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Thread: Any ideas...

  1. #1
    Can't Commit is offline Lieutenant
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    Any ideas...

    Would appreciate input/direction on stateside Spanish language immersion programs...CC
    "Every hero becomes a bore at last." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Can't Commit View Post
    Would appreciate input/direction on stateside Spanish language immersion programs...CC
    Not sure if you were looking for special purpose Spanish language training, but I had the opportunity to attend a Spanish for law enforcement immersion program a few years ago, in the Tucson area. The company was called Partners in Training Consultants. My program was a five-day immersion course; the students lived on site at an academy facility for the duration of the course. My recollection is a little rusty, but if I remember correctly, the first day was conducted in English, and was spent teaching and drilling pronunciation and conjugation fundamentals. For the next four days, we were Spanish Only (classes, all 3 meals which were eaten together, and drills). Pretty intense schedule: full days of instruction, then an extended dinner break before 2.5 hours of drills. When each day was over, we had homework!

    I found it extremely effective. My previous experience was only knowing the alphabet, numbers, and basic phrases - no high school or college courses. By the course's end, I could conduct a cursory interview, effect an arrest, conduct a traffic stop and some other tasks. The goal in 5 days was not intended to make students fluent (that's another course), but to help students be capable of operating in Spanish (how to keep the Spanish at your own speed, short cuts to make yourself understood with a limited vocabulary, etc) All the instructors are either retired or current LE.

    They will actually travel to your agency and tailor a class for your group's needs. Other agents I know have attended their 2 and 3-day courses (non-Immersion) in different states, and had great things to say as well.

  3. #3
    DennisNJ is offline Captain
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    Assuming a) it's "official" and b) your corner of the G can pony up the cash, both the Defense Language Institute (Monterey, CA) and the Foreign Service Institute (DC area) allow outside agency enrollment. DLI Spanish is about five months.

    I'm only half-kidding with my usual recommendation: Get a native-speaking significant other. Not an option for everyone, but it doesn't get much more "immersed" than that.

  4. #4
    dmclark's Avatar
    dmclark is offline Moderator & Double X-Fed
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    DLI Spanish is 22 weeks and costly to your agency, plus your time in DC. Add TDY costs and it's usually prohibitive unless the agency is transferring you overseas.

    There are many quality immersion classes in nearby Mexico and Costa Rica and immersion is not an issue with the local population speaking Spanish. Expenses are tuition, lodging and airfare. The airfare costs are comparible to distance flights within the US, so cost isn't a factor.
    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  5. #5
    Can't Commit is offline Lieutenant
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    My PLT...

    Appreciate the responses thus far...my agency ain't spendin' a penny edumacatin' me in any way...so I need to find another way...

    I'm sure my experiences with a second language is no different than many of you...when we need it...its too late...and I'm needing Spanish more and more these days...and to be fair...we are all citizens of the world and its our job to be able to appropriately communicate with as many folks as possible...fluency in English and Spanish can fit that bill...

    My weakness is in the spoken word due to lack of frequency of use...I too don't have the ear for it because I haven't been immersed...so I want to suck up some immersion...

    I found the company My Personal Language Tutor...one on one...online...$20 an hour...

    Sounds compelling...any thoughts on this company?...CC
    "Every hero becomes a bore at last." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6
    Kegan30317 is offline Sergeant
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    I used a set of Pimsluer CD's. Sort of the big dog in that area before Rosetta Stone starting advertising everywhere. I would try to do one 30 minute lesson five days a week. Sometimes I would have to do the same lesson two or three days before I would move on. I then picked up a Spanish/English for LEO's phrase book. Next step, go into the Hispanic area and practice, practice, practice. Actually, as long as you were just talking and not hooking 'em up, most of the Hispanics I would practice on would be pretty helpful. I think they appreciated the effort.

    One other tip - once you get a little vocabulary down from some CD's or something, watch some movies or TV shows that you are familiar with already (Law & Order re-runs for example), and turn on the Spanish subtitles and follow along. Cheaper than getting a Spanish speaking significant other.
    "Gentlemen, get the thing straight once and for all– the policeman isn't there to create disorder, the policeman is there to preserve disorder." ~ Richard J. Daley

  7. #7
    dmclark's Avatar
    dmclark is offline Moderator & Double X-Fed
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    FSI always suggested watching the Spanish soap operas on TV. Also Spanish news stations. Spanish is good and no country/regional slang. Slang will screw up good Spanish pretty quickly.
    “Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

  8. #8
    papimike is offline The kindest moderator
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    If they still have it, FLETC offered an immersion course to State and local folks, based out of Artesia and Glynco. If still in existence, it is good - nothing but spanish being spoken from day one.

    Next to that, other suggestions are right on point. Watch Telemundo or Univision for 4 hours a day, 5 to 7 days per week. Travel to a spanish country for vacation. Get yourself a spanish speaking significant other - lol but as already said, true.

  9. #9
    Bill M is offline Officer
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    I attended the Partners in Training immersion course (mentioned previously) and it was good. One word of caution, though...you get out of it what you put into it. If you want to "cheat" and speak English when out of range of the instructors, that's all well and good...but you're not helping yourself. But overall, that company has good instructors who are mostly current or former law enforcement.

    My path to learning Spanish was a combination of starting with computer software, followed by reading books, watching the Spanish channels on TV, listening to Spanish radio, and continuing to volunteer to assist with translating whenever I could at work. I wouldn't call myself completely fluent, but I can pretty much get across any point that I want to make and I continue to practice at least a little bit every day. You need to be dedicated because it's definitely something you lose if you don't use it.

  10. #10
    FederalCO is offline Rookie
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    I learned more Spanish in the Border Patrol academy than I did in 4 years of high school and 2 years of college. I'm not fluent by any means now, however I am proficient enough to talk and understand quite a bit. It helps that I use it every single day on the job as well.

    Of course to really move up in this career, I need the ability to communicate very well so that I can interview subjects, and I am not at that level quite yet, so I need a way to learn more of the language as well. Any ideas?


 

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