Have you ever heard of “Busuu”?
Busuu is a social network for learning languages based on a “Freemium” model (offering both free and premium services). The website is named after a Cameroon language with only three living speakers in 2005!
This is how the Busuu describes their method: “Instead of studying alone at home with your uninspiring grammar book, you can learn directly from native speakers around the world. In addition to learning directly from other members, you can use [Busuu’s] highly interactive learning material completely free of charge. Additionally, by paying a minimal monthly fee, you can become a Premium Member and have access to even more functionalities and learning material.”
The “free of charge” definitely got my vote! Continue reading
8 useful tips to learn a foreign language
That’s it! You have made up your mind: you are so going to learn a new language!
But where and how do you start?
Here are 8 very useful tips to help you with your learning:
1) DARE: the key to learning a new language is to DARE to make mistakes and have fun with the language! It doesn’t matter whether you make mistakes – because making mistakes is how you learn. It is part of the learning process. You can’t always get it right first time round and you know what? It’s ok! The more you will try and dare, the better you will get!
And at the end of the day, it is better to say a sentence with mistakes than not to say anything at all!
2) READ: as much as you can and aloud when possible. And not only in your own native language – try and read in the language you are learning, whether it is children’s books (why not?), comics, recipe books, magazines, food or cosmetic labels – the resources are endless! Most libraries have a foreign languages section and even children’s books in foreign languages! So, why not give it a go?
3) WRITE YOUR OWN PHRASEBOOK: try and write your own phrasebook – not anybody’s but one with the phrases / sentences that YOU will need or are interested in. An alphabetical notebook is also really useful: you can write the words you have learnt, from your native language to the language you are learning (to speak) and vice-versa (to understand).
4) WATCH & LISTEN: you can watch TV (digital TV offer some foreign channels), movies in the foreign language with subtitles, news or cartoons! You can also explore music / songs in your chosen language and try and understand the lyrics of songs that you particularly like.
I would also strongly recommend buying language learning books sold with CDs or cassettes. Continue reading