Date posted: 10/10/2021

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I am long term unemployed and cooperating with Drogheda Local Employment Services in developing a Personal Progression Plan that will lead me back into employment. This web site is part of that plan.

This website is a continuation from another website that I have been building. Its focus is on learning computer programming languages such as C++ and Java. Further details about it can be found here.

In mid-2018, I realised that my work rate on this project had been too slow and that in order to improve on this I needed better work scheduling and study methods than what I had been using. I also noticed that when checking job advertisements for I.T. related positions that companies were now more frequently asking for applicants that were competent in more than one European language.

In October 2018 I began a correspondence course in beginners French which I have since completed. I have in the process learned better work scheduling and study methods. The course is run by Kilroy’s College. Kilroy's College deliver online and correspondence courses. Details of their course can be found here.

In October 2020 I switched over to learning Spanish. I began a correspondence course in beginners Spanish which I have since completed. The course is also run by Kilroy’s College. Details of their course can be found here. I am now doing a Leaving Certificate Spanish correspondence course through Kilroy's College. Details of this course can be found here.

Technologies Used

The technologies I am using to build this website are HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript. All of which I learned through the eCollege. A list of the courses the eCollege provides can be found here.

My Objective

While spending the year 2018 studying the French language it became clear to me that the requirement for applicants to be proficient in more than one European language has become common place in job advertisements for a very broad range of job positions across all different industries and by moving my primary focus from gaining an I.T. related skill to becoming proficient in another language such as French or Spanish I would be greatly improving my employment opportunities all round and not just in the I.T. sector.

The main goal is to always to improve on what was done yesterday and the days before it; that's called progression. With this in mind I have set up this website:

  1. To practice what I have learned previously on the eCollege course (HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript) mentioned above.
  2. As a form of online note taking, making sure that I understand what I have learned by being able to explain it to others.
  3. To act as a portfolio of my work for perspective employers.
  4. To create contacts with other amateur programmers and hobbyists interested in other technical subjects and gaining foreign language skills.
  5. So that Drogheda Local Employment Services can check in on my progress at literally any time.

The Short to Medium Term Strategy

At each stage an enormous amount of time will be spent listening to Spanish talk and news radio on the internet.

Stage One

The first stage of this plan is to learn off by heart the first most frequently used 250 words of the Spanish language. These are the languages most necessary words. Knowing these words is enough to construct basic sentences and begin learning basic Spanish grammar.

Stage Two

To know the first most frequently used 1000 words of any language a person could recognise 74% of what they might read in most newspapers and magazines. The first 750 most frequently used words are used every single day by every person who speaks the language. The goal for this stage is learning off by heart the first 625 frequently used words. They are the most practical and are enough to really start gaining headway with the languages grammar.

I have to date built up a flash card collection of almost 4000 Spanish words and phrases. I am using the Leitner system to learn them off by heart.

Stage Three

During this stage I will put heavy focus on the language’s grammar and reading books written in the Spanish language. At this stage I will begin using Graded Readers.

Graded Readers are books of various genres that are specially created for learners of foreign languages. They may be simplified versions of existing works, original stories or books that are factual in nature. They are ‘graded’ in the sense that the syntax and the total stock of words used are controlled in order to make the content accessible to learners of the language. Publishers normally issue reader series with 4-6 different reading levels to suit a range of skill levels and allow progress over time. For example languages maybe graded according to their difficulties in levels such as the levels shown below:

  • A1 - Elementary
  • A2 - Pre-Intermediate
  • B1 - Intermediate
  • B2 - Upper Intermediate
  • C1 - Advanced
  • C2 - Proficient

Long Term Strategy

Using Netflix many shows can be watched in various languages of choice. At this stage I will have already begun watching shows (made in English in the U.K. and U.S.A.) I have seen many times before but with the Spanish language selected instead of English and NO subtitles. This will make it much easier to relate what is said to what is happening until enough understanding is gained to start watching original Spanish made shows in their original Spanish language without subtitles.

At this stage I will have already began to find speaking opportunities, on the internet, with native Spanish speakers who wish to conduct in a language exchange.

Also at this stage, I will write essays, short stories, and other articles in the Spanish language and source native Spanish tutors on the internet that would be qualified to correct them.

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Drogheda LES

Drogheda Local Employment Service details.