Tips and Techniques on How to Learn the French Language

Knowing various tips and techniques on how you can easily learn the French language can increase your ability to absorb and really understand the language. There are many basic learning techniques taught in classrooms and from independent programs that can help you memorize and retain the information. One way to effectively retain the information you have acquired from a French language lesson is to apply it into your daily life.

There is no such thing as a “magic formula” when trying or wanting to learn language or any other foreign languages. What it really requires is time, patience and willingness to learn. Incorporating it with the right training and simple techniques, you will be able to learn French language or any other language more efficiently and quickly.

Having a language journal upon starting your language lessons can be very helpful. You can even blog about the things you have learned by trying to compose mini sentences using the new words or phrases that you have acquired from your lessons. Aside from your classroom lessons on French language, you can also use an online French lesson or manual that can be found on the internet. There are various websites who are giving out manuals or audio downloads that can definitely help you learn French language.

When learning French language or any other languages, it is natural for your brain to get tired of studying. When such situation occurs, it is recommended for you to take a break by engaging in various games such as vocabulary games and mind-benders which are available on the internet as this can help you relax your mind. If you force yourself to learn French language even if you are already too tired to do so, you might end up quitting even before you knew how to speak longer phrases in French. So it is essential to learn it one step at a time. If you have already learned a lot or you are already an advanced student, you can try finding games on the internet that uses the French language. This way, you can improve your skills in speaking French in a fun way.

Unlike learning math, history or other subjects where memory is important, learning language requires practice so that you can improve your diction and pronunciation, and to be more familiar with the use of the terms. Knowing and memorizing the entire language vocabulary is useless if you are unable to use it. You can also try recording your voice while speaking in French to see if there is an improvement on your pronunciation, accent and diction.

If you want to learn language on your free time, there are various websites that can provide you online tutorials or lessons. Some of them might require you to pay for a certain amount, so if you are learning French just for fun, find a website that provides a free tutorial instead of wasting money on paid classes that you cannot really attend to. You should also check if the online language tutor you are to pay for is legit to avoid getting scammed. Try to look for feedback or reviews from previous students to know more about the online tutor you are to enroll for.

Want to Learn The Chinese Language? The Top 3 Tips To Look For In A Course

Let’s face it, learning Chinese is not the easiest thing to do in the world, that’s why selecting a good course is very important for saving you both time and money. While an average course can get you to spend up to a few thousand dollars and 5 years dedication just to learn to speak and write the very basics, a good course can assist you to gain a certain level of speaking skills in 1 year’s time, and the cost is relatively less in comparison.

For those who haven’t been learning Chinese language before, here are 3 tips of choosing a good course versus an average one:

1. Choose the course based on your needs. If you don’t need writing skills, join a course that teaches you only the speaking skills. The reason for this is obvious: writing the Chinese characters is much harder and takes much longer dedication compare to speaking Chinese. Most westerners need to learn Chinese in order to communicate vocally when they are in China, while the skill of writing Chinese is not needed. It simply saves you a lot of time while practically you are still gaining a lot of benefits speaking Chinese language. In Chinese, each character has its own meaning, tone and pronunciation. As long as you can remember the pronunciations of the characters, writing Chinese is a separate ability that you can pick up later.

2. Can you get along with the teaching method and style? There are courses that require hours of dedication each week to handle the assignments and studies. For these courses, your results depend on how much time you can put into it, and how effective it works with you. There are courses that simply work better and allow you to spend less time in it, depend on the teaching method, the teacher’s style, and your time dedication. If you can’t decide which course to get into, then it is the best if you can try a few lessons with the course or the teacher as a trial, and decide whether the course is for you or not to learn Chinese language.

3. Are the words and sentences they teach practical? For many courses to learn Chinese language, normally you can read the text books or the teaching scripts before you join the course. So it is important to decide whether what you are going to learn worth your time and efforts. It depends on what you need to learn Chinese language for. For example, if you are taking a short trip to China for 2 weeks, then what you need is a course that can teach you some easy everyday live sentences, so that you can use to reduce the hassles while travelling. If you are going to work in China for some time period, then the course needs to focus on words and sentences that can help you to social with your employers and customers.

So these are the 3 tips to assist in you to choose a helpful course to learn Chinese language. Learning another language is normally a huge task, and it is worthy to take your time to search for the best course you can hold onto. Have a great adventure learning Chinese language!

Teaching English As A Foreign Language – 7 Tips For Using Popular Movies

Movies and Videos in the EFL Classroom

If you’re looking to expand the role of movies and videos in your EFL classroom, what better way to expand the learners’ communicative skills, grammar and vocabulary than by using clips from popular movies? Try using these seven tips for stimulating learner motivation while enjoying a favored pastime of children and adults alike, watching short scenes or clips from popular movies.

1. Use pre-viewing activities

Before the video, warm up your learners to the theme and grammar using pre-viewing activities. A variety of these might include puzzles, photos and images, short games like “concentration” or TPR activities, a story or anecdote, or activating the schema of the learners’ in a number of other ways.

2. Have learners complete a chart while viewing

While they are watching a short video or movie segment you might have the learners fill in key information in a chart. Items like names of characters, occupations, family relationships, clothing and settings can be easily recorded this way. This allows the learners to focus more on the communicative aspects and less on actually writing.

3. Select a grammar point repeatedly demonstrated in the movie clip

There’s no need to leave grammar out of a video-based lesson or stage. If a useable grammar point or structure is repeated or prominent during the movie clip you plan to use, all the better. Just remember to pre-teach that grammar or structural element, even a class or two before the video, so that it will be recognizable in context.

4. Have a list of six to eight lexis

Select a list of from six to eight or ten vocabulary words, idioms and expressions from the movie clip or video you plan to use. Pre-teach these during the pre-viewing stage of the lesson. When the learners then hear them used in context during the video viewing session, the lexis will have added impact.

5. Make use of visual input

A popular movie clip is an audio-visual experience, so use it as such. While learners are watching and listening for general and detailed spoken information, include visual aspects for them to skim and scan for as well. How many? How much? When? Where? Who? How and why are good starters for capturing visually-presented information from the movie clip or video segment.

6. Allow learners to select their preferred movie clip

It can be quite a dilemma. There you have perhaps two or three or more movies from which to choose, but you’re not sure which your learners would prefer. So I have an idea, do you choose, let them do it. Take three movies for example, show the learners only the first five minutes of each, and then let them choose which they’d like to work with. If you have a clip in mind from each of the movies, show each clip and give them a choice. You can work up your activities and lesson stage plans confident in having your learners’ interest and motivation.

7. For post-viewing discussion:

If not addressed during pre-viewing activities, now is the time to talk about favorite actors, actresses, similar plots and stories from other movies, and what might be different or better outcomes for what as seen. Stage re-enactments, altered dialogues and plot twists your learners might come up with. Be imaginative, be creative, be bold or even funny, but get them communicating about their experience.

Prepare a Worksheet

You can prepare a one or two page worksheet to be photocopied and used by the learners for the video session. Alternatively, learners can copy the format into their notebooks. Just be sure to plan your pre-viewing, while-viewing and post-viewing activities well and your English language video clip-based lesson is sure to be an award-winner.

English Tuition – Tips For Learning English As a Second Language

If English is your second language, there are many factors that may stop you from mastering it but similarly, there are many ways to help you improve English. Here are a few tips that might help you to learn English.

Just do it and speak out without anxiety

The major problem many people encounter in mastering a new language is their own worry. They always concentrate on negative things. They worry too much that they will not say things appropriately, or that they will look silly, so they do not talk at all. The most effective way to master anything is to do it repeatedly until you obtain it right. Practice makes perfect! Similar to anything mastering, English involves practice. You should not allow fear cease you from acquiring what you want. Set a goal and go for it. You are bigger than yourself.

Learn English through Movies

I enjoy learning English by watching movie or television. This is not only a fun approach to learn, but it is also very powerful. By watching English videos you can broaden your vocabulary and hear the flow of conversation from the stars. Pick your favorite film, memories the dialogues and study how the way the actor converse, rehearsing it repeatedly. If you like to listen to news, you may give yourself chance to listen to English news, note down useful phrases that you wish to learn, you can also hear various accents. You can also improve your listening skill by watching news.

Learning English by Listening to English Music

Music is another very helpful way of learning English. Truthfully, it is usually utilized as a way of strengthening comprehension and vocabulary. The best way to learn though is to get the lyrics (words) to the songs you are listening to. Read the lyrics first and try to understand them. There are quite a number good websites where one can obtain the words for most songs. This way you can practice your listening and reading at the same time. And if you like to sing, fine.

Record Your Voice

No one like to listen to their own tone of voice on recording but like tests, it is excellent to compare your recording from time to time. You may be so amazed with the improvement you are creating that you may not mind the sound of your voice as much.

Learning Korean: 3 Hot Tips for Mastering the Korean Language

Because it uses an alphabet much different than our own, called Hangul, the Korean language can be challenging to learn. Like all languages, however, if you learn how to learn, and then make a good learning strategy, prior to hitting the books, you can pick up the language quickly and easily. This article is going to give you three very important tips that you should follow when learning the Korean language.

Tip 1: Define Your Korean Fluency Goals

One does not sit down and learn a language. One sits down and learns pieces of a language. For example, most language textbooks are divided into sections, such as shopping, eating, family, and transportation. Before you sit down and start studying, decide which part of the language is most important to you. If you are going to Korea to be an English teacher, your first goal could be to learn “classroom Korean.” If you are going to Korea on business, start with basic business Korean. If you’re traveling, learn travel phrases. Set small but important fluency goals and your learning will move along swiftly and smoothly.

Tip 2: Have Structure From the Beginning

When learning the Korean language it is important to have structure. You must first learn how to pronounce the letters of a new and unfamiliar alphabet. Then you must gain an understanding of Korean sentence structure and grammar, which is very different than it is in English. Then you can start to memorize vocabulary words, phrases, and, eventually, complete sentences. Failure to follow this structured approach will cause frustration and poor learning progress. Get it right from the beginning, on the other hand, and you’ll progress nicely.

Tip 3: Be Consistent With Your Studying

Consistency is an important part of learning any language; studying for five hours one day and then skipping the next four days is not nearly as effective as studying for one hour each day for five days in a row. This you probably already know. It is worth noting again, however, because this consistency is particularly important when studying a language that has an alphabet that is unfamiliar to you.

The reason is because you have to not only learn new words and phrases, but you also have to remember how to pronounce a whole new set of characters, characters that you cannot sound out, as you could if learning, for example, Spanish.

Final Thoughts

Learning Korean can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Define your Korean language fluency goals, create a structured learning plan, and be consistent with your studies, and you’ll pick up the Korean language quickly and easily.

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.

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.