A Quick Update

In 2010, we moved back to the small town in Colorado that I never stopped missing while we lived in Mexico. Now I sometimes miss Mexico, but I wouldn't travel as freely as we did when we were there, camping out in remote areas and so forth.

Mexico today is in a period of change, and in many ways it is more dangerous now. That said, I have plenty of American friends who still live there very happily, just taking a few more precautions than they did in the past.

Just to say!

Rosana

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Expedia is my favorite place to book airfare, and they handle hotels, car rentals, cruises, etc. I like the organization of the site for figuring out what flights I want. Click on the suitcase to take a look.

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Tripbase Blog Awards 2009

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A little background is helpful here: the Foreign Service Institute (FSI) of the U.S. State Department developed programs to help diplomats learn Spanish as quickly and effectively as possible. With many thousands of people going through the program, the FSI was able to refine its effectiveness over time. These people really had to speak Spanish, not just read or write it, in the course of their jobs.

The most useful of the FSI programs, the Basic Course, was first created in 1957, and since it was produced by the government, it was not subject to copyright. As a result, many of the Spanish language courses that have been sold since then have simply reproduced that Course. Barron’s, studyspanish.com, and other companies continue to use the 1957 program, in many cases without telling you.

Platiquemos Español is a 2002 revision of that outdated 1957 program, created by the late Don Casteel, a retired Foreign Service officer who had gone through the FSI program in Spanish and in several other languages. Many years of his Foreign Service career were spent in Latin America.

Several years ago, when we were first living in Mexico, I did some work with this program myself. I had one semester of college Spanish (ahem, some decades ago!), and I have been in Spain, Mexico, and Guatemala various times since then. More recently, I have found other programs I like better — most notably Rocket Spanish and Fluenz Spanish — but you can check out Platiquemos Spanish for yourself.

One Response to “Platiquemos Español”

  • John says:

    I have both the original FSI Basic & Programmatic, and Platiquemos. Also looking at Fluenz.

    Any opinions on the effectiveness of Platiquemos versus Fluenz as far as reaching near fluency? Thanks!

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