10427717_sLearning a new language is an exciting prospect, and the first few weeks are intense. Full of work, studying, stretching your brain, and trying not to burn out, this crucial time is both fun and exhausting!

It’s important that you try to use your language as often as possible and come up with translations to words you don’t see often to shock your brain away from the sometimes boring texts and study materials you might use.

For example, if we look at this site, we can see something we probably don’t use every day unless we’re a man with facial hair – beard trimmers. Well, take a look and try to come up with the best translation. You’ll learn words that will come up later in conversations and you’ll be surprised to hear yourself saying things that appear out of your subconscious!

In French, we might say tondeuses à barbe. Later you will find yourself using the word from trimmer separately from the word beard, thus giving yourself two new words just by learning a random phrase in your perusal of interesting sites on the net.

Language learning doesn’t have to be boring!

On this same topic, there are some things that will help you out with the language you learn. One of those things is getting to know a bit of the culture. You will better understand phrases, colloquial terms, and inflection if you know some history and cultural practices. For example, you shouldn’t be try to tell an older Greek gentleman that he needs to go to www.beardguide.com/best-nose-hair-trimmer to get himself a new grooming tool if you see hairs sticking out!

Remember that learning a language by speaking to another person is also incredibly important. These people might be able to give you random phrases like we discussed above and can also help you with the cultural aspect of your education. A native speaker is such a powerful learning aid compared with any other tool or kind of material. We highly recommend it as the premier way of getting to know another language. Read More →

For the purpose of speeding up the process of learning another language, there are several websites that can be visited to be able to talk to someone that is a native-speaker of the language you want to learn.

Below are some of the examples of the said websites.

Conversation Exchange

This page provides three different types of opportunities to talk to a native speaker. By going to their website http://www.conversationexchange.com/, one can set a schedule for a native speaker so they can have a face to face conversation, a communication through the mail or pen-pal or through text messaging or voice chats.

Conversation Exchange. This allows members to set up a face to face meeting with a native-speaker if they happen to live near the student’s location.

Pen-pal. This is for people who want to improve their writing and reading skills by exchanging mails with native speakers.

Voice Chats. Using the popular voice chat platforms like Windows Live Messenger, Google Talk and Skype to name a few, people can set a meeting to talk in Skype. It is up to them whether they want the videos to be on, but what is important is the communication between the learner and the native speaker.

iTalki

iTalki is a big community of native speakers and learners. It features a very easy search features to locate would-be tutors (native-speakers) whether there is one near the learner’s current location. It also provides a list of possible tutors that shows where the native speakers came from and their current locations as well.

If a member is unable to find a language partner, they have the option to find a one-on-one online teacher instead.

You can also visit http://www.italki.com/partners for more information.

WyzAnt

language learning

Tutoring session, photo by TadDonaghe on flickr

They pride themselves of a total of 26,156 registered students just last month alone. Although they do not focus on just language learning, it is also a good avenue to find a native speaker. This is because of the versatility in the topics being covered, there’s a lot more chances of people signing up from the different parts of the globe.

The website also features an easy to use search function and if in any case you will not find the one that you need, you can always request for a tutor. In this way, your name will be listed under students that want to learn a particular language.

Once you find a tutor, you can check the ratings and feedbacks from tutors, parents and students. This listing usually provides extensive information about the tutor which may include educational background, biographical data, photos and other relevant information. Once you make final decisions whether you want a particular tutor to assist you, all you need to do is set up an appointment with them and that’s it.

Last few notes

Keep in mind that this type of learning another language is an unconventional but fun way of learning and there’s a lot to experience more than just getting to know the language and words. As an added bonus, you get to learn more about the culture while gaining new friends.

Are you planning to make a career move and decided to try your luck abroad? Landing on a dream job regardless of any course you took up on college is not an easy task especially if you cannot find the right job that can enhance your skills and lead you to the career path that you wanted ever since.

What is my point in saying this? This is to know how much you value your job and how much you also value yourself as an employee. Did you ever ask yourself if you are fulfilled financially and emotionally on the kind of job that you have right now? Did you even considered the pros and cons of moving to a new career and starting on a new job that you think is more than the satisfaction that you will get instead of staying another ten years on the ‘same thing’  on your job?  If you are reaching this point of confusion or decision making, know the next best option for you.

Teaching Careers: Teaching and Learning at the same time

Yes. Entering a teaching career is learning at the same time. You would not know the modules on the course that you need to instruct if you do not study each chapter first. But do you know the good thing about being a teacher? More than the salary and benefits that you will get, it is the self-fulfillment whenever you lead a student to his graduation march.

And who said that teaching is a passive career? Do you know that you can teach English overseas today without the need of going to the country where your students are located? The internet is your best ally for you to be able to do this, but of course you need to undergo certain qualifications before you can finally teach English overseas.

What are the Requirements?

Of course, you cannot jump right in on your teaching career if you do not have the right requirements for the job.  To top it all, basically you need the following requirements to connect with your students who may use different languages all at the same time.  So, what are these? Here is the list of the common certifications that you need:

  • TEFL or Teaching English as a Foreign Language
  • ESL or English as a Second Language
  • ESOL or English to Speakers of Other Language

These three items are important especially if you handle students who use their native language as medium of communication. Some employers may also require these:

  • TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language – this is intended to test your level of fluency on English
  • CELTA or Certificate of English Language Teaching to Adults- this certifies that you completed your training course.

Please take note, not all countries may call for these requirements so it is important for you to decide on which country will you work for before getting all the certification. Sounds a bit tedious right? You can get by on this first phase by sending out your queries about employment directly from the hiring school or university.

There are thousands and thousands of languages in the world. Of all these languages, one can decide to learn either of them if need arises or even for fun to just acquire a second language. Learning any of the languages is not a simple task because some languages are so complex to even read, write or pronounce them.

Languages like Arabic seem to be some of the hardest languages since if you want to learn them; you first have to enroll in a class of learning their alphabets since they don’t use the normal alphabets like those in English. So finding a language to learn mostly goes hand in hand with the need to learn it.

There are however, languages that are easy to learn for native English speakers which are so close to English pronunciation and in written form. Most of these easy languages that a native English speaker can easily learn have intelligibility between them and have same or close point of origin they just deviate a little. Even though they are easy to learn them, one must have the will and desire to learn for it to be easy with a lot of motivation so as to get psyched up and it will be so easy. If the rewards and benefits of why you want to learn are clear in your head, you will be able to get those rusty languages synapses sparking in your head and the language will roll very fast.

Some of these languages that are easy to learn are listed below:

Afrikaan

This is the simplest language a native English speaker can learn with ease since the two languages share almost the same vocabulary and grammar the only difference is their written form and a bit of pronunciation.  Like English, Afrikaan vocabulary is so easy and easily accessible. English speakers will only need to learn the language in written form since how the language is spoken is almost the same only letters missing or added in Afrikaan to make it English. This makes it top the list of languages easy for English speakers to learn.

Map of where Afrikaans is spoken in the world, with the darker shades being more concentrated...of course primarily in South Africa.

Map of where Afrikaans is spoken in the world, with the darker shades being more concentrated…of course primarily in South Africa.

Spanish

To learn Spanish in the correct grammar and acquire a good vocabulary level could be so easy and fun. Spanish words are mostly derived from the same origin- Latin like English. English and Spanish pronunciations may vary a bit but if an English speaker decide to learn Spanish, it’s so easy since their vocabulary and grammar are so easy to learn and remember at a later date.

French

French is also one of the languages not only considered easy learning to English speakers but almost all other language speakers. French vocabulary is more familiar, recognizable and easy to comprehend than most of the other languages. For beginners, it may seem a bit of a challenge but as they get more tutorials, and learn its gendered nouns and verbs, it just flows so easily especially if the learner wants to acquire it in conversational form.

Norwegian (Norsk)

This is another choice of some of the easiest languages an English speaker can learn due to its straightforward conjugation and persistence in pronunciation. Learners can easily catch up due to its simplicity and closeness to English language. Norwegian vocabulary is not just easy to learn for only English speakers, but to most of he other language speakers due to it direct and simple vocabulary and grammar.

Dutch

This is a language commonly referred to as English cousin due to its structural and syntactically familiarity to English. The common difference that is easily notable in Dutch from English is either added or missing vowels that miss in their words. This makes it so easy to learn and pronounce to English speakers.

These are some of the easy languages for native English speakers to learn with ease.

Language Learning Tools

Communication.

It can be boiled down to that one word.

The world really opens up to you when you have more people with whom you are able to communicate. I mean, think of it – if you speak English, sure you’ve got a lot of people around the world who can do the same. However, you’re missing out on even more of the world, including the people, books, culture, and more if you are going through translated means or not going at all.

There is so much in this world that we have no idea how to even access because we would not know where to look, and I want to be able to find those things. I want to be able to go to another country and become immersed in the culture. I want to know where the things to do are. I want to ask people where to go for a coffee. What is the history of the area, in their own terms?

I suppose it would also open up business opportunities for you if you knew more languages, too. The world is quickly becoming globalized and most people do business in English, but it’s nowhere near a ‘general rule’. Connect with the other people and opportunities with their own language.

Language also helps keep your brain sharp and will help your thinking in various other parts of your life.

Other than the time it takes to learn a language, there are really no downsides, and so it makes sense to me to be practicing for an hour or two every day instead of watching a TV program I don’t care about.

What about you? Why do you want to learn a different language?