NO MORE GUILT over social media!

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Social media. Pretty much everyone has it, and if I was to hazard a guess I would say that many of us think we spend too much time using it. More often than not, it’s also time that we could be spending more productively… *cough cough* learning a language.

As I was thinking about this, it occurred to me that people largely use social media to keep in contact with friends, to get information and keep up to date with the news. It’s these last two especially that are important – there’s now lots of fact and figures about how we consume media and they make for very interesting reading…28% of 18-24 year olds use social media as their main source of news, a staggering 62% of Americans get their news from social media and almost every newspaper, magazine, or publication you can think of is now available in digital format.

So how does this have anything to do with learning a language? Simple, you combine language learning with social media. First off, you can change your language settings to the language you’re trying to learn (every little bit counts). Second of all, all those articles you’ve been catching up on, well chances are you can find the same information but in German, Spanish, Russian, Polish, Portuguese, Igbo, Romanian, Swahili… you get the idea. All you need to do is find some national or even regional newspapers, magazines or sites to follow (Buzzfeed is always a good shout – they have a lot of short and fun things on there). It’s free, easy and can give you a great insight into what matters to a particular country or culture.

If news isn’t your thing the same rule still applies, look for a magazine or site that’s about a hobby of yours – it can even be language learning pages! In fact liking language learning pages regardless is a great tool and the best part about all of this, aside from it costing you nothing at all, is that it’s a great reminder to keep practising!

So go on, get back on twitter, facebook, instagram, snapchat, pinterest or whatever it is you like to use!

If you want more tips, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog! You can also follow me on twitter @meetEmProc

 

 

Reading Material

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Hello again!

As the title of this post suggests, today’s blog is all about reading so I’ll get stuck straight in!

One of the biggest complaints about language learning is that there’s not enough time in the day to practise. A quick scour of the internet will probably lead you to believe that this is false, that you are simply not making time for it and instead wasting those precious minutes. Quit watching Netflix when you could be practising, use the commute to work to your advantage, stop spending time on the internet and social media.

This is valuable advice…to a degree. Continue reading

Improv comedy and Expedition Happiness

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Hello all!

This past week I did something I’ve never done before and went to see an improv comedy show entirely in German. Two things happened: firstly I laughed a lot, secondly I understood 95% of what was going on!

Because of this, I can’t wait to go again and here’s why you shouldn’t miss out on a similar opportunity either (note: I’m aware this can only really apply if you’re living in a country that speaks your TL)! Continue reading

Immersion

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Hallo!

It’s me again, and this time I thought it would be a good idea to talk about language immersion – the difficulties but also the rewards.

Obviously the best way to immerse yourself in a language is to be in a place where the language you’re learning is the mother tongue. However that is not always possible.

So here are some other tips for sneaking more language learning into your day… Continue reading

The past & adverbs of time

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Hallo!

Today, I would like to talk about the past. Why? Because the form of the past is very important in every language (for example, whilst Chinese has no past form, but the past is communicated by context and time markers). We use the past to explain everything from memories and stories to logical thinking and future decisions (with regard to previous experience).

So what if you haven’t quite mastered the past tense in a foreign language just yet?… Continue reading

Big Changes Ahead…

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As the title suggests, there are big changes coming – in just a few weeks time I will be moving to Austria.

So what does this mean? Right now, I’m splitting my language learning time between Russian and German. Although I speak some German already, it only seems right that I brush up before I go.

Will I still be blogging? Given how busy the next few months ahead of me will be, I’m going to take a break from blogging BUT I will be back!

Until then if you get stuck for ideas, or just need a bit of a pick me up, be sure to check out some of my other blog posts and useful links!

до свидания, bis bald!

Russian Children’s TV – Weird and Wonderful

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What I’ve learned this week: Russian children’s TV is a gateway to the weird and wonderful…

Learning a new language is a lot like being a child again – there’s a lot of words you don’t know (if that’s not an understatement I don’t know what is), you are constantly asking questions about what something means, and it seems like everyone else knows more than you do.

But children learn Continue reading

Should You Use Duolingo, and Other Apps?

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We live in the digital age, and as such it shouldn’t come as a surprise that language learning is increasingly done online – whether that’s via apps, courses or even Skype.

But it’s using an app that I find particularly interesting – you can be on the go, anywhere in the world but will you have actually learnt anything by the end of it bar a limited grasp of the language? Continue reading

Starting to Enjoy Russian Grammar…

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No, your eyes don’t deceive you and you haven’t read that wrong. I’m going to go out on a limb and publicly declare that I am indeed beginning to enjoy Russian grammar.

For most people, grammar tends to be their least favourite thing about learning a language, particularly if it has a gruelling, highly complex structure that is dependent on cases. Recently however, I’ve been paying more attention to Russian grammar than I have done previously. Continue reading