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foreign language

Students in New Mexico Have Spelling Bees in Spanish and Navajo Languages

Spelling bees are a part of any elementary student’s life. I remember staying up late every night for a week before my fourth grade spelling bee and studying the vocabulary list. By the day the actual event rolled around, I could spell “phenomenon,” but got so nervous that I misspelled “choice.” It was a very sad day for me, but I could still spell “phenomenon,” so I felt pretty cool.

Today, students in Bluffview, New Mexico, are facing the same problem I faced more than a decade ago. However, there is one main difference between their spelling bee and my own: their spelling bee is in Spanish.

The Spanish-language spelling bee is an annual event in the state of New Mexico. They are very similar to tradition spell bees, except that they are conducted entirely in Spanish; this includes everything from the instructions to programs to vocabulary words to information pamphlets.

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Immersive German Helps Beginners Get Momentum

learn german appLearning another language is a horizon-broadening experience, but it can be hard to get started. Fortunately, new tools powered by mobile devices are helping students learn foreign languages by new and exciting methods. The Immersive German app for iPhone and iPad is one of these tools.

Some of my readers may remember me geeking out over French-Language apps from Erasmos because I’ve spent a lot of time studying French, but I have to say I know very little German. Immersive German, as you might expect, takes an immersive approach to teaching a German and uses as little spoken English as possible. It uses pictures an spoken words to convey lessons. There are ten lessons which teach you very basics, which is perfect for a beginner like me.

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Learn Chinese with ChinesePod

So you want to learn to speak Chinese, huh? Well, you could pack up your bags, hop on a plane, and move to China for a while to immerse yourself in the language, or, you could just study with ChinesePod.

ChinesePod is one of the newest ways to learn Chinese. ChinesePod combines podcasts and website lessons to help you become familiar with the Chinese language and then become comfortable speaking it. ChinesePod is composed of audio lessons, study tools, and live teachers who can offer assistance and advise.

ChinesePod has more than 1,500 audio lessons that cover every subject you could possibly imagine. Whether you need a taxi to the airport, directions to the best restaurant, or need to know how to hold a business meeting, ChinesePod has you covered. There are also written transcripts of each lesson so that you can read along as you listen.

The study tools include flashcards, vocabulary practice, and quizzes to see how well you are comprehending each exercise. These tools make it easy for you to really enforce each new lesson and get it into your long term memory.

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Use Transparent Language to Become Bilingual

Being bilingual is invaluable in the job market today. Learning a new language can be a really fun process, if you choose the right way to learn. There are many different ways to learn a language: you can spend hours in a classroom, practice with flashcards, or use a language learning software. One of the best new language learning software programs today is Transparent Language.

Transparent Language was founded in 1991. Since then, Transparent Language has helped millions of people learn a new language by using a “declarative first” approach. This means that you learn a language by learning and remembering words, phrases and short sentences. This creates a database of knowledge that you can draw from when you are speaking the language. This also helps you master the vocabulary and use the language in it’s natural context.

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Learn Spanish with the MindSnacks iPhone App [VIDEO]

mindSnacks-iphone-app-is-awesomeMany students want to learn another language, but the process of acquiring new vocabulary and grammar rules often requires hours of rote memorization. Here to save the day is MindSnacks Spanish, an iPhone App that uses six games to help you learn Spanish in “bite-size” increments.

Each of the app’s six mini games teach a different aspect of the Spanish language. For example, the Fish Tank game helps improve vocabulary and phrase acquisition. The Word Bird game tests players’ abilities to spell correctly and translate. CEO of MindSnacks Jesse Pickard says these six games are just the beginning. Not only does the company plan to release more mini games, they also plan on releasing versions of the the game to teach other languages, including French, Italian and Mandarin.

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Learn a Foreign Language via Praxis Podcasts

The older you are, the more difficult it is to learn a foreign language. Luckily, Praxis Language has created a new program especially designed for adult students who want to learn a new language.praxis

Praxis Language is different from other language-learning programs because it focuses on the everyday spoken language, which makes it easier to communicate with foreign-language-speakers. The Praxis Language method uses repetition, practice, and, finally, comprehension to help users master another language. Users have access to grammar guides, tests, vocabulary study tools, and much more.

Another nice benefit of the Praxis Language program is the convenience it offers users. Praxis programs rely more on mobile learning, as opposed to the traditional classroom and textbook setting. Praxis Language programs are available as podcasts for iPods and the Android phone. This allows users to practice whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them. However, Praxis also offers courses with teacher interaction. These courses are built around the user’s schedule, so it is still more convenient than going to a class. Read the rest of this entry »



Use Pimsleur to Master a Foreign Language

Do you want to learn a foreign language? Personally, I always wanted to learn Spanish. It took me four years in high school, three years in college, and 12 weeks studying abroad in Spanish-speaking countries to truly master the language. And although I do not regret my voyage to learn Spanish, I wish I had known about a quicker – and cheaper – method: The Pimsleur Method.pimsleur

Dr. Paul Pimsleur created this method for learning a new language. Dr. Pimsleur discovered that if you are reminded of a new word or information repeatedly within a specific amount of time, you will memorize the word or information quicker and retain it for longer, causing long term recognition. Dr. Pimsleur analyzed his research, and discovered the exact time frames necessary to help any type of learner master a new language. (This seems a whole lot easier than shuffling through flashcards, cramming for vocabulary quizzes every week, if you ask me.) Read the rest of this entry »



Chinese Teachers Teach American Students About Chinese Culture

chinese flagHow much do you know about the Chinese language or culture?

I admit, I don’t know much at all. But if I went to school in Lawton, Oklahoma. I would be studying this subject under the instruction of a Chinese woman named Zheng Yue.

Zheng is one of 325 guest teachers form China who are teaching in America. These teachers have volunteered to teach here in order to educate students about the Chinese culture and language. In exchange, 2,000 American school administrators are visiting China. The program is an effort by China that aims to educate others about the country and the Chinese people.

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Are Flashcards a Reason to Arrest Someone?

flash cardFlashcards are a great way to learn a new language. They allow you to switch back and forth between your native language and the language you are trying to learn. You can separate the words you do know from those you are still learning. You can take them anywhere and study with them whenever you have some down time.

Flashcards are just a really wonderful thing. Unless you are studying Arabic and flying on an airplane, that is.

Nicholas George is a senior at Pomona College in California. He is studying physics and Arabic. According to The Los Angeles Times, George was flying back to school after spending time at home in Philadelphia last August. In his pocket, he had some Arabic-English flashcards so he could study them on the plane.

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