Back to School

Yay! It’s my favorite time of year. Nothing better than new notebooks, a fresh pack of markers, some new shiny tabs! I miss back-to-school shopping. There was always something so promising heading off to your first day of school, your backpack full of new binders, neatly organized.

Get back into the groove with some Spanish or Study Skills lessons to stay on top of your classes this year!

Happy Back-to-School time!


las recetas


 My future sister-in-law recently gave me a Spanish textbook that belonged to her brother called, Sol y sombra.  I was honored to have this book to add to my collection and have truly enjoyed reading it.  It’s an older textbook, published in 1972, but I love the teaching method.  This book contains many stories, articles, etc. that are separated by difficulty level. Each story contains cognates of English words, and the grammar becomes progressively harder as the reader progresses through the book.

In the second level, I found an article that contained a couple of recipes, with illustrations of all the ingredients.  I pondered this article for quite a while, and decided that I could do something similar with my students.  So, right now I have students thinking of their favorite recipes, which we are translating into Spanish, collecting, making copies and redistributing.  That’s right, a recipe exchange, in Spanish!  And it’s a great opportunity to teach the commands! 

So, if any of you out there would like to contribute to our recipe exchange, that would be great!

I.O., D.O., I don’t know…

parlote_jpg_640_640I’ll be perfectly honest with you…learning about Indirect and Direct Objects in Spanish stinks.  When I first started learning them (in Spanish), I thought to myself, “I don’t even remember what these are in English!”  I guess I should have, but I didn’t.

So to clarify, for those of you who may not recall.  Direct objects are the “objects” or “things” we talk about in the sentence and the Indirect Object is the person who receives the action.   Yes, I know it sounds confusing, but I’ll explain.

She brings me the ball.

She= subject

brings= verb

me= Indirect Object

ball= Direct Object

Now in Spanish our Indirect Objects are:

Yo me
Tú te
El le
Nosotros nos
Ellos les

And Direct Objects (for right now) are:



* These depend on whether the object you are talking about is feminine or masculine, singular or plural


In Spanish, we always place the I.O. first, then the D.O., and they both come before the conjugated verb. OR in that same order (I.O., D.O. then attached to the infinitive= Verb in AR, IR, or ER form)


Let’s go back to our first example:

She brings me the ball.

Subject: Ella
I.O.: me
Verb: trae
D.O.: la pelota
Ella me da la pelota.

She brings me it (the ball).

Ella me la trae.

I know that you are looking at this and saying, “This is so backwards!” The truth is yes, it is, but remember these rules for Spanish:

1. Your verb is conjugated to agree with your SUBJECT

2. Your I.O. comes BEFORE your D.O.

3. Both your I.O. and D.O. come BEFORE your CONJUGATED verb

I know it’s a lot! But the next post will explain your I.O.s and D.O.s in more depth!

But now, I.O., D.O. you DO KNOW!

Hasta la próxima vez…




2012 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.


Field Trip!

As it is the end of exam season this semester, we’re going on a field trip!  A group of students and I are heading out to Ikea today to meet, greet, and practice a little ‘household’ Spanish. In light of our outing, I thought I would share some vocabulary with you.  You never know, you might learn something new! In the ATL area…drop by around 2pm.


Furniture- los muebles


La mesa- table


La silla- chair


El escritorio- desk


El sofa- sofá


La lámpara- lamp


Los estantes- bookshelves


El sillón- armchair


Las cortinas- curtains


La ducha- shower


La cama- bed


La almohada- pillow


Las sabanas- sheets


El mantel- blanket


El basurero- wastepaper basket


El congelador- refrigerator


Las velas- candles


El lavamanos/(lavaplatos)- sink (dishwasher)



la letra ‘j’


¡Hola todos!

Today I want to talk about the letter: J en español (hota)

This special letter is pronounced like the Engilsh H…por ejemplo…

jo- is ‘ho’

ja- is ‘ha’

je- is ‘he(y)’

jalapeños are ‘ha-la-pen-yos’…not ‘jall-a-penos’

so, what about this one:

el reloj



El día de acción de gracias

El jueves fue el día de acción de gracias aquí en los Estados Unidos y por eso, quiero decir “gracias” a todos mis clientes, amigos, y por supuesto, familia.  Tuvimos un buen día llena de comida, diversión y hermandad.

Y mi contribución: Los panes.  Ya sabemos que no soy cocinera, pero también le aduyé a mi mamá con la preparación de la cena.  Ayer regresamos a Atlanta y gracias a Dios, no participamos en la locura que es, “el Viernes Negro”. Estoy feliz a regresar a casa, pero espero que pueda pasar más tiempo con mis padres.  Aunque, necesitamos regresar al trabajo…pero nos vemos pronto para la Navidad.

¡Feliz día de acción de gracias a todos!