What is the Polyglot Project? polyglot project to talk about my experiences with foreign suggested printing out the PDF version of the chart and sit. Free book: The polyglot project, how to learn languages Claude made the page PDF available and you can read that directly on my site by clicking “PDF”. The Polyglot Project Shanna Tan, Singapore Learning Korean I used to think that I would highly recommend downloading this PDF file CHINESE ZODIAC.
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The Polyglot Gathering will take place under the auspices of: Martina Lubyová in Slovakia, which coordinates various projects supporting language learning (lingvo. to) – just make sure you send them as PDF 1 hour before the . This is the first time the Polyglot Gathering is held elsewhere and we, . educational projects, and in he became the coordinator of [email protected] don't have to) – just make sure you send them as PDF 1 hour before the talk to. The Polyglot Project, a collection of language learning tips from polyglots The Polyglot Project is available as a free PDF or as a physical book via site.
One year we would be living with our dad, and probably two years later living with our mom. I would say we were probably raised a bit longer by our mom than by our father. My mom had me at a very early age. She was only Not only that, she didn't get her High-school education.
I believe she dropped out of school when she was in the 8th or 9th grade, I can't remember. My dad, however, graduated from high school. It was pretty rough on my mom raising 4 children alone; hence, there were times when we had to live in foster care. That was probably the most painful experience in my life because I was separated from my sisters. My brother and I were lucky to be able to live with the same foster family.
Our foster parents were good people. We lived with him for about two years, and then moved back with our mom. So, like I said, it was a back-and-forth thing. But while we didn't have the best circumstances growing up, we didn't turn out to be bad children. Around this time was the most significant part of my life because I met a group of friends who were very different from each other.
When I say very different, I mean they were into different things that the average person in our neighborhood wouldn't be into. They liked learning new things and always had a positive mind about things in general. This wasn't normal for me - at least coming from the place I came from. I was used to negativity, abuse and stuff like that. One thing I had in common with these guys was video games. I think if it weren't for my interest in video games, I probably wouldn't have clicked with them.
I hung out with them endlessly, which helped me open up my mind to learning about different things and what not. They turned me on to some very positive music which helped me look at things differently as well.
I will never forget these times, and to this day I still talk with them. They are like brothers to me. I think I was a junior in High school at the time.
It was very hard, but somehow we got through it. I lived with my uncle for a year or two then eventually finished up high school. I almost joined the Marines, but my brother stopped me from going because he felt that we would go to war and he didn't want for me to be part of it. This was in the year That was around the time when I started learning languages.
I started to learn Chinese as my first "serious" foreign language. I felt that it would be nice to try and learn a language like Chinese instead of a language like Spanish, French or German. I felt that I wanted to do things differently than others. I realized that I had a knack for foreign languages, so I started learning more.
I gained confidence in my ability to learn because I picked Chinese up pretty fast. I also picked up languages such as Japanese, Korean, and Arabic, etc. I think I was at the age of at the time. A year later, I decided to move to Columbus because I saw that there would be a lot more opportunities for me there, as far as foreign languages. I made one trip to Columbus with a friend and from there decided that it would be the place where I would start getting serious with things.
I then met my wife at a library. At that time, I wasn't looking to get into any relationships because I wasn't on my feet. I just went there with a friend to practice foreign languages. Somehow I felt that I was the luckiest man in the world to have met a woman like her. After that, we talked for a while and eventually started a serious relationship. She was and still is very supportive of my decision to study multiple languages, and I think that's a great thing.
Two years after we met, we married. I was 23 years old. Because of my decision to learn languages, I'm not only able to expand my knowledge for learning new languages and what not, but I can also share that knowledge with others and help them to become great language learners as well. Just from the decision to learn Chinese, I was able to meet a wonderful Chinese woman my wife who supports me for having this "strange" passion for learning so many languages.
Another enriching factor in learning languages for me is the open mindedness I have gained towards other cultures and what not. Before getting into the different cultures, I, like other people, had bad preconceptions about them. Where I came from, I'd never heard anything very positive about other cultures. Instead, people would in fact always ask me, "As a black man, why would you want to do something like that?
In conclusion, I guess I would say that, having this experience of learning about different languages and cultures has broadened my horizons by leaps and bounds, and I will continue on this path of learning.
This will be a lifetime process for me. Amy Burr YouTube Channel: I want to contribute to this project because I feel like my story is a good example of how learning languages can enrich one's life, and I think it can inspire people who are struggling to learn a language. I feel that learning languages is the most important thing I have ever done for myself.
My language learning has given me a new perspective on life, because learning a language really is like discovering a new world. There is an endless amount of things out there that you will never get to experience because your knowledge of languages is limited.
For example, there is literature, music, movies, and poetry that you cannot fully enjoy if you do not understand the language they are produced in. Even more importantly, there are all kinds of people and cultures that you cannot connect with and appreciate without understanding their language. I realized this fact only after I learned a new language, and I cannot believe how many wonderful things I was missing out on before I did so.
It is incredible to think about how different and limited my life would be had I not learned a new language. I made friends in a new country, discovered new cultures and art, and even got an opportunity to travel 37 and experience one of these new cultures firsthand.
That is what I love about language learning: What I love so much about the story I am going to share with you is that it shows how language learning can be easy and enjoyable, but still extremely beneficial and inspiring. I hope that it will inspire people to learn languages, or help people who want to learn languages but feel it is too difficult for them. I have always been interested in languages since I was a young child. It has always fascinated me for some reason, but I really discovered my love for it when I was about thirteen years old.
This was the time when I began studying Spanish at school. I immediately enjoyed learning the language and therefore I really excelled at it. Throughout the next five years, while I was studying both Spanish and French in high school, I was often told by teachers that I have a "talent" for languages.
The first few times I heard it, I just took it as a nice compliment, but after a while something about it started to bother me.
At first I didn't know why, but then I noticed that many students in my class would say they "hate French" or "hate Spanish," for example, because they are just "not good at it". This is when I realized I do not believe that having a talent for languages really matters much at all.
What bothered me was that the students who said these things seemed to believe they were incapable of learning a language and enjoying it because they lacked this supposed talent. After pondering this for a while, I realized that what really made me excel in languages more than other students was that I simply had a passion for it. I now know that the key to learning a language and liking it is to 38 simply learn it in a way that is enjoyable to you. I don't believe you have to download language books and study grammar and complicated things that bore and frustrate you.
I believe you can learn a language and love every minute of it if you so choose. In fact, I don't just believe this is possible, I know it is, because I have done it myself. When I was about 16 years old, I was browsing through some music on Youtube, and I discovered a singer from Israel that I really liked.
I did not understand any Hebrew, but I didn't care because I enjoyed the music anyway. So for a while I just searched around for more of her videos in English, and did not care much that I could not understand the language. However, after a while I began to see how much this limited me. I saw how many things were out there that I couldn't access because I could not speak Hebrew.
There was a point where this began to frustrate me so much that I decided to learn how to read the script so I could search for the names of songs in Hebrew.
I really enjoy learning how to sing songs in foreign languages, but finding transliterated lyrics was a very difficult thing to accomplish. However, I could find every song I wanted to learn in the original Hebrew script, so I decided to try and use my limited knowledge to read and learn the lyrics.
I do not remember how long it took me, but eventually I could read the script fairly efficiently. After that, I immediately felt as if a whole new world of opportunities was opened up to me.
Before I felt so restricted because I had no knowledge of the language, but now that I did have knowledge, I kept learning more and more until I could 39 even write and speak a bit. Once my writing skills became proficient enough, I began to make new friends by going on an Israeli website where people talk about my favorite singer. At first I only read the website, but one day I read something I really felt I needed to respond to.
So, I used my limited skills and a lot of help from an online dictionary to respond to the post. The administrator read what I said and took interest to the fact that I was American, and sent me a private message. Long story short, we became very close friends, and a few months later even met each other in real life. At the end of her visit to the U. To my surprise, it has only been less than a year since this all started, and I have already booked a flight to Israel for this summer.
For me, this experience is going to be not only a cultural experience, but an excellent opportunity to improve my language skills. Unfortunately, at the time when my friend was here, I had still never spoken Hebrew with anyone, except in writing of course, so I was too shy to speak it with her. So we just spoke English the entire time.
However, during the last few months I have been extremely motivated to improve my language skills, since I am planning to speak with my friends in their native language when I visit them. I feel like going to the country is the best way to learn a new language, so I feel so fortunate to have this incredible opportunity.
I am now going to get to travel halfway across the world and experience a whole new culture, and it is all 40 because I learned a new language doing things I enjoy.
I would like to point out that I have not actually "studied" much Hebrew per se. I have sort of just picked it up. I learned mostly by listening to music, watching videos, reading fun books and articles, and chatting with my friends. Even though I initially didn't understand a word of the things I was listening to, they were things I enjoyed, so I gradually learned to understand them. Like I mentioned before, you do not need to have a talent to learn a language this way, you just have to like it.
The key is enjoyment. Just do what I did: In the beginning, you will not understand it, but I promise you will eventually. I admit that the inability to understand things you want to enjoy will frustrate you, but this kind of frustration is exactly what inspires me.
Whenever I feel frustrated because I am watching something that I know I would find funny or interesting in some way, but I cannot understand it, I just think to myself, "Someday I will understand this, and it will be so rewarding. I know, because I have experienced it multiple times. All it takes is patience. Yes, not being able to understand something is very irritating, but you must always remember that someday, if you wait long enough, you will understand. There is nothing preventing you from learning the language up to a fluent or even almost native level.
The only limit is time. You will have to wait a while in order to gain this much knowledge, but it is not so bad, because in the meantime you can continue learning in a way that is pleasant to you. After you wait enough and gain enough 41 knowledge, it will be one of the most rewarding things you could ever do, because you will get to see all your past frustrations and limits lifted away.
Another topic I would like to talk about is how people feel about language learning as hobby. For some reason, many people seem to consider learning languages a useless hobby and a waste of time. I used to sort of agree with this, even though it was a hobby I enjoyed doing. However, the only reason I agreed was that I never really thought about whether it was useless or not.
I just assumed it for some reason that I can no longer remember.
I honestly can't see why I ever thought it was useless, and I do not understand why other people feel that way either. Although, I suppose that people who are only focused on their career and who are not interested in anything that would not help them in that respect could find foreign languages useless, because they do not use them at work.
But nobody cares about only their career and nothing else. Everyone has some kind of hobby. Basically my point is, whenever people say learning languages is a waste of time, what do they suppose you should do instead? What would be considered a productive use of leisure time? The answer is that it depends on the person and what they want in life. As I have just recounted to you, learning foreign languages can absolutely be beneficial. So I do not see how people can say it is useless in comparison to other hobbies.
Honestly, I used to feel embarrassed to tell people I learn languages in my free time, because they would always ask 42 me, "Why? What's the point? It's a waste of time. Also, I do not need it for work or business, so they cannot figure why I would possibly want to learn. Basically, people often find it pointless to learn a language if you do not need to or if you don't have any preexisting connection to the culture. However, I feel that if you learn a language, this alone gives you a connection to the culture.
Sure, I decided to learn Hebrew even though I didn't know anyone who speaks it or have any connection to Israel or Israeli culture, but now I do. That is why I find it hard to see how this is useless.
Therefore, when people ask me "Why? It is none of their business what I choose to do with my free time and I do not feel like explaining why it is indeed useful for me if they do not want to hear it. It's as simple as that. Don't ever let someone else tell you what is useful or useless for you. Personally, I think that if you simply enjoy it, that is a good enough reason to continue doing it. So basically, language learning is a great way to spend time. It opens up so many new opportunities.
Also, just think about how many different languages there are in the world. Now think about how many possibilities this opens up to you. It's seemingly endless. And remember, language learning does not have to be hard or unpleasant. Of course, if you are an impatient person it may be frustrating at times, but that is only temporary. Once the frustrations are over, you will get to experience 43 the most pleasant part of the whole experience: You never know what could happen if you learn a language.
For example, it is a guarantee that if you learn a new language you also learn a new culture. Also, it is pretty much guaranteed that you will make new friends. After all, you have to practice with someone eventually! In the end, maybe all of this will lead you to have an opportunity just like mine.
Like I said, you never know. Additionally, just remember that even if you are very shy you can still learn a language. I would know because I am a pretty shy person, but I have made tons of new friends. Throughout my language learning adventure, I have discovered that you should not be shy when learning a language, because you will discover so many more amazing things if you just go out and talk to new people.
I call it an adventure because it really is one: In my last piece I talked about how my interest in Israeli music inspired me to learn Hebrew, and how this ultimately led me to an opportunity to visit Israel. Well when I wrote my last piece I hadn't gone on my trip yet, but now that I have, I have a lot of interesting new language experiences that I would like to share with you all.
I also feel like what I want to talk about is a perfect 44 continuation of where I left off in my first piece. I concluded my last one talking about shyness and why we must overcome it if we want to learn languages. So that is what I will focus on in this piece. Personally, I am generally a pretty shy person, so before I went to Israel I was a little nervous about speaking Hebrew. I had only had one spoken conversation in Hebrew before I left, and it was just so strange for me to hear the language coming out of my own mouth.
I couldn't even imagine how I was going to speak it with other people if I could not even bear to speak it to myself! However, once I stepped on the plane to Israel something strange and incredible happened: The moment I entered the plane, the flight attendant directed me to my seat completely in Hebrew, with no English translation.
Now, for some reason I was not expecting this at all, but that is not to say that it irritated me. In fact, it had quite the opposite effect. I immediately felt like I belonged, and that I was welcome to speak this language without anyone treating me like a foreigner or assuming that I don't understand a word of it. This made me ecstatic, because until then I had the opposite experience: From this point on I had no fear whatsoever.
I loved speaking Hebrew, it felt like the funnest thing in the world to me. I even got excited when the stewardess asked me what I wanted to drink in Hebrew, of course and I got to say "mayim" water. I know it sounds so silly, but I think the reason I got so 45 excited is because this made me feel like I fit in, like I was one of them. It was really an amazing feeling, and it gave me confidence that did not wear off once during my entire trip.
Now, I would just like to address a common concern that many language learners have, and that I feel extremely lucky to have avoided for the most part: First of all, even though I am not Jewish and do not have any family connection to Israel, you could never tell that from looking at me. Israel is a very diverse country that people from all over the world have immigrated to, much like the United States.
They have every race and ethnicity that we have here in America in their tiny country. And since I am of European descent and have brown hair and brown eyes, so I do not stand out as a foreigner in Israel at all. As many travelers know, when you stick out like a sore thumb in a foreign country, people often speak to you in English automatically. So that is why I feel extremely lucky that I was going to a country where people could not immediately tell that Hebrew is not my native language. The fact that I avoided this problem boosted my confidence a great deal.
However, as I mentioned before, other people might not be so lucky. I know many language learners are afraid that they will go to a foreign country and have a hard time practicing the language because they will stand out as a tourist.
Well, even though I have just said this was not much of a problem for me, I still understand how it feels. You see, what I meant before was that this was not an issue for me when I came across strangers. However, 46 when I was with people who did know my nationality, it was a different situation altogether.
For example, when I met my friends' friends, or relatives of my friends, the moment they heard I was American they assumed that I didn't speak Hebrew. For the most part I was lucky enough that when I told them I did speak their language, they gladly spoke it to me. However, some people especially my close friends whom I normally speak English with basically refused to speak to me in Hebrew.
Even when I spoke it to them, they answered in English, as if they didn't even notice that I was trying to practice. This is a very common problem language learners may have in a country like Israel where almost everyone speaks excellent English.
However, you must understand that they may want to practice their English just like you want to practice their language. Even though I understood and accepted this, it still made me feel extremely uncomfortable and discouraged when people spoke to me in English. I understand that they were just trying to make me feel at home, but in actuality they were doing the opposite. This just made me feel more like a foreigner, like I was someone who needed to be treated differently because I did not fit in with their people.
This made me upset and angry because it was the complete polar opposite of what I experienced on the plane. There, I really did feel at home, because people spoke Hebrew to me, no questions asked. Now, I know you are waiting for me to tell you how to avoid this sort of situation, but unfortunately, I am not sure I have a decent answer. However, I can give you this simple piece of advice: I regret that I let this 47 little obstacle make me so depressed and frustrated.
Yes, it was awkward and annoying, but it's not worth letting it ruin your trip. Some people are just not going to speak their language to you unless you beg them or convince them somehow, but sometimes it's just not worth the effort. That is why I offer you this suggestion: Luckily, I made a friend like this without even trying, and once I started staying at her house, I felt much more confident and comfortable. My confidence was back up to the level it was on my flight. The reason I have just told you all this is because I think it can help you overcome your fear of speaking a foreign language.
First off, I have to mention that this trip to Israel has taught me that speaking a foreign language in a new country was not at all what I expected. I thought I would feel self-conscious and uncomfortable speaking to native speakers in their language.
However, I discovered that I actually felt worse speaking to them in my language. The reason for this is that I was in their country, so it felt only natural to speak their language as well. When I spoke to them in Hebrew, for some reason I felt confident and natural, and I didn't feel even a tiny bit embarrassed about making mistakes. Now, like I said before, I am a pretty shy and self-conscious person, and that is why I feel that if I did it, anyone can do it.
I admit that I do not fully understand why my fear immediately disappeared once I stepped on the plane. All I know is that it is not worth it to be afraid. I don't even want to think about how I might have felt if I was afraid to speak Hebrew during my trip. Being confident was the best thing 48 I accomplished during my adventure in Israel.
That is why I urge you to do the same. Now, you should not necessarily expect to have no fear at all. Just do not let it control you.
If you feel afraid, fight it. I promise you will not regret it. Also, you cannot be afraid to make mistakes. The only way to not make mistakes is to not try at all, and obviously it is impossible to learn if you do not try.
Also, remember that nobody is judging you as much as you think they are. Think about it, when you hear someone speaking you native language with an accent or mistakes, do you think bad things about them? Of course not. You probably barely notice their mistakes most of the time. And if someone does judge you or laugh at you, who cares?
Just ignore it. That person is not important to you if they are going to be rude to you just for trying to learn their language.
In fact, something just like that happened to me right after I got off the plane. When I greeted my two friends in Hebrew at the airport, they just giggled and answered me in English.
But I did not care. I just tried to forget about it and move on. And trust me, it's easier than you think. Basically, just have fun! After all, that is the best way to learn a language. You will not learn if you do not try. Loosen up and do not worry so much about mistakes. People will understand that you are learning, and most of them will be happy to help you.
In fact, I was extremely fortunate to have met a wonderful Israeli person in the airport right before my flight. She was one of the security people who escorted me to the plane El Al has very strict 49 security procedures When I told her I was scared, she said that she had just traveled alone herself, and that she learned a lot in the process.
One thing she taught me was that traveling is not meant to be easy, and you shouldn't expect it to be. I think the same thing applies to learning languages.
Yes, it is a challenge, and yes, it can be scary. However, this is a gift, and I'll tell you why. The girl in the airport reminded me that you should face your fears and go out and experience the world, whether by traveling or learning a new language, because it makes you a stronger person. She told me that it "breaks you and rebuilds you. It made me realize that you should not try to avoid fear, but you should face it head on. That is the only thing that will get rid of it: Think of it as an experience.
And trust me, if you do this, it will be the most rewarding thing you can ever do for yourself. Now that I have done it, I feel like I am a much stronger person. In fact, I no longer feel that I am even a shy person.
It's so simple, just fight your fear. Remember, it is better to do something and regret it than to wish that you had done it. But trust me, chances are, you will never regret it. I am a mathematician, living in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Slovak is my mother tongue.
I love reading books. I have written some books, too. My interest in language-learning dates back to At that time, I was already 27 years old.
I spoke Slovak, Czech, Russian, and English. I decided to test effective methods of language-learning. I started learning French from scratch, at home. At that time they were selling only one French newspaper in the Communist Czechoslovakia. It was, of course, the communist newspaper L'Humanite. By , I was able to read French books. So, I learned to read French books five times faster than I had learned to read English books. After the Czechoslovak Velvet Revolution in , we were able to travel abroad freely.
My French adventure lasted only one year, but I learned much in France. And, of course, I admire all these polyglots who speak really difficult languages. Thank you, YouTube, for showing them to us! For me, too, it is time to aim higher. My next goal is to be able to read Japanese books. So far, I have gone through the Pimsleur Japanese series, and in a couple of weeks, I will be finishing Heisig's "Remembering the Kanji 1.
If you are a native speaker of one of the languages I mentioned above and if you wish to learn Slovak, Czech, or even French, just contact me. We can help each other. My address is: My areas of interest include effective learning methods, motivation, creativity, and interpersonal communications.
I have held seminars on neurolinguistic programming communications techniques and effective language learning. The question I am always asking is, "How can we use our resources in a better, more effective way? Below, you will find some extracts from the book.
My friend Melvyn Clarke translated the book into English, so maybe one day it will be published in an English version as well. Here are the extracts. I hope the text will be helpful to some of you. They can be anything at all that enables you to realize your intentions and satisfy your needs. There are many unused resources around us all the time; some are waiting to be made visible, while others are already known to us.
In either instance, we often underrate them, or we first need to get into the habit of making use of them. Some people live in the belief that nobody gets anything for free in this world. Actually, if they really had to pay for every resource they used, they would be in the red fairly soon.
We could start, for example, by giving them the bill for the air they breathe. This air is all around us, and we breathe it in for free. Our sense organs, our abilities to communicate in a language, and to come to an understanding with others are also there for us free of charge, as is our reason and our ability to experience feelings, to work up enthusiasm, and to laugh.
In this chapter, we are going to systematically seek out and identify such resources using Bateson's model. We will be particularly interested in those that can help us to achieve our language goals.
Environment Starting at the environment level, we shall present a couple of examples and ask several questions. Questions written in italics should be taken as a prompt regarding your own activity. Answer them as an exercise that can 53 tell you something useful, recording your answers in a notebook. Better somewhere than everywhere Imagine that you wake up in the morning to find that your laptop is in the entrance hall, your CD with German phrases is in the bedroom and your phrase notes are in the living room.
You still have seven minutes until the time you usually get up. What are you going to do? And what would you do if the CD were in the laptop mechanism, and the laptop and phrase notes were within arm's reach? Say both of these situations can happen sixty times a year. How many minutes of time lost or gained for learning does this represent? How can you change the spatial arrangements and the distribution of the objects around you to help you to study and use your languages?
For a long time Dave could not remember what the German word Kuchen cake meant. He somehow kept confusing it with kitchen, Kuche. Eventually, he wrote the word with its English equivalent on a piece of paper, which he taped onto his toothbrush, so that he had it in front of him every day.
Now, he is more than familiar with the word. Do you have a special place allocated for the language that you are studying?
Free book: The polyglot project, how to learn languages
Do you have your books, notes, CDs and cassettes on hand? Create a little "German corner" at home, in the garden shed, or at work. Collect objects, brochures and materials associated with the language and country in question. Walking around town Where in my town can I come into contact with the language that I am studying? How can I otherwise make use of the options provided by my environment? When Petr can choose which side of Main Street he is going to walk down, he goes for the side where the tourists sit out on the terrace in front of the hotel, so that he can occasionally pick up fragments of German phrases as he is passing.
A little way further down the street there is a foreign-language bookshop display window.
He always has a look at the titles of two or three German books and then repeats them to himself as he is walking. Elementary activities Some people need to get their sight sorted out, to ensure that their eyes do not hurt when they read for any extended period of time. Others would be helped by learning relaxation techniques to make studying more pleasant. Which elementary activity needs to be enhanced to make the study and use of languages easier for you? Let your hearing make full use of its potential to help in your language studies.
Use high-quality recordings and, if 55 possible, sound card, radio receiver, player and loudspeakers that are of high-quality as well. Be aware that to study German it is enough to use a device with a sound range of up to Hz, but to hear English correctly we need a device that attains the higher frequencies, up to the 11,, Hz band. Also, consider how spending long hours with headphones on at excessive volume can permanently damage your hearing.
Use high-standard textbooks and aids.
If you are learning phrases from cards, design them so that you can read them comfortably, and even with pleasure. Train your vocal cords without overtaxing them. Abilities and strategies A human is a miraculous little learning machine. Learning begins long before we are born. Not a day goes by in our lives when we do not pick up some new knowledge, a new behavioral pattern, or a new way of doing things.
In comparison with others, people who work efficiently have an extra rare ability: Use what has been learnt in new contexts Consider the skills and knowledge that you have acquired in life.
How could you make use of them for studying a language? For example, if you did karate in your youth, you could revive the old habit of regular training, with its associated disciplines, maintaining a correct "mental regimen" and alternating hard work with leisure and relaxed concentration. You can decide for yourself which level of 56 language knowledge would match a yellow or a brown belt and at which level you would be perfectly satisfied and receive a black belt. Kindergarten teachers surely know a lot about how to make use of melody, rhythm, and rhyme when teaching new material.
They know how important it is to vary different types of activities to make teaching interesting. They notice how children imitate general grammatical patterns more closely than adults do e. They also see how much practice is required for them to learn the exceptions to these rules and to acquire correct pronunciation. Which skills and knowledge have you already acquired in life? Write them down on a piece of paper.
For each of them, try to come up with at least one way it could be put to good use during your studies. A former chess player will learn the German word for "queen" more readily than others might. A natural scientist will apply her knowledge of Latin when studying Romance languages. A mathematician will very quickly understand logical grammatical rules. A painter would find it a waste not to take full advantage of her visual imagination during her studies.
Used and unused abilities Catherine learned French at school and university using classic methods. She learned the language to quite a decent level, but everybody could tell by her accent that she was not speaking in her native language. As an adult, she began to study German and decided to make full use of her hearing.
From the start of her studies she worked mostly with recordings. She listened to them and tried to reproduce aloud not only the characteristic stress pattern of speech, but also its rhythm and melody. When repeating, she could then make use of her auditory memory, which is stronger than her visual memory. When she speaks German now, she talks with an almost perfect accent. Only a native German can tell that she is a foreigner.
More will be said on methods and strategies in the next chapter on polyglots. Using your foreign language wherever you can We have already met some study techniques in the previous chapter. One of these methods was to use your foreign language wherever you can. For example, if you are watching an international football match, you can just as easily watch it on an Austrian or German channel as on a domestic one.
Say you have a family chore of washing the dishes and cleaning in the kitchen every evening. You can either do it at eight or at ten. There is a radio on the table in the kitchen.
At nine, the news begins in your foreign language. What time should you plan to do your cleaning? What knowledge can you bring to bear as a resource for studying and using your languages?
Paul learned Italian quite well and wanted to test out his knowledge in some way. He decided to show some Italian guests around who were visiting his friend. On the way to the rendezvous, he was suddenly overcome by fear: So if need arose, he could get by with French.
Another case of transference Robert had never learned any Greek in his life, yet he enthusiastically reported how, for all of two minutes, he understood what his Greek colleague was saying in his own native language. In English, Robert told him a problem that had been very much occupying him. His Greek friend then immediately described it to another Greek in their mother tongue.
Choose those methods that suit you best. Do not automatically choose the first method or course that comes your way. There are even better options awaiting you. Take into account your goals, abilities, and favorite activities. Work in a way that accommodates them. Beliefs and values This is one of the little secrets that gifted people have: A basic ingredient of talent is the strong desire to make progress in a particular field, combined with the conviction that this is achievable.
Gifted people do not say to themselves: He's just got a talent for it. I should give up. If he can manage, it then I certainly can. Performance of this activity is in keeping with your main values. You are convinced that you are able to achieve the goal in question. How many people give up on their basic goals before they've even started?
How many say every day that they are too old, that they are "not up to it," and that others are more talented? But sometimes, your value 60 or belief is so strong that it sweeps all obstacles aside. That was the case of a Russian pensioner who began to learn Spanish as her first foreign language at an advanced age. She needed to communicate with her granddaughter, who she was meant to be looking after, and so she learned to speak the language within a year.
Another instructive case is that of the schoolboy who was dozing as the maths homework was being given out. When he woke up he quickly copied down two problems that were on the blackboard.
Because he had been sleeping for some time, he failed to hear the teacher say that nobody at the school had ever solved these problems. He thought it was ordinary homework. At home he really racked his brains over these problems but he eventually came up with the answers, the first and only one to do so in the entire school!
How to start believing in yourself One good, simple way to start believing in yourself is to start regularly working and taking pleasure in the progress that you make. Can you remember everything you did not know or could not deal with two or three years ago? If you kept a diary at that time, go through it. You will be surprised!
Even the most difficult journey starts To a beginner the task of reading a German novel may 61 appear impossible. So, first choose an easier task. For example, reading the texts of the first five lessons from your textbook fluently and with full understanding. Then, just have a glance at a German novel, or even better, the dialogue of a play. Can you find at least one sentence that you basically understand?
The chances are that there is one. Step back with pleasure and applaud yourself over this - you could even award yourself some small treat. You have taken your first step towards reading German novels. Twenty steps like that will not be so hard, and yet you will have achieved your goal. Where do I believe in myself and where don't I?
When studying a language, it is good to be able to the answer these questions: What is my image of myself? To what extent do I believe in myself and to what extent do I believe in my abilities and my future? In which situations and in which contexts do I and don't I?
Which of my beliefs assist my foreign language studies and which hinder them?
You can work on your beliefs Neatly list those beliefs and values of yours that most 62 closely relate to language study and use. Now have a think about how you could turn a belief with a negative mark into a belief with a positive mark. What would you need to change to make these values and beliefs support your studies?
For example, take the idea, "I have always been a bad student". Even if this remains unchanged, we can still interpret it as: When I use it, I should free myself as soon as possible from any dry scholarly or academic approach. In many cases, however, it is enough to look at things simply from a slightly different angle and to comment on them using different words - words that nonetheless fully respect reality.
Let us take a couple of examples of such internal retuning: The belief, "I can't do irregular German verbs" could be usefully replaced by the beliefs, "I need to learn basic irregular German verbs," and, "if I learn five irregular verbs every week and do the appropriate amount of practice on them, I will be an expert on verbs in a couple of months.
What can I do about that? Who could stand in for me for some things? Is there anything in my activities that is less valuable than this course that I could give up? Then, we shall see. I might even manage the sixth. I shall work with recordings a lot more. I'll get myself tutored by somebody who can teach me correct pronunciation.
Phantoms fear actions. Ivan Kupka's blog about languages in Czech: Please excuse my terrible writing, I haven't written anything in English for quite some time. Haven't quite signed up yet but will do so ASAP. My name is Dion Francavilla. I live in Melbourne, Australia. I was born into an Italian family who immigrated to Australia some time ago.
I was fortunate to have some exposure to a foreign language in a predominately monolingual, yet strangely multicultural society. My first language was of course, Italian. My grandparents and parents both spoke to me in Italian when I was at a very young age, which is the best time to absorb a foreign 66 tongue.
Hence I learnt it naturally and easily and from what many relatives tell me I spoke it very well. By the age of 5 or 6 perhaps, the time when I first started attending school, I began learning English, since it is the language of Australia, and whether consciously or by accident I stopped speaking Italian, or lost the ability to do so.
This must have happened at quite a fast pace. I had no idea the problems this would cause me later on in my life. Fortunately, however, I was always able to understand the language. I vaguely remember one of my uncles telling me when I commenced my schooling.
Luckily I was always able to understand conversations very well but I couldn't hold a conversation in Italian.. What had happened? I mean, I knew a few words and phrases but-to their and my disappointment--!
No one understood why though. They seemed to think it was bad attitude and lack of interest on my part which may have partly been true.
Yet I think it was much more complicated than that. I was still very young at the time and as time progressed my Italian suffered more and more. Part of me wanted to communicate effectively with my relatives, yet I just didn't believe I could do it. They kept nagging me. Unfortunately there was nothing I could do.
In fact, since I couldn't 67 speak, everybody assumed that I couldn't understand, but they didn't realise how wrong they were. Time went on and not much changed in my linguistic abilities. Perhaps that couldn't be helped at that stage of my life.
Throughout my teens years I had to listen repeatedly to my relatives who missed that little boy could speak Italian so well. This didn't really help, in fact it made me feel worse and as though I could have achieved more, yet I couldn't really remember why I stopped speaking. Throughout my teen years, I occasionally learnt a new Italian word or two to help me along it demonstrated interest but was not quite enough to communicate , and my efforts were met with some enthusiasm.
I wasn't interested in improving Italian or any other foreign language for that matter, and it wasn't until I was about 16 years old when I found my interest. I was in high school, I had previously taken up Japanese, Italian, French and Latin, yet I lacked motivation with any of them.
I just didn't enjoy the classes. I continued with Japanese up until the end of high school. Even though I was interested enough to scrape through the classes, I wasn't interested enough to really improve. During my studies, my friends and I stumbled across some German music which I took quite a liking to. Before long, I decided to take up German on my own in order to understand the lyrics.
I soon became hooked and really wanted to get serious with the language. It started off as pure curiosity and grew into something much more powerful. This was the beginning!! I wanted to go to University to study German, but I didn't get accepted due to poor results.
As a result, I started a course I didn't like, I got a job that wasn't quite for me, yet I kept up my German as a hobby. I became a dental technician, and didn't earn much money, but for a guy living at home it was enough.
I saved up as much as I could for a holiday. I told my parents, they were surprised yet happy and asked if any of my friends wanted to accompany me. No one was able to do so, so I left for Germany during the Christmas holidays.
I had only three weeks and I wanted to make the most of it. I was eager to practice the German that I had learnt. I arrived and practiced my rudimentary German with the locals and almost refused to speak English, since most Germans' English is impeccable anyway. One of the greatest things about this guide is that the writing has a humorous and relatable edge.
Wyner begins the book with an anecdote about how he had joined the fencing team in high school to get out of gym class. In addition to site, this book is available on VitalSource , a place where you can rent or download e-books and access them on the Bookshelf app for site, iPad, Android and Chromebook. Each chapter is quite short—averaging a page and a half—which makes it very digestible for those not looking to read a huge, in-depth book.
Author Ryan Lair clearly understands the unique challenges of learning multiple languages like mixing up vocabulary for similar languages. The book covers the stages of language learning, like spelling, pronunciation and vocabulary, and outlines learning strategies unique to each of them. His book promotes the many, many benefits of being multilingual, issuing encouraging claims such as improved mental alertness and increased personal confidence.
The book is divided into two parts: The first goes over how to begin learning a foreign language, and the second part covers how to move into the intermediate and advanced levels.
Instead, it hones in on what you need to learn for your particular situation are you a tourist or are you moving there for a job? This beautifully laid out full-color book, which consists of pages of gorgeous calligraphy and step-by-step instructions, is perfect for those who learn visually and by doing.I called him and asked about it, and he basically said it was mine if I wanted it and all I had to do was to telephone someone in Warsaw for a simple phone interview.
Nevertheless, language learning has been by far the biggest project of my life and has brought me love, a career, a home, and countless amazing experiences that I will treasure forever. Even on work days, I usually have 4 or 5 different languages going on. In Jan , I wanted to spend my 8 month holiday fruitfully and decided to sign up for beginner Korean classes.
You will not learn if you do not try. Getting a job teaching Spanish to mostly native speakers, up to present 8. I regret both of my decisions.
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