Tips On How To Easily Learn A Foreign Language

Learning a foreign language not only opens many job doors for you and makes you feel good about yourself, but it also makes you look sophisticated. While many people find it hard to learn a second language, there are some that fluently speak up to 10 different languages. If you would be interested in learning an additional language, here are tips you should follow:

Have a reason

Just like in any other sphere of your life, you can’t put a lot of effort into something if you don’t have a good reason as to why you are doing it. If you don’t have a good reason why you are learning a different language, you will most likely fall off within a short time.

To stay motivated, have the end in your mind. For example, you can start learning a language if you are confident that it will give you a new and exciting job. You can also learn the language if you are interested in knowing another person better in the native language.

Have someone you are liable to

This is someone who acts as a mentor. While he/she might be at the same level as you, you will be reporting to him/her of your progress. This has been shown to be highly effective as you are less likely to fall off. In addition to the partner encouraging you, he/she ensures that you stick to the classes.

Have fun

You will agree with me that you are less likely to stick to something that you don’t enjoy. When you attend class, have a good time by composing interesting songs. If learning it at home, you can make a radio play. You can also draw a comic strip, write a poem, or just choose interesting words that are easy and you can throw them in your sentences.

Be like a child

Studies show that there isn’t a direct link between age and ability to learn. The studies show that the ease at which you learn something is all dependent on your attitude. To learn the new language, you should behave like a child. This is where you lose your self-consciousness and play with the new style. As rule of thumb don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

Conclusion

These are tips that will help you in easily learning a new language. Have a good reason why you are doing it, act like a child, and you will definitely learn the language.

Japanese Language Learning Tips – Proper Use of "-San"

In this Japanese language learning tips article, I will explain the proper use of “-San” in Japanese. “-San” is frequently misused by beginning learners of Japanese, but there is a simple rule you can follow that will ensure you get it right every time.

When to Use the “-San” Form of Address in Japanese

“-San,” as in Tanaka-san or Smith-san, is a form of Japanese address that just about everyone is familiar with, whether or not they are a learner of the language. “-San” is used to address someone in a polite, somewhat formal manner. 

Just as in English we would address someone we don’t know that well or someone with a somewhat higher status than us as “Mr.” or Ms.,” in Japanese we would use “-San” in much the same way, with one important difference: in Japan, there is a much greater emphasis on formality and politeness, so unless the person you are communicating with is a very close friend or intimate, you should ALWAYS use the “-San” form of address.

In the West, where we tend to be much more informal, we may initially address a person we have just met as “Mr.” or “Ms.” and then after a few minutes take the liberty of addressing that person by their first name. In Japan, this is a big no-no. Never eliminate the “-san” form of address when speaking to a Japanese person unless specifically invited to do so by that person. 

The Most Important Rule on Using “-San” in Japanese

In addition to the above advice, there is one essential rule you must follow regarding the use of “-San” in Japanese. When introducing or referring to yourself, NEVER call yourself “XX-San.” So if your name is Mary and you’re introducing yourself in Japanese, or even to a Japanese person speaking English, you must never say “I’m Mary-San.” In Japanese, you simply never refer to yourself using “-San.” 

Similarly, and this becomes a bit more complicated, you never address members of your own group using “-San” when speaking to persons outside of your own group. For example, when interacting with a business client or counterpart from another company using “-San,” you would never address yourself or someone from your own company as “XXX-San!” 

Forms of address in Japanese are actually quite complex and there is much more to the story, so I’ll go into more depth in another article. For now, just remember this basic advice on the use of “-San” and you’ll be assured of impressing your Japanese counterparts as a well-informed and well-mannered gaijin! 

Tips on How to Motivate Your English Language Learners to Study ESL

Rod Ellis defines motivation as referring to “the efforts which learners put into learning an L2 as a result of their need or desire to learn” (1995).

The two main types of motivation, intrinsic and extrinsic, can affect the learning process. Intrinsic motivation is task motivation that derives from an inherent interest in the learning tasks while extrinsic motivation refers to the external influences that affect the strength of learner’s motivation such as that which comes from teachers and parents.

While some students have their own intrinsic motivation or external motivation, other students need to be motivated to learn. There are many things that you can do as a teacher in order to motivate students to learn. These strategies are based on various articles I have read below.

Students are more likely to want to learn when they appreciate the value of the classroom activities, and when they believe that they will succeed if they apply reasonable effort. Hence, “student motivation to learn is an acquired competence developed through general experiences but stimulated most directly through modeling, communication of expectations, and direct instruction or socialization by significant others – especially teachers and parents” (Brophy, p.40) When it comes to lower performing learners, teachers realize that such learners are accustomed to experiencing failure, hence, the teacher’s task is to help them experience success.

Here are some strategies and tips that may motivate students and stimulate them to learn.

  • Provide a supportive environment and establish a trusting bond. “Motivation is the feeling nurtured primarily by the teacher in the learning situation” (Ellis, 1994). Greet your students, interact with them, indicate a personal concern about them as individuals.
  • Cater levels of activity to students’ level – try and make sure that the learning tasks pose a reasonable challenge to the students – neither too difficult nor too easy.
  • Help students recognize links between effort outcome – learning is a long term plan of effort and investment.
  • Break down learning steps into digestable pieces.
  • Minimize student’s performance anxiety during learning activities.

Articles on Motivating Students

Brophy, J. Synthesis of Research for Motivating Students to Learn. Educational Leadership, Oct. 1987. p.40-48. (article summary)

Ellis, R. (1994) The Study of Second Language Acquisition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Primary English Education Policy 2001 in China

China’s Ministry of Education created a foreign language policy in 2001 The policy is entitled, “The Ministry of Education Guidelines for Vigorously Promoting the Teaching of English in Primary Schools.”

This policy has so many positive and negative effects on the society of china. An analysis of policy is given below please read.

The policy states that primary school students are required to start learning English in the third grade. This marked the implementation of a new foreign language policy in the country. The policy included a plan implementation schedule, curriculum design guidelines, textbook selections, training teachers and governing structures. There have been several concerns about the implementation of this policy and for a country with the largest primary school population, the practicality of the policy’s implementation raised several eyebrows. One of the concerns were whether the policy was only geared towards gaining the favor of hosting the 2008 Summer Olympic games or whether the policy promoted education equality in the country. Learning English has become high importance for internal and external examinations within the school systems.

n China, there is an exam for students to take to enter into college, called the National University Entrance Qualifying Exam. This exam requires students to test in three subjects: Chinese, English, and Math. Some parents in China find learning English so necessary, they hire tutors to start teaching their children English before they are taught in school

The English language has evidently shown linguistic impacts to all parts of the world. The effects do not only transpire in the micro socio-political lens, but it already holds a significant role that fuelled both the political and social development of societies. These developments then result to the involvement and transpiration of policy efforts and the discussions of language planning as part of the pedagogical component of national educational systems. One interesting case is that of the English Language Teaching (ELT) policy in the People’s Republic of China.

It is noted that China’s educational system has suffered from its unstable policies in foreign language education during the 1950s to 1990s – after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. In other words, the English Language Teaching in China was influenced by differing political, economic, social, and educational needs at different times.

Also, the massive drive in the expansion of English proficiency in formal education has in Hertling’s words “the most ambitious language-learning campaign in history”

Learning Languages ​​for Hopelessly Busy People

When you were younger life was devoted to school and its associated student responsibilities. There weren't many constraints to deal with, such as a job, children, home keeping, and other grown-up obligations. As an adult you still have goals and interests, and speaking a foreign language might be one of them. It takes around 1000 hours of study to be considered fluent in most languages ​​so, with all the time required, how can one realistically speak a new language when your schedule is already full?

A productive way to learn a language and strengthen skills when time is limited is to make use of idle moments, down time, travel time, and waiting time . While traveling or commuting to work, use those minutes for listening to podcasts or music in the language you're studying. If you're at an advanced level, listen to an audio book in that language. Even if you're passively listening to music in another language, you are learning new vocabulary, and music is a wonderful memory aid. While waiting for an appointment or standing in line, use a language-learning app on your smart phone or tablet to pass the time. Brief periods of study are small reinforcements that boost your memory tremendously.

Read 15 minutes each day. If there is a book that you like in English, try reading it in your foreign language. You don't need to read it word for word; Understanding the basic storyline and becoming familiar with the sentence structures and new vocabulary will have an impact. Besides, you'll have great satisfaction and confidence after achieving such an impressive goal. Of course reading a novel is one suggestion. The important thing is to read something, anything that interests you: magazines, comic books, romance novels, whatever will motivate you to read every day. In fact, reading 15 minutes each day exposes you to over 1,000,000 words each year .

If rereading a book doesn't interest you, watch a favorite movie in the language you're studying . You will already know the plot so this time you can follow the dialogue with better understanding. Use subtitles if you wish. Games and puzzles are a productive use of time as well, and there are limitless options available on the web. How about participating in a foreign language chat room ? Not only do they provide practical conversation experience, they're also a wonderful source for potential foreign friends.The objective here is to squeeze some language learning into your relaxation time.

Have you ever tried incorporating the five senses into your language learning ? This can be done wherever you are. Whenever you taste, smell, touch, hear, or see something new or interesting, think about these sensations in your new language. By engaging with your senses you will train yourself to think more in the new language, not your dominant language. This is why so many language learners advance quickly when they travel to foreign countries. They start to hear and see more foreign words than they do words in their own language. Eventually their brains stop translating into their own language and start thinking in the new language. When brushing your teeth, for example, talk to yourself (silently or aloud) about the minty taste of the toothpaste, how fresh your mouth feels, the color of your toothbrush, how the bristles feel on your gums, how smooth your teeth feel, how foamy the toothpaste becomes, the water, and the brushing sound. Involve your senses in simple tasks while thinking in the language you're learning. Don't worry about making mistakes. Think in words and sentences and let you mind be free.

To supplement language learning during your busy day practice these achievable approaches that will keep you on the path to fluency. You can do it! Having an interest in foreign languages ​​is rewarding and opens your world to new possibilities so don't let time constraints limit your potential to speak a new language.

Grammar Teaching: Implicit or Explicit?

Based on my 15 years of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) teaching experience, the statement “grammar teaching should be implicit, not explicit” could be argued both for and against. Whether to teach grammar as an extracted focus of ELT (English Language Teaching) or more passively as an inductive, integral topic has been the theme of countless debates on the part of institutions, professors, grammarians and language researchers for decades. Grammar is the branch of linguistics dealing with the form and structure of words or morphology, and their interrelation in sentences, called syntax. The study of grammar reveals how language works, an important aspect in both English acquisition and learning.

In the early 20th century grammarians like the German-American anthropologist Franz Boas and the Danish linguist Otto Jespersen began to describe languages and Boas’ work formed the basis of various types of American descriptive grammar study. Jespersen’s work was the fore-runner of such current approaches to linguistic theory such as Noam Chomsky’s Transformational Generative Grammar.

Chomsky, who studied structural linguistics, sought to analyze the syntax of English in a structural grammar. This led him to view grammar as a theory of language structure rather than a description of actual sentences. His idea of grammar is that it is a device for producing the structure, not of a particular language, but of the ability to produce and understand sentences in any and all languages. Since grammar is the means by which we can understand how a language “works”, a definitive study of language grammar is essential to language study.

Strictly explicit grammar study however, and even grammar-focused lessons are often not communicatively based. They can therefore be boring, cumbersome and difficult for students to assimilate. The strict teaching of grammar / structure, except with students of the Logical – Mathematical or Verbal – Linguistic multiple intelligences, can be frustrating and highly ineffective.

Grammar teaching should be implicit

In the early 20th century, Jespersen, like Boas, thought grammar should be studied by examining living speech rather than by analyzing written documents. By providing grammar in context, in an implicit manner, we can expose students to substantial doses of grammar study without alienating them to the learning of English or other foreign language. I also agree with this implicit approach of teaching grammar. The principal manner in which I accomplish this is by teaching short grammar-based sessions immediately followed by additional function-based lessons in which the new grammar / structure is applied in context.

The hypothesis is that adult language students have two distinct ways of developing skills and knowledge in a second language, acquisition and learning. Acquiring a language is “picking it up”, i.e., developing ability in a language by using it in natural, communicative situations. Learning language differs in that it is “knowing the rules” and having a conscious knowledge of grammar / structure. Adults acquire language, although usually not as easily or as well as children. Acquisition, however, is the most important means for gaining linguistic skills. A person’s first language (L1) is primarily learned in this way. This manner of developing language skills typically employs implicit grammar teaching and learning.

Grammar teaching should be explicit

This does not exclude explicit grammar-teaching entirely, however. Some basic features of English language grammar structure are illogical or dissimilar to speakers of other languages and do not readily lend themselves to being well understood, even in context. In cases where features of English grammar are diametrically opposed or in some other way radically different from the manner of expression in the student’s L1, explicit teaching may be required.

Aspects of English language grammar that may offer exceptional challenge to EFL students include use of word order, determiners (this, that, these, those, a, an, the), prepositions (in, on, at, by, for, from, of), auxiliaries (do, be, have), conjunctions (but, so, however, therefore, though, although), interrogatives, intensifiers (some, any, few, more, too) and distinctions between modal verbs (can, could, would, should, may, might, must). Phrasal verbs also present considerable difficulty to Spanish speakers learning communicative English.

Some students also are logical or linguistically-biased thinkers who respond well to structured presentation of new material. Logical-Mathematical and Verbal-Linguistic intelligence learners are prime examples of those that would respond well to explicit grammar teaching in many cases.

Based on my English language teaching and on my second and third foreign language learning (L2, L3) experience, an exclusive approach using either implicit or explicit methodologies is not as effective as utilizing one or the other of these approaches as required. Although it is essential to teach elements of language and develop communicative abilities in our students, there is no one best way to introduce and provide practice in them. Young learners have more natural facility in acquisition, while adults may benefit substantially from more “formal” language learning. Learning styles and intelligence strengths are also a significant factor.

There are many generally accepted ways of introducing the sounds, structure and vocabulary of English, including colloquial forms of conversation and the four basic communication skills. Grammar provides for “communicative economy”. Grammar teaching should be implicit, or explicit, as teaching / learning conditions may dictate helping to minimize the student response teachers fear most, “Teacher, I don’t understand.”

Note: Academic references for this article are available on request.

Related language learning and teaching articles in this series available online include:

“Learning a Language: 6 Effective Ways to Use the Internet”

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=76453

“Six Quick Tricks for Learning a Language”

http://EzineArticles.com/?id=72718

“What’s the Strangest Thing you’ve Ever Eaten?”

http://EzineArticles.com/?id=81349

“What Makes a Person Intelligent?”

http://EzineArticles.com/?id=81350

Teach English in Colombia: Grappling with Grammar, Gold, Guns, and Guayaba

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=85995

Try This for Perfecting Past Tense Pronunciation Practice

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=86780

7 Steps to Better Business English: Choosing a Business English Training Program

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=81697

English Only in the EFL Classroom: Worth the Hassle?

http://ezinearticles.com/?id=89180

Learning a Language in School This Year?

It's that time of year when so many of us are getting ready to go back to school. If you are going to be studying a language this year, either as a new subject or as part of a continuing series, there are many things you can do outside the classroom that can seriously improve your grades.

You can take responsibility for your own learning and take charge of the direction your language study is going in. Start doing a little extra work outside the classroom, but be sure it is something different from what you do in class. Look for complementary resources to learn from and new ways to use what you are learning.

Get a language course. It can be a little tricky to get one that meshes well with the course you are taking in class, but if you can get the right kind of course for yourself, you can really complement your classroom learning and get ahead in class.

Join a language community. There are dozens of language communities on the internet that can help you learn a language in a lot of ways. You can study vocabulary, grammar, practice dialogues, read articles and listen to unique content. You can even participate in email exchanges, text chats and voice chats, all in the language you are studying. The best part is that you can find most, if not all, of these features for free on the internet.

Read websites and blogs. There are tons of free resources and content on the internet to learn a new language. Some in the language you are learning is simple enough that even a beginner can get a lot of use out of it. But, there are also lots of other resources just for learners.

Listen to podcasts. Just like websites and blogs, you can find lots of podcasts to listen to, both in the language you're learning and some really great ones specifically for learning that language.

Listen to music, watch movies and play games. Don't limit yourself to just 'learning materials.' Try doing things just for fun. Even if this is the only extra study you do outside the classroom, this can take you a long way toward really learning and absorbing the language.

By using a few of these simple ideas, you can vastly improve your ability to read and understand your target language. And if you go a little further and put in just a little extra effort, your ability to write and speak the language will improve by leaps and bounds. You will get more than just a 'leg up' on your competition and improve your grades, you will blow away your fellow students and your teacher!

Learning a Language: 6 Effective Ways to Use the Internet

There are many ways to learn a new language: you can go live in a country where the language is spoken, attend a formal language class, get a private language tutor or use books and written materials. Other ways to learn a foreign language are to listen to CDs or audiocassette tapes, watch TV, movies and video programs, memorize phrase books, use the Internet or employ a combination of all the above.

But not everyone can arrange to live in a foreign country. Native speakers of the language may not be available. Written or recorded commercial materials may not be available in the language you’re interested in (Cochimi, Cibemba or Kukapa, anyone?) True, many major languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese broadcast TV programs via cable. Even Korean, Catalan, Arabic and Japanese have venues available in cosmopolitan areas worldwide; but the vast majority of the world’s thousands of spoken tongues are simply not at large outside of their local areas. So what’s a prospective polyglot to do?

One answer of course, is the internet. Plug “foreign language courses” into an internet search engine like Google or Yahoo and more than 62 million hits instantly come up. From Afrikaans to Punjabi, and Hebrew to Zulu, thousands of listings lay before you only a mouse click away. How exactly then, can the internet be used to tackle learning a foreign language? Start off effectively by using these six ways:

1. Do an initial evaluation

The first thing you may want to know is where you are in the scheme of learning the language. An initial language skills evaluation is in order; are you a raw beginner? False beginner? Intermediate level? Higher? Let’s take English as a second or foreign language as an example. English proficiency diagnostics tests are free online at:

• General English Test with instant results

http://nll.co.uk/test/english.shtml

• Parlo http://parlo.com/

(diagnostic tests in English, Spanish, and French)

• Upper Intermediate Test

http://www.wordskills.com/level/caeform.html

If you score above 80% in this test, you should take the next one and also show your teacher or tutor a copy of the results.

2. Become familiar with language learning strategies

How do YOU learn? Knowing this can make the daunting task of foreign language learning less like study and more like play. Are you a Visual – Spatial learner who likes pictures, drawings, graphics and extensive use of color? A Musical – Rhythmic type that would benefit from having your lessons and materials set to music, rhythm or rhyme? Perhaps you’re the athletic type who’d derive more success with learning by motion, movement, mime or even dance? Playing the works of Mozart in the background while studying has been shown to enhance learning in a number of areas. To find out more about your manner of learning visit these sites for starters:

• Learning Styles Explanation [http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/styles.htm]

• Index of Learning Styles Questionnaire [http://www2.ncsu.edu/unity/lockers/users/f/felder/public/ILSdir/ilsweb.html]

• The Success Types Learning Style Indicator [http://www.ttuhsc.edu/SOM/Success/LSTIntro.htm]

3. Practice reading skills

Literacy is one of the 21st century’s most innately valuable compound skills. After all, you’re reading THIS now, aren’t you? Few would wish to be illiterate in their new foreign language so practice of reading skills is paramount. Online newspapers, magazines, newsletters and blogs can provide the needed practice and learning materials. Check out these reading comprehension skills sites:

• How to Read Your Textbook More Efficiently

[http://www.utexas.edu/student/utlc/lrnres/handouts/1422.html]

• Self-study reading lessons http://www.english-to-go.com/

• Read the article in the following address:

[http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/quiz/read1a.html]

In the address that follows, take the quiz to verify your

understanding of the reading passage:

[http://www.pacificnet.net/~sperling/quiz/read1b.html]

4. Help in developing listening skills

Considered to be the most difficult of the language skills to develop, listening cannot be taught. Rather, you must practice, practice, practice and then practice some more. Every week, twice a week I passed a street vendor at the same spot, absolutely clueless as to what he was saying. I knew what he was selling – I just peeked over at his wares. But his entreaties in street Spanish fell on my language-clogged ears for months. Then one evening, without warning, it happened. Just two days before, his cries were the same incomprehensible slur they’d been for months. That one evening however, when he launched into his huckster’s spiel I suddenly understood every word. My listening comprehension skills had clicked in. Why then? No one knows. Especially not me, and I’m a post-graduate-degreed Language Education Specialist!

Practice your listening skills with radio programs in your target language for a change at http://www.live365.com which has live global feeds 24 hours a day in multiple languages.

Foreign language internet radio and foreign news radio in 27 European, 4 Middle Eastern, 9 Asian languages and audio feeds from 19 African countries are broadcast on: http://www.multilingualbooks.com/online-radio.html

5. Playing games and having fun

Vocabulary is often referred to as the building blocks of language. Knowledge of vocabulary is one aspect that separates the language learning levels. The more vocabulary you know, the more communicative you are. Here are some unique linguistic sites that help build your language as you “play”:

• The http://www.manythings.org/ site offers “interesting things for ESL students” like songs, jokes, quizzes, word games, puzzles, slang and even podcasts to help stimulate English language acquisition.

• The foreign language course site at:

http://www.foreignlanguagehome.com/topics/courses/index.htm

has activities in 27 languages including Finnish, Mandarin and Quechua.

• At the Transparent Language site you can play games in any one of more than 100 languages from Afrikaans to Farsi or Guarani to Yoruba. And yes, they have Zulu too. Check out all their listings here: http://www.transparent.com/games/

6. So what language tickles your fancy?

While the selection of language courses, tutorials, news feeds, music and other audio – visual materials online is extensive, ALL the world’s languages simply aren’t available. Sorry. But many are and here’s how to find yours if it’s online.

• 108 FREE online foreign language courses are posted at: http://www.word2word.com/coursead.html

• The PARLO language website offers courses in English, Spanish French and Italian at: [http://www.parlo.com/parlo21/home/courselist/courselist_en.asp]

• The E. L. Easton Language Institute offers 14 languages online from Albanian to Japanese, Latin to Croatian to Russian and Spanish. The site is online at: http://eleaston.com/languages.html

• A plethora of language learning activities for the world wide web are online for practice activities from the University of Hawaii here: [http://polyglot.lss.wisc.edu/lss/lang/nflrc.html]

Although the internet may not be the complete answer to all your foreign language learning needs it nonetheless can be a tremendous resource in your efforts to habla español, parlez francaise, or sprechenze Deutcsh. The prestige, financial gains, personal satisfaction, envy and opportunities that frequently follow with knowledge of a foreign language are without equal. Why don’t you start today trying out some of these effective ways to use the Internet to learn a language. Be sure to read the companion article “Six Quick Tricks for Learning a Language” at: http://EzineArticles.com/?id=72718 By the way, if you do find Cochimi, Cibemba or Kukapa, please let me know – I’m still looking.

The Peculiarities of Learning Foreign Languages: Learning Styles

Learning styles are various approaches or ways of learning. They involve educating methods, particular to an individual that are presumed to allow that individual to learn best. Most people prefer an identifiable method of interacting with, taking in, and processing stimuli or information. Based on this concept, the idea of ​​individualized "learning styles" originated in the 1970s, and acquired "enormous popularity".

Today we can speak about different styles of learning, which depend on our personality and psychological qualities. What we should take into account defining our learning styles is the following:

1) interest, attitudes and sources of energy

– extroversion (orientation towards the external world)

– introversion (orientation towards inner world)

2) preferences for gathering information

-sensing (obtaining information from sensory input)

– intuition (gathering information by going beyond the immediate experiences of life to consider possibilities, probabilities and other aspects that are not immediately available to our senses).

3) how judgements and decisions are made

– thinking (becoming objective, logical, personal, looking for causes of events, and pros and cons of every situation)

-feelings (subjective and personal judging of the situation)

4) lifestyle orientations

– judgement

– perception

Based on this information different widely used models of learning styles were appeared. One of them is the Index of learning Styles developed by Richard Felder and Linda Silverman in the 1980s. According to this model four dimensions of learning styles can be pointed out:

Sensory-intuitive

Visual-verbal

Active-reflective

Sequential-global.

Having read the information about all these dimensions it was difficult for me to define my prevailing learning style. But the special questionnaire helped me solve this problem. It was suggested to visit the special site and to answer a number of questions about my own attitude to these or those tasks in learning practice. My result was quite good from my point of view. Almost all dimensions are in balance, only in one dimension visual-verbal I had a score 5-7 (a medium preference for the dimension Verbal).

Having done this questionnaire I came to the conclusion that it's essential to be a balanced learner eg not to have a prevailing learning style, but to have abilities to acquire different types of information: visual, verbal, through our senses etc.

So I had to think over how to provide my students with a balanced learning experience. And I understood that it's necessary to use this questionnaire for them in order to point out their preferences in learning. And after that I should use different types of presenting information and also different types of tasks and projects thinking about the prevailing learning styles of my students.

For instance, if I present a new topic it's better use visual presentation which students can see while I am speaking. Visual learners can summarize this information using Mind Maps. Verbal learners should present a short summary or rendering of this information. For those who like facts and details (sensory learners) we may give a task to analyze additional information at home and prepare a short report of important facts regarding this topic. For sequential learners you may give a problem-solving task (state a problem and give them some time to find alternative decisions). And after that it's good to use Round table task or Debates concerning the problem of this topic (doing this task active learners can demonstrate their abilities and at the same time reflective learners can take part in decision-making).

Summing it up I would like to underline that it's important to have a personalized approach to every student paying attention to his demands and expectations. That is why teachers should be creative in teaching and use a wide range of tasks and activities in order to help students with different learning styles.

Tips on Learning a Language

If you are learning any foreign language, you will have to put a considerable amount of time and effort in it. Even the most linguistically gifted people need to work hard to learn a new language. Therefore it is crucial that you stay motivated, however it is not always easy to actually do so. I have collected some tips for learning a foreign language during the time when I was learning English, German and Dutch, that might be useful for all those trying to learn a foreign language.

Tip 1: Make the right choice

There are over 6,000 spoken languages, so you better chose a language that you either need to learn or really want to learn, because it will take you 10,000 hours to learn it. Unless learning foreign languages is your hobby, you should focus on the foreign language that in your situation makes the most sense. In some parts of the world English can be considered a “world language” but economical changes in Asia make Chinese also very interesting to know. Languages of the neighbouring countries can benefit you as well, since specially in the boarder regions the economical exchange makes it profitable to know each others languages. A decision on learning a language doesn’t have to be dictated by economy, it could also be your personal life. I have met quite a lot of people that want to learn the most strange languages because that’s the mother tongue of their spouse or their parents. Whatever your reason might be, make sure it’s something that will last all the time that you need to learn the language.

Tip 2: Decide how far you want to go

This is something no linguist will ever tell you, but it’s very important for you to decide on. Whatever course you are following, the assumption is always that at some point you will be using the language you are learning, just like the natives. In many cases that’s totally beyond the ambitions and needs of the student. If you are going for holidays to Italy or Spain, you don’t need to be able to read the literature in Italian or debate in Spanish. You need very simple grammar and very specific words. This means you will not actually be talking correct Italian but people will understand you and you will understand them, you have reached your goal! On the other hand if you want to be able to study in a foreign language, your intimacy with the language has to be way deeper. Just remember this is your choice!

Tip 3: Don’t over do it with the grammar

This is how I was taught at school. Grammar, grammar, grammar. At certain moment I could do German grammar exercises without understanding the sentences. But that’s not the point, now is it? On the other hand, I was watching lots of cartoons and movies in English, without that much of grammar lessons and my English during school was way better than English of my peers.

Tip 4: Make it a routine

Sure it’s not always a pleasure, specially in the beginning you just need to sit down and learn things. It’s the best to make it your daily or weekly routine. One hour of learning words or grammar exercises a day, will get you very far. Do it always at the same time of day and you’ll get used to it.

Tip 5: Live the language

In an ideal word you would be living in the country the language you are learning, like in my case of the Netherlands and Dutch. Then you can experience the language all day, every day. You pick up stuff almost from the air. If you combine it with lessons you’ll be talking the language in a no time. If you are not that lucky you can always go for holidays to the country where they speak the language you are learning. Just make sure you go alone. If you go with your friends or spouse, this is not going to work at all. If you are going for holidays take some short lessons during that time. It will help you to meet people that are also learning. This worked out perfect for me, when some time ago I went to London to practice my English. The classes that I took were not that relevant but I met few people during these classes or just at school and we were hanging out together for two weeks speaking only English. This is what you want, just talk with other people on different levels of advancement, no teachers so no one to correct or explain what you wanted to say, no fake topics to talk about.

Tip 6: Involve everyone around

If you are one of the lucky one’s and you do learn the language of the country you live in, make an advantage of everyone around you to learn and pick up stuff. When I have reached a certain level of confidence in my Dutch, I have informed everyone at work that starting from now on, I’ll be writing internal emails in Dutch. Then I have introduced a “Dutch day”. It was one and always the same day of the week that I was supposed to talk only Dutch and everyone was supposed to talk Dutch back to me. Only if it was totally unclear what I was saying, we were switching back to English. It was hard in the beginning, but people were happy and eager to help. Then after a while I had two, three, four and five “Dutch days” a week. Just be really firm in it. Not everyone will be aware of your “language day” so explain shortly the idea in the language you are learning.