and quit the series for a couple of months (although I kept up with Spanish in other ways). Now I want to get back into the habit of watching one episode of Destinos per week – first time naturally and relaxed, the second time with subtitles.

My goal now is to let LingQ drive my daily Spanish learning habit (not duolingo, though i still find that fun) and to spend a minimum of 20 minutes each day using LingQ.

I second this motion. If you are just starting off, be sure to read a lesson a couple of times, then listen to it a lot. It should really help. I know it helped me out a lot as well.