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Archive for November, 2019

Music for Language Learning: Best Practices

Thursday, November 7th, 2019

All cultures have a form of music that they call their own. Music is one of the early types of learning tools to learn a language. Parents use music to teach their young children simple words. Scientists have proven that music helps in focusing attention, improving memory, and acquiring a language. Music is a good foundation builder as well because it can help in physical development and coordination.

Why music helps in language learning

The imitation of the musical structure and rhythm of a language helps a person learn a language, which is one reason why children learn a new language faster. They play with other children and listen to songs, allowing them to adopt a new language easily. The repetition of song lyrics, such as those from nursery rhymes helps children retain words and expressions. Children may not know the meaning of the words from another language, but they will remember them. Mimicking the pronunciation of the words helps them practice making the sounds. The sounds will later lead to understanding their actual meaning.

You might not notice it, but have you wondered at times why you still remember the nursery rhymes that you learned as a child? You can effectively retain expressions and words through music; that’s why. It’s also the reason why you can memorize the lyrics of a song you like because the pattern is repetitive. Moreover, when you listen to music and follow the words, rhythm, beat and melody, you use both sides of your brain.

Ways to study a language through music

Each person studies and learns differently. When using music for language learning, the most effective way depends on your studying and learning habits. However, we want to give you different ways you can approach your language learning through music with these best practices.

1- Passive listening

Whether you have foreign language songs on your computer or you have a CD of foreign songs, one way to learn the language is through passive listening. Let the foreign music play in the background while you are doing something else. To achieve fluency in another language, you should be familiar with it. You need to train your brain to function in the new language 100 percent. The practice is one form of language immersion. As you listen and get more familiar and comfortable with the background music, you can pick up grammar patterns along with common words and phrases.

2- Memorization

Learn how to memorize and add more words to your dictionary. Memorizing the song lyrics is an excellent way to improve your memory. At the same time, the memorization exercise gives you confidence. Memorization gives you three benefits. It enhances your listening skills, boosts your reading skills, and improves your pronunciation of the words. Memorization will likewise help you do the next method.

3- Sing-along

This method is similar to the first one. But instead of listening passively, you take an active role in the exercise. Download lyrics of the foreign songs you like. Some download sites provide the original song lyrics as well as translations in English. Play the song and sing along. You can also find videos on YouTube that have lyrics in the source and target languages. Either way, you’ll learn grammar, spelling and pronunciation while enjoying the songs of your favorite foreign singers. Your listening and reading skills will likewise benefit from the exercise.

You can check your progress by finding the karaoke versions of the foreign songs you like. Again, YouTube is your friend. Trying to sing the song while reading the lyrics in the target language will test if your language learning is progressing.

4- Transcription

This method may sound weird to you initially. You listen to the song as it plays while you write down (or transcribe) the lyrics. At first, you are likely to catch only a few familiar words. Don’t be frustrated and continue what you’re doing. Let the music play as you write everything you hear. Play the song again and write the words that you missed in the first pass. In time, your hearing will improve, as you understand the words better. Your brain’s processing time will be shorter and faster. Further, it will enhance your spelling. Listening to the music and transcribing the lyrics will give your word list a boost.

These are just a few of the effective ways to learn a foreign language using music. Be patient and enjoy foreign music as you learn your target language. If you wish to start with something simpler, listen to children’s songs in your target language. The repetition of the song lyrics is more constant, which allows your brain to assimilate foreign words faster. If you need help in transcribing songs and music sheets, our language translation services team can help.

Learning a language through music means language learning more fun. Likewise, you learn to focus your attention and improve your memory. It’s an effective method when you self-study.

Author Bio: Sean Patrick Hopwood is the polyglot CEO of Day Translations, Inc., an interpreting services provider that serves clients in a wide range of industries including eSports, finance, and government.

Learn a language in the fastest, easiest and most fun way with Innovative Language Learning!

October 2019: Tokyo Disney Sea

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019

The day we have all been waiting for had finally come. The Innovative Langauge Learning outing to Disney Sea! Let’s be honest, it always feels great to let our inner child out and this was our chance to do so.

We were not the only lucky ones to go to Disney sea our staff was allowed to bring their kids along. They were in for a treat, here is a cute picture of the kiddos waiting to enter the entertainment park.

After we all gathered around 8:00 am outside of the train station we were ready to go. Kyejin handed us the tickets and we all walked together to get the Disney train to the entrance.

When we got out of the train this was our view entering the park. It felt like the entrance to a small town in Italy not to Disney Sea.

We went inside the theme park and every group went their separate way. Exploring the different attractions Disney Sea has to offer, we found ourselves in Agrabah the land of Aladin where we stumbled on the Genie.

Agrahaba and Italy were not the only worlds we found ourselves in there were even more! The mystic temple fo the Mayas where Indiana Jones had his adventures.

Luckily, there was also time to think and enjoy the views of the different Disney worlds from above.

Disney brought us the nostalgia of our childhood memories and you wish you were a kid again. Until you realize they sell beer at Disney sea, which gives you the best of both worlds. I guess being a grownup isn’t that bad after all!

Let’s not forget the seasonal snacks which Disney Sea offers.

But before you know it the day is over, time flies when you are having fun. Even when it is dark Disney Sea is beautiful and you just don’t want to leave.

All good things come to an end, but it was hard for the ILL team to accept it, that’s why we took a crazy goodbye selfie to celebrate an ending of a beautiful day.

~ Writer: Terry

~ Participants: Alisha, Andrew, Anna, Becca, Caspar, Erik, Flemming & daughter, Kyejin, Laura & son, Lya, Maryssa, Meg, Michael & son, Mike, Philip, Terry, Wilson, Yuki & daughter

9 Languages Students Aspire to Learn Abroad

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

When embarking on a new adventure into a foreign country, elements such as exotic cultures, new people, and spontaneous adventures are practically guaranteed. However, oftentimes there is still an aspect which doesn’t always allow you to experience all of this in full: the local language.

A recent survey carried out by educations.com found that learning a new language is a major contributing factor for students who plan to spend a semester or even a whole year studying abroad. In fact, of the 32,000 students that took part in the survey, 31% declared that a second language was a top priority for them when choosing a destination to study abroad in. Of that 31% of students, almost a fifth are specifically going abroad to take a language course.

Rather than avoiding a country for fear of not knowing the local language, many students are plunging headfirst into the challenge of learning a new language. Given the many benefits of knowing more than one language, their eagerness to learn a new one is unsurprising!

Benefits of Bilingualism

Numerous studies have shown that being bilingual comes with numerous benefits that will make all that time spent studying worth it. One of the most common advantages that bilinguals benefit from is the ability to communicate in more than one language that will instantly give them a competitive advantage over those who don’t, especially in academic and professional spheres.

So, what exactly are the benefits of being able to speak more than one language?

Job Opportunities

Although it’s commonly believed that the only way to learn a new skill is from a very young age, studies have proven that in fact, there really is no such thing as ‘being too old’ when it comes to picking up new languages. What this research has proven is that adults are actually more than capable of learning a new language at a faster and more accurate rate compared to children, meaning that picking up an entirely new language during adulthood is entirely attainable. With that being said, this should encourage anyone who has ever been interested in learning a new language to give it a go, and at the same time, have something extra to add onto the CV which will undoubtedly give you a cutting edge, and make your pathway towards finding employment much simpler. Being able to speak more than one language will also open up many more opportunities in different sectors, such as tourism and travel, journalism and publishing, international relations, sales, and management to mention a few.

Brain Enhancement

It should come as no surprise that learning a new language gives you the ability to rewire your brain and improve vital parts of your psyche. As a matter of fact, psychological studies on the area have shown that being bilingual can physically improve your brain activity, mainly by enhancing those brain-parts that are responsible for multitasking, communication, problem-solving, and decision-making. Furthermore, another benefit which should also be pointed out is the fact that this will also help you train your neurons by keeping your brain actively working, which is not only vital for overall mental development, but also in the delay of premature dementia.

Learning the very basics of a language before going abroad to study is very beneficial, as it will provide you with fundamentals which will allow you to understand and pick up the language much faster, as opposed to those people who will start from zero. Online language courses - whether offered through video lessons or podcasts - are an easy and accessible way to improve your language skills before and during your trip.

Below are the top languages students said they want to learn abroad - which one will you choose?

1. English


Source: Learn English with EnglishClass101.com

Deemed the most commonly studied foreign language in the world, about 23% of students who prioritized learning a foreign language chose to study in a country where English is the primary language. While it’s surpassed by both Mandarin Chinese and Spanish in terms of native speakers, it still boasts the highest number of total speakers in the world.

2. Español (Spanish)


Source: Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101.com

Spanish is the second most widely spoken native language in the world and is also the official language in 20 different countries worldwide. While it’s mostly spoken in the Americas and Europe, its status as a global language means that it’s also spoken internationally and is actually learned and spoken by many people as a second language.

3. Italiano (Italian)


Source: Learn Italian with ItalianPod101.com

Italy is a country that requires no formal introduction; it is a country full of historic beauty and significance, and currently home to the most UNESCO world heritage sites in the world. It’s worldwide popularity amongst tourists and students is evident, which officially makes Italian the 4th most studied language in the world come as no surprise.

4. Français (French)


Source: Learn French with FrenchPod101.com

From mouth-watering bread and cheeses to the majestic Louvre, to the alluring vineyards scattered all over the country, France is the ideal place to be for anyone who loves fashion, culture, and exquisite food. When it comes to the local language, French is an extremely popular one to learn as it’s the only language besides English to be taught in every country in the world, meaning that you have a very high chance of encountering a French-speaking person when on your travels.

5. Svenska (Swedish)


Source: Learn Swedish with SwedishPod101.com

If you’re a fan of cold climates, minimalist design, and tasty coffee-treats, then Sweden is the place for you. Even though Swedish might not be the first language people may choose to study in school, it is the most widely spoken language in all of Scandinavia. Furthermore, Sweden is also known for being one of the most forward-thinking and welcoming countries in the world, which as a result, makes it one of the most highly desirable places to live, study, and work in.

6. Deutsch (German)


Source: Learn German with GermanPod101.com

When considering learning German, many people are oftentimes easily discouraged by the fact that it has one of the most extensive vocabulary as well as the strictest and most complicated grammar rules, when compared to other European languages. Despite this however, adding German to your verbal repertoire comes with numerous advantages that will make the effort of learning it very much worthwhile; it is officially the most widely spoken native language in the European Union and is an official language in seven countries worldwide.

7. Nederlands (Dutch)


Source: Learn Dutch with DutchPod101.com

Another language which you might be interested in pursuing is Dutch. Cited as one of the easiest languages to learn, picking up this language should be a relatively fast process, as many Dutch words are spelled in the same way as their English counterparts.

8. 官話 (Mandarin Chinese)


Source: Learn Chinese with ChineseClass101.com

As the language with the highest number of native speakers in the world, Mandarin Chinese is considered to be a very advantageous (and popular) language to learn, which will give you the upper hand when it comes to business, travel, and culture. While learning how to write in Chinese can be rather challenging, its verbal structure is fairly simple.

9. Polski (Polish)


Source: Learn Polish with PolishPod101.com

Polish is not only the most-spoken Slavic language after Russian, but it’s considered to be the most widely spoken language after English in both England and Wales. Therefore, if you’re interested in learning a Slavic language, Polish is the most approachable due to the Latin nature of its script.