Archive for the ‘Learning Methods’ Category

The first steps of learning a new language

Friday, November 8th, 2013

Hello, Hola, Bonjour, Ciao, Hallo, Olá, Privet.
Learning a language from a complete beginner’s level is always a challenge, especially if you don’t count yourself within the young and lively or the naturally gifted. Still, it is possible to learn any language if you really put your mind into it and follow some basic guidelines.

If you never faced learning a new language, during your first steps you will probably experience confusion in a certain degree; depending mainly on your dedication and abilities. From the first few words or simple phrases you learn, you may feel that every time you are asked a question in your target language, your brain can give you the right answer; only not in the right language. This might feel extremely frustrating at first; but it is a completely normal step in language learning as all the languages you speak are “stored” on the same area of your brain. The good news is that this phase passes as your mind gets used to handling your target language and differences it from others.

Be certain that embarking on a language immersion adventure is the best way to learn the most in a limited period of time; and even more so if you are to take a language course. The main reason why an experience like this is the most constructive is that you make great use of your time (for when you are not studying or taking language lessons, you are relaxing in a complete target-language atmosphere) and you get used to taking in a lot of words without even realizing it.

Gag graphic of first words in a foreign language

What your native friends will teach you

You will get plenty of opportunities to talk to natives: while doing so, pay attention to idiomatic expressions and start picking up phrases; independently if you are able to use them in context yet (or even know what they mean). This “arsenal” of words and phrases you will start creating is very helpful; for these concepts will start interconnecting quickly and will sound very natural when you actually manage to slip them in conversation. If you are fortunate, you will make good friends and they will definitely get you started on slang, informal speech and heavy swearing. All the information you are exposed to daily is a lot to take in from the very beginning, but you will find that it is very much worth the effort.

If you are not lucky enough to be able to treat yourself to a language immersion journey and are trying to learn a new language on your own; then everything you can do to broaden your linguistic horizon helps, and you can really take the most out of it if you know how you learn best. For example, if you have a good ear for languages and/or music, going through word lists and vocabulary to for hours at a time might not be the most constructive of ways to learn for you. You can trade it for listening to music or TV shows in the target language, reading out loud or listening to other people speak. It might help you improve faster and, as a bonus, nail the accent and intonation.

On the contrary, if you have a way with written words, you might want to try board games, word puzzles, flashcards and all kinds of grammar exercises. I have found that reading scripts for theater or film helps you quite a lot, for you have a lot of context to relate the words you don’t recognize to. If you have photographic memory the best will always be to read and connect concepts with graphic content, placing dialogues in comic strips, revising dictionary’s diagrams, children’s books, and other helpful visual resources.

Although this personalization of methods is very practical for it will get you started in no time, remember to leave your comfort zone regularly; for doing so can only lead you to discovering new things about yourself and probably help you learn different things.

There are many recommendations that are very useful and really do help you get around, but it may be so that, at the beginning, you need help and guidance from an experienced teacher until you pick up the rhythm and sound of the language. Besides, grammar is something you don’t really learn by instinct, the instinct is something you develop AFTER having learned the actual rules. So some hard studying time is, of course, required in order to make good progress.

Some blog posts and websites recommend knowing the basic phrases and give lists of the most common words. Of course that going through a list of the most basic nouns like animals, drinks, food, etc. is useful in some point; if you are in a second language environment you will hear a lot more words and most of them will slip away just moments after you hear them for the first time.

In my experience, learning a second language is all about the impression the new words leave in your head. For example, I have met many students of different languages that had different strategies for remembering the new words they learn. Some learn them by heart, some associate them with other concepts and others place them in phrases or verses to remember the word and how to use it.

All of these strategies work to some extent; but the best will probably be the one you create for yourself. For me, there are many reasons why a word may be easy to remember: maybe it’s because it sounds funny, similar to a word on your native tongue (that probably has absolutely nothing to do with its meaning) or because it is very similar/the same as in another language you speak. If you are aware of these connections taking place inside your head, vocabulary will start really sticking to your memory in no time.

As a person who has experienced learning languages in many different stages of my life, I have come up with a list of tips for learning that have been proven useful in all kinds of contexts and situations. I hope they help you as you start a new language adventure.

  1. Listen. If you like movies or TV series, watch them in your target language. If you know people who can speak in your target language, try to make them talk to you as much as they can. Try to understand (and afterwards look up if possible) figures of speech, idioms, spontaneity. Pay attention to pronunciation and intonation, for it can make a lot of difference. Also online resources for listening and repeating could help you a lot.
  2. Practice. Use your voice. Take your time to pronounce slowly and correctly until you can reach normal speed of speech. Imitate as accurately as you can everything you hear. For example, as ridiculous as it may sound, I have learned a lot from imitating spoken announcements in public places, such as train stations or airports.
  3. Read. Newspapers are awesome. Arm yourself with a highlighter and a dictionary and read the news on your target language. You can do it online for free, but having the actual newspaper works better for me. Try to guess the meaning of the words you don’t know and compare news in different languages. You will gain extensive perspective and a lot of vocabulary.
  4. Speak! Try as hard as you might to hold a conversation with native speakers and above all make them correct you. Make them correct your grammar every time and your pronunciation often. Tongue twisters are a lot of fun too and will probably drive you crazy in a good way.
  5. Grammar is extremely important. Even if it seems a little boring or rigid at first, it will become an invaluable asset to express yourself correctly in any context, making it totally worth the time. In time, it will become more like an instinct and less like a pain in the neck, I promise.
  6. Keywords: What do I mean by this? Words, expressions, phrases and/or other forms of speech you pick up that are absolutely unrelated to each other. Try to remember as many as you can (keeping a log will help you take them in and also provide aid with spelling) for they will become very useful once you learn how to manage context and connection words. Let me give you a few examples: “excuse me”, “sorry”, directions, shapes, abstract nouns, various forms of thanking, typical dishes and/or drinks, insults and funny phrases, jokes, idioms, emotions, body parts, etc. Useful key phrases like explaining a medical condition and/or other specific and potentially life-saving matters are always a must if applicable.
  7. Don’t be shy. Being shy or unsure while speaking a new language is absolutely normal and common to all of us; but overcoming that fear of making questions or looking or sounding stupid will help you avoid making the same mistakes again. Laugh at yourself and let others laugh at you too (only with the best intentions).
  8. Be curious. Learning on your own or with a teacher is greatly improved by your own initiative to find out more about culture, history, idioms, meanings, speakers and everything else related to your target language. Despite the reasons why you decide to learn a new language, perfecting your skills always rests on your hands alone.

I hope these tips may help you out on your language endeavors, but please keep in mind that it takes a great deal of practice to reach a near native level. Even though you can learn the basics pretty fast; once you are used to speaking a language, you will be taking in new forms and vocabulary for a long time independently of your level of competence. Reading, listening, practicing, exchanging ideas with other people and, above all, trying to express yourself more and more accurately as time goes by; will help you improve your target language constantly. The database on your head must be used daily and actively to make sure you don’t lose fluency or vocabulary.

Lastly, don’t forget to reward yourself once in a while for your good efforts. This will probably keep you motivated and always willing to discover more about this crazy beautiful world of language. Stay fluent!

Which are the first words you learned in a foreign language? Which your favorite?


by: Fran Elguero

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Vital Principles to Learn Languages Efficiently

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

If you want to undergo a fast learning language process in a very simple way besides the idea to learning English in England, you need to follow vital principles so that you efficiently obtain what you are yearning for. With the following learning language principles, whatever foreign language you prefer to study these principles can help you:

Classroom scene, learning english

Classroom scene (Photo credit: Mhiggins29 via Wikimedia Commons)

Sufficient time with the language

Time is crucial to learn a new language effectively. Your proficiency will depend on the time you spend as much as possible throughout learning. To ensure enough time in the learning process will result positive effect to see that you spent your time worthwhile. For you to at least save some time while you enjoy gaining knowledge; instead of learning English in England, you do not need to travel to far away land just to learn the language, basic because you can take time see DVD movies with the language, listen to music of the language, play vocabulary games on the Internet, etc. Do you know that most of the inaccuracies that learners made while learning is the sole time they spend inside the classroom to learn the language? Wherein, the idea is a big mistake!

 

Willingness to learn

Language schools both local and abroad commonly have the most efficient teachers, great language courses, the finest resources, and more that support the learning of language in a simpler way. Therefore, all of these will turn to be ineffective if the learner himself has no willingness inside to do it. The attitude of willingness to learn is a conduit to understand every essential method and the focus to study will just happen, as you would expect.

 

Ability to observe

This is another vital principle in learning language, because when you view it literally, a person who’s new to a new thing must have to observe initially the things and the processes in order to understand what to do. Thus, in learning a language you need to observe and focus on the pattern in construction of sentence, grammatical explanations, and more. Your ability to observe is very important.

 

With these learning language principles, it is not required for you to learn English at Language School in England, or a tutorial teacher because you can have your own way of learning that will subsequently develop your aptitude to read, write, and speak ably in the language that you choose.

 

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Learning Foreign Languages and Music Authenticity

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

Obtaining adeptness in foreign language doesn’t have to be boring, terrible, and expensive too. By just using media you will learn your target language simpler and more enjoyable. Media like music utilization for learning a foreign language is an authentic material rather than going to Foreign Language Schools and let you spend too much money.

Learning Foreign Languages and Music Authenticity

Band performing in Seattle, Washington (Photo credit: Jmabel, via Wikimedia Commons)

By simply turning on your radio, you may start to listen word by word to the lyrics of foreign language music, to familiarize its vocabulary, while you relax and your tongue is on the groove. After all “Language is Music.”

Music is an authentic material for education, at the same time, fun and reasonably priced for those who really want to communicate successfully with different people across the world. There are pop channels that blend international and local music. English music for example can be utilized anytime, so instead of going to a new place to learn English courses in Miami or to any part in the U.S., just get to hear some language through music every few minutes and you’ll gradually learning and mastering the components of the language.

Below are the authenticities of utilizing music in learning language:

  • Language like music can break the barriers from one country to another.
  • To get to know your target foreign language is like getting to know its country’s tradition and culture.
  • In some occasion, learning a foreign language is akin to learning any musical instrument.
  • Those slang words or phrases can be mastered by just listening to music.
  • Music devices can be carried to anywhere you like to go, so you can practice it while you are on the move.
  • Listening to music is fun! Learners can set their entire body into singing, which is definitely pleasurable! This cause motivation.
  •  Music helps perk up the level of your mood. As you are in your period of learning you will enjoy yourself singing.
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The Amazing Fact about Young Learners Learning Foreign Languages

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Learning a foreign language has lasting benefits to propose to learners, most especially for those young ones. To learn English Language is one of the most popular for many beginners. Therefore, since every language has its own grammar, phonetics, alphabets to familiarized, and various principles in constructing a sentence, a continuous study is advantage for young learners, knowing the scientific fact that children’s mental capacity is much more active than adults. Here’s the amazing fact about the advantage of young learner who’s learning foreign languages.

 

Young Learners Learning Foreign Languages: Francois Thibaut during a workshop at the Language Workshop For Children

Francois Thibaut during a workshop at the Language Workshop For Children. (Photo credit: Francois Thibaut via Wikipedia)

5 years ago, there was a 4-year old American girl whose name was Azure Warrenfeltz who can understand multiple foreign languages such as Japanese, Spanish, German, Italian, Arabic, French, and Chinese Mandarin language too. It was truly amazing knowing a young girl, 4 years of age who’s able to speak such languages.

 

“I’m smarter than my father. He can only speak one language. Muchas gracias!” Azure said playfully when she was interviewed by USAToday last 2007. According to Azure’s mother, she started schooling her daughter when she was 6-week old. “I wanted to make sure she had every tool and every benefit at her disposal.”

At the present globalize world, some situations entail the credibility of an individual being bilingual or multilingual. That’s why Azure’s parents insist her to study including foreign languages. This proves that young learners who are learning foreign languages make the process much easier than it is for adult learners. Whilst, some of the benefits that young learners may acquire as they are exposed to other languages develop them to get higher score on  standardized tests, they are observed as reliable problem solvers, they do better in their studies, and they are open to a variety of things in real life.

The Language Workshop for Children with 9 schools across the East Coast is run by François Thibaut, who is an established teacher for babies. Do you believe that he’s teaching 6 months old babies? He started teaching 35 years ago, and you would expect that many would not want to believe his idea; however, in the current times, approximately 1 thousand students are enrolled kin his school and there are some more who are waiting on the lists. The demand of his school spread through out the place, which in fact, some expectant mothers call for reservation for their child in their tummy when they give birth soon.

This is a reality how advantage to teach and allow young learners to learn foreign languages. There’s no need to learn English in Washington, or learn Chinese Mandarin in Beijing to accelerate the learning process because today, 6-month old babies are now welcome in language schools registration.

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Learning Italian Language of Weather Vocabulary

Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Climates of Italy

Climates of Italy - By XL3 (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

If you plan to travel to Italian-speaking countries like Slovenia, Monaco, Malta, France, and more, you should at least know the basics of Italian language to protect yourself from possible catastrophe. Learning Italian Language can be a great help to be on familiar terms with the words that describes harmful issues. You can prepare for the coming bad weather by watching TV for weather updates. This is essential for the security of your family while in the foreign country.

 

For example, if you are on vacation at Italy without knowing that a typhoon is coming to the location where you are situated, let the language be not the barrier to save yourselves. Learning Italian Language can support you ideas with reference to what the News is all about. Italian-speaking broadcasters are easily understandable if you have the capacity to comprehend the basic vocabulary. Here is sample translation of Italian words on weather vocabulary into English language:

 

l’aria – air

la pioggia – rain (noun)

il barometro – barometer

piovere – rain (verb)

la tormenta – blizzard

il ghiaccio – ice

la neve – snow

Nevica – it’s snowy

il clima – climate

la tempesta – storm

la nuvola – cloud

Nuvoloso – cloudy

il temporale – cloudburst

il sole – sun

C’è il sole – it’s sunny

Fa bello – it’s nice

il crepuscolo – dusk

Fa freddo – it’s cold

la nebbia – fog

C’e’ la nebbia – it’s foggy

Fa caldo – it’s hot

il gelo – frost

E’ gelido – it’s frosty

la foschia – mist

Piove – it’s raining

C’e’ il vento – it’s windy

il lampo – lightning

la luna – Moon

il bollettino meteorologico – weather report

la precipitazione – precipitation

To learn Italian Language is helpful for traveling purposes. So before you set out to the country of Italian language land of origin, it is practical to take online foreign language classes without pressuring your time. Research for interactive online learning resources paid or free, you can study and learn by your own pace. Like Italian language you can also learn English Language if you like. Self-studying from a variety of online learning resources is extremely recommendable.

 

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Why to Ponder Chinese Mandarin Learning Methods on the Web

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

People learn in different ways and at different pace. If you consider a single learning method to learn Chinese Mandarin is not efficient to work well for learning a foreign language as intricate as Chinese.  So why stick in one idea if there’s variety of strategies to use?

ChineseTap

A screenshot of the Chinese Tap educational game on Android for learning Chinese. By Nopaniers via Wikimedia Commons

If you truly aspire to study and learn Chinese language but can’t afford to attend Beijing language school or at any language schools in your neighborhood, don’t urge for things which yourself cannot bear. To experiment a new method can enhance your way of learning towards great improvement in due course.

In fact because of the willingness of many students who want to learn Chinese mandarin get useful information in the updated news in order to discover for a little techniques from the news that they could utilize for wisdom about the Chinese dialect.

Finding simple methods can help you gain knowledge about Chinese language in just a few days of learning. Does it hard to believe? Not anymore because online tutorials dedicated to assist eager students who want to learn Chinese Mandarin are now widely accessible via Internet either for free or with pay; that’s within your choice. The versatility of the Internet is the trendiest helpful in such course and objectives.

 

To learn a foreign language using online assessment is an outstanding preparatory point in any case of a student learning situation. As a result, here are some of the chief reasons why ponder on free tutorials in learning a Chinese language on the web?

 

  • Some applications are accessible for free so it’s virtually money-saving
  • The methods conferred are effective with real-life verbal practice procedures
  • In a half hour span of time you have lots of new knowledge to gather and instill in your mind
  • Most tutorials online deliver a scientifically sequenced example that will help you write, read and speak Mandarin in time the way Chinese people do
  • Basics can be easily learned

 

Moreover, when you apply your imaginative mind, you can figure out other means of simpler learning and fun tactics other than this if you wanted to.

 

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The Secret of Learning a Language

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Learning a language is like opening heaps of opportunities in your career and life. If you want to achieve something to improve your vim and vigor professionally, wherein opening doors in foreign countries are possible to attain, English courses in Miami can be your starting point to dig up nearer prospects to reach your dreams.

 

Learn Englsih: University of Miami Lake Osceola

University of Miami, by Dr Zak at the English language Wikipedia, from Wikimedia Commons

Language schools abroad may able to provide you intensive programs and allow you to explore beautiful places within the area, as well as, cultural immersion opportunity, but this requires you enough budget to sustain your expenses while in broad. Therefore, if you have no time and budget to attend in foreign language schools, there’s always a way to that, you can even make it simpler by incorporating media as you are in your process of learning.

 

In the search of methods of learning a language, there are plenty that recommends easy learning. One of the secrets to begin your endeavor and improve your skills in writing, reading, and communicating effortlessly and quickly according to language experts is through “music”.

 

Language experts confirmed that language is like a music that moves our souls. By using music, listening to it thoroughly with heart and sensation, you will feel every word that comes from its lyric. You don’t have to be a good singer or a good musician to employ it in the process of your studies, it just needs your concentration because music can cater you proper pronunciation; thus, it improves your accent very well.

The secret of learning a language through listening a music without considering to study in foreign language schools within foreign countries includes ways of promoting practical ideas without letting you spend much money for plane tickets, accommodation rates, and tuition fees. In addition you don’t have to run off from your Motherland in this case and the acceleration in the process of learning by means of traditional way such as memorizing and reiterating.

 

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The Overview of Chinese Mandarin Language and its Intricate Methods

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

Language learning with Chinese Mandarin can be very intricate. Therefore, this language is the premier language that is widely used all over the world followed by English language. In the recent days, there are over hundreds of thousands of people around the globe who prefer to enroll in a Beijing language school to learn Chinese easier because of its daunting learning methods.

 

The Chinese characters for "Hong Kong".

The Chinese characters for "Hong Kong". (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Determined learners prefer to travel abroad to learn Chinese language because its intricacy that has in control to incorporate innumerable dialects, and some standards integrated with both speaking and written can be much simpler to etch in mind.

 

Chinese Mandarin language overview

The language of Chinese Mandarin is one of the oldest languages in the world with approximate 6 thousand years of subsistence that is greatly acknowledged by modern people. Its intricacy involves primarily 56 thousand characters, and 3 thousand of these are the strength of character of modern Chinese language. Mandarin is the major dialect of Chinese so a number of people who wish to learn Chinese Mandarin are even thriving.

2 major types of Chinese Mandarin:

  1. “Simplified Mandarin” is the language widely used in the countries of China and Singapore.
  2. “Traditional Mandarin” is the common language used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.

The learning methods of Chinese language can be difficult and intricate to understand especially its characters, but in the face of it, there is a best learning method for easy comprehension such as opting for the proper scheme either the simplified or the traditional characters, but the largest part of the Chinese characters are precisely similar in both schemes. Furthermore, the Chinese characters do not only depend on its phonetics or its sounds.

To learn Chinese Mandarin doesn’t actually matter in its learning methods but it is rather more effective to learners’ personal strategic methods like when they allow themselves exposing to multiple courses in order to accelerate their learning language.

 

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Learn Spanish Languages with Restaurant Menu

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

How great it would be to learn Spanish at language schools right in Spain. Since holidaying typically happens once in a blue moon, it’s always excellent to create the best experience out of all time you can comprise for a break. Many international learners select Spain to be their language learning spot because the Spanish ambiance seems so shaping to experience a simple yet fascinating educational destination.

Tortilla, croquetas y caña

Tortilla time at Julio (Photo credit: By Eduardo, via Wikipedia)

When you endeavor to integrate your learning during your holiday can be a great decision and chance for you to relax, learn, and enjoy a grand time while you ascertain more about your learning Spanish through self-expression. Seeing that you are in the native country to learn Spanish language, the chance to improve your learning on the language that you ever wished to become fluent is closer to accomplishment.

In Spain, you are free to edify with the culture and know about the historical customs that have longed exist, whilst enjoying the mouth-watering cuisine made especially with Mediterranean styles. Enjoy the delicacy in the restaurant’s menu with these few translations of the name of Spanish foods to English to help unruffled your uptightness as you order from a menu in a Spanish language:

 

Apple -  Manzana

Banana – Plátano

Beef – Ternera

Beer – Cerveza

Bread – Pan

Butter – Mantequilla

Cheese – Queso

Chicken – Pollo

Chop – Chuleta

Cream – Nata

Meat- Carne

Milk – Leche

Eggs – Huevos

Fish – Pescado

Grapes – Uvas

Ham – Jamon

Ice Cream – Helado

Lamb- Cordero

Lettuce – Lechuga

Omelette – Tortilla

Pork – Cerdo

Prawns – Gambas

Rice – Arroz

Sandwich – Bocadillo

Sausages – Salchichas

Squid – Calamares

Strawberries – Fresas

Vegetable – Legumbre

 

With this vocabulary translated in English will for sure help you learn Spanish language easier, and can make you confident speaking with native Spanish speakers in Spain like during in the restaurant interaction.

 

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Simplified Chinese Learning Methods and Hints

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Chinese language is difficult to study, but if you brood over study mandarin in Beijing you may able to make your learning much easier since the surrounding promotes a real Chinese ambiance. In a Chinese language school in Beijing, the methods and hints able to create a unique difference to make the learning efficient and successful.

 

Walk left Stand right

Walk left Stand right, by 我

However, if you can’t afford to travel to study mandarin in Beijing, you can apply your own source to practice and master your yearning to learn Chinese. Here are some simplified hints and methods to help you take full advantage of learning the language:

 

  • First thing you need to do is to learn the Chinese Pinyin. The Pinyin comprises every Chinese character that beginners need to study, in which Chinese phonetics for the pronunciation is presented.

 

Chinese character in Pinyin format helps you to read and pronounce a Chinese word properly. This is also a good start to tell between diverse tones, to focus on the 4 types of reading such as the Pinyin letters, the initials, as well as the finals, and the all the potential combinations.

 

  • The second thing you need to accomplish is to memorize Chinese vocabulary. Apart from the idea of attending in a foreign language school. The mandarin training center can be an excellent comprehensive learning partner.

 

Hints: another option is to have a good dictionary with the phonetic Chinese spelling and meaning. Or else, try to listen a CD with Chinese songs or an online radio, or online tutorial to accurately master the sound of each character in each syllable. Get your Chinese dictionary, review time and again to instill the vocabulary in your memory.

 

  • The third learning method of Chinese language is to comprehend its writing strokes. It is important for you to know how to form each character.

 

Hint: the simplest way to easily familiarize the Chinese character is to memorize them. Try to write all the character in a flashcard with the meaning of the written Chinese character on the other side.

 

  • The 4th method is kind of intricate because this is about grammar. Start to learn the basic do not get anxiety by the rules. Just always think that it is best to learn a foreign language as a way to freely make your study more fun and pleasant.
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