Valentine’s Day has just passed us, the flowers have withered, the chocolates have miraculously disappeared and all that is left are the cards that will soon be covered with dust. Maybe you belong to those people considering something more meaningful to foster your relationship than presenting red roses? You could, for example, resolve to learn your sweetheart’s native language – despite the fact that your partner is fluent in English and like the song suggests ‘communication is the problem to the answer’. Sometimes communication with the partner’s family can be the primary reason acknowledges our student Ken: ‘I have been a German language student at Language Hub for over a year. I've always wanted to learn German after my first visit to the country in 2000. Now, my wife and I regularly travel to Germany to visit her family. The Language Hub offers an immersive learning experience for students to practice communicating completely in the language they study. The classes are fun and interactive. Studying at the Language Hub has tremendously improved my German language skills and has made communicating with my German family much easier.’ Other times a little misunderstanding in the presence of your dearest is motivation enough as Matt admits: ‘I decided to learn German after many years ago being in Munich and arguing with a guy over whether I had small (Kleine) or no (Keine) Cigarettes much to my girlfriend-at-the-times’ amusement. Learning a language is a really positive thing and I would recommend it to anyone!’ It must be stated here that relationships do not always work out the way we planned, but our students have always assured us that they never regretted their decision to learn the new language and [...]
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You might not think of snow and freezing temperatures when you scroll through the list of Spanish speaking countries on our globe. But let’s not forget about the colder regions of South America, the Andes Mountains and the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile that consists of lower-elevation plateaus and rugged glaciers. The picture says it all. To challenge our students we found a nice Spanish verse by Andrea Kalman. ¡Vamos! Paint, draw or create an image of this scene and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Spanish language poem Versos para el invierno En invierno se enfría la punta de la nariz con un pañuelo me tapo antes de un gran achís. Mantas polares cazadoras de abrigo, guantes y bufanda. ¡Ya no hace frío! Si tengo frío, tiritan mis dientes, tomo sopa de letras y leche caliente. Cuando hace mucho frio, tiritan los dientes pero los míos no, porque yo soy valiente. Si tengo mucho frío me tapo la nariz con bufanda de lana roja, verde y gris. Los días de frío mucho nos abrigamos nos quedamos algo duritos pero igual ¡jugamos!
For our French winter competition we have chosen a poem that almost all French children know. It was written by Jacques Prévert, the famous 20th century author and screenwriter who wrote simple poetry using everyday language. His poems are widely taught in schools in France to develop the children’s memory as well as taste for French literature. They also frequently appear in French textbooks published worldwide and are often taught in American upper level French classes to learn basics. So now, submit your work of art (painting, drawing, a created image) to one of the charming people in the office and you’re in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! The best image in each language wins. French language poem Chanson pour les enfants l’hiver Dans la nuit de l’hiver galope un grand homme blanc c’est un bonhomme de neige avec une pipe en bois un grand bonhomme de neige poursuivi par le froid il arrive au village voyant de la lumière le voilà rassuré. Dans une petite maison il entre sans frapper et pour se réchauffer s’assoit sur le poêle rouge, et d’un coup disparait ne laissant que sa pipe au milieu d’une flaque d’eau ne laissant que sa pipe et puis son vieux chapeau.
After another wet winter weekend in Auckland, it is time to improve your winter vocabulary with the help of Sergey, our Russian teacher. In some parts of Russia, temperatures do get brutal during winter. Yakutsk, for example, which is located about 450 kilometers south of the Arctic Circle, has an average winter temperature of −34 °C. The coldest temperatures ever recorded on the planet outside Antarctica occurred in the basin of the Yana River to the northeast of Yakutsk and those were lower than -60°C. Yakut folklore says that, at such temperatures, if you shout to a friend and they cannot hear you, it is because the words have frozen in the air. However, when spring comes the words "thaw" and one can hear everything that was said months ago. But now back to our winter competition: Paint, draw or create an image of the poem below that Sergey provided and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art to one of the lovely people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Russian language poem: А. С. Пушкин. "Вот север, тучи нагоняя..." * * * Вот север , тучи нагоняя , Дохнул, завыл — и вот сама Идет волшебница зима. Пришла, рассыпалась; клоками Повисла на суках дубов; Легла волнистыми коврами Среди полей, вокруг холмов; Брега с недвижною рекою Сравняла пухлой пеленою; Блеснул мороз. И рады мы Проказам матушки зимы. (отрывок из романа Евгений Онегин)
This is part four of our winter competition and Seraphine has chosen the Korean poem for you to create a work of art. Winter in Korea is between December and February and the lowest temperatures usually occur in January, ranging between minus six and three degrees Celsius. Have you heard of ‘samhansaon’? Samhansaon refers to the phenomenon where three days of cold weather are followed by four warmer days. The mountainous regions in Gangwon-do receive snowfall starting in early winter, with the weather being very cold and dry due to the wind blowing in from Siberia. Yes, the poem has to do with snow and snow we want a lot of in February 2018 when PyeongChang in South Korea will host the Winter Olympics. And now, tackle the challenge: paint, draw or create an image of the winter scene and be in to win a free conversation class. Just submit your creation to one of the wonderful people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Korean language poem: 발자국 bal-jaguk 고요한 겨울밤, 눈이 내리네 눈위에 발자국이 나를 따라오네 작은 발자국, 큰 발자국,,, 눈밭에서 춤을추네 나를 보고 웃는 내 발자국 결국 저만치 사라지네
Pizza, pasta and gelato will sadly not play a role in today’s Italian competition. Think Michelangelo and da Vinci instead! Italian teacher Irene has picked a winter poem and all you need to do is to put the idea down on paper. Paint, draw or create an image of this scene and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art to one of the lovely people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Italian language poem Inverno Terra nera, nubi oscure cielo freddo, pioggia, brina già l'inverno s'avvicina bacche rosse sulle siepi passerotti infreddoliti i bei giorni son finiti! Sotto il tetto un nido vuoto rondine pellegrina sei partita stamattina guardo e aspetto. Quando torni rondine bianca e nera tornerà la primavera.
It’s the second part of our winter competition and after starting yesterday with German, our teacher Shirley picked a Chinese poem for you today. Here are the rules of the game again: have a look at the poem and get creative! Paint, draw or create an image of this scene and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art to one of the lovely people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. Chinese language poem qiān shān niǎo fēi jué 千 山 鸟 飞 绝， wàn jìng rén zōng miè 万 径 人 踪 灭。 gū zhōu suō lì wēng 孤 舟 蓑 笠 翁， dú diào hán jiāng xuě 独 钓 寒 江 雪。
It is the coldest season of the year but the good news is we are nearly there: tomorrow will see the shortest day and the longest night in the Southern Hemisphere and then we’re heading towards warmer months again. In the meantime, keep warm with our winter competition! Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter but in general winter is associated with snow and freezing temperatures. We would like you, our Language Hub students, to have a closer look whether this image is true for all cultures/languages, therefore our competition. Your teacher has picked a poem or description of a winter scene in your target language. What we would like you to do: have a look at the poem/description and get creative! Paint, draw or create an image of this scene and be in to win a free conversation class at Language Hub! Just submit your work of art to one of the lovely people in the office and you’re in. The best image in each language wins. We will start today with two different German poems provided by Svenja and Ariane, so you can choose which one you would like to pick for your art work. Keep warm with a cuppa, keep busy and have fun! German language poem ‚Wintersonne‘ von Engelbert Schinkel Wintersonne, wenn der Nebel bricht, trüb und flach stehst du vor mir, wie ein müdes Greisengesicht. Dämm'rig der Tag, als wärst du nicht hier. Trotzdem ist die Landschaft schön. Ich schau dem Fließen der Donau zu, schwarze Vögel am Himmel ziehn, erste Boten der Winterruh. Letzte Trauben warten auf den Frost, süßer Eiswein wird daraus. Das ist mir ja doch ein Trost, da schaut der Winter ganz erträglich [...]
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 [...]
If you are a keen follower of our website’s ‘Tips & Resources’ section, you would have read the last article about why conversation classes are highly beneficial for learning a new language. Today, we want to give details about what we want to achieve and what we actually do in these classes. What we want to achieve: We’ve already pointed out how important it is to build up confidence in the students. So once they enter the room, they need to feel that they are among friends where they can relax. We want to provide unintimidating and fun classes where they can experiment with old and new vocabulary. Not only do we aim to get the students speaking, we also want to maximize their speaking time. In a perfect class, the teacher is silent and only acts as a ‘showmaster’ who encourages participation, praises success and occasionally acts as a referee. At all other times, the students should be speaking. They ask the questions, answer each other’s enquiries, help each other when they get stuck, explain things to each other and correct each other’s mistakes in the target language. We want active learners. It is very hard to achieve good results through passive learning, which occurs predominantly through reading and listening. Much more effective is speaking and writing as it aids the retention of the language in the active part of the brain. We don’t want our students to sit around and listen, we want them to be the protagonists who do things in an interactive way with their fellow students. We want to make it stick. We want them to remember words and structures - and practice is the key. What we do: A [...]