jeudi 3 novembre 2011

Easy Languages: Coming to a fair near you?

A snapshot of the Easy Languages / Langues Vivantes stall at Lille's Student Fair last year

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Every once in a while, when the planets align just right, and the spirit of travelling abroad (perhaps the ghost of Erasmus - nobody knows for sure) takes hold of our hearts and minds, Easy Languages takes to the roads. All across Europe (and by Europe I of course mean select locations in France, Belgium, Switzerland, and the Netherlands), agencies - like your faithful Easy Languages - get together in hustling, bustling arenas of energy called work - or business, or travel - fairs (Salons en français) and talk about what we have to offer.

This year is no different, and we're taking the EasyMobile (name pending) to a whole bunch of destinations to tell you, the wonderful language-learning public, anything and everything you need to know. And then some.

Read on to find out where we're going...

lundi 17 octobre 2011

Easy Languages 2.0 has ARRIVED! (We're shiny and new!)

That's right kids. Easy Languages 2. The sequel. Bigger, brighter, bolder. Guaranteed to improve your life.
After many months of blood, sweat, and tears (and maybe some light programming and translation), late nights and neglected spouses, our elite team of internet gremlins, coding wizards, and psychologically vulnerable translators have finally fine-tuned, spruced-up, and polished to a shine the long awaited NEW Easy Languages website. We've revamped its skin, its functionality, and even (!) the font. While official verdicts are still being processed (the site has only been online for a week, after all), this may well be one of the Greatest Websites on the Internet in the History of the Entire Internet Ever (unaccredited).

Read more to find out what kind of goodies we've got in store for you...!

lundi 29 août 2011

Metaphors and Language Learning

A metaphorical work of art, La trahison des images,
René Magritte
As my début post on the Easy Languages blog, I thought I'd kick things off with a theoretical musing that's been bubbling away at the back of my mind for some time. It's not only fascinating but it also sheds some light on the elusive, frustrating, but endlessly beguiling enigma that is our capacity for language - and how we learn it.

vendredi 19 août 2011

Office Update: Welcoming three new interns to the Easy Languages team

It seems like just yesterday we began saying our goodbyes to some interns. Alas as the clock moves forward and the days turn into months, we see fresh faces come and go. This post is on a happier note, fresh faces! We're excited about 3 new interns joining us the month who together represent three separate countries: Italy, England, and the Netherlands!

lundi 15 août 2011

Win 2 Weeks of French Lessons in Brussels!

The gorgeous flower carpet of Grand Place
At Easy Languages, we want to see the world become bilingual. Each person on our team has a passion for learning languages, so we’re putting our money where our mouth is. Starting now, we are announcing giveaway for a French language learning trip for 2 weeks including accommodation in Brussels, Belgium! Language immersion is the best to learn a new language. When you live, breath, and sleep with the language, you can’t help but absorb it. One lucky winner will be treated to this fantastic, immersive experience free of charge.


jeudi 11 août 2011

In the News: Why bringing up your child bilingual is awesome

A bilingual sign in Hong Kong

I recently found an cool article in Newsweek that makes an interesting argument for bringing up children bilingual. While it's still not understood exactly why, children who are immersed in two languages from an early age receive an extra boost in their brain development. Beyond that, these children grow up with a "global consciousness,"  awesome stuff. Looks like the parents responsible for the blog Bringing Up Baby Bilingual have the right idea.

While Easy Languages currently doesn't offer programs to students this young, we do offer some cool language immersion summer camps in France and Spain for kids ages 12 and up. Check 'um out!

Photo: yosoynuts
Source: The Daily Beast

jeudi 4 août 2011

In the News: How language separates us from the chimps

Do you ever wonder how freaking cool it is that you can turn puffs of air into sound waves? Not only that, but you can use those puffs of air to make someone smile or laugh or maybe even love you? Certainly it's not a normal thought that crosses our minds, but Mark Pagel makes a living of it with his study of language evolution. Mr. Pagel believes that one day we will speak a single universal language, but until then, learning new languages will remain pivotal for international cooperation. Click "read more" to check out his Ted talk.

mardi 2 août 2011

A "Dead" Language Lives On: The Significance of Learning Latin

Place St. Michel in the Latin Quarter of Paris
Latin. It is the mother root of almost every European language that exists today and is present in 60% of the English vocabulary. So more than half of our words derive from this long-time considered "dead" language.  But in this study of Latin history and it's relevance to understanding languages, I will argue that this subject is very much still alive. A basic knowledge of Latin can aide anyone trying to learn a foreign language, particularly the romance languages like Spanish and Italian for example. But learning Latin can unexpectedly help even with learning other challenging languages.  For example, Greek and Russian may seem quite different from other European, romantic languages but surprisingly share some similar characteristics with Latin, specifically in relation to the large amount of varying inflections in the language.  So in this article we will be going through the importance of Latin and some of it's history for those of you who are constantly interested in learning new languages or travelling....

lundi 1 août 2011

The Beauty of Learning Abroad: Central and South America

South America in Portuguese

In an effort to show you the beauty that can be found at every one of our destinations around the globe, we will be crawling Flickr for photos that grasp the inherent allure of every city on our map. First up Central and South America countries!

vendredi 29 juillet 2011

Office Update: An international team with truly international tastes

From the United States to the far east (Japan), the team at
Easy Languages is international at heart.
Another week down, and, as we approach then end of the summer season, we also begin saying our goodbyes to our hard working interns. Today we had a goodbye luncheon for Inge, a Dutch intern from Holland, with the entire office in participation. Everyone brought food from their home country and the results were astounding, from Dutch gehaktballen (meatballs) to homemade sushi to the ever popular "quiche Lorraine." We pulled out all the stops for a truly delicious and international smorgasbord of delights. Read on to get a glimpse of the delicious menu and who brought what!

Belgian Cuisine, A Unique Experience

Moules Frites à volonté - YUM!

The picture above was taken at Restaurant Traiteur when some colleagues and I went to eat lunch one afternoon in Brussels. This restaurant is only open seasonally and with a traditional meal being its main appeal, "Moules Frites" (Mussels with fries). What's incredible is there are 69 different preparations! The interior is amazing with many paintings and photographs from historic places around Brussels. On one wall there is a replica of a famous painting featured in the movie Amélie, which consists of people outside enjoying a garden party. The white wine there we had was delicious and easily my favorite Muscadet, a wine by Vincent Caillé. 

mardi 12 juillet 2011

Video: Portugal is a nation of historically epic awesomeness

Check out the awesome video above for a cool look at some facts about Portugal. Did you know that Portuguese is spoken on 5 continents?! Right now we only offer Portuguese courses on 2 continents, South America and Europe

Do you notice anything wrong about these facts? Shout them out in the comments!

Language Learning: The Harry Potter technique...

I draw so awesome.
To celebrate the soon-to-be-released FINAL Harry Potter movie (Part 2) *sob!* I thought I would tell you about another effortless way in which you can get a crack on with your language learning!

Easy-to-read books. We all have them. For some it's chic lit. Others it's a swords and magic fantasy series. Some people have to spend their lives denying the fact that they hoovered up the Twilight books (ahem), but few can deny that Harry Potter made a lot of people's summer reading lists.

lundi 11 juillet 2011

Language Learning is Like Taking a Shower When You're Covered in Crusty, Slimy Mud

I've had better days.
Yep you read that right, sloppy muddy mud. You're going to need a strong water flow, a sponge, and some soap. So what could this metaphor possibly mean? How does this relate to language learning and why am I still reading this post? Good questions, I'm glad you asked. Head on past the break to find out how to get that flow going at the perfect pace and temperature.

vendredi 1 juillet 2011

Quirky English: "The rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain..."

Do you recognize this picture from the classic Audrey Hepburn film? I was suddenly reminded of My Fair Lady the other day when reading a fellow colleague's/co-author's blog about english slang in the UK. It made me think of this movie and how much english and even american slang has changed in just merely fifty years.  I also think this 60's musical is a funny commentary of how "improper" english sounded back in the day. It is particularly significant to note the changes in our vocabulary and how the overuse of swear words has become much more common and habitual in this day and age.  If you have never seen this linguistic rags to riches American-made tale, you should take a quick look at the summary of the film and of course rent the movie: My Fair Lady.

To experience first-hand some of the British or American slang that exists today, visit our Easy Languages site which has information on multiple English programs and courses provided in the UK and in the USA. We also have language courses around the world for those of you who are already fully capable of reading this post (Read: You're already far advanced and articulate in the tricky nuances of English grammar). But check it out! Yeah! 

Photo: Flickr user AndreasPizsa (Copyright Warner Bros. 1964)

Language Learning: The Coffee Break mentality

You never stop learning a language. At first glance, this may seem like bad news, but if you think about it, you are constantly learning your native language as well - so why should other languages be any different? Just as you might come across a new word in a newspaper, or, learn how to word things professionally in English, vocabulary and nuances will continue to emerge for you, especially in a foreign language you are studying.  It's important to realize this about languages - if you see languages as a whole entity that you have to acquire, then that's a lot of pressure to put on one person trying to learn a language. Whereas if you realize that you will never stop learning in a language, then it becomes much easier to visualize the process in steps, and to see languages as a skill that you just keep on finessing.

Which brings us to today's discovery: Coffee Break Spanish and French brought to us via the internet by Radio Lingua : for free! Radio Lingua [affiliate link], an organization that heralds from my homeland of Scotland, has grasped this concept and developed an entire language learning system around it. Their concept is that you can learn a new language, currently French or Spanish, by practicing around 15 - 30 minutes a day, about the length of a coffee break! Each one of their lessons is that long and includes a set of vocabulary, grammar and tips. which progress in difficulty. This makes language learning more fun, because it encourages you to bring language learning and language 'exercising' into your day-to-day life. 

jeudi 30 juin 2011

Staying Safe Abroad: Drink and think responsibly

Allegra having a few drinks with friends on Halloween
At Easy Languages we take your safety abroad very seriously. That's why we have partnered with organizations in the industry like the Student Youth and Travel Association to promote the importance of being fully prepared for a trip abroad. In all honesty the scariest part of traveling abroad isn't the unknown, it's the radical change of environment. Not being able to understand what passers-by are saying or what advertisements mean can be disconcerting and unnerving. While we can't make those feelings go away, we can help you be prepared for the typical curve balls that might get thrown your way. In this first in a series of installments on staying safe abroad we're going to cover safe practices for drinking alcohol safely and responsibly while abroad, but many of these tips apply no matter where you live. Parents I suggest you make your kids read this!

Language Learning: The two flies with one swat mentality

Er, what? 'Hit two flies with one swat'? Well it's actually zwei Fliegen mit einem Schlag treffen, the German equivalent of 'to kill two birds with one stone'. Idioms, and how different or even similar they are, are one of the most interesting things to study in other languages - so as I was writing an article on how to incorporate language learning into your everyday life, I did a quick reference search online.

I'm currently brushing up on my German right now, but I'm not able to go on a language immersion in Germany right at this minute. That doesn't mean you have to put your language goal on hold, and in fact, the more preparation you do before you can visit the country, the more you are going to get out of it in the end!

mercredi 29 juin 2011

Foreign Slang: The United Kingdom of timey wimey slang

(Here is a picture of Ann and I with 'bacon cobs').

Upon my third night in Brussels I had the opportunity to meet a woman from Notting Hill named Ann. Not only was she rather friendly, but she talked to me about her native country of England with great enthusiasm. I asked her about slang in the area where she lived before recently moving here to Brussels to work for UPS. Here are a few terms which she explained to me which sounded also a bit Aussie:

mardi 28 juin 2011

Geography: Do You Know the Countries of Central and South America?

I recently found a great game that can help you brush up on your South American geography. All you do is click on the country named in the top box by the timer and hope that you get it right! The game is available on purposegames.com.

Don't forget to check out our awesome Spanish programs in PeruGuatemala, Mexico, Costa RicaArgentinaUruguay, and Ecuador! We also have some Portuguese programs in Brazil.

Click here for all Spanish programs for those under 18 years old.

Source: www.purposegames.com

Traveling to the Unknown: A Trip to the Italian Countryside

View of a city in Cinque Terre
Ok sure, so Italy isn't really "unknown" territory. But for me, the short adventure to Italy at the end of my year studying abroad in Lyon, France was definitely a new one. I planned it spontaneously late, went by myself, and traveled around, not knowing anyone or a single word of Italian! But somehow I survived...In this blog I will describe some of my experiences and memories from this trip and my suggestions for how to get around in a completely alien country.

lundi 27 juin 2011

The 5 Greatest Things "à faire" in Lyon, France

Flickr user: CdePaz
From working our way down the list to the top "must-do" activities in Lyon, France, I will take you on a little journey explaining the multi-faceted city of Lyon: from shopping at a fresh market in Croix-Rousse to checking out the fun and relaxing bank of the Rhone River. Studying for a year on an exchange in Lyon has allowed me to meet tons of people from all over the world, create a great network of close friendships, and visit places I had only dreamed of visiting. Read on for more!

vendredi 24 juin 2011

Video: Travel Tips from MnMTravellers

Though the video above is a funny commentary on foreign travel, it also mentions some good travel ideas. For example, buying a map is very important because orienting yourself can be important. Another tip I liked here though was the part about throwing away your map for awhile to explore the area. By immersing oneself in these things when traveling, it can be easier for you to explore the language and the city you are adapting to.

jeudi 23 juin 2011

Is World Travel Educational?

It's unfortunate that, according to an article I recently read on USA Today's website, more than two thirds of Americans are monolingual English speakers. There is a problem with the concept of foreign language learning in the United States if the majority of the population isn't interested in learning foreign languages. Is it the attitude we portray to other countries as rugged individualists that keeps us isolated? These are questions that I cannot fully answer, but being in Brussels has provided me with some new insight. For instance, it is important to have a sense of humor and a good attitude when learning a language in a foreign country. You need to be open to new experiences and new teachers.

mercredi 22 juin 2011

Art Protesting: A Look at the Innovative Street Artist BLU

At the University of Oregon, I study art and have a never ending interest in discovering new art styles and artists. This guy is not too new and has been around for about 10 years, but I still find his works relevant to today. He is an italian street artist and does giant murals on the side of buildings, facades of old warehouses, paints street walls found in the ghetto, and even incorporates other medias like in this video I have posted: Big Bang Big Boom. He goes by the name of BLU. Blu travels around the world, as you can tell from his website, and creates these artistic statements, more like protests, about humanity and westernized societies. In this video, you may start off thinking that the art is just telling the story of the Earth and how our planet was first born (with a bang!), but in the end I think it is something much greater...

mardi 21 juin 2011

The Numbers Behind China

After reading the following infographic, one might better understand why it is so valuable to learn Chinese.
By: Jason Powers
Via: www.onlineschools.org/

Foreign Slang: Francy French (Slang in France)

Above is a music video which I think exemplifies the French slang pretty well, and here is the site which translates the French into English for those non-francophones. Upon visiting Brussels and with the fact that French is the primary language here in tow, I have created a list of French slang terms. A few have come from some sites around the web, but some terms I have found in conversations with others here at Easy Languages like "C'est fou!" meaning "That's crazy!" Read on past the break for my complete list.

lundi 20 juin 2011

Video: Silly French Song - Foux du Fafa

Unlike the other video we posted of what English sounds like to foreign listeners this song has real French in it! The above video sung mostly in French by the comedic musicians, Flight of the Concords. Most of the French is fairly basic so see if you can understand it! The lyrics are posted after the break. 

vendredi 17 juin 2011

French songs you should add to your playlist right now!

Above is one of my favorite music videos by McSolaar, a French rap artist. It is only a few years old, and I enjoy the lyrics as well. Hopefully you will enjoy this song like I do. It is my first week in Belgium and so far these are a list of some of my favorite singers in French. It really helps to listen to French music when trying to gain a better comprehension of the language. Hit "Read more" to check out my lists!

Junk Food Flabby to Actively Savvy

Hi everybody! I am a brand spankin' new member of the Easy Languages team and even more of a rookie when it comes to blogging. But recently I came across an article that interested me about americans and obesity. Although I am aware this is a very common topic nowadays in relation to the U.S., I think this little link is a good way to start conversations and discussions about food, health, and culture, in any country. These little statistics, provided by Men's Health, place the top ten fattest cities in the US and the top ten thinnest cities for 2010. As a fellow american, I have actually had first-hand experience with 2 of the cities that are on these lists: living for 18 years of my life in Kansas City, Missouri which is number 6 on the top ten heftiest cities and living in Eugene, Oregon for 2 years while frequently visiting Portland, Oregon which is ranked number 7 on the top ten fittest cities. Upon returning to the US after studying for a year in Lyon, France and doing an internship in Belgium and England, I plan on finishing my studies before finally settling down and finding a job in Portland.

mercredi 15 juin 2011

Ten Great French Films (Part 2)

Flickr user: Ryan Baxter

...And we're back. I'm sorry to tell you that this sequel, like many good sequels, is a lot darker in content (although I still squeezed in an 'aw' inducing documentary and a comedy). So let's take a look at some more recent examples of French cinema...

lundi 30 mai 2011

Video: The Nations of the World

Above is a neat little video about the nations of the world. Yakko from the Animaniacs, a US cartoon that aired in the 1990's, sings out the name every country in the world. Wow!

Can you name the countries Yakko fails to mention? Tell us about it in the comments!

vendredi 18 mars 2011

What English Sounds Like to Non-Speakers

How about this little number! Apparently this is what English sounds like to someone who has never been taught a lick of English. I guess I can kind of see what's going on here. It´s all gibberish, but if you aren´t listening it sounds kind of like a funky English pop song. In any case, the video called "Prisencolinensinainciusol" is hilarious and is a great way get a laugh at those funny Italians from the 1970's. Our apologies if this is old news to you!

If at one point you didn't speak English, does this sound accurate? Let us know in the comments!

Via: www.misscellania.com

mardi 15 mars 2011

How High School Food Should Be Done

If you have ever been to a public high school cafeteria in the United States you know first hand that the food is sub-par more often than not. Sorry, but this post won't make you feel any better. Recently a well known chef and food blogger David Lebovitz tweeted the above photo of a French high school's lunch menu. The food is catered by a French company called Sogeres. Some of the meals include Rotisserie Chicken, fillet of salmon in a lemon sauce, chocolate mousse, and even a lintel salad with hard boiled egg. These are four-course meals! I wish I could say I ate that well, but alas. When compared to a typical lunch from a US high school, it makes a year in high school abroad to not only be a smart life choice, but also a healthy one to boot!

Via: www.good.is

lundi 14 mars 2011

Why Visiting a Local Market is a Must

One of my most memorable moments in Paris was a Saturday morning stroll along the Bassin de la Vilette (a canal) in February 2010. It was super bowl weekend and some of my compatriots were HUGE Saints fans, their excitement was certainly palpable. We were staying at a near by youth hostel when we decided to take a stroll late that morning. After about 100 meters of walking down the canal the smells of the market slammed our noes holes with a symphony of scents.

vendredi 11 mars 2011

Ten Great French Films (Part 1)

Flickr user: Ryan Baxter

Keeping your foreign language alive and kicking doesn't have to be a chore once you get home - choose something that engages you easily, and let your interest do the rest. I'm addicted to Cinema, and films are a really easy way to keep up your exposure to the language and also not feel like you're doing homework! If you want to be really daring, you can even turn the subtitles off! This week we take a look at some French cinema.

jeudi 10 mars 2011

Language hurdle number 3 of 6: I know the vocabulary, but they can’t understand me!

Again another target you can work on with your teacher at a language school is those pronunciation problems you notice cropping up in your daily life outside the school. Teachers usually have an array of solutions to help you pronounce the language more accurately, and will be trained to take into consideration your own mother tongue and how that may have an effect on the problems you are encountering.

English-speakers generally get the short straw when it comes to language pronunciation, particularly because we are quite lazy with our vowels - most of which generally melt into one 'uh' sound (which is called a schwa for all those linguistics enthusiasts out there... just me?). We also get a bit lax with using our lips as we let a lot of our consonants fall to the back of our mouths.

However, a good Spanish teacher will be able to point out that the elusive trilled 'r' that you are trying to create, is not too far off what we use when we say words like 'gotta' instead of a fully enuciated, Queen's English 'got to' (notice how the 't' goes to a completely different place in the mouth). Suddenly those consonants are not looking so tricky!

My favourite word in French (when I can pronounce it) is 'régulièrement' - double r's combined with lots of vowels, crazy stuff! It's a veritable tongue-twister packed into just one word! Sometimes a good tip is to find a particularly difficult word and to keep practicing it until it becomes relatively quick and natural, it's a good way to get your mouth accustomed to a language's particular ways of pronunciation.

I had a quick google search to see if I could find any particular sites that were good for aiding pronunciation, but nothing really jumped out at me - I think this really underlines the fact that pronunciation is one skill that you have to go to the country for. You need to surround yourself with the vowels sounds, patterns of speech and short-cuts in words, and only really interaction with a native speaker can help you target your particular difficulties.

Are there any particular language quirks that are getting your tongue in a twist? Have you found any good pronunciation tips or tools to help you straighten them out? What's your favourite tongue twister?

mercredi 2 mars 2011

Demand for Bi-Lingual Americans to Grow in the Next Decade

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal employer demand for Mandarin and Spanish will grow at least by 42% (Mandarin) or 70% (Spanish) in the next decade. The study cited in the article by the University of Phoenix Research Institute surveyed 419 employers and 511 workers on their outlook for the need of bilinguals in the work place. Of the 511 workers, 80% said it is highly unlikely that they will gain such knowledge in 10 years. That means it is up to people in college and in high school now to take advantage of some languages that will be in very high demand in the years to come.

vendredi 25 février 2011

Internationalize Your Resume!

Flickr user: Paulo Brandão
So you're planning to or you have studied abroad, what next? Well you need to build a resume that properly markets your amazing experience to recruiters and hiring managers. CEO love applicants who have studied abroad, but most hiring managers don't even consider it as important as other factors (Read: They never had the fun you've had /will have from your study abroad). In the following post, I will break down how you make your international experience an attractive and important part of your resume, as it should be! Read on for all the juicy tidbits.

mercredi 2 février 2011

Language hurdle number 2 of 6: They won’t correct me!

Flickr user: cyanocorax
Now you’re speaking spontaneously, without having to pause for a long time to think of a way of expressing yourself. However you’re still making mistakes than you'd like and there are some things you can never quite work out how to express… Getting locals to correct you in your language use is difficult and scary, Benny the Irish Polyglot has a great article that details some ways to get locals to work with you in their language.

Besides bribing local friends with chocolate and smiles à la Benny, Language schools can help you target your specific weak points, such as straightening out recurring problems or finding new means/forms of expression. You can rely on your language teacher, when you’re at an intermediate ‘spontaneous language’ level, to begin correcting you on recurring problems, particularly if it’s something that they really believe you should know by now. In the end however it is up to you. You must take the big leap and fight the anxiety. You ability to press onward will net you some new appreciative friends and at the same time some additional help. If you ask questions, be brave, and don't use English with anyone you will be well on your way to becoming a pro!

What kinds of hurdles have you had to overcome when learning a language? Do you have any stories about trying to persuade your local friends to correct you?

mardi 1 février 2011

Acting in a foreign language

Javier Bardem in a recent interview with Andrew O'Hehir at Salon.com had a beautiful way of describing his relationship with two of the languages he speaks. Although he speaks excellent English, he has a very different kind of connection with it compared to Spanish, a much more 'cerebral' connection than Spanish, a language that he has 'lived' more.

Anyways, I thought I'd share with you guys as it's an interesting insight into the different roles a language can occupy in your life:

'Yeah, it makes a difference because it's the mother tongue. You live your life in Spanish and you've suffered and enjoyed and had pleasures and pains in Spanish. Words have an emotional resonance in you, huge emotional echoes, when you're speaking in your own language. You don't think about what you're saying; the words come out of a need to express yourself. When you're speaking in a foreign language, there's like an office in your brain, where people are throwing the words at you. "Give me that word -- I need a verb! I need an adjective!" There's a lot of people working in there, and you have to live with that.'

Thanks to the Daily Dish for drawing attention to the interview.

What's your take on this? Which languages do you speak, and do you have a different 'relationship' with them?

dimanche 30 janvier 2011

Language hurdle number 1 of 6: Confidence

Flickr User: gerriet
     Travelling in a country where you aren't a master of the language can be daunting, and often it is quite difficult to get started in speaking the language, especially when locals immediately notice that you speak English (It's international). Particularly when you are a beginner, locals can sometimes get impatient waiting for you to come up with the correct phrase; or you yourself may not feel comfortable making them wait a long time while you find the right phrasing. Also, at the beginner to lower intermediate stage, you often have a very limited pool of vocabulary to draw from and there are many situations that are too difficult linguistically to tackle yet. What you must understand is that you are not alone. Click onward for a great funny video about the difficulties of conversing in a language for the first time.

jeudi 27 janvier 2011

Why an International Perspective is Gold for Any Job Seeker

UK CEOs are looking beyond domestic and traditional markets to take a more international perspective... and that means they need employees who can also take on this international view. Employees who have experience communicating with people from different countries with different cultures. Those who are unfazed by being surrounded by a multilingual environment, and can even participate in the nuanced multilingual conversations are becoming more and more valuable. Employees who can use their experience of a country's culture to give unique insights to negotiations and business plans... that would or could be YOU!

Check out the article here!

And if this article has inspired you, don't forget to check out our selection of business-oriented programmes, or even get in touch and see what we can recommend for you!

Challenge 2011 - Learn a language!

Today I stumbled across some excellent arguments for why having a second or third language in your skillset is an incredible bonus in the job market. Confessed Travelholic at her Tale of a Thousand Cities blog gives some tips as to what language to choose, and also explains how a language immersion course can really help you get the most out of your travel adventures too! Check it out!

mardi 25 janvier 2011

What is a Language School?

A class at our partner school in Peru.
Okay, in some ways the answer to this question maybe obvious: a language school is a school dedicated to learning a language! But how do they work? Why are they special? What’s the point in enrolling in courses at these types of schools? The purpose of this article is to give you some practical information, clear up some of the mystery surrounding this type of school; and give you a little taster of what the experience is like studying there.

vendredi 21 janvier 2011

Why you need to visit the country where your target language is spoken (and why it isn’t as scary as it seems)

Heidelberg, a picturesque town in Germany

Up until recently, I’ve been a bit of a language scaredy-cat. Sure, I’ve studied 5 foreign languages, but these were mainly in the classroom and at University. Okay, okay, I’ll admit I’m one of those people who enjoys putting up their hand and answering a question and getting it right. There’s something really comforting about knowing there is a right and a wrong answer to a question – particularly with grammar: learn the rules, learn the exceptions, and you’re kind of there.

Unfortunately, languages aren’t really a subject that can be put into neat formulas and rules, because they aren’t dead. Languages are living squirmy things that are constantly changing, and not just that, they are constantly being used in different ways by their speakers.

Business Language Courses

Flickr User: Paul (dex)
      Learning a new language is not only for language majors. In this current economic environment, along with the rapid progress of globalization, it is imperative that you have more than one language you can speak or at least communicate with on a basic level. Human Resources departments prioritize applications which include a global experience that provides a valuable global mind set. Here's why.