16 08, 2017

6 Tips to learn languages

6 Tips to get the most from your immersion class: Make mistakes Learning a new language means learning by doing. Make mistakes, learn from them, and you will go far! Your teacher appreciates the effort you are making and is willing to help you out. You are not aiming for perfection here, you are aiming for progress. Making mistakes (and learning from them) will help you to progress. Start talking no matter what your current level is and you will reach a conversational level and make progress quickly. Maybe you will feel a little shy talking in another language but this is normal. Making mistakes is the best road to progress. Make guesses Your teacher will help you to understand what she/he is saying in many ways, So pay attention in your class and don't give up quickly. Acting is a powerful tool when you are learning a new language. Avoid translations even in your mind. If you are learning a new word, for example "dog", your teacher may show you a picture of a dog. Make the leap of faith that the word they are teaching is indeed "dog" -sometimes you may guess wrong, but you are teaching yourself the skill of guessing from the context -a skill you will need in real life whenever a native speaker uses a word or expression you don't know. Take your time Don't rush, take your time to build sentences and express your thoughts. Don't worry, your teacher is very patient. Go at a pace you are comfortable with. Talk and participate actively in class, even if you need to take some time to think about what you want to say. Leave English outside the classroom Asking [...]

23 06, 2017

THE BEST WAY TO LEARN ANOTHER LANGUAGE

What is the best way to learn another language... 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 [...]

18 04, 2016

Hurdles to Language Learning

What would you consider your main hurdles to learning a new language? In the following we have identified a few obstacles that might sound familiar to you. We also give you some tips to tackle them. I don’t have enough time to learn a language You had a great deal of motivation when you started learning a new language, but now, it seems, there is never enough time to practice it. Seriously? Yeah right, you work full time, you have an active social life, you might have a family and then there are those projects like getting a present for auntie Daisy’s 50th birthday. But maybe all those things are not keeping you from learning. Maybe the time killers do? Have a look at your daily routine and find out what it is that is wasting your time. Do you spend a lot of time in queues? Do you watch a lot of TV, do you spend a good deal of time on Facebook or waiting for the bus? Or do you take the car to work? Now imagine yourself listening to a language CD or a podcast whenever you leave the house. Instead of watching (the repetition of) a series every night, watch them in your target language. When you brush your teeth or your hair, look at that list of verbs you blu-tacked on your bathroom mirror. Try to do everything you enjoy doing in your target language. Just ten minutes a day can make all the difference! I don’t have a goal Yes, there was a good reason to start learning a new language. But now procrastination kicks in. There won’t be an exam any time soon. I’m not going to Paris in [...]

12 10, 2015

Making use of learning styles

Have you ever asked yourself whether you prefer a certain learning style? If not, it might be worthwhile to examine this concept in order to find out whether you can benefit from it. You might prefer visual media and are likely to remember new vocabulary using colourful images. You might be an auditory learner who processes information best when hearing it, be it through a lecturer or by reading out loud, or by means of a song from which you learn the lyrics or simply by playing music in the background to create a positive learning environment. As a tactile-kinesthetic learner, you favour a hands-on experience rather than sitting still through lectures and the use of physical objects and role-playing is the easiest way for you to learn. Learning a language, you’re lucky if you belong to the group of verbal learners who get more out of words – speech and writing - and have a fascination for the meaning or sound of words, mnemonics, tongue twisters, rhymes and the like and there are numerous other models like the solitary or social learners who choose self-study or learning in a group, respectively, the detail-oriented analytical or sequential learners and the global learners, who tend to favour the big picture over specifics when learning. The idea of learning styles became popular in the 1970s but although the conception that individuals differ in how they learn is commonly accepted, there is no evidence that instruction which is tailored to an individual’s preferred learning style produces better outcomes. What we do know is that the human brain is divided into two hemispheres, left and right, and that language functions such as grammar, vocabulary and literal meaning are typically [...]

4 08, 2015

If a baby can do it, you can do it!

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 [...]

21 07, 2015

3 Ways To Learn A New Language Fast

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 [...]

19 07, 2015

The power and pitfalls of using flashcards

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 [...]

24 04, 2015

“Conjugations” Pesky Foes, Think again

What is a Conjugated verb? In a language class, your teacher might often use this word "Conjugation". So what is it exactly? A conjugation of a verb is when a verb ending or the verb in itself changes with respective to person, number, gender, tense, aspect, mood, or voice. A simple example: I sing, She sings, He sang, You were singing... Why is it important It’s beneficial to you to devote a lot of time to learning conjugations as it is absolutely integral to successfully understand and speak a foreign language fluently and effortlessly. Of course it is going to be hard, complex and might make your head spin thinking how and when to use which tense. But think about this, with a good amount of practice every day you are almost there already and the rest of the things can be easily learned. So handle it, and get it out of your way so that you don't feel stuck when you are having a conversation. How to practice Take it slow, be patient, and start from the commonly used verbs to the least, in order. Use verb drills, practice writing and revise conjugations in context 15-20 minutes every day and say them out loud. By doing so, you'll practice both your speaking and listening skills. Play verb crosswords, if you are learning French past tense, sing the DR.MRS.VANDERTRAMP while walking your dog at the beach. Click this awesome link if you want learn the Spanish verb Hablar as you sing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1RuevxWIoCM Don't forget - Handle it, get it out of your way.

1 09, 2014

How to learn a language successfully

Learn a language well, and you can have a high level of fluency after as little as one year of study. Learn a language badly, and you can still be floundering over the basics after 20 years. Although living in the country and immersing yourself in the language is a great way to learn, some people still struggle to order a coffee after 20 years in-situ. So what is the best, most effective way to learn a language, and to ensure that your language learning has a successful outcome? The most important thing to know is that learning a language is NOT like riding a bicycle - if you don't practice it, you WILL forget it. How To get the most out of your language study: - Study and be exposed to the language everyday. If you are given homework in class, don't leave it until the night before. Do it little-by-little throughout the week. Ten minutes of study every day is better than 2 hours once a week. - Don't take a break from your study when your language school does. If your school closes for 2 weeks between terms and for 2 months over Christmas, make sure you don't. Keep listening to music, watching films, reading books and articles, practicing grammar exercises and reviewing vocabulary throughout the break. - Review what you have already learned again and again. Its not enough just to be able to recognise a word or grammar structure - you need to be able to recall it automatically and effortlessly in any situation. It is also important to know that the concept of good and bad language learners is basically a myth. Although some people may grasp grammar concepts [...]

26 07, 2014

Six essential grammar terms for NZers learning a foreign language

You can learn a foreign language in two ways: 1. By immersing yourself in the language, and learning it through constant exposure and repetition (kids are so great at language learning because they are so great at immersing themselves, and at fearlessly jumping into a new language environment). 2. By having the structure and workings of the language explained to you (this is where us adults have a great advantage, as our adult brains can understand and apply explanations of how the language works, and this allows us to significantly increase the speed with which we learn the language) The 'best' way to learn a language (best = fastest, most efficient, most guaranteed, most satisfying) is to learn using a combination of both methods. This post helps you out with point 2, and tells you six essential grammar terms that will help you understand how any language in the world works. Verbs Verbs are the heart of any language and are the most important part of the language that you are learning. Whole sentences can be made out of a single verb. Eat. Drink. Be merry. Verbs are 'doing' words or 'action' words. Look, be, jump, contemplate, become... are all verbs Nouns Nouns are things. Nouns are things that are real and that you can point at (tree, mother, Julie, Christchurch). Nouns are also things that you can't point at (beauty, happiness, darkness, love). If you can put the word 'the' in front of it (in English) then it is a noun. Pronouns Pronouns are I, you, he, she, they, we, it, me, him, her, them, us, this (as in this is a pen). Pronouns are nouns, but instead of saying the actual name of [...]