Updated: Feb 2, 2018
Hello! - ¡Hola! - Bonjour!!
Welcome to our first post! We are a small family of language teachers & learners willing to help anyone to improve. We have a wide variety of ideas for language learners, that's why we have decided to start this adventure and create our blog!
There are around 6500 languages in the entire world, however, we are not able to speak all of them (yet!). We will use three of the most popular languages: French (129 million speakers), English (508 million speakers) and Spanish (329 million speakers).
Whether you are studying a language, you are a native speaker or you are just curious, we want to tell you our tips and experiences in order to help you or to have a good time.
When we first meet a student, normally they are shy or scared of talking in another language, and we always tell them some useful tips. Now we want to share them with you:
1. Don't be afraid to make a mistake.
Everyone has had a first time for everything, so you don't have any reason to be afraid.
The expert in anything was once a beginner / Un experto en cualquier área, fue principiante alguna vez / L'expert en quoi que ce soit, a été une fois, un débutant.
2. Immerse yourself in TV, music & films
Learning the lyrics of a song helps you to expand your vocabulary and teaches you some slang/typical phrases. Moreover, you can take music with you anywhere and learn and practise it on the move. Here you are a very small selection of some good songs to learn English, French or Spanish:
Learn English listening to: Frank Sinatra. New York New York/My way - Bob Marley One love/No woman no cry - John Lennon Imagine - The Beatles All you need is love/Hello, Goodbye/Help!...
If you want to learn Spanish: Joaquín Sabina. 19 días y 500 noches - Manu Chao Clandestino/Me gustas tú - Julieta Venegas Me voy - Jarabe de Palo Bonito/Depende/La flaca
And if you want to learn French: Sinsemilia : tout le bonheur du monde - Zaz : Je veux - Christophe : Aline - Edith Piaf : Non, je ne regrette rien
What song do you recommend us to learn your language? Let us know!
Also, watching TV & films is an effective way to improve your understanding and of course, to learn new words and expressions. If you are a beginner, subtitles in your own language will allow you to keep track.
(www.tv5monde.com)If you are learning French watch TV5 Monde
Shortly, we will post some good shows, soaps & series to learn and enjoy watching TV!
3. Practice at every opportunity
You can practice and learn a new language at any time during the day in your daily life.
Label all sorts of things all over your house using stick-it notes to learn new words. Also, you can include a second note right below the first one that has a few sentences in the target language that says what you do with or to the item.
Note 1: THE FRIDGE (English) / LA NEVERA (Spanish) / LE FRIGO (French)
Note 2: OPEN THE FRIDGE, CLOSE THE FRIDGE, FILL THE FRIDGE (English)
ABRIR LA NEVERA, CERRAR LA NEVERA, LLENAR LA NEVERA (Spanish)
OUVRIR LE FRIGO, FERMER LE FRIGO, REMPLIR LE FRIGO (French)
Keep an eye on the news of the country of the language you are studying. You have got thousands of applications for free to download on your Smartphone or on your laptop.
Application available on App Store & on Android market:
BBC, UK Radios, British Council, Practise English Grammar
El pais (FREE), El mundo (FREE), Duolingo (FREE), Cat Spanish (FREE)
Le Monde (FREE), Radio (FREE), MindSnacks ($4.99), Mosalingua ($4.99), FluentU (FREE)
It might be a little bit difficult at the beginning, but it will work your brain.
Also, you can take a class to study a traditional dance or craft of a country where the language you are studying is spoken. Examples: salsa dancing, origami, French cooking, etc.
Immerse yourself in the culture and the language!
But of course the most important is to find a good person who has the experience and the knowledge to teach you some key points to guide you in the right way in a friendly environment.
4. Compete against yourself
As everything else the one that has to fight against laziness and little motivation is YOU. Learn a new language takes time.
Learn everything you can, anytime you can, from anyone you can; there will always come a time when you will be grateful you did. Sarah Caldwell
If you feel that you are not using new words or you don't practice what you learn, you can have little competitions against yourself. Set small challenges every week, for example: I have to use 5 new words before Sunday or I'm going to use this new expression in at least 4 situations. Using the language in different contexts and practicing on a daily basis will allow you to see a fast improvement! Keep going!
5. Enjoy while you learn
Enjoy and have fun! Learn something should be amusing. You probably learned languages at school and I am sure that most of you have had some boring teachers, that’s why you don’t remember anything. You have to enjoy learning a language, you have to live the language.
Do things that you enjoy in the target language. Do you like video games? Why not settling your PS4 in the language that you are learning? Do you love fashion? Buy a fashion French/Spanish/English magazine or watch YouTube videos about it. It will be easier and enjoyable!
6. Trust yourself
Trust is a key to becoming a great language learner. Everyone makes mistakes; don’t be scared of your pronunciation and your accent, a language sounds better with the voice of a foreign speaker! Mistakes and bad pronunciation can be funny; it’s not rude or ridiculous at all. Trusting oneself also means knowing that mistakes are a natural part of learning and in fact are needed for real learning to happen.
The only way to start to talk a language is to talk it badly.
Being aware of how a lack of trust in ourself can negatively impact our language learning is an important step towards making improvements.
With self confidence and trying at every opportunity you will learn faster and you will feel better.