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Posts Tagged ‘foreign language’

Learning a Language : Our Mission

by Brent Jenkins October 19th, 2012 More

Every organization needs to have a mission.  This is the purpose, the overriding goal behind everything that we do.  We here at LearnALanguage.com had a very long, intense discussion over what our mission would be.  We think that you’ll be excited about this:

Our Mission: To make language-learning a convenient and social habit through modern technology.

 Pretty simple, right?  Let’s break it down together, just to see exactly why we’re here and what we’re doing.

  • Language-learning: We operate based on the assumption that everyone is interested in learning a second, third or fourth language (or ought to be so).  The benefits are enormous and let’s face it – no one will ever regret learning another language.  We all have our own reasons, and that’s good enough for us.
  • Convenient: We know that convenience is a major factor in how and when people are going to focus on learning.  A big part of that is money.  If you buy a language course (RosettaStone, Pimsleur, RocketSpanish, etc.), you’re going to be out about $300 (give or take).  If you go with LearnALanguage.com instead, you’re going to spend……. $0 – doesn’t that feel good?  We’re here when you need us, for free.  We have a huge variety of topics and learning methods.
  • Social: When we say “social”, we mean that we want you to be excited enough about learning a language that you invite your friends and family.  We’re making it easy to share these free lessons via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, StumbleUpon and many other ways.  It just makes sense.  If you like something, you share it.  If you find yourself at a great party with free food, you call your friends so that they can enjoy the happiness too.  Sharing is a great idea.
  • Making Learning a Habit: Let’s be honest: the only way to truly learn over a lifetime is to make learning a habit.  We’re making it easy to come back on a regular basis.  It doesn’t cost you anything, you’re actually learning, great games and activities to review – what’s not to love?
  • Modern Technology: LearnALanguage.com uses cutting-edge technology to make sure that we offer you the best learning experience possible.  Our future plans are enormous and we’re excited to unveil them soon.  We know that our fans are going to be happy with all of the new things that we will soon be offering, all for free.  We believe that we all benefit and learn most effectively by harnessing modern technology.

We love our fans, and we’re excited to introduce you to the future of language-learning.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Motivation , ,

Funny Communication Fails

by Brent Jenkins October 16th, 2012 More

FAIL

The word “fail” is one of the most popular search words in Google and YouTube.  For some reason, human beings find enjoyment in watching the slip-ups and trip-ups of their fellow earth-dwellers.  America’s Funniest Home Videos, a TV show based solely on people falling over, is one of the most popular, family-centered TV shows of all time.  There’s nothing wrong with that (mostly), but here is the question: How do you make sure that you are the one watching these ‘fails’, not the one performing?

WAY TO UP: Don’t be whoever wrote this sign…

I can’t tell you how to ride a bike properly, or how NOT to jump into a swimming pool, but I can give you some help with the language blunders that happen so often.  We’ve all heard the horror stories, and some of us have been unfortunate enough to tell those stories in the first-person.  I vividly remember asking a sweet family if I could ‘eat their giant’ on my first trip to Cambodia.  I was so embarrassed, but now (years later), I find it as hilarious as if it had happened to someone else.

What’s the strategy to not be that person?  Be prepared.  Plain and simple, the best way to avoid the small-time, quick-fix mistakes is to do your homework, study intensely and frequently, and love what you’re doing (or trying to do).  We here at LearnALanguage.com pride ourselves on bringing you the best content out there – all for free – so that you no longer have any excuses to procrastinate your preparations.

Learn a Language, Motivation ,

Learning a Second Language….. and a Third….. and a Fourth…..

by Brent Jenkins October 5th, 2012 More

Ioannis Ikonomou speaks 32 languages.

Do you know who Ioannis Ikonomou is?  I didn’t either – that is, until I ran across an article about one of the smartest living human beings.  Most of us would consider speaking a second language as a great feat.  A third language? Incredible.  A fourth language?  Impossible.  Not Ioannis Ikonomou.  This 46-year old Greece-born, world-citizen “feels comfortable” speaking and communicating in 32 languages.  That’s not a typo – 32 (as in thirty-two).

As a native Grecian, his mother-tongue is Greek.  He began learning English when he was 6 years old.  After English came German…  Then Russian…  Italian…  Turkish…  Arabic…  And so the story goes.  Ioannis is now employed as the only in-house translator for the European Commission of the United Nations.  He spends about half the year in Beijing, China as a representative of the European Commission.

What does this mean for the rest of us?  Are we to find the story of Ioannis as encouraging or discouraging?  I say that we ought to be encouraged, and here is why:

  • Mr Ikonomou is amazing, but he is still a human being.  If he is capable of learning 32 languages, shouldn’t I be capable of learning at the very least, a second language, and maybe even a third?
  • His second language started when he was 6.  He is now 46.  That means 40 years of dedicated language-learning.  What’s my point?  My point is that this isn’t a race.  You don’t have a deadline for learning that language that you’ve been working on (unless you’re moving to Costa Rica at the end of the month – odds are, you aren’t).
  • “There’s really no hard or easy language to learn,” he says. “Anyone can learn a language if they fall in love with it.”  He goes on through-out the article explaining that his single greatest key to success is falling in love with the language.  That makes sense.  Everything from using it daily, learning the culture, eating the food, watching TV and reading in that language, and eventually dreaming in it.

It’s possible – as long as we fall in love with it.  I completely agree.  I’m bilingual and working on my third – the periods of the greatest success come at times when I’m genuinely interested in the language itself, not just in learning the language.

This blog is hosted by LearnALanguage.com– a site that is dedicated to helping people from all around the world learn languages, all for free.  The learning material is here, but that’s not everything that you need.  My challenge to you, is to dive in and don’t just learn the language, learn about the language.  If you’re learning Russian, do some research on Russia: the weather and seasons, the culture, the food – you can even download a recipe and try it at home.  If you’re learning Spanish, study the several countries where Spanish is spoken and find out about the people who use these languages.

Learning about the language and those who use it will help us to become better learners of the language itself.

Language learning tips, Learn a Language, Learn French, Learn Italian, Learn Spanish, Meet Famous People , , , ,

Habit Psychology

by Brent Jenkins September 25th, 2012 More

We’ve all heard it before: 21 days to make a habit.  21 days.  It sounds easy.  It sounds short.  It sounds simple.

But is it?

21 Days.  3 Weeks.  504 Hours.  30,240 Minutes.  1,814,400 Seconds.

It turns out that 21 days really is a long time, but we can get around that.  Believe it or not, we are constantly going through the full 21 day-cycle to start new habits – The only problem is that these habits aren’t always the ones that we want to be starting.  It seems that bad habits are easy to start and easy to feed, but the good habits are hard to grow (just like flowers & vegetables take a herculean effort and grandmotherly patience, but weeds grow for free…).

After scouring the web for legitimate advice on growing the good habits (the flowers) and plucking up the bad ones (the weeds), it’s easy to see that there’s a lot of great stuff out there, especially related to learning a foreign language.  The following keys will help you become a more successful habit-maker:

  1. Remember that when we remove a bad habit from our life, there is a void – an empty, blank space.  This could be an emotional space, or simply a free time-slot.  Think of it as the dirt that is now available once you’ve plucked a weed.  To ensure that another weed doesn’t pop up in its place, you have to plant a flower.  Example:  Every day after work, Bob goes home, plops down on the couch and numbs his mind with TV for the next several hours.  FIX: As soon as Bob get home, he laces up the ol’ running shoes and goes for a 20-30 minute jog.  Your goal is to replace one bad habit with one good habit.
  2. Use a system to remind yourself of habits that you’ve started and ongoing goals that need some attention.  A perfect example is Mindbloom.  This is a free website that helps you be a better you – It keeps track of goals and habits with reminders, motivation and rewards.  You can join a community who is as ambitious as you are (or as ambitious as you’d like to be).   Everyone here at LearnALanguage.com uses Mindbloom on a daily basis and is encouraged to be creative, motivated and ambitious.
  3. Good habits are hard to keep, even after the 21-Day creation period.  The truth is, in order to keep your good habits, you must have your motivation behind them.  The motivation is different for each person, and that’s how it should be.  Decide for yourself why you are going to learn a foreign language, lose 10 pounds, read 1 book per month, comb your hair, be on time, Facebook less, smile more and be happier.  Once you know the why, it will be easier to keep it up, even after Day 21.

This is only a small taste of the Psychology of Habit-Making.  The rest is up to you.

 

My industry is all about foreign language learning, so it makes sense that I extend an invitation to you: Begin Learning Today.  Start with a habit that will bring countless benefits for years to come, all for free.  As always, we welcome your comments and feedback.

Language learning tips , , ,

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