What a great time to be learning English! There are so many apps, podcasts and other resources out there to help you. The most important things when learning a language are: speak as much as possible to native speakers, read as much as possible but make sure the books are appropriate for your level or you’ll get bored or frustrated […]Read more
What is a language?
A language is a system of communication used by a specific community. Nearly everyone speaks (or signs) at least one language. Speaking only one language, or monolingualism, is common in many parts of the English-speaking world such as North America, the UK and Australia. However, a much larger number of the world’s population live in countries where multiple languages are spoken throughout the day.Read more
I have been experimenting in the last year with bringing my language teaching methods to a wider audience. Offering face-to-face lessons in the Vancouver area has been extremely rewarding for me over the last 12 years. That said, as more people than ever wish to expand their horizons I have started offering some new and exciting options for my clients further afield.Read more
I’m often asked by potential clients how long it will take them to become “fluent” in their target language. I always ask in return what it means to them to be fluent. People have varying ideas about what it means to be fluent in a foreign language. Some people perceive it as being able to communicate on a very basic level without much difficulty while others view it as being equivalent to a native speaker and everything in between.Read more
Other than Latin, Arabic is the language with the greatest influence on the Spanish-language. Arabic speakers entered the Iberian Peninsula (modern-day Spain and Portugal) in the year 711. Accompanied by Berbers, these Arabic speakers were pushing into Europe to spread the new faith of Islam that had been founded in 622.Read more
New students often ask me: how long will it take for me to become fluent?
This is a very difficult question to answer. Many factors go into a person’s ability to learn a language. I often discuss how long it takes my average student to achieve certain milestones, such as being comfortable in everyday conversations, or being confident in a business setting.
After I work with students for a few sessions and get to know their learning styles, I can answer this question with greater certainty. There are five key factors that I believe determine how fast someone can learn a new language:Read more
German is spoken by approximately 100 million people all over the world. It is an official language in: Germany, Luxembourg, Belgium, Liechtenstein, Austria, Switzerland as well as provinces found in eastern France and northern Italy. German speakers have also emigrated to numerous other countries. Here are some more interesting facts about the German language:Read more
It’s always an advantage when learning a new language to know a bit about its history and relevance in the modern world. Here are some interesting facts about the Spanish language:Read more
This is part two of a two-part blog on memory aids for language learning. In the first blog (written November 21) I covered subconscious memory aids such as employing colors, smells and music to expand the power of your mind to recover information. Here, in the second part, I will focus on consciously developed techniques such as: mnemonics, the memory palace, labeling and intermittent review.Read more
The ability to memorize is crucial to learning a language as an adult. Unfortunately, some students give up, claiming they simply can’t learn because they have a “bad memory.” In reality, healthy people are born with similar potential but not everyone has the skills or techniques to maximize their memory capacity.Read more