Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Here's how to learn English

I discovered a site recently called the linguist. The founder, Steve Kauffman, asserts that he can speak nine languages and now is going to offer you the benefit of his know-how to help you learn English. Although I find his attitude a little smug, his philosophy on learning languages is absolutely right. He criticises traditional language classes based on grammar, just like me. However, he and I are both trying to earn a living from teaching languages, so it would be a little hypocritical to suggest that no language class can be beneficial. I encourage you to visit the site (Mr.Kauffman will thank me for linking to him), and read what he has to say. I confess that I will never learn nine languages like him, in fact I don't find it easy to speak just one foreign language (French). People like Mr.Kauffman are rare. His talent for learning languages is a wonderful ability to have. Alas, it's not something that can be taught. Some people are more gifted than others for learning languages. It's sad but true, and I advise you to set realistic targets. Being bilingual is not only impossible for the majority of learners (myself included), but also unnecessary.

The Linguist site makes one excellent point with which I totally agree is the fact that the more you expose yourself to language, reading, writing, speaking and listening, the more progress you will make. And that learning grammar rules has little or no impact. (see my other posts about Scrivener)

The internet has made listening and reading much easier, you can expose yourself to English all day long while your computer is running. So I had a long think yesterday about what would make a good source of useful, everyday English that you could listen to regularly to build your vocabulary and comprehension skills. And I've found the perfect solution! I found a site that produces everyday English for you to listen to, just like the English I speak, seven days a week, fifty two weeks a year, with related articles that discuss the same subjects. Want to know where to find it? It's not on thelinguist.com , it's not even on the wonderful anglais-facile.com! I'll tell you on my next post, so keep visiting...

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