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Learn Spanish Quick And Easy

(category: Language, Word count: 382)
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The first thing I discovered upon my arrival in Caracas was that I remembered much less Spanish than I thought I did. As it had been over five years since I had taken a Spanish course I guess I really shouldn't have been surprised right? Who can really expect to remember much from a high school course that was mediocre at best? As I tried desperately to order a simple sandwich and something to drink, I realized that if I didn't at least attempt to learn Spanish I would most likely starve after a week or so.

How exactly does one go about learning Spanish in a Latin American country? Seems pretty easy right? Well I assure you it is not, especially when your entire day is spent speaking English. Another obstacle that I quickly encountered was the very rapid way in which everyone speaks in this city. It is amazing how a sentence containing 10 words or so can come out sounding almost like one long word. Is that what English sounds like to people who don't speak English? It is exceedingly difficult to learn words in another language when you are unable to decipher exactly where one word ends and another begins. This process is made even harder by the fact that most people here fail to pronounce the whole word anyway. There were many words that I was convinced I knew and was using quite frequently. Imagine my dismay when I found out they had whole other syllables on the end of the word. No wonder I had been getting funny looks from people on the street and in restaurants.

I eventually came to the conclusion that an actual course was needed or even better, a private tutor of some sort. The only way I was ever going to learn Spanish was by actually sitting down and studying with someone who could answer the myriad of questions that arose everyday. Sad isn't it? Here I sit, living in a Latin American country and I am unable to pick up the language without resorting to private lessons. Some people seem to have an ear for languages and can pick them up simply by listening, too bad I will never be one of those people.

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Practice Vocabulary

(category: Language, Word count: 261)
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"Changing" money Scene: You are in a store, and you want to play the video game there . You need coins to operate the game, but you only have a ten dollar bill. You desire to ask the owner of the establishment for assistance. What should you say? First, you need to know the meaning of the word, "change": change= an equal exchange of money of smaller values for a unit of higher value For example: 5 pennies are change for a nickel ten one dollar bills are change for a ten dollar bill

"Change" can also be used as a general term for coins. For example: I don't have any change in my purse. So, how can you ask someone to give you change? Here are a number of examples: Excuse me, do you have any change? Excuse me, can you make change for a one dollar bill? There is also a verb form, "to change": Excuse me, can you change a one dollar bill?

If you buy an ESL book that costs $7, and you pay with a $10 bill, you will get $3 in change back. The store employee might say, "Here's your change," as she gives you the three dollars. In this situation, there is a difference in value between the cost of the book and the amount of money you gave to the worker when you paid. The change refers to the money that the clerk must give back to you.

Much Continued ESL Success,

The creator of ESL Free Lesson

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The Problem Of Illiteracy

(category: Language, Word count: 423)
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In general terms, illiteracy is an inability to use language - an inability to read, write, listen and speak. Today, it is usually taken to mean being unable to read and write at a level adequate for written communication or at a level that will allow an individual to function at certain levels of society. In the simplest of terms, illiteracy is the opposite of literacy.

In some societies, the standards for what constitute literacy are different from others. For example, some cultures believe that only people with skills such as computers skills and basic numeracy may be considered literate. This takes into account the fact that there are people who can add and subtract, but can't read letters as well as people who can learn to use a computer to a limited extent but may still not be able to read text. One example is Scotland, which defines literacy as: "The ability to read and write and use numeracy, to handle information, to express ideas and opinions, to make decisions and solve problems, as family members, workers, citizens and lifelong learners." That's probably as specific as you can get in defininng what literacy is all about.

On a global level, analysts and policy makers consider illiteracy rates as an important factor in a country's or a region's "human capital," and with good good reason, as it turns out. Based on numerous studies into this area, they conclude that literate people are easier and less expensive to train and have broader job opportunities and access to higher education. In Kerala, India, for example, female and child mortality rates declined dramatically in the 1960s, after girls who had been schooled to literacy in the education reforms after 1948 began to raise families. There are recent findings, however, that raise questions on correlations such as the one listed above, arguing that these may have more to do with the effects of schooling rather than literacy in general.

Illiteracy rates are highest among developing countries, especially those in the South Asian, Arab and Sub-Saharan African regions where illiteracy is prevalent among 40 to 50% of populations. The East Asian and Latin American regions also have relatively high illiteracy rates ranging from 10 to 15%. In contrast, the illiteracy rate in developed countries is only a few percent. However, it is important to note that illiteracy rates vary widely from country to country and often are directly proportionate to a country's wealth or urbanization level, although many other factors play a determining role.

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Researchers Find Movies Key To Learning A New Language

(category: Language, Word count: 240)
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Mastering a second language just got easier. Specialized movies have blended entertainment and reading to create an enjoyable, yet effective way to learn.

How is this so? It's possible thanks to the "natural approach."

Developed by Stephen Kashen, a linguistics expert, the natural approach is a philosophy that people can learn a second language naturally if input is enjoyable, relaxed, entertaining and relevant.

The concept has been shaped through research in linguistics, psychology, psycholinguistics and, most recently, multisensory media technology. The most modern and revolutionary of these multisensory media technologies is called "Action Captions," found in ReadENT Reading Movies, developed by SFK Media Specially for Kids Corp.

With Action Captions, the spoken words appear on screen in real time, without disrupting the flow of the movie. Scientists and educators indicate that action captions activate the cognitive elements of the brain so the development of both reading and spoken language skills take place naturally.

Action Captions help people that are learning English as a second language by improving their reading, comprehension, vocabulary and fluency skills with fun, interactive movies.

Made for use by children and adults alike, ReadENT Reading Movies are available on DVD featuring such classic titles as "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," "Tales of Gulliver's Travels" and "The Trojan Horse."

While watching the movies, viewers also can enjoy interactive quizzes and games to make the learning experience even more engaging.

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Creative Use Of Your Computer Can Make Language Learning Easier

(category: Language, Word count: 541)
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Your computer can be used as a creative tool in your quest to learn a foreign language. Some innovative ideas can turn your language education into an entertaining, truly memorable experience.

* Audio Modification

Many companies produce software packages that enable you to transform your voice (or someone else's). You can make your voice feminine, masculine, or robotic. It can be raised to a high pitch or lowered to bass tones.

So how does this help you learn a new language?

Many foreign languages (French and German, for example) assign gender to nouns. When learning new vocabulary, why not record feminine nouns in a female voice, masculine nouns in a male voice, and neuter nouns in a robotic voice? This approach can also be used with other types of vocabulary learning. Perhaps you could record a list of German dative verbs in a woman's voice and a list of German accusative verbs in a male voice. You can even take audio files that have been recorded by other people and make them more interesting by morphing voices or adding sound effects.

An internet search for 'voice cloaking' or 'voice modification software' will provide numerous resources to choose from.

* Don't Just Print

If you own a color printer you can spice up your vocabulary lists with bursts of color - perhaps feminine nouns in red, masculine nouns in blue, and neuter in dark grey. You might want to highlight irregular verbs in another color - or perhaps apply bold or italics to make them stand out on the page. Experiment with various fonts and weights.

* Websites and Online Sources

Every language student should have at least one online dictionary bookmarked (preferably several). Each dictionary will work a little differently. Some provide audio clips. Others will allow users to submit new words and expressions. (Be aware that not all user submissions will be 100% accurate.) The best dictionaries will clearly indicate 'verified' user submissions and will mark colloquial and dialect expressions appropriately.

Are you a poet? Help is as close as your computer. Online language resources include helpful rhyming dictionaries. An internet search for 'rhyming dictionary French', 'rhyming dictionary German', 'rhyming dictionary Spanish' etc. will give you good results.

Try to rely on accredited educational sites (domains ending in .edu) when doing grammar research. For instance, if you are looking for Hungarian verb conjugations, try a search like 'Hungarian verb conjugations'. Although at the time of writing the previous search doesn't work at MSN, it does work at Google, Yahoo!,, and many others. The 'site:edu' portion of the search restricts results to domains ending in '.edu' - which are usually universities and other similar educational institutions.

* Online Chatting and Video Conferencing

Video-cams, VOIP, microphones . . . put them all together and talk with foreign friends from all over the world. Using a language in conversation is probably the quickest way to learn.

Whatever you do, remember that the more senses you stimulate during the learning process, the more firmly imprinted the learning becomes. Turn your language education into a fun-filled sensory experience and you will probably stick with it. If it becomes monotonous, you may lose interest.

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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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English Grammar Really Does Matter

(category: Language, Word count: 434)
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Whether we are talking about a five year old that is about to start learning to read or whether we are talking about a thirty year old woman who is attempting to write a thesis for her master's degree, we cannot deny the fact that taking time to learn proper English grammar is important.

When we see or hear about English grammar, the immediate reaction of many people I know is to cringe. They are reminded of junior high and high school English class and the way that their English teachers made them to English grammar exercise after exercise. Because English grammar is usually seen in such a negative sense, it is all the more important that people replace those lies with the truth that learning English grammar really is important for anyone who wants to have a proper perspective of the English language.

When we are speaking or hearing English, not too many of us take the time to think about the fact that English grammar is the very thing that allows us to communicate with and understand one another. It is not so much because we use the same words of the English language, but it is because we all put our words together in certain ways to form thoughts and sentences that we can understand each other. This, in short, is the purpose of English grammar.

English grammar is the mechanics of the English langauge that allows for two people who use the same vocabulary to be able to communicate without misunderstanding. Certainly there will always be some level of misunderstaning that happens when two people communicate, but so much of our problems will be lessened if we all take some time to learn English grammar.

Many schools today are moving away from making English grammar a part of the regular curriculum. So while students may learn how to read and write successfully, they will likely never learn the English grammar or the reasons why they are speaking and writing as they are. So if you or someone you know is struggling with any element of the English language, or if you know a child or someone who is attempting to learn English for the first time, then make sure English grammar is included as an important part of the learning process.

Being able to speak, understand and write a language is an important part of being successful no matter what you do in life. And taking the time to learn even the basics of English grammar will go far in helping people communicate even better.

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Italian Translation Into English Of The Seasons

(category: Language, Word count: 99)
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I have a great love for all things Italian. I work in a translation agency dealing with Italian English language combination projects, I am getting fat on Italian food and I am even marrying a fantastic Italian girl, who is also a translator.

So I hope to bring to you in this article not only an Italian English translation of the text. But also, a feel of the Italian culture and way of life.

Italian Names for the Seasons - la primavera, l'estate, l'autunno, l'inverno

The English Translations are:


la primavera

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Immerse Yourself In The Greek Language And Culture

(category: Language, Word count: 788)
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The Greek language is over 3,500 years old, though it has evolved through the years. Over 15 million people worldwide speak Greek. It is the official language of Greece and Cyprus, and is spoken natively by immigrants living in many countries around the world. The Greek alphabet is considered the first real alphabet, and was a predecessor of the Latin alphabet, and eventually our own alphabet. The Greek language is one of history and passion, and is an ideal representative of the people who speak is fluently. If you are interested in learning a second language, consider Greek.

Learning the Greek language might seem intimidating. The alphabet doesn't look exactly like the English alphabet. The word pronunciation sounds totally different as well. But there are several ways you can go about learning it, and several benefits to doing so. One option is to attend college, and study the language extensively. You have the choice of studying the Ancient form of Greek, or the Modern language. Learning Ancient Greek is useful if you plan to study Ancient Greek art, archaeology, literature, or history, and you intend to pursue this scholarly field. Earning a college degree in Modern Greek will provide you with a thorough written and conversational knowledge of the language that is spoken today, and gives you career options down the road. Having the ability to speak more than one language can have many advantages for you professionally. If you are fluent in the Greek language, and have some expertise in another field such as law, medicine, or business, you can be certified as a foreign language translator. This stimulating career prospect is one that offers you several options. As a certified translator, you can work full-time for a foreign language translation firm, translating business documents, web pages, and other types of communication for global corporations or for small firms looking branch out. You can also do freelance translation work, where you have the ability to be your own boss, and make your own schedule and set you own workload. Yet another career opportunity open to you as a bilingual professional is to teach English as a second language to Greek students in Greece. By knowing English and Greece, you will be able to live and work in Greece, and have no problems communicating there.

Another means by which you can learn the Greek language is by enrolling in an accelerated course that is available online. By learning Greek in this way, you will gain knowledge of a very basic foundation of the language. Learning Greek through an accelerated online course is a rather quick and convenient way to learn a second language. It is ideal for you if you are interested in traveling to Greece, and you want to be able to communicate in a basic way with the residents there. You will find that you will enjoy your travels much more if the stress of a communication barrier is not there.

An ideal option for learning the Greek language is through an immersion program. This is a perfect option for students who are looking to study abroad for a semester, or for bold travelers looking to experience Greek culture in a new and exciting way. You will not only learn the Modern Greek language, but you experience the vibrant and historic Greek culture. Learning Greek in Greece, where our own language and history has its origins, you will learn the language quickly and easily. You will learn the conversational and informal styles of the language by interacting everyday during your adventure with people who are native Greeks, who probably won't be willing or able to communicate in English. You will be absorbed into the dazzling everyday life of the Greek people, its sights, sounds, and smells. You will gain knowledge and appreciate the storied Greek culture: the history, the art, the architecture, the food, and the people. As a part of the immersion program, you will attend courses in which you will learn the Greek alphabet, how to read, and how to write in Greek as well. Learning the Greek language as part of an immersion is a superb way to experience a new culture.

Learning the Greek language, though seemingly intimidating, can have many benefits for you. Knowing a second language gives you the potential to further develop you career by working abroad, or as a translator. Learning the Greek language will make you a better traveler as well. You will be able to communicate with the Greek people, and you will enjoy your adventures in Greece so much more. Learning Greek is a great way to open your eyes to a new (and ancient) culture.

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