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Archive for September, 2009

Language Learning Methods - Two-Way

Sunday, September 27th, 2009

The developmental program of Two-way language is also known as the bilingual immersion programs as well as dual language program. These programs are intense and full time and use two languages for instruction and learning.

Most of these programs consist of students that speak a native language such as Spanish and are attempting to learn a new language such as English. In both elementary and high schools, these programs are prevalent and very active. Half of the class of students consists of some Spanish students and some English students who are native speakers of their language.

The student learns the language through their native language as well as through the second language that they are trying to learn. The student uses this two way method of learning to be more astute and proficient in both languages, but it helps them to develop their skills in the second language.

The two-way language program is more geared towards bilingual education than it is for students who are limited in their proficiency in English. It is an enrichment program that gives student a better understanding between two languages. Students who are not as proficient in English will feel like they are equally educated to their peers and it helps them to excel in their education.

The Two-Way language development program is more effective if it:

1.    Allows for participation in both languages
2.    Focuses on subjects that are academic
3.    Incorporate the curriculum for both languages
4.    Allows student to use the language learned in their home
5.    Empowerment of students with active learning
6.    Use the minority language sufficiently
7.    CALP development

The Two-Way Language acquisition program has two primary goals and that is:

1.    That Minority Students will learn things in their own languages as well as in the second language.
2.    Those Majority students will increase their level of language proficiency in the second language while progressively developing in the native language.

Students in both groups of language learning will have an academic performance at the grade level that they are at ad develop attitudes that are confident and positive towards learning the two languages.

Conclusion
It is important that the two-way language program last for up to six years to ensure proficiency in essentially the second language.

Language Learning Software - Picture Flashcards with Audio

Friday, September 25th, 2009

 

Learning a Second Language With iPhone

 

Many of us wish to learn a second language. For some people it’s to travel and for others work. Sometimes people learn a language just for the fun of it. There is no doubt about it though, learning a language can be hard work. You need discipline to keep heading off to those evening classes when you would rather be putting your feet up at home. Then you need to find time during the week to do your homework. Let’s not forget that once you have acquired language skills you need to keep using them in order to retain them.

 

A lot of things seem to get in the way of people learning languages, work, family and simply not having enough time. Since the iphone was launched, a massive amount of educational applications have along with it entered the market. Some of the most promising application are those that aid in second language acquisition.

 

Learning a language on the iphone is easy. There are heaps of applications to chose from in practically any learning style you can imagine. Some are highly involved, others require just a few minutes of your time each day. It’s really up to you the style in which you learn and when you want to spend time learning.

 

To get started with you second language all you need is an iphone and internet access. There are many affordable options available, most applications cost around ten dollars, some are even free.

 

Gengo Audio Flashcards

 

One of the best ways to learn a new language is through the use of flashcards. Many language teachers have relied on this method for years. Gengo flashcards use this tried and true method. Gengo goes one step further to add audio to the flash cards. This way you can see a picture of the word you are looking at while hearing the correct pronunciation as spoken by a native.

 

Here is how it works; the application comes with thousand of audio flash cards. You decide you want to learn the word for lemon.
The screen shows a picture of a lemon, and the word lemon written in English, It also shows the word lemon in the target language, then plays an audio clip of the word lemon being spoken by a native. This ties together the aspects of vocabulary, oral and written comprehension as well as a visual picture which helps your brain to better remember what you are learning.

 

You can dedicate as much or as little time as you like to learn your language. You may wish to learn ten words a day or just one word a week. The great thing about Gengo is that you will never outgrow it, in fact you can create your own audio flashcard in under thirty seconds. Simply snap a photo of something and enter the name for in English and the target language.

 

Gengo also comes with a quiz to test your new skills. Running through your recently viewed flashcards, Gengo will assess your progress so far and point out any weak spots that you need to work on. The quiz really feels like a game in the way it is setup and is much too fun to really feel like learning.

 

This is really two applications in one. You can view the flashcards and work on building vocabulary, or switch over to game mode and test your skills. An important part of learning is revision, to really remember what we have learnt we must continue to revise it or we will forget.

 

Try Gengo Flashcards for FREE, now!

Linguistics - Syntax

Sunday, September 20th, 2009

All languages do have rules which are called grammar. These rules are necessary to enable those who are learning the language to be able to continue to grow their vocabulary and speak in long sentences throughout their lifetime.

If rules did not exist in language acquisition, the student would find it a huge effort to learn a new language because then they would have to learn each sentence separately. The rules define how sentences should be constructed and what is right from what is the wrong way to put a sentence together. Using those rules helps the student to know how and when to use certain words, verbs, nouns and phrases in a sentence.

With those rules in place, the student will feel more confident in combining words into sentences and can create myriads of sentences on their own while administering these rules of language. The person who has knowledge of the syntax will see the sentence as more meaningful to them. Syntax is very important in constructing sentences and once the rules are learned, it comes quite naturally to the speaker.

In terms of language acquisition, Syntax is the study pertaining to the sentence construction rules and principles in a native language. It goes to the reference of the rules governing the structure of sentences in any language. There are some generic rules that apply to all languages as it relates to its syntax.

The rules include things such as how words are put together, how the word ending changes as it relates to the context of the sentence and how the parts of speech are connected.

In language acquisition, syntax in sentences is exemplified by a few methods below:

“The girl caught the ball”

Here is how you would describe the syntax rule of any sentence (noun or subject is followed by verb and then verb is followed by object or noun): In the above sentence, the subject is the girl and that is followed by the verb caught and then another noun which is the ball.

Conclusion

It does not matter how complex the sentence is because words can be embedded into the existing sentence to make the rules of syntax still work and still meaningful.

Linguistics - Semantics

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

The study of meaning is what semantics indicates and it targets the problem of understanding. It is the meaning of words, phrases or sentences.

It is used to interpret gestures, signs, symbols, facial expressions and body language. When it has to do with written language, though, semantics has to do with the structure of paragraphs, punctuation and content.

Studying semantics formally introduces the student to other subfields such as proxemics, pragmatics, and lexicology. However, semantics is better defined in its own field. Other related fields of semantic are reference, communication and semiotics. So it is more formally complex than any other model.

Due to this complexity, students that study semantics or meaning do differ from their determination of what that meaning is.

For example, if you were to say, “Cindy loves a milkshake,” the word milkshake could possibly be referencing the object itself because this is its actual exact meaning. However, it may also be referring to other metaphoric connection such as the hunger that Cindy has, which may be the implication of the speaker.
Conventionally, the view of formal semantics limits semantics to its exact meaning, and downgrades all metaphoric connections to pragmatics.
With semantics and finding the meaning of phrases, antonyms and synonyms are extremely important.
Semantics is viewed as truth conditions, which is what the world would think of what you say or do according to the knowledge that the world has about what you are saying or doing. This is determined by different cultures and languages.
It comes down to what inferences the person listening will draw from the semantics. It may also be how you deliver the sentence or word.

It is important how you apply semantics. For example, if someone should ask you, “Does every train from Washington DC to Florida make five stops along the way,” then there should be simple semantics specifics related to the question.

If the person being asked the question has knowledge of the answer, then the semantics would contain truth conditions if the answer was “yes, it has five stops along the way.” There could also be partial meaning where the train only stops twice and not five times.

Conclusion
Most semantics theory draw upon the assumption that a sentence is either proposed to be true or it is not true or possibly some truth is in it. Situations are what defines and identifies the truth.

Language Learning Method - Suggestopedia (Lozanov)

Sunday, September 6th, 2009

Suggestopedia is an approach to language acquisition that is communicative. Baroque music is used to set its atmosphere. Pre-session, Session and post session are the three stages of the lesson.

Georgi Lozanov is a psychotherapist from Bulgaria who developed this method of learning a new language. Suggestology is what he based this study on and this exact method of teaching has been used in learning different foreign language. This is an unconventional method of teaching new language that Lozanov claim to be much faster for students to learn than other methods.

The idea of this method that Lozanov wanted to get across is to lower the affective filter that learners use to adapt to new language.

Lozanov claims that his Suggestopedia method liberates the student from anything negatively connected to the language learning process and the influence of the society that they lived in. Students using this method do not feel the pressures associated with learning a second language. Their intelligence is not restricted and they use spontaneity to acquire the knowledge, skills and habits of learning.

The suggestopedia method is implemented by focusing on the student’s conscious level of thinking as well as the subconscious, which is the reservoir of the mind. The subconscious mind is unlimited in its capacity to learn and so suggestopedia uses this proven scenario to learn a second language in less amount of time it would take to learn it with other conventional methods.

The student is at their best when they combine the three phases that include elaborating, deciphering and memorizing.

1. The deciphering stage is when the teacher initiates grammar and content.

2. The elaborating stage is the practice phase where the student shows what they have learned through song, drama and games. The teacher reads the text with music and sometimes along with the student in the memorizing phase.

3. The memorizing phase is usually called the concert session because it is associated with music.

Conclusion

To learn a second language using this method of suggestopedia requires an atmosphere that is comfortable and relaxing. The student learns best when techniques are added to the learning process such as art and music. Suggestopedia is indicative of how the brain works in the scope of learning.