Daniel Experienced English, Spanish German Tutor in West London

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After working in the airline business as a senior international/corporate reservations agent in a trilingual capacity for five years, I took the decision to focus on teaching languages and never looked back.

I have taught the English, Spanish and German GCSE and A Level (all exam boards) curriculum to pupils at Top Tutors Ltd. for the past 4 years every afternoon/evening during the week and on Saturdays as well. It is a fantastic job and my dedication to students – and their parents – takes a very central role in my life. My lessons are dynamic and cover the entire spectrum of AQA, Edexcel, OCR and JWEC from foundation to higher GCSE, Cambridge IGCSE, and A Level. I have a cornucopia of student essays, projects, creative writing and engage large groups just as well as one-to-one or small groups.

I’m currently working at various secondary schools in the borough of Ealing – a resident of nearly a decade – which has afforded me much practice in classroom management and a holistic approach to education. However, I am looking for extra hours from Monday-Friday from 9:00 a.m to 15:30 p.m and am considering roles that may become more permanent than that of a Teaching Assistant.

 

 

 

 

Toyah Experienced German Teacher

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I’m a native speaker in German and have extensive experience in teaching German from beginner to advanced level.
Currently I work as a journalist for MandateWire, a publication of the Financial Times.
I’m a highly motivated and experienced tutor with a strong background in providing private tutoring lessons to students with diverse backgrounds. I am confident that my strong desire to help students achieve their goals will go a long way in providing high-quality services to German-lessons-London.

I’m teaching since several private students from beginner level to advanced.
I focus on student-centered learning and aim to meet the various study goals of my students. It is my responsibility to define what students must learn and how they should learn it and therefore I provide very clear guidelines for how tasks should be completed during the German course.

Nadine Experienced German Teacher in London

nadine

I have been teaching German in London since 2003, also in Switzerland between 2008 and 2011. Main focus is on one-to-one tuition but also do group tuition.

I have been teaching at companies such as Deutsche Bank, Commerzbank, Barclays, JP Morgan, Bank of America, Nomura, Herbert Smith, Taylor Wessing, Moody’s etc. I also have been teaching adult group classes at International House which is also the language school where I did my teacher training course back in 2002.
I used to teach children (privately), too, however, this is not my main focus.
I usually follow a course book (“Willkommen”/”Passwort”) when I teach a complete beginner focusing on grammar and pronunciation but from higher levels (Mid/Upper A2) I prefer using my own material and the main focus is on speaking and writing.
Occasionally I also teach business German.

German Tutor in City of London or East London

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Name of the teacher: Diane 

After graduating in English literature I started out as a replacement teacher in my home country Luxembourg, teaching German and French (fluent in both). Now I have moved back to London I would love to expand my teaching experience.
I have to admit that I am a bit of an idealist and my main attitude is that everyone can learn regardless of the student’s prior education, experience and circumstances. Even though it is eventually the student who has to do the studying, the teacher plays a key role by offering them the best possible learning experience as well as a sense of compassion, meaning that it is crucial to show my students that I want them to improve and succeed. Therefore it is important for me to build a positive relationship with my students, demonstrating my enthusiasm.
I also tend to strongly involve students in the lesson as far as the situation allows it. I give them the opportunity to express their own ideas and am open to suggestions as I not only want to teach them but I also want to improve myself and make the lessons more relevant to them. Therefore I always try my best to design my lessons according to their individual needs, if possible. Appropriately I take notes during each lesson to become aware of issues, which then allows me to go back to them and improve them.
Likewise I prefer to be organized, planning my lessons, although flexibility is a necessity in the job as you cannot really foresee the outcome of the lesson. Nevertheless I plan my lessons in order to have clear objectives that are also evident to the students.

 

As a teacher I like to share my enthusiasm as it makes the teaching climate more enjoyable for both teacher and students. You cannot expect the students to be motivated if the teacher does not seem genuinely interested in their success. Having encounters some difficulties in my early school years I can empathize with students when they are encountering problems and I do not judge them but try to improve their learning experience accordingly. However I strictly want them to improve themselves and refuse to do something for them which they can do themselves, I am only there to teach them not to their work for them. To conclude I also think that as a teacher it is essential to have a good sense of humor, for mistakes, interruptions, misunderstandings and other unplanned situations are inevitable, therefore it is important to have a good laugh together instead of judging and building up unnecessary pressure.

Higher Education Establishments Move Toward Abandoning Language Studies

A recent article written by the Guardian newspaper states that over a third of UK universities have stopped offering specialist European language courses, demonstrating a shocking lack of interest in studying a foreign tongue.

Some argue it is a lack of funding into linguistics courses that has led to this immense drop in participation whilst others debate whether it is the harsh grading at A-level that has turned students off the idea of taking a higher learning language course. We look at some potential reasons language learning may be decreasing in popularity, and discuss why why we believe there should be a resurgence in students wanting to learn one!

Modern Technology

There may other influences responsible for the drop in applications to study languages but modern technology offering computer-aided translating services at your fingertips is certainly one. It may seem as though communication with people all over the world has become a limitless possibility, and indeed these services have helped, but it has been argued before that online translation programs are not as reliable as everyone believes. The idea of communication is one not just supported by the words themselves, but the intention with which they are spoken and often learning a language from scratch is a much easier way of understanding not just how to speak it, but how to understand the culture from which the language originates.

Image of China with Chinese FlagDecreasing Popularity and Investment

European languages are becoming known as ‘elite subjects’, i.e., a subject being offered by very few universities and therefore only studied by a small demographic of students who have decided it will be beneficial in a particular job role. It seems as though, because the demand for these courses has dwindled and as such the number of universities offering these courses has also lowered, there seems to be no way of changing this trend. There must be many valid reasons as to why students do not feel like taking up university courses in languages such as German, Spanish and Italian but perhaps there should be more of an effort made by educational services to demonstrate the benefits of taking up a new language at degree level.

Language Benefits Business

Perhaps prospective university students these days are turning away from learning languages simply because they do not see it as a necessary string to their bow. However, with the rise of global communication comes a huge rise in global commerce. Businesses are trading internationally now more than ever so being multi-lingual is a massive plus if you are thinking of working abroad. It is not just future employment prospects that improve from learning a new language, the opportunities for personal growth are significant too. If you have the desire to travel the globe during your gap year, then surely knowing some of the local tongues will help you immerse yourself in the destinations you have chosen to travel.

Learning a language helps to understand other people and cultures and can help breed a deeper understanding of the world you live in. Being able to translate the odd sentence with Google Translate when you need to is a helpful tool but being able to speak in depth to someone in their own language is a skill we believe to be far more meaningful.

Languages are tough to learn but can be so rewarding when it all clicks into place. Lucy recently enrolled in a Spanish course with LanguageNow and is loving the experience.

London language courses starting in September 2012

The language class opens the enrolments for the new September 2012 classes for those interested in learning a new language.

After the hype of the Olympic games The Language class publish the new dates for the next round of courses commencing in September 2012 and also in October 2012. The have the usual evening French, Spanish, German and Italian courses for 10 weeks from 7 pm till 9 pm. Of course we have the beginner courses in those language for those who want to start learning a language from scratch. In fact no previous knowledge is required when enrolling on a Beginner course. We call this level A1 according to the European Framework for language it will cover the most basic elements of a language such as greetings, the alphabet and numbers, along with some basic verbs and the present tense.

Weekend language courses starting in September 2012

For those interested in a new language we have beginner course during the weekend, the semi intensive course on Saturday is particularly suitable for those who do not have time during the evening the attend the classes in Liverpool street. The weekend course lasts 6 weeks and each meeting it is set at 10.30 am and lasts until 1.30 pm.

Lunch time language courses in the City of London from Septmber and October 2012

If you would like to learn Spanish or German and you have no time, you can take advantage of our lunch time classes that start at 12.00 noon and last for one hour. These are ideal if you want to  escape your office during lunch break and do something with your time.

Why learning a language from September 2012 is a good idea.

Some people just had their holidays and have been to Spain or for those really lucky in South America. So why not continuing practising Spanish while you are back in London. This is the right time to learn while motivation is high. September, October and November are great months away from other commitments such as Christmas and other holidays. So this time frame will ensure continuity in your learning.

What are the most popular languages to learn.

In the UK Spanish is always the most popular language to learn due to the fact that many young people have interest in travelling to South America. However due to the vicinity to France, Italy and German the countries respective languages are also popular.

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Learning a language with self study materials VS learning with a native tutor

The advantages of learning a language with a real native tutor

Each of us has a different learning style. Some learn better with visual aids while others like listening to lectures and hearing what is being taught. There are those who like to read and analyze before they figure something out while there are those who prefer to apply concepts taught in order to remember them. No matter what the learning style and the topic of the discussion, a real teacher is definitely an advantage to any type of learner.
Real teachers make learning for a student more interesting by the utilization of facilitation skills instead of spoon-feeding information that can be readily learned in online courses or modules. They can make the lessons more personalized depending on the type of learner and inject activities that allow application of the lesson learned. They can also adjust the pace of the lessons and just cover the ‘need-to-know’ topics if required. Also, if your teacher happens to be a native speaker, he or she can show you how to speak the language the native way. This way, the learner is able to appreciate the language even more and is able to understand why speaking another language is not just combining words and phrases.
The downside of audio CDs and language learning programs such as those offered in www.pimsleur.com and www.rosettastone.com is the fact that they only target specific types of learners, specifically the auditory or visual learners. Even if these software have speech recognition and provide feedback on pronunciation or intonation, nothing can compare to the comments of a real teacher. You are also able to immediately correct your mistakes and get more ideas on how to grasp and remember the topic better based on feedback from your teacher.
When you feel that you have acquired everything that you can from your self-paced lessons, the final test is for you to apply what you’ve learned by striking an actual conversation with someone who speaks your newly learned language. Most language learning software is not built for this purpose. Practicing what you’ve learned through interaction with your teacher is something that technology cannot replace, without a doubt.
Cost may also be a factor when choosing between self-directed learning and instructor-led learning. One good suggestion would be for you to invest in a school that offers lessons conducted by a real teacher and supplemented with online courses or self-paced topics. In this way you get to address all your learning needs.
In conclusion, learning a new language on your own using available resources can be beneficial, but when combined with interaction provided by a live teacher, you can definitely have the best possible learning experience.

Learn a Language with a teacher on Skype

The Internet has changed the way people keep in touch with each other. People from all over world are now able to communicate with each other easier, faster and cheaper. One of the innovations of Internet communication is Skype. It is a program used for making phone and video calls through the internet. All you need to do is download it from the Skype website to your PC, create a Skype account and log in to the software. To do a phone or video call with someone, you need to make sure that you have added the other person’s Skype account to your list of contacts. For other details about this software, feel free to visit www.skype.com.

Now let’s talk about why you would want to use Skype as a means to learn a new language. With Skype, you can learn your lessons wherever you are without having to worry about catching a ride to school or having to follow a dress code. You can also schedule your sessions accordingly so you can maximize your time without sacrificing your other obligations. The keyword is convenience.

The next thing that we want to emphasize is the accessibility to a native teacher. When learning a new language, it’s always an advantage to be able to have a native speaker teach you the language, and Skype gives you that advantage since you won’t have to fly over to the country of your chosen language just to take language tutorials from a native. Skype is also great for one-on-one lessons. Aside from the fact that feedback is real-time, you still get to interact with your teacher in a personalized manner regardless if he or she may be several time zones ahead or behind you. Using Skype also works great whether you want to learn at your own pace or if you prefer a more comprehensive approach.

The last consideration that we want to mention is cost. Learning need not be expensive, and using Skype can definitely cut down on travel expenses. You also won’t need to procure textbooks since most of the learning materials can be sent through your email. You can choose from a wide selection of teachers who use Skype as a method of facilitating, saving you even more money.

Using Skype to learn a new language definitely has a lot of benefits. It gives you convenience and saves you time and money and yet still allows learning in a fun and enjoyable manner.  

Learn a language using the resources available on the internet

Nowadays learning something isn’t as challenging as it was years back. With the evolution in science and the innovation in technology, the Internet can definitely be considered an indispensable source of information and knowledge. If you haven’t tapped into the Internet’s unlimited power, then you definitely need to read this through.

There are some languages that have similar grammar rules thus making them easier to master while others are more challenging and might take time to learn. If you’re just curious and only want to see how learning a new language works, then you most probably have tried searching for free lessons online, many of which cover the basics of your chosen language. However, if you are a more serious learner and have considered acquiring a new language for travel, academics or business, you may need more than what free lessons can offer and may require an actual language teacher for a minimal fee. For this purpose you might want to search for schools that offer formal lessons online on learning a new language. A great resource for verb conjugations for many different languages include www.verbix.com and a good website for grammar tips, phrases and even audio files is www.mylanguages.org.

One of the many aspects of language skills is a rich and wide vocabulary. You need to make sure that you choose the right words when you are speaking or writing to ensure that you ‘blend in’ with native speakers. Word choice is a something that differentiates a native speaker from a non-native one – you may be using the same words but the context may mean differently. This is why in addition to your actual language lessons, you should enhance your vocabulary using online resources and dictionaries. Examples of useful online dictionaries include http://www.omniglot.com/links/dictionaries.htm and http://www.allwords.com/

Correct pronunciation and intonation should not be forgotten when learning a new language. This is when a good set of headphones or earphones (with or without a microphone) become handy, plus YouTube (www.youtube.com). YouTube is a great source of pronunciation and intonation guides because of the audio and video components it offers. You can easily search a good audio or video recording of your chosen language and then you can listen to it and mimic the way the words are pronounced. You can also record your own pronunciation and listen to it afterwards so you can hear yourself and assess if your pronunciation is good enough or you can ask a friend who knows your chosen language to listen to you for feedback.

As you can see, there are a lot of possibilities from the Internet when it comes to improving your language skills. All you’ll need is patience and dedication and you’re well on your way to honing your language skills to the fullest.  However if you are looking to improve your language skills fast the best it is to attend private or group classes and use the guidance of a real teacher. The Language class is in London and it offers lessons in the following languages: Italian, French, English, Spanish and German.

using internet to learn

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Learning Languages on Your Own

This is a Dalarna University production.

[0:00:19.9 Foreign language] All of which is to say my name is Konstantin. I’m a Russian teaching English and Linguistics at Dalarna University in what the locals say is the heart of Sweden. I’ve been a language teacher for eleven years. I studied English and German for my bachelor’s degree in St. Petersburg. But since then, I have taught myself Swedish, Italian, and Esperanto. Quite recently, I finally realized that I could no longer get away with not knowing French so right now I’m trying to get started on French as well.
Well, as phonic lots go I’m really nothing special. There are people out there who are breathtakingly fluent in a dozen languages or perhaps in more. Those people might be true linguistic geniuses for all I know. But I really wouldn’t know because I’m not one of them. I’m nothing if the kind. I’m just a regular guy. But thanks to experience I suppose and a certain amount of study, I have come to realize a few things about language learning, and I’ve come to develop a few useful habits. That’s what I will be talking about today. For the most part, I will be stating the obvious, at least obvious of those who have ever learned a foreign language as adults. And I guess I might start with something that should be blindingly obvious to just about everyone.
When it comes to learning foreign languages, there’s some good news and there’s some bad news. Now, the bad news is there’s no magic way to learn a foreign language quickly and effortlessly unfortunately. Children do pick up languages as they go but children have much better memories, and even more importantly, they have all the time in the world to, well, to learn languages to put it quite simply. And they’re not afraid of losing face. Now, I’m sorry to tell you we’re not like that at all. Our memory leaves a lot to desired. It’s not like a sponge anymore. We have full-time jobs and we have social obligations and we have children. Well, we tend to be, at least, we tend to be horrified. We tend to be afraid of losing face of making stuttering fools of ourselves. Now, that is why we have to find time for language learning. We have to make an effort and that’s the bad news.
The good news however is that if you do find some time, if you make a little effort, you can learn a language. Anyone can learn a language in fact. Anyone can learn a foreign language. No one is crap at languages I can say. We’re all on the same boat, and I’m surrounded by living proofs of that all the time, not just at work.

Why do then so many people seem to view language learning as an awe-inspiring feat that they can never hold to perform? Well, one major reason for that is that we tend to have somewhat unreasonable expectations of knowing a language. It’s not quite clear what we really mean by knowing a language. It seems to me that surprisingly many people believe that you haven’t really learned a language unless you’re perfectly fluent in it? That seems to be a bit unreasonable to me. I can use myself as an example. My Italian is extremely far from being perfectly fluent. But when I go to Italy or when I feel like watching an Italian movie, I find the Italian that I know quite useful. And that’s why even though my Italian is not perfect, I do not really think that I have failed in learning it.

To illustrate this idea a bit further, let me tell you about the seven stages of knowing a language as I see them or as I identify them yesterday as I was preparing this presentation. I must warn you though. The whole thing is a bit cheesy and it’s horribly oversimplified. But I hope that it will do the job for now at least.
Okay. Let us assume that you have been learning French and you’re in Paris right now and you have a French friend and you go to a restaurant, the two of you together. Now, stage one. If you’re at stage one of “knowing” French, what you can do is you can read the menu. You can open the menu. You can read it and you can understand most of it. In other words, given the little time you can understand something that is written in French and that’s exactly the stage that my French is at right now. This doesn’t have to be limited to menus of course. It can also extend to books and sometimes even newspapers. But the main idea is that it doesn’t really go beyond understanding or passively understanding written text.

What happens at stage two is that you can actually order a meal in French, and you can then ask well the waiter for an explanation, for a piece of advice, about a particular item on the menu for example. In other words, you can communicate some essential information by using standard speech formulas and that’s already something. What can I say?
Then at stage three, something amazing happens. You actually understand the waiter’s advice when it’s given to you. In other words, you understand spoken language when it’s directed at you and we assume here that the waiter is sufficiently friendly and that he can see that you’re a foreigner while trying to speak French to the best of your capacity. And that’s already something as well.
And then at stage four, when your friend starts chatting with the waiter, you can actually understand what the chatting is about. You can follow their conversation. In other words, you understand relatively fairly I can say casual, spoken language even when it’s not addressed directly to you. This can also be extended to watching movies for example, most movies anyway, and watching television shows.
Then at stage five, you can actually chat with the waiter yourself. In other words, you can speak spontaneously without too much hesitation. Well, that’s what many people understand by fluency. But it doesn’t really stop there. On the right side, we have some more advanced stuff.
Stage six then. You have been served your food and your wine, and you proceed to argue politics, philosophy, and let’s say the Eurovision results with your friend for about two hours in French of course. In other words, you can carry a sophisticated conversation on a variety of topics. You have enough vocabulary for that.
Finally, the last stage, stage seven, you can do all of the above without making errors. And I would like you to note here that grammatical errors, making grammatical errors and word choice errors is perfectly okay. Well, actually it’s unavoidable at any of the earlier stages. I would also like you to note that whichever stage you have managed to reach so far, now your language skills can actually come in handy. They can be useful even if it’s just for reading the menu.

Well, the next question is how do you reach any of these stages? Well, like I said, there’s no magic recipe but I do have three general tips that I think are essential. I also have some more specific advice for you and I have one major revelation which will come at the very end of this presentation.
Now, essential tip number one: Do not try or do not even expect to be able to reach all seven stages at once. Chances are you’ll feel frustrated very soon and you’ll give up and that’ll be tragic of course. Like elsewhere in life I suppose, it’s important to set goals for yourself that are slightly unrealistic but not too unrealistic.
Essential tip number two: Well, they say that when it comes to language learning, it’s better to study for twenty minutes every day than for two hours once a week. And that is absolutely true except I would add that it’s actually even better to do both and it’s better still to study for twenty minutes several times a day every day. In other words, you need to do a little language learning whenever you can. Whenever you have a choice let’s say between working on your Japanese for twenty minutes and doing something else, you should always go for Japanese. Well, do twenty minutes of Japanese and then do the other thing.
Okay. Whether it’s twenty minutes or two hours, the next question is what exactly do you do during this time? How for example can you work on your accent, on your pronunciation? Well, the first thing I should mention is that no matter how you work in it, if you’re an adult, you will probably never sound like a native. But you can definitely make your accent less foreign. You can make it easy on native’s ears. How do you achieve that? Well, of course it’s different for different people. But one thing that is probably true for everyone is that listening alone is not enough. In addition to listening, which is important of course, you also have to repeat what you hear. Not just repeat. You have to imitate it. You have to ape it as much as you can. You have to do it thoroughly, sound by sound, word by word, phrase by phrase, sentence by sentence eventually as many times as you can as many times as you have time for.
Why do you have to do that? Well, you have to do that because you have to make your mouth and your tongue and your brain, ultimately, you have to make them get used to these foreign, these alien sound combinations. That’s really important. Now, repetition, imitation, and aping—all of that is really important, but there’s a little snag. The problem is when you listen to a language you don’t really know very well, your brain doesn’t really hear at least half of what is actually being said pronunciation-wise. You have to teach your brain to hear things right as it were. And that’s why it’s usually a good idea to read about the sounds of the language that you’re learning before you start imitating them, or read about them while you’re imitating them and the process as it were. Well, not actually as they speak of course.

It’s important because well of course other languages have sounds that you have never dreamed of for one thing and even those sounds that may sound familiar to you may turn out to be quite different in some in some important way. This distinction may amount to the difference between a mother and foul language for example, something like that.
Finally, when you do all this aping and imitating and all this tongue twisting, it will feel strained and unnatural and you will feel silly and that’s a really good sign. If your mouth literally baulks at it, it’s a really good sign because if it doesn’t feel silly, if it doesn’t feel unnatural, if it doesn’t feel strained at first, you’re probably not doing it right and you should probably try harder.

Next, how do you study grammar? Well, some people might tell you that they can manage just fine without knowing any grammar, for example, in English. Unfortunately, they don’t know what they’re talking about. Grammar put simply is about how you put words and sentences together and you have to know at least something about that if you want to understand other people and if you want to be understood. Now, if you didn’t grow up with the language you have to learn that. You have to learn grammar by learning rules, grammar rules, however scary that might sound at first.
If you want to make that task easier for yourself, it’s a good idea to get familiar with some basic concepts with a few general principles of how languages work, some basic terminology that is used in grammatical descriptions. And there are a couple of ways to do that. Now, one way is by getting hold of a nice introduction to linguistics, something that is very light and very engaging. There are plenty of books like that on Amazon and elsewhere. You just need to shop around a little.
Now, another way, and here comes a shameless plug for Esperanto, is by trying to learn a simple artificial language like Esperanto first as trial. Esperanto is delightfully, ridiculously simple and it will give you a very nice hands-on experience of things like adjectives and nouns and direct objects and verb tenses and agreement and stuff like that. You will never have to worry about your accent for example or even your progress. It is a truth universally acknowledged as they say that a third language is easier to learn than a second one. If your warm up act is Esperanto so to say, then well, it will go really smoothly. I can guarantee you that pretty much. As an extra bonus of course you will be able to befriend any number of Esperanto-speaking nerds like myself.

Next, once you know the basic concepts, you’ll have an easier time understanding rules. Once you understand the rules, it’s really important to watch out for them. At least sometimes when you’re reading a text or when you’re listening to the language you’re learning, try to pay attention not to what is being said, not as much at least. But also to how it’s being said grammar-wise. It’s really important. Likewise when you’re learning a grammar rule, you need to make a point of actually using it the next time you speak or write the language.

Finally, it usually pays to compare the way things work in the language you’re learning and the way they work in English or your first language for example. Now it’s good to be aware of how similar, how different the language are because just like in pronunciation, a lot of bad grammar is caused by unwitting interference from your first language or from English. It’s caused by your grammar instincts that belong to a different language.
Well, this point actually provides us with a nice little bridge to my first take about learning vocabulary which is don’t learn words “naked.” What does that mean? That means that words never exist in isolation. They never exist alone, so to say. They always interact with each other. Let me give you an example of that. Let’s say you’re Italian and you’re learning English and you want to learn the English word “love.” Okay. Now let’s say the meaning of love is in many ways similar to what you know as amore. But there’s a lot more to love than that. There’s just that similarity I have to tell you. Consider this sentence. “I fell in love with you.” Now, you can see the word “love” in there and it still means what it usually does. But you can see that in this sentence, it is part of a very complex relationship with three other words namely “fall,” “in,” and “with.” This relationship is as permanent as it gets and you’d better learn about before it’s too late to save yourselves some trouble later.
Now if you’re an English-speaking person learning Italian for example, something else happens. You want to express the same idea. You want to say, “I fell in love with you” in Italian. Well, if you try hard enough, if you use a dictionary, you will find out that the word amore will not actually be of much use to you because you don’t use it for that purpose. You have to learn a different word. You have to learn the word innamorarsi. Not only that. You have of course to know how to make it fit the sentence and you have to know that the word innamorarsi teams up with this little word di. Mi sono inamorato di te in Italian to express this idea.

So you can see that languages do different things. Well, sometimes they do the same things in very different ways and that’s why it’s really important to be aware of differences and similarities between languages. Where do you find this information by the way? Well, any good dictionary will have this information and you’ll find it there. Talking of good dictionaries, a good dictionary will also list a lot of meanings for common words for example.

The next trick is to ignore most of those meanings, at least at first initially. You need to ignore most of them and only focus on the ones that are important. As a rule, the important meanings will be listed first but it’s always a good idea to check of course.
Besides, a dictionary, a good place to see how words work is the Internet. What I do myself quite often when I learn a new word, I Google the word. I Google it on its own first and then perhaps in some of its different forms if there are different forms. I can also Google it with some of the little words that it has a relationship with as it were. And then I can just see how the word works. I can see how it’s used in sentences, how it’s used by people. That’s something that is really useful.

Next, just like with grammar rules, when you have learned a new word, you need to go out of your way to actually use the word, perhaps even overuse it at first. You need to do that because you have to convince your brain that this word is actually worth remembering because your brain is like that. Your brain will do its best to forget as much s it can as quickly as it can. So you have to keep reminding your brain that these words are important. I want you to remember that. How do you that? Well, besides actually using those words, you can also read as much as possible and listen to as much of the language as possible then note these new words as you come across them. That’s really helpful and it works especially well for common words.

When it comes to less common words, one trick that I find useful especially for a linguist myself is using the reminder function on your mobile phone. What you do is you just take this new word. You enter its translation first then you enter the word itself preferably with some other words around it in a sentence and perhaps with some grammatical information. It’s really important to make sure that when the reminder goes off you don’t see the word right away because you need to make a mental effort to remember it. So when it does go off, you remember the word and you renew the reminder. And you do it again and again with increasing intervals so to say let’s say one day the first time then three days then a week perhaps then a month, something like that. And you continue the same vein until you have convinced your brain that well, this word is actually worth remembering, and it does work.

Now, my phone is pretty basic and it can only do a few dozen reminders at a time but of course more advanced gizmos have more. Things like iPhones and such, they have special applications for vocabulary learning actually and it’s a good idea to use that as well.
Now, at this point you may be thinking, “Okay, pronunciation and vocab and grammar, it’s all very well. It’s all very good. But what about those seven stages? How do I actually learn to do stuff in a language? Well, I’m afraid I only have one answer to that. You learn to do stuff in a language by actually doing it. This is the only thing I can say. You learn to read menus. You learn to order a meal by trying to use that funny phrase from your textbook to order a meal. You learn to understand movies by actually watching movies first with English subtitles let’s say or subtitles in your first language and then with subtitles in the language you’re learning and then without any subtitles at all, and you learn to chat with people by actually trying to chat with them in the language you’re learning. Yes, I know. It will feel awkward and perhaps even humiliating at first. I know the feeling very well and I used to be plagued by it myself. But here comes the great revelation.

The great revelation is that if you’re doing your best as long as you’re doing your best, you never lose face by trying to say something in another language. Well, quite the contrary, you really should be proud of every little attempt you make to say something in another language. If someone makes fun of you, if someone is stupid enough to make fun of you, well, you can just tell them to go practice some palatalized Russian consonants for example or Mandarin terms or something like that.

Now, if everything I’ve already said sounds like work, that’s because it is. Again and again and again and again, you have to spend some time and you have to make an effort to learn a language. At the same time, this effort can be really exciting and extremely rewarding provided you follow my last essential tip.
Essential tip number three: It’s really hard to learn a language for a rainy day. It’s really hard to learn a language just because, let’s say, it sounds cool or because it’s cool to speak a foreign language or because it looks good in your CV. It will look good at your CV at some point in the future. To have enough motivation to work up enough motivation, well, first to get started and then to keep going, sort of persisting with the language, you have to have a real reason for learning it. Any reason will do. Any real reason will do. It can be work. It can be research, romance. It can be another fascination for another culture for example. But mind you, the fascination has to be utter. But you have to find a reason to get started and to keep going. If you have that reason, I can only wish you the best of luck. Thank you.