Studies show that learning how to sing in a foreign language will greatly speed up the process in which you learn it. This valuable lesson in language learning was discovered after it was noted that adults who were asked to sing back phrases they had learned in a foreign tongue fared better overall than those who spoke the phrase back.

Wouldn’t you love to know the words behind your favorite foreign music anyway? Learning how to sing them will help you do just that. The benefits behind learning a foreign language go beyond making the study go faster:

Pronunciation:

Listening to music in another language gives you a different perspective on pronunciation. This is the problem that the majority of adults have with learning a new language. Yet once they hear the words in a different form, pronunciation becomes clearer.

karaoke_singer

Different Types of Words:

Listening to and learning to sing in foreign languages also broadens your horizons in vocabulary. It is like a lyrical conversation, where slang and phrases are used that you won’t hear in class.

Listening is not enough if you want music to work at teaching you a new language. You have to sing it too. Start with simple music like the alphabet song or Sesame Street Theme. Little by little you will be able to more advanced and even popular music.

How to Get Started

You can sign up for online singing lessons (read some honest reviews here) in just about any language. All you need is a mic and headphones, and they supply the music. In the privacy of your home you can butcher the language in song all you want until the words start to roll off of your tongue.

Learning to sing online will improve your foreign language skills exponentially especially when it comes to conversational lessons.

You don’t need to sound like Celine Dion with every song. In fact, you don’t need to sound good at all. What is important is that you pay attention to the words and learn to make yours sound the same way.

For comprehension it may not be a bad idea to look at the lyrics first or as you sing them. Knowing the meaning behind the song will make it easier for you to delve straight into the words and the right way to say them.

Taking on a new language is challenging, and every tool will help. Singing is not going to be the end all to your foreign language education, but it will help in pushing it forward.

As the recent world health crises has shown us, there are still countries around the world where health care is far below the standards of modernized nations. There are dozens of organizations in place that travel to these lands with the express purpose of providing proper medical and dental care to people who otherwise would never have it.

If you are interested in using your skills with a second language to explore the world and assist these unfortunate areas, you are to be praised. You should also prepare yourself in advance by studying up on medical and dental terminology, as well as your casual conversation skills to help build trust with those you are expected to help.

In some cases, such as after a natural disaster or outbreak, the need for medical care is urgent. These types of situations are usually chaotic as volunteers from around the world swarm in to try and provide assistance. Knowing basic terminology related to anatomy and wound care is essential during these types of tragedies. You should also make sure that you know and understand the differences in the names of medications and how to explain dosages.

Other programs are more structured, where volunteers go to underdeveloped parts of the world to provide preventive medical care and assist in training local doctors in advanced methods of care and treatment. This is important work that helps to avoid outbreaks of disease, by showing the residents the importance of good hygiene and care in the preparation of food and drink.

Dental care is also given, although for many underdeveloped countries, this is not seen as a priority. What volunteer dental teams try to reinforce is how the regular use of simple items like electronic toothbrushes, water flossers and toothpaste can help in preventing disease. Not only that but regularly brushing with an electric toothbrush allows for the residents to maintain good nutrition by preventing the loss of teeth.

doctorswithoutborders

These organizations rely heavily on donations from individuals and pharmaceutical companies. Not only for necessary drugs and medications, but for other supplies such as bandages, surgical equipment and those electric toothbrushes and toothpaste. These are ongoing missions that require a large number of volunteers who are able to communicate these medical terms in the native language.

If this is something of interest to you, make sure to include medical and dental terms in your studies. Before leaving, take a crash refresher course on the local language and study up on terms which have relevance to your mission. If you are going to work with young woman on preventing unwanted pregnancy, learn how to talk about birth control methods in their language. If you are providing dental care, learn the words for electric toothbrush, daily brushing and flossing.

You are about to expend your time and energy in the most generous of ways. Make every second count by knowing the right words and phrases so that those who need it most will get the total benefit that you are providing them.

Click here for information on career moves your new language has made available for you.

readingLearning the words, and the right pronunciation and then the proper sentence syntax in a foreign language is daunting. And the older you get the more difficult it becomes. Yet once your foreign language is complete, and you are able to express yourself are you a master of it? Could you read a newspaper in that language?

For some people, learning to read the foreign language is an integral part of learning how to speak it. These are visual learners who absorb new information better when they are able to see it in front of them. For this type of student, being able to read a second language will be almost second nature. For the rest, once the speaking has been covered learning to read is a whole other challenge.

Why is it Important to Read in a Foreign Language?

Some people may believe that learning to read and write is not important. Their education was primarily to be able to have conversations or enter a multi-cultural work force. But what if you were to visit or move to the foreign country? Understanding the writing suddenly becomes very important.

Think about the important things you read each day, and then apply those to life in a different country. What if you were trying to buy something that you have little experience with like a wireless pet containment system for your dog? At home you would scour review sites to see what people had to say about the different brands and products available for keeping your dog confined. If you are abroad, are your skills adept enough to read K9 fence reviews in a language other than your own?

Fence reviews are not the only important things you will be reading when you live abroad. There will be ads for housing that you might have to work through and help wanted notifications if you need a job. Even food shopping is going to be a chore with a dictionary if you have not also mastered the written form of your foreign language.

Writing in a Foreign Language

Writing is often the last skill mastered, especially for those who are attempting to learn English. People have a tendency to write the way a word sounds, but with English and its dozens of variables this is almost impossible. When learning English it has to be done in conjunction with reading or writing or the student is never going to grasp why one does not “reed a book” or “wead a garden”.

If you are in the process of taking on a new language, remember that there are three distinct points: speaking, reading and writing. To be truly fluent in your new language you must take on all of these with zeal and master them. In this way you will have the skills to completely immerse into a new environment.

There are dozens of reasons why someone may want to take on a second language, including broadening their career horizons. The trouble is, learning conversationalist language can be extremely different than what you would need in the work place. Here are a few work place scenarios where you may want to spend some time on the job while furthering your foreign language skills.

Mechanic

If you live in an area where a language other than English is spoken predominantly, you are going to need to learn some key words about cars in that language. You can do this by working side by side with other mechanics who are fluent in that language. Make note of those parts that are known problem areas of the car, such as spark plugs, fuel injectors and the battery. As you listen and watch what they are doing, you will learn the right phrasing and terminology in that language.

Chef

fryerWorking in any type of restaurant is typically going to expose you to people from all around the world, especially if you choose a specialty restaurant. If you have a flair for Italian food would you be able to tell the short order cook to drop that basket of chicken cutlets into the deep fryer? Or what if you were looking to replace said fryer and you found an awesome review site but you couldn’t read it because it was in a foreign language?

Words such as “deep fryer” and “wood burning grill” are going to be necessary, and won’t necessarily be a direct translation. For example, you will get blank stares if you try to tell your Latino cook to use the hondo freir (don’t even try to say oil less or air fryer!). Even though that is the direct translation in Spanish for deep fryer, freidora would be the right word to describe it.

Office Clerk

Even something as seemingly simple as secretarial work will have hurdles if you are not familiar with the right lingo in the predominant language of your office. Did your studies teach you computer terminology like mouse and keyboard? And then there are more in depth concepts about programming and web sites. You will have to spend some time learning the specifics of the type of office you will be working in and the responsibilities that you will have.

Teacher

Teaching language in schools abroad is a very lucrative proposition. And while you may assume that your own education in the foreign language will suffice, with teaching your fluency is even more important. A student will not be able to grasp the concept of verb tenses or pro nouns unless you are able to first give examples in their native tongue. English is a complicated language to learn and to teach, making it nearly impossible to do without a firm grasp of the foreign language that your teaching is catering to.

Hands on language learning side by side with your formal studies will allow you to excel in the foreign language you are attempting to learn. Conversation is a great tool, as well as making efforts to learn the nuances of the field that you are interested in.

If you have always dreamed of learning a new language, now is the time to do it. The internet has offered a myriad of new and exciting ways to learn a foreign language almost to perfection. If you have been taking advantage of one of these programs and are now wondering how to apply it in everyday life here are a few suggestions for the conversation starters you should be practicing regularly.

Talk About the Weather

You learn about verbs and conjunctions and how to say things the right way, but are you really comfortable with having a conversation with someone in another language? To test your skills, start off with a topic as simple as the weather. “Today is a nice sunny day”, or “we have seen a lot of rain lately” are good starters. This is a typical exchange between two people in any language and will help you in becoming part of the regular conversation.

CoupleTalking

Give Compliments

No matter what language you are speaking in, people love to be complimented. Learn phrases that tell them that they look nice, or that you like an item they are wearing. “Wow, that is a beautiful essential oil diffuser necklace you have on” will make a person feel good and want to talk to you in their language.  By picking out something such as a diffuser necklace from Scentsationoil.com, you make it easy to continue the conversation by talking about different essential oils, how they smell and what type of benefit they offer, and where to get the best reviews for the latest diffusers. If you choose a topic as broad as this, you open up an entire range of possibilities for practicing your conversation skills.

Know the Dialect

Always remember that different regions that speak the same language may have variations of words. Don’t allow this to discourage you. Spanish is one prime example where what you learn in school could be confusing when speaking with someone from Mexico or South America. If you try and remember the roots of words, you can usually figure out the right way to get your message across.

Talk to Yourself

Many people who have an important point to make in another language will practice it first, out loud to themselves. This helps to build confidence and work on pronouncing words perfectly. Pronunciation is probably the biggest hurdle with learning how to hold a conversation in another language.

Some people find that seeing the word helps to pronounce it better. Never dismiss a pocket dictionary as a helpful tool when learning another language. Spoken out loud, it may be hard to figure out until you see the letters in front of you.l

Now that you have learned the language, the hard part is putting it to use. Just remember that the more you use it, the easier it will get for you to hold a natural sounding conversation.

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?