vendredi 1 juillet 2011

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. 

These are perfect "cup-sized" podcasts to casually sip on during your daily routine - and to top it off, the presenters have a proper Scottish accent (when speaking English), and it's perfectly understandable. They were even kind enough to supply us with links to their two step by step learning programs, one for French the other for Spanish [affiliate links].

The moral of the story here is to engage your creative thinking to develop personal ways to grab a hold of a new language. Meet someone who speaks German? There's your chance to have a quick refresher conversation in the language! Spare five minutes during your lunch break? Check out the day's headlines of 'Le Monde' newspaper. When you start bringing language into your daily life, then it becomes much more interesting and relevant.

Additionally you can subscribe to their Coffee Break podcast links for Spanish here and for French here [iTunes links].

Photo: (1)radiolingua, (2)hygienematters
Co-Authored with: Ryan (who first discovered Coffee Break French during his studies in France last year)