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  • Judy Schulten

38. Play with the numbers.

Learn the numbers to 100. Then learn the ordinal numbers: first, second, twentieth, and so on. Count backwards.

Learn the words for “add, subtract, multiply, divide, percent.” Numbers are so important in everyday life that it will pay big dividends to feel easy using them.

Practice writing numbers as you hear them, maybe on talk radio. If you have a conversation partner or Spanish-speaking friend, ask them to dictate telephone numbers to you in Spanish. It’s surprising that it’s much more difficult to hear, understand, and write down numbers than words.

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53. Take heart from other mediocre linguists.

It's fun to read about other people's struggles with a second language. Fun, and somehow comforting. I just read Monsieur Mediocre, by John von Sothen, an American married to a French woman, living in


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