Best language apps for self-study learners

Best language appsNo matter which foreign language you’re studying, there is an app that can help you learn new language independently. More often than not, there are several apps, maybe even a handful. And while it can seem like overkill to fill your phone with Spanish, French or Arabic programs when you already have one that works, variety is important in language learning.

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Introducing yourself in French

Introducing yourself in French

Being able to introduce yourself in French is a crucial skill for beginner language learners, especially those planning a trip to France. That’s because without an introduction to get the conversation started, you’ll find it hard to engage with native French speakers and there’s no better way to learn a language than immersion in authentic, context-driven communication.

A French introduction is your ticket in, but you’ll need to know more than just bonjour. Introducing yourself requires an understanding of the difference between formal and informal French and an ability to address both groups and individuals at various times of the day. Learn the vocabulary and phrases you need to say your name and more in this post.  Read more

Past tense practice in English

Past tense practice in English

There’s a famous study of how English speaking children learn past tense grammar. In the beginning, they memorize the past tense form of every verb they come across. Later on, they start to see the pattern of +ed that most English verbs take in simple past. This leads to an over-application of the rule and constructions that sound faulty such as “I maked it” and “I tooked it.”

The funny thing is this happens without practice exercises or grammar books, as the brain has recognized a usage pattern and generalized and imposed a past tense rule. Eventually, the children learn to identify irregular English verbs and treat them as exceptions to the rule. The more natural language examples children are exposed to, the faster this process can happen. As an English as a second language learner, what lessons can you learn from this when it comes to mastering past tense in your own studies? Read more

Guadeloupe Language: French island, French Creole

Guadeloupe Language French Creole

Guadeloupe is a tiny island in the Caribbean Sea. While it’s located over 6,000 kilometers from France, Guadeloupe is both a French speaking island and an official department of the country of France. That means local currency is the Euro, there are representatives for the island in French government affairs and French is the official language.

If you’re considering some summer travel, Guadeloupe is a perfect Caribbean destination. People on Guadeloupe speak French and French Creole, so you might want to learn some of the local language to practice on your trip! Read more

Teach me Hebrew: Classroom Learning vs. Israeli Hebrew

Teach me Hebrew! Classroom Learning vs. Israeli Hebrew

Sometimes classroom learning doesn’t prepare you for speaking a new language, especially in the case of Hebrew. Though you are taught the Hebrew conjugations and drilled on irregular verbs, some of the fundamentals of everyday, casual Modern Hebrew don’t make it into the teacher’s lesson plans. What’s missing are the phrases you really need to learn to communicate, full of new words and language that can only be taught by an Israeli.

How can you get training in the kind of Israeli Hebrew you need to watch TV, make chit-chat and listen to Hebrew songs you can actually understand? If you are learning Hebrew because you want to go to Israel someday, you’ll need to take a varied approach to this difficult language. Read more

Counting in French

Counting in French

French numbers can come in very handy, let me count the ways! When you make purchases in French, receive hotel room information, addresses, dates, telephone numbers, report your age or your birthday. The French do a lot with numbers and unfortunately, you never know when a number will come up in French conversation (or which number) so you have to learn them all.

And while counting is one of the first things you learn to do in French, it’s not necessarily one of the easiest, particularly when you get past sixty. That’s because the French language deviates slightly form the x10 formula and gets a little mathematical when it comes to language for numbers like seventy, eighty and ninety.

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Reading in a foreign language: Tips & Strategies

Reading in a foreign language

Reading is something everyone does in their own language, so why not in a foreign language? Language learning experts recommend reading because it helps with so many aspects of foreign language study.

If you’re a language learner, you’ll get a grammar and vocabulary workout and learn plenty of new words, no matter what you read. Discovering new books and authors who write in a foreign language can teach you about the local culture as well as history. You’ll also improve your spelling and writing at the same time.

Learn why reading is good for you and how you can improve your foreign language study with some easy tips and strategies.

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How to use Lei and Loro in Italian

How to use Lei and Loro in Italian

Italian subject pronouns are one of the first things you learn at a beginner level. While they are usually straightforward to use, how you apply them in formal situations can be a bit more challenging. That’s because instead of inventing new subject pronouns for addressing one person and groups of people in a polite way, in Italian, they decided to re-use the existing ones!

Sure, it means less new Italian pronouns to memorize, but it’s also a bit confusing in practice. Have a look at the below explanations of when to use the Italian subject pronouns Lei and Loro. Depending on how often you find yourself using formal language, you may need to create opportunities to practice them. Read more

What is Bastille day in France?

What is Bastille day in France?

Did you know that July 14 is a national holiday in France? It’s a day when French people celebrate the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution. So what exactly is the Bastille and why did the French storm it? Learn the history you need to know and how to celebrate Bastille day like the French. Read more

How do you celebrate 4th of July?

How do you celebrate 4th of July?

On the Fourth of July Americans in the United States (and around the world) gear up to celebrate the country’s independence day. They wave an American flag, attend patriotic parades and get together with friends and family for cookouts and barbecues. At the end of the day, everyone heads out to see an amazing display of fireworks that light up the sky. Read more