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Middle School Teacher Finds Key To Making Reading Fun

(category: Language, Word count: 312)
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Most teachers have found that getting their students interested in reading is no easy task. But one teacher in Queens Village, N.Y., has found an innovative way to keep students in her sixth-grade class focused and entertained while improving their reading skills.

Bertha Cuascut, a literacy coach at The Jean Nuzzi School, a public middle school, agreed to take part in a pilot program called Read-A-Movie. The program was created by SFK Media Specially for Kids Corp. and is part of the company's suite of courses that aim to improve reading-readiness and skills.

The program revolves around SFK Media's Reading Movies, which combine reading with entertaining movies in a technique the company says can help teach vocabulary and improve comprehension.

The movies use Action Captions, a patented technology that displays the dialogue on the screen as text, in real-time, without interrupting the flow of the movie. Researchers and educators indicate that these Action Captions activate the cognitive elements of the brain so that the development of both reading and spoken language skills takes place naturally.

"My students had no problem recalling the facts and explaining concepts and details," Cuascut said. "On tests, projects and other work, students exhibited greater comprehension, improved vocabulary and an increased hunger to learn more."

The movies are available in such classics as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tales of Gulliver's Travels" and "The Trojan Horse," and come as interactive DVDs that include vocabulary practice, quizzes and other activities.

Cuascut said her students seemed to be able to identify with the child actors in the films, which she said further sparked their interest and held their attention.

"It struck me that even those students who normally would be fidgety and distracting others were instead paying close attention to what was going on in the movie," she said.

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Movies The Natural Way To Learn A Language

(category: Language, Word count: 429)
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Have you ever wondered how it is possible that you can speak your native language so easily? When you want to express something, correct phrases and sentences just come to you. Most of this process is unconscious.

Stephen Krashen, a professor at the University of Southern California and a linguistics expert, has developed a hypothesis to explain how this is possible. He used his Input Hypothesis to design what he calls a "natural approach" to learning a language.

Krashen uses "input" in this context to describe the words and sentences that you read and listen to. If you understand these sentences, they are stored in your brain. More specifically, they are stored in the part of your brain that is responsible for language.

Krashen uses his hypothesis to explain how a child learns his or her native language. The child listens to his or her parents and other people. As the child's brain collects these words and sentences, he or she gets better and better at producing sentences on his or her own. By age 5, the child can already speak quite fluently.

According to Krashen's theory, the way to learn and improve is to feed your brain with a lot of input - correct and understandable sentences, written or spoken.

Some cognitive scientists say that watching movies is one of the most natural methods of improving your language skills at any age. Learning English by watching movies is an example of "learning by input."

ReadEnt Reading Movies from SFK Media Specially For Kids Corp. apply this natural method of learning with an innovative tool called "Action Captions." As a child or adult watches the movie, each spoken word appears on the screen as text directly from the person's mouth as it is spoken.

"From the point of view of children and adults learning to read English fluently, especially if it's not their native language, these movies feed the brain with a lot of input," said Len Anthony Smith, chief executive officer of SFK Media. "They learn how to say these words and sentences naturally and, therefore, improve their pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary and comprehension quickly and easily."

ReadEnt's Reading Movies are available as interactive DVD programs for use on the TV, computer, video-game console or portable DVD player. They include such classics as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tales of Gulliver's Travels" and "The Trojan Horse." They also come with interactive quizzes and games to make the learning experience even more enjoyable for children from kindergarten through eighth grade.

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Learn Spanish On Line Easy As One Two Three

(category: Language, Word count: 109)
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I live in Caracas, Venezuela and spend my entire day speaking in English. Sounds bizarre right; I live in a Spanish speaking country and speak English all day. Well as an English teacher it is my job and one I don't really mind. The only problem is that after three months here my Spanish is still only mediocre at best and that is probably being generous. I finally got myself a tutor and that seems to help, however before that I had actually resorted to trying to learn Spanish on line. Yes I was that girl in the internet caf

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Learning Styles And Their Effect On Language Learning

(category: Language, Word count: 34)
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Note: This article makes special reference to the effect of learning syles in the learning of Spanish but the principles are valid for all language learning.

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Learning A Foreign Language

(category: Language, Word count: 503)
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Studying at school, we are to choose a various number of subjects. No matter what subjects you take there has to be a foreign language among them and your dean assures you that it is absolutely necessary to learn it. So you sit there, getting your teeth into numerous dictionaries and workbooks with the only question in your mind:"What for?"

There are several reasons to learn a foreign language. Firstly, it is a well-known fact that by learning a new foreign language we get acquainted a new culture. So this is a way to become more intelligent and get to know more interesting facts about other countries and societies. This may be a poser if you are not interested in learning new cultures but still, if to get a closer look at the problem, you may find more reasons to do it. For example, you travel abroad to have a nice rest, let's say to Paris, and you don't know even a single word in French. You can't expect every Frenchman to know English; you'll for sure meet a person that is not familiar with it. Then, just think about possibilities for your career growth if you are a free foreign language user. Some people earn pretty good money translating different books, english essays and articles into their native language. If your company is involved in international affairs, you must know at least the basis of the language of a partner to find a common ground with your foreign co-workers. English is an international language, no doubt about that. Native-speakers don't have to worry about being misunderstood at the airport, but what to do if your native language is for example Chinese or Arabian, that is extremely difficult to learn. But they, betraying their folkways, learn English and visit foreign English speaking countries to find success in their future business. Learning a foreign language has become an obligatory part of school program and now we can see some miraculous results. The english essay of the foreign school child may be more literate and well-structured than the one of the native-speaker.

As we can see, there are many advantages of learning a foreign language. But don't start learning it just because you need, that will bring no result and get you frustrated in no time. Think carefully about the schedule and materials you are going to use. Also you may want to choose a teacher among the best and the most qualified to do it. Communication with the native-speaker may be a plus and a visit to a foreign country will bring you not only practice but joy and pleasure. But before doing all the above-mentioned, you are to consider, what language you are going to learn. If you passionately want to learn Icelandic and know that there is no way of using it in practice, what's the point in starting to study it? An easy question may turn out to be difficult so good luck in your future studies!

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English Pronunciation For The Esl Learner

(category: Language, Word count: 724)
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What is an accent? An accent is the carryover of sounds from the speaker's original language to the second language. When we are infants we literally have the ability to speak any language in the world. We are all born with the necessary speech mechanisms and the capability to learn any language. We end up speaking the language that we do solely by reinforcement. The sounds a baby hears and the speech patterns he is exposed to are the ones that she develops. Soon the baby gains the fine motor skill and control she needs to create sounds herself. The infant will begin by babbling and playing with sounds. Soon she is able to produce simple vowel/consonant combinations which maybe why mama and dada are often their first words, they can make the combination and the big reaction it elicits reinforces their efforts. By 18 months she will be able to produce about 20 words that have meaning and understand around 50 words. Now babies of course have the ultimate immersion experience. In order to obtain any control over their environment they must learn the language and they are surrounded by the language almost 24 hours a day.

Of course the second language learner does not have these advantages. Even if you are now living in an English speaking country, and attending classes to learn English you will still have opportunity to speak and hear your first language with friends and family, this is especially true in America a county of immigrants where finding a community of people with the same language background is possible.

Another challenge is the expectation factor. For many years you have heard a speech pattern and there is an expectation of what you will hear when others speak. You are predicting what sounds will come next based on your subconscious knowledge of language. I call this listening with an accent. It is necessary to break through this barrier, to really hear how others are speaking, to actively listen.

To listen is to learn, and I don't mean that in an existential way. I really mean that if you can't hear the way the sounds are produced you cannot learn how to produce the sound. Maybe that is why ETS added speaking and listening sections to the TOEFL. The two skills are so closely linked.

Once you can hear the sounds you must add them to your own phonetic library. This means that you have in your mind the knowledge and understanding of how to produce every sound or phoneme in you original language. Now you must add on some sounds that are in the American sound system that is not in your original language sounds system. Record your self reading a brief paragraph. Only 2-3 sentences in English. Then listen to the recording. Write down exactly what you hear on the recording. Not what you meant to say but what you really did say. How is it different from what was written? Did you say th, when it was written or did you say d? I would suggest sticking with the consonants at first because the differences are easier to pinpoint.

If you would like to get help in improving your pronunciation it would be best to go to a speech therapist rather than an ESL teacher. Speech therapists are trained in physiology of the speech mechanisms and musculature. They understand what is involved in producing each sound and are trained to identify and work with articulation problems. Though an accent is not the same as an articulation problem they have similar characteristics. When a client has difficulty articulating specific sounds the speech therapist can hear and see what they are doing differently and describe and show how to do it correctly. When a client has an accent the speech therapist can see what the person is doing differently and show and describe how to make the sound so it more closely approximates the standard.

The most important advice I can give you is to keep practicing. At first it may feel like you are exaggerating when you "speak with an American accent" but I am sure that the native American speakers around you will not even notice. They will merely be impressed with your great diction!

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How To Learn Spanish It S A Cinch

(category: Language, Word count: 337)
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How to learn Spanish? As I am sure you know learning a foreign language is not an easy task unless you are one of those people with an "ear for language", something I never really understood. There are many available options. The first that comes to mind is obviously taking course in your high school, college, or other educational institution. This is a convenient and trusted way to learn, and one that has been utilized for years. However, given that most of the people that take a language in high school or college never actually become bilingual, the merits of this method seem to be suspect.

As with anything else, when deciding how you want to learn Spanish, the internet is as good a place to start as any. If you look on the internet you will find a wealth of options available to you. There are a very large amount of study systems being sold, some at reasonable prices and others for a small fortune. There are also programs for placement in Spanish speaking countries that allow you to totally immerse yourself in the language. Then there are even websites with free exercises and drills that will help you get started.

Of course everyone's system claims to be the best and only way to truly master the language. During my research I came across no less than three study systems all claiming to be in use by varying branches of the US government and I am sure that doesn't even scratch the surface of the number of products making such claims. When you are making your decision regarding how to learn Spanish do your research and take into account the pros and cons of each method and pick what is best for you. Personally, I enjoy the free online exercises, but then again I am just out of college and have no money. However you decide to go about it, learning will not be easy.

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Four Reasons To Learn German

(category: Language, Word count: 557)
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What A German Language School Can Do For You

German is not always the first choice for people looking to learn a foreign language. But maybe it should be. German is spoken by more than 100 million people in 38 countries around the world. Most of the world's German speakers are in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but there are also significant numbers of German speakers in the United States and South America. That's a lot of German speakers, and a lot of reasons to learn German. Here are five reasons to consider attending a German language school.

1. Learn German For Business

Germany is the third largest industrial nation in the world and a major exporter. Learning German will help business people to improve their prospects of doing business in German-speaking countries. And while it may be true that many Germans speak English as well as, if not better than, many native English speakers, those who learn German will have the advantage of understanding what is said in its original context. Many German language schools offer classes specifically designed to help business people learn German. These include classes dealing with speaking on the telephone, negotiations and presentations.

2. Learn German For Travel

In addition to the three major European countries where German is a native language, German is a second language for many countries across Eastern Europe. Those planning to travel in Romania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Russia or Kazakhstan may find it useful to learn German to communicate in those regions. There are many websites that offer free language lessons to help travelers learn basic German phrases. However, for a more intensive course, travelers could learn German in Berlin or another part of Germany.

3. Learn German For Tourism

With three major language centers and many other German-speaking regions, German is a key language for those seeking to work in the tourist industry. Some German language schools offer courses aimed at professionals in different industries which will also help those in the tourist trade. This is key not just for those planning to work within Germany, but for those planning to work with the millions of German-speaking tourists who travel the globe each year.

4. Learn About German Culture

German culture is more than beer and lederhosen. Germany has a rich cultural heritage. Many great thinkers, such as Freud and Einstein, were German. Many of the most respected classical composers came from Germany. There is a lot to do in Germany, from exploring towns with a centuries-old history to seeing the wonders of modern engineering technology. Those who study in Germany will find that this gives an inside view of many aspects of German culture.

Where Should I Learn German?

Although there are plenty of German classes available in most countries, a good option is to study in Germany at a German language school. This means that students will learn by immersion, hearing German spoken both inside and outside the classroom. This is a good way to learn German fast and correctly. There are German language schools around the country. One option is to study in Berlin. Not only does Berlin have many universities and educational institutions, but it also has a rich cultural history and many sights to see. This makes study in Berlin a good option for learning German.

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Learn A Foreign Language Online

(category: Language, Word count: 712)
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Knowing more than one language in today's world is not so unusual. With cultural barriers coming down, and many people living in and visiting non-native countries, it makes sense to have at least a basic knowledge of one or more languages other than your native tongue. It has never been easier than it is today to learn a foreign language. Taking a foreign language course online is a convenient and even speedy way to learn another tongue for work, for travel, or for your own personal enrichment.

When you decide that you want to learn a foreign language online, you have several options available to you. You can enroll in an online college or University language program, and earn your degree in the foreign language of your choosing. If time is a factor, you can choose from many accelerated language programs offered online. If you choose to receive a degree in a foreign language, you will come away not only with a college education, but you will more than likely come away being fluent in the language you studied, both written and conversationally. This has many advantages for you career-wise. An accelerated course will probably give you a good basic foundation of a foreign language, which will be helpful in business-related travels.

The advantages of learning a foreign language for your career are numerous. Being fluent in a language like French, Spanish, or German will allow you to communicate with your peers and associates abroad, eliminating the need for a translator. Also, if your job demands that you be relocated abroad, learning the native tongue of the country to which you are transferring will ease your transition there. You will find the cultural differences far less stressful if you are able to understand what people around you are saying! In addition, learning a foreign language opens up whole new career paths for you. If you become fluent in one or more languages, you have the opportunity to be certified as a foreign language translator. This challenging career opportunity requires you to be fluent in one or more language, and to be knowledgeable in another industry, such as law, healthcare professions, or business. Working as a translator, you would be bridging the gap between English and non-English speaking associates by converting documents of all types so that each party is able to understand them. In this position, you can work full-time for a larger firm, or you can strike out on your own as a freelance translator, and make your own work schedule and workload.

If you have plans to travel extensively to one or more countries, consider taking accelerated foreign language courses online. By learning the basics of a foreign language, you show cultural sensitivity by learning to communicate with locals in their native tongue. You won't look like a typical tourist by carrying around a book, and you will be able to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the country you are visiting. Your travels will be more enjoyable and enriching. Leaving your comfort zone and learning another language is an ideal way to educate and improve yourself.

There are many advantages to learning a foreign language online. Whether you decide to enroll in a degree program or simply take a few accelerated courses, you will find that doing so online is very convenient. Often, courses are completed at your own pace, with no set class times. All work is submitted online, and you will find many opportunities to interact with instructors and peers. Additionally, if you are learning a foreign language for your job, many employers are willing to pay the tuition and fees for courses taken in relation to work.

So, whether you are being transferred to a new job abroad and you need to learn the native tongue or you are making plans to travel to another country in the future and want to be able to ask where the bathroom is in their language, learning a foreign language online is convenient and easy. Taking the time to learn a foreign language can ease the transition for you in a new position abroad, help you immerse yourself into an interesting new culture, and even provide you with new and interesting career opportunities.

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