Ventanas Mexico

Resources for full- or part-time life in Mexico

Provides a blog promoting living in Mexico and promotes books on learning Spanish and how to rent in Mexico.


Cool Website of the Week Archive

February 25, 2018 - -  You can use this dictionary for more than looking up a word.  Each definition has sentence examples using the word in context. Pull useful words out of these sentences to add to whatever flashcard system you use.

January 18, 2018 Language by Video is a site on language videos that you can sort by skill level. The site pulls from YouTube as well as lesser-known teach sites.  The advantages of using different tools for the same grammar points is that each presents it a little differently, and one way may stick with you better than another

January 10, 2018- Skype. This week I remembered that I needed to recruit some new language partners for the new year (People will drop off for various reasons). Are you speaking Spanish at least two or three times a week? Skype practice is essential. My book gives a list of various sites to find language partners, particularly those with people over 40.  You don't learn Spanish to speak it, it speak Spanish to learn it.  Get started!

December 18, 2017 - Love, love, love A La Aventura (, a podcast that doesn't require downloading another app. The silky-voiced Juan Bozca Mendoza reviews books like Sinclair's The Jungle and  Heller's "Catch 22. It's a simple website to navigate and perfect for mid-intermediates.

December 6, 2017 - The New York Times recently published an article about how exercising facilitates language learning. Spanish podcasts are perfect for while walking on a treadmill. NPR's Spanish language Radio Ambulante is good for upper-intermediates, although not very upbeat - it focuses on the plight of immigrants and other unfortunate stories in Latin America.

November 11, 2017  - Want to test your language fast-twitch muscles? Try Lyrics Training on YouTube.  You select a language, then you select a song.  The game is to try to fill in the blanks on the lyrics. The more advanced level you select, the more words they leave out. I can't make it past beginner but the music is good and it's like playing a pinball machine.

September 28, 2017 - (beginner) Synergy Spanish just sent me this awesome audio for beginners to speak Spanish immediately.

September 23, 2017 - (low intermediate) - RTVE teen series, "Si Fueras Tu,' a teen show about a new girl who has come to town and is a doppelganger for a girl who mysteriously disappeared (and wasn't very well-liked apparently). At the end of each series, the girl, and the audience, is presented with a choice, "Si Fueras Tu."

September 9, 2017 -  (advanced beginners) A Spanish practice partner turned me on to this site. The name  Deep English is misleading. The site provides easy curated stories in English to use with your Spanish practice partners. 

Your partner reads for comprehension and tells you what the story was about. You too read the story and tell them in Spanish what it is about. When you and a partner begin to cover the same ground too much in your sessions, this is a great back-up.

August 25, 2017 - For intermediate students, the book (for reading out loud) and Youtube(for listening) "Cuentos Para Pensar" by Jorge Bucay, a popular collection of very short (page or two) of parables. Jorge Bucay is a gestalt psychotherapist, psychodramatist, and writer from Argentina.

August, 11, 2017 - Quizlet, a free flashcard game site. Create individualized study sets from the vocabulary or phrases you learn from Spanish Skype language exchange partners.  Share the tool with them. Mine love it.

July 26, 2017 - -  Does Spanish narrative make you drowsy?  This website has a page of links to of the most famous songs in Spanish. Each song has the video and the song's lyrics (in Spanish) beside it. The site tabs will lead you to think they are songs are for children. They are not.  Of course you can pause the video when you need to look up a word (and maybe write a few sentences in Spanish using the word if you wish to make your learning more active).

[To the right: You will want a slim, lightweight laptop if you're going back and forth to Mexico. My most excellent computer expert Vasif recommended Acer products to me. True to his word, my elegant Acer Aspire F 15 has been a joy and well worth the $600 price tag.

Don't scrimp on quality. Remember laptop and electronics availability is limited in Mexico. Keyboards will be in Spanish if you have to purchase one there. All electronics are more expensive there. This is one area you will need to invest in.]

July 14, 2017 - Though not a website, it's cool to look through your Skype messages for new words from your practice partners. If they use them, it's probably common usage you'd not think of. For example, a partner of mine recently used "concretar" instead of "confirmar" to confirm plans for her week-end. Being a cognate makes it a double-win for enriching my vocabulary.

 June, 14, - Rather than just looking for the translation of a word, type in the Spanish word that interests you. Sentences showing use are in Spanish and English so cover up the Spanish and try to figure out the translation. It's a great game

May 22, 2017 - - a Spain-based immersion site for English learners with a cool translation feature that you can also use to practice translating upper intermediate paragraphs from Spanish to English

May 16, 2017 - Fundació - Out of Spain, an immersion radio show that gives Spanish lessons. 

April 25, 2017 -  This fine little site, much like Reddit, has short contemporary articles, usually in intermediate Spanish. Try practicing your diction by reading out-loud.