So you have decided to learn another language this year? Great! This is the best decision you have made- Congratulations! Learning a new language opens your mind, helps you to understand other cultures, to improve your attention and memory, to empathise with others and to impress your workmates, boss, friends and your girlfriend or boyfriend. Learning a language requires dedication and lots of practice to get to the point that everything is automatic and natural- just like in your own language. It is not just learning 20 words a day until you’re done, or listening to a pod cast for the whole day and voila! Now you are fluent. This is not an effective way to learn any language. So, what is the best way to learn another language? The best way to learn a language is to IMMERSE YOURSELF IN THE LANGUAGE you want to learn. What is Immersion learning? Not everyone who makes the commitment to learning a foreign language has heard of language immersion learning, so we would like to shed some light on the concept. Language immersion is a teaching method in which the target language is the only language used in the classroom. Just like your mum and dad were teaching you their native language when you were born – and you were watching, listening and imitating it – your teacher is communicating with you in that foreign language non-stop. If a baby can do it, you can do it! To help with this communication your teacher will use various tools like pictures, actual objects and demonstrations as well as facial expressions, gestures and mime and pointing. The key point, as with every type of learning, is repetition. Check this [...]
The ONE thing book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan is all about laser-sharp focus & productivity. It gives us simple yet powerful tools and strategies which we believe when applied to your language learning goals produce extraordinary results. First, find your ONE thing to be successful in learning a language: “What’s the ONE thing I can do such that by doing it everything will be easier of unnecessary?” – Gary Keller To find the answer to this question, you need to know what your goals are. Take out a pen and a piece of paper and just spend a few minutes thinking about the following: For example, your “Daily” goal might be time-blocking 15 minutes after dinner to understand how the language works, practice speaking skills with a friend 10 minutes before a class, spending as little as 5 minutes to revise new vocabulary before going to bed, waking early to prepare for an exam to get your level certified, making a few sentences before breakfast with the knowledge of whatever you’ve learnt so far, or reading a paragraph in the evenings from a book suited to your level. Based on the daily goals above, here’s the ONE thing you could do right now, pick a spot where you won’t be disturbed, silence your mobile, practice verb drills. Call a friend and ask if he/she is willing to arrive few minutes early before class to practice with you. Find a system which will encourage you to practice 5 minutes before bedtime – Choose an app or go old school and learn off your own language journal, so on and so forth. If you have the luxury of time, it is worth investing 4 hours [...]
What happens when you learn a new language? Your brain is analyzing, processing all the new information coming in - new vocabulary & sounds, picture-word associations, sentence structures and so on right? But remembering this new and complex information becomes the next most challenging and vital part in language learning. “I learnt it but I’ve forgotten” “I don’t remember” “Wait, wait, hang on, I know this word, hmmm…gosh, I can’t remember” “It’s too hard to remember, maybe language learning isn’t for me” “I don’t have a good memory” If you feel this way, feel frustrated or disappointed. Please don’t! “Forgetting new words” is a completely natural process. Your brain not only analyzes and processes what you learn but “selectively” stores and discards data. Even this selection will fade over time with more information constantly coming in. That’s why some of us would wake up one day and say “I don’t remember a word of what I learnt - Zilch , Nada.” How can we change this and be more efficient in language learning? Simple. First tell the brain who is the boss and help it to remember the information that we “select” as “the most important”. It doesn’t stop at that. Next is “Constant Repetition” – the golden key to developing any skill. Just as how you would workout every day to tone up your muscles, spending time repeatedly reviewing even 5-10 minutes every day will tone your memory significantly improving your capacity to remember the language you are learning. For the constant repetition, for your learning process to evade monotony, you must be in love with the language, be passionate. Language is all about forming links. You form this amazing link with another person [...]
So you've booked your ticket to Germany? You've come to the right place! We’ve endeavoured to pack all you need to know about this destination in our Travel Tips section. Fast facts: Language: German Capital: Berlin Government: Federal Republic Currency: Euro € Population: approx. 82 Mio Area: 357,168 km² Country code: +49 Measurement system: Metric Electric current: 230V/50Hz (round two pin plug system) Fun facts Per capital, the Germans drink around 105 litres of beer each year. Germany produces around 600 different types of bread; more than any other country. Probably there are even more varieties of sausages. The Oktoberfest actually starts in the month of September. Oktoberfest vocabulary German is the (co-)official language of 5 countries: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. It is also spoken in Northern Italy, Belgium and the French provinces of Alsace and Lorraine. In restaurants give a 5-10% tip but round up the bill to include it instead of leaving money on the table. Basic German Ja (yes) Nein (no) Danke/Dankeschön (Thanks) Bitte/Bitteschön (Please/you’re welcome) Guten Tag (Hello) Auf Wiedersehen/Tschüs (Goodbye) Entschuldigung (Excuse me) Ich brauche Hilfe (I need help) Ich spreche kein Deutsch (I don’t speak German) Sprechen Sie Englisch? (Do you speak English?) Mir geht es nicht gut (I don’t feel well) Wie viel kostet das? (How much is that?) [...]
The North Shore will become more multi-lingual from 2017, as locals will have the chance to learn Chinese, Japanese, German, Spanish, French and Arabic in Language Hub's new Takapuna branch. Language Hub opened in Auckland central in 2013, and quickly became the largest private provider of foreign language classes in Auckland. The Takapuna branch is the next step in Language Hub's vision of foreign language fluency for every New Zealander. Language Hub is coming to Takapuna in 2017! The staff at Language Hub are very enthusiastic about this latest development. Chinese teacher Shirley Du says: "Everyone deserves the opportunity to learn another language. I'm excited about Language Hub opening a branch in Takapuna, and offering language learning to the people of the North Shore". With the North Shore becoming more diverse as new residence move into the area, locals are finding a greater need to speak a foreign language. Whether to talk with their neighbours, take advantage of the new business opportunities opening in the area, or speak the language of their partners (and children!), people on the North Shore have reasons to learn a language over and above those that existed in the past. The Takapuna branch of Language Hub will open its doors in January 2017 offering six of the nine languages taught at the central branch.
This is the final part of our spring quiz series and the concluding language on our agenda is Arabic. Julie discovered a great song for our purpose and has come up with a challenging task. Master it in order to win a little chocolate treat which must be claimed by Friday, 2nd October 2015, by coming to class and presenting the requested task to your teacher. Julie has chosen an Arabic children's song called ربيع الأردن. The challenge is 1) to translate the first verse into English and 2) to write down how to say "I love you" in the Jordanese dialect (the words are written in the video).
August in New Zealand. A polar blast turned the country white on the weekend. Hail has pelted Aucklanders while snow has paved the Desert Road and blanketed Dunedin. Flu rates have reached epidemic levels. August in Italy. With persistent high temperatures (expected to reach 41C this week in some parts) it is the month when Italians take their holiday and head either to the seaside or to the cool of mountain towns. And it is the month when they celebrate an important holiday, Ferragosto. Well, it’s your choice: you can fight the chill with a hot cuppa and a wooly jumper. Or you can read on and warm up with the world’s most musical language, Italian, and indulge in their culture and history. Let’s start with some essential Italian phrases: Andiamo in spiaggia! (Let’s go to the beach!) Incontriamoci in gelateria! (Let’s meet at the ice-cream shop!) Non dimenticare il costume da bagno, l’asciugamano, e la crema solare! (Don’t forget your togs, towel and sunscreen!) Ferragosto – buone vacanze! August 15 is probably the most important holiday in Italy other than Christmas day as it marks both, the federal holiday Ferragosto and the religious holiday of the Assumption of Mary. The term Ferragosto derives from the Latin Feriae Augusti (Augustus’ rest) and was introduced by the Roman emperor Augustus in 18 BC. The emperor felt it was necessary to create a time of relaxation after weeks of strenuous work bringing in the harvest - and the busy schedule of festivals that followed. August is the traditional holiday month in Italy and the majority will religiously plan their holiday around Ferragosto, leaving factories, offices as well as many restaurants and shops closed for vacation, chiuso per [...]
Congratulations! You’ve made up your mind that you want to learn a language and enrol in a class. You are highly motivated and look forward to the new challenge. Then suddenly - usually after the first two or three classes - you may find yourself overwhelmed and frustrated, because that sentence you were supposed to listen to carefully (and ideally guess the meaning of) turned out to be a colossal jumble of syllables. Which will inevitably lead to the question: Will I ever be able to have a decent conversation? The answer is simple: If a baby can do it, you can do it! So how do they do it and what can we learn from the little buggers? Well, in their first few months they are just as frustrated as you and they communicate that well by crying, yelling and shouting for food, comfort or sleep time. But after weeks and months of listening to and learning from everyone around them, they begin to recognise their names, identify important words and follow simple instructions such as ‘come here’ or ‘have a drink’. This success can be attributed to parents, siblings and everyone around them talking to them on a constant basis. They would use short sentences and emphasise key words which helps the toddler to focus on the important information. During their everyday activities the toddlers make connections between actions and objects and the words that represent them. Left alone they start babbling and making sounds such as ‘baba’ or ‘mama’ which are easy to pronounce and they repeat them over and over because they like the way they sound. By 18 months they will use between six and 20 words and by the [...]
Have you even felt too old to learn a new language or gave it up because you thought you are not the gifted one for foreign languages no matter how hard you have tried? But, the truth is you might just use the wrong way to learn. Inspired by Julie Cleaver’s “10 ways to learn a new language”, we would like to share some of our ideas with you. In her article, she mentioned 10 efficient points in terms of learning a new language, and here we would like to highlight some very important ones. “Learn the important words first” “Do I need to have 3000 vocabulary words to start practicing conversation?” The answer is NO. You don’t need to know all these terminologies to have a daily chat. In most cases, people keep repeating certain words, phrases and sentences again and again. Think about it that in English 300 words make up 65 percent of all written material! Therefore, once you master these words with a little courage, you are off to go. “Learn like words” Due to the fact that English belongs to Indo-European language family, a family of hundred related 445 languages and dialects, including German, Italian, Celtic, etc, same or similar spelling can be found in different language with the same meanings. For example Mutter in German and mother in English. At the same time, as the result of sharing the root with Latin word family similar words can be spotted in these languages, such as absolute (absolute) and abstracto (abstract) in Spanish. Within its powerful influence on Asian countries, historically, economically and culturally, Japanese, Korean and Chinese system also borrow a lot from English such as Japanese nekku (neck) and [...]
You know that practice practice practice is the best way to learn a language. But its definitely true that some ways of practicing the language are more effective than others. If you’re going to put in the time and effort to study your language, you want to use that time as effectively as possible. Latest theory is that learning new words and vocabulary in context rather than in isolation is the best way to expand your vocabulary. So does this mean that the use of flashcards is a bad idea? Should I stick to other techniques when learning a language? The appeal of flashcards Flashcards are appealing in that they give you a sense of making real, measurable progress in your language. If you studied 20 flashcards, then you feel that you have increased your vocabulary by 20 words. Whereas if you speak with someone in the language, read a text or review your grammar notes, then its harder to measure what exactly it is that you’ve achieved. Why you should avoid flashcards Flashcards are a great way of putting vocabulary into your short term memory. But that is the only thing they are great for. You can study a set of flashcards and feel you have learned the vocabulary on them, but if you put those flashcards away for a month and then come back to them, you will have forgotten most of the vocabulary they contain. Using flashcards is like cramming for an exam the night before – the knowledge goes in for long enough for you to pass the exam, but you will have forgotten it all six months later when someone asks you about it. Hopefully you’re wanting to be able [...]