Choose Your Language
Blog

Archive for the ‘Foreign Language’ Category

Perfect Your Pronunciation with the Improved Voice Recording Tool!

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Hi there listeners,

You’re regularly exposed to native speakers and conversations in our lessons. But do you actively practice pronunciation and the proper accent?

If not, now’s the time to start. How would you do it?

Simply listening and repeating speakers isn’t enough. You need to hear how you actually sound as opposed to how you think you sound .

So, naturally, recording and comparing yourself is one of the best ways of knowing how close your language is to that of a native speaker.

In fact, you can start doing this with your lessons on any of our 101 language sites.

We’ve upgraded & re-added the Voice Recording Tool into your lesson pages. If you’re a Premium member, you’ll find the Voice Recorder in the Line-by-Line Audio under “Lesson Materials.”

For each and every lesson, you can use the Voice Recording Tool in conjunction with the Line-by-Line Audio to…

  • Listen to the conversation, line by line, and hear the native speakers’ version
  • Record yourself after hearing the native speaker
  • Playback your version to hear your pronunciation and compare
  • BONUS: Playback both (the native version and yours) simultaneously to hear how close you are

  • (sample screenshot taken from JapanesePod101.com)

    To Access The Voice Recorder, visit any lesson and click on (2) Lesson Materials. In the Line-by-Line Audio Tab, you’ll see a microphone by each individual line of the conversation.


    (sample screenshot taken from JapanesePod101.com))

    Click on the microphone icon to load the Voice Recorder for that specific line to hear the native speaker. Then, press the record button to record yourself. Once you’re done, you can either listen to the native version, then your version to compare, OR play both simultaneously to see just how close you are to the native speaker.

    So, listeners, test this feature out and let us know what you think! For all bugs, errors and suggestions, please shoot us an email at info@innovativelanguage.com

    For iOS Users: Please note that the Voice Recording Tool requires Flash to work. However, we are working on a non-flash (HTML5) version of the Voice Recording Tool. Stay tuned for future updates.

    To your fluency,
    Team Innovative Language

    What Are The New Languages Coming This July?

    Friday, June 28th, 2013

    Hi listeners!

    Looking for new language to study?

    Currently, there are 27 InnovativeLanguage.com languages that you can learn the fast, fun and easy way! And now that we’re done updating our lesson layouts, we’ll be adding even more languages!

    There are 2 new language sites and a whole lot of new content on EnglishClass101 coming July 1st and we’re revealing them here first!

    What are they? Based on user requests, we’re introducing British English, Persian, and Swahili. These new additions will bring the Innovative Language family to a total of 29 sites!

    British English? That’s right. We have EnglishClass101.com just for our English learners.

    British English itself has over 58 million speakers in the UK and opens you to over 780 million English speakers worldwide. It’s the world’s lingua franca! This July, you’ll find British English lessons on EnglishClass101.com as an alternative to the current American English lessons. However, if you’re a native speaker and want to brush up on your British accent, feel free to stop by as well!

    British English Lessons start July 1st. Click here to visit EnglishClass101!

    Persian is also known as Farsi. The good news? It has no articles, no cases, and nouns have no gender. In short, grammar will be easy and breezy. It also opens you up to over 110 million speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. And since it’s part of the Indo-European language family, it’ll help you get a head start on Arabic (ArabicPod101.com) and Hindi (HindiPod101.com) as well! The bad news? You need to wait ‘til the site is launched!

    PersianPod101.com Coming Soon! Click here to sign up for the wait-list!

    Swahili is the easiest African language to learn for English and Arabic speakers. There are no lexical tones and it’s spoken just as it’s written. With over 140 million speakers, Swahili is the official language of Tanzania, Kenya and is the lingua franca of East Africa. We’re happy to have it as our first African language at InnovativeLanguage.com. And if you know what Hakuna Matata means (it means no worries), you’ve already started learning!

    SwahiliPod101.com Coming Soon! Click here to sign up for the wait-list!

    P.S. July 1st is the day! Stay tuned for PersianPod101, SwahiliPod101 and new British English lessons!

    InnovativeLanguage.com Takes to the Friendly Skies with British Airways!

    Monday, May 20th, 2013

    Starting in June 2013, InnovativeLanguage.com takes flight with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

    Travel and language learning have always gone hand in hand. Knowing just a few key language phrases can be a powerful tool in opening up new opportunities abroad, staying safe and making the most out of your trip. That’s why we’re proud to announce that InnovativeLanguage.com is now flying the friendly skies thanks to a new agreement with British Airways, one of the world’s leading airlines.

    Starting in June 2013 on British Airways long haul flights, you’ll find our fast, easy and fun language lessons on board BA’s inflight entertainment system. No matter where you’re flying, we’ve got you covered! Choose from over 20 languages and start learning from our popular beginner level lessons.

    Languages Available on British Airways

    Arabic French Hindi Korean Spanish
    Bulgarian German Indonesian Polish Swedish
    Cantonese Greek Italian Portuguese Thai
    Filipino Hebrew Japanese Russian Vietnamese

    No matter what language you’re learning, our effective lessons will get you speaking from the very first lesson. You’ll learn very simple grammar and vocabulary from Native Speaking teachers, with clear explanations and breakdown from our English speaking co-host. You’ll also learn important cultural tips and insights that will give you a head start on your trip.

    Be sure to tune into these audio lessons on your next trip abroad with British Airways! And remember that a little bit of language goes a long, long way.

    For a sneak peek at what you’ll find on British Airways, sign up for a Free Lifetime Account at InnovativeLanguage.com!

    Word of the Day Widget Update! iPhone and iPad Users Rejoice!

    Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

    Hello Listener,

    Learning a word a day is effortless, free, and takes less than a minute!

    So it’s no wonder the Word of The Day at InnovativeLanguage.com is one of our users’ most loved free features. And when our users started mailing in with feedback, we just couldn’t leave it alone.

    The biggest issue? iOS incompatibility. The original Word of the Day Flash Widget didn’t work with the iPhone or the iPad.

    After much tinkering, the new Word of the Day Widget is here.

    The New Word of the Day Widget

    Word of the Day

    (Sample screenshot taken from JapanesePod101.com


    Here’s what’s new!

    • Completely redesigned and customizable
    • Built with HTML5. Works on the iPhone, iPad, etc
    • Copy and paste words directly from the Widget
    • Can be embedded into mobile apps and sites
    • Will work on any browser
    • Turn transliteration and romanization on and off


    Access the Word of the Day widget on any browser, from any smartphone, or computer. Want to save a word or sample sentences for your own use? Just copy and paste it directly from the widget!

    Add the widget to your blog or website!

    Choose from 38 languages and customize the widget as you see fit! The Word of the Day widget comes in two sizes, small (160 x 190px) and large (540 x 450px) and 8 different designs. Once you’ve chosen the language, size, and design, grab the embed code and add it to your site!

    If you have questions or feedback for us, send us an email here.

    Click Here to Visit the New Word of the Day Widget!

    Wall Street Journal covers Advanced French for iPad

    Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

    Innovative Language is back in the news! This time, it’s our French that is put to the test.

    A Wall Street Journal article, Brushing Up on Your Japanese on a Small Screen, reviews a number of mobile apps for language learning and includes our own FrenchPod101’s “Advanced French for iPad” App.

    Here’s an excerpt:

     

    “An app that included basic French grammar was Advanced French for iPad, described as an “audio e-book.” The course consists of 25 audio blogs, each less than two minutes long. They included blogs from a French narrator, who goes by just by [sic] the name Christophe, on his country’s health-care system, rappers, telethons and foods.

    The content is breezy and fun, though the brief, au courant English introductions from a young American woman in Paris can be silly. We liked the function that let us hear just one line at a time, allowing for pauses for speaking practice and to go over vocabulary lists and sample sentences.”

    There are over 690 Innovative Language Learning apps like “Advanced French for iPad,” and they span over 40 languages and cover every level from Beginner to Advanced. Each app is designed to bring practical, fun, and real-world style language lessons as well as their relevant vocabulary and grammar, to smartphones and tablets.

    We’re happy to have been included in this review and will continue improving our mobile apps to teach language in the fastest, easiest, and most fun way.

    Click Here To Read The Article!

    Click Here to Get the App!

     

     

     

     

    How To Take Over The World: Learn 6 More Languages!

    Thursday, June 23rd, 2011

    In case you thought we were kidding about world language domination, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.  After months of hard work, we’re proud to announce the launch of AustralianPod101.com for all of you Down Under lovers!

    Just kidding. Though, we are giving this idea serious consideration.

    logo1.gif logo.giflogo2.gif

    Coming this July to a laptop screen right in front of you, we will be introducing 6 new exciting languages to the Innovative Language Learning family.  Dutch, Hungarian, and Swedish are just the first additions to our language family on track to be released July 5th.  We’d love to tell you about the other 3 but it’s a big secret – you’ll have to wait another 2 weeks!

    Now, the Dutch, Hungarian and Swedish languages aren’t the most sought after languages and as a result, there aren’t many places to learn them. But that’s exactly why we’ve chosen to teach them and make them available to you anywhere you are.

    Why learn with Innovative Language Learning? These new language sites will follow our signature fun and effective lesson format using our free and premium learning tools such as online flashcards, line-by-line audio, video lessons, and mobile apps. Not to mention the fact that you can learn the language from anywhere in the world! For the 6 new languages, the first 101 listeners to sign up for the Founding Fathers Club will get a lifetime 50% off discount, and to celebrate the addition of these new languages, we’ll also be having a Summer Celebration Sale where listeners can save on the site they’re already subscribed to.

    So, why should you learn Dutch, Swedish or Hungarian?
    With over 23 million Dutch speakers, 16 million Hungarian speakers, and 10 Million Swedish, you’ll learn all about their rich cultures and traditions. Or if you’re hungry like us, do it for their food!  In fact, by knowing English, you already have a head start on Dutch which is said to be a mixture of English and German. Feel free to crash the next World Cup and yell alongside your fellow Dutchmen.

    In addition to being the national language of Sweden (duh!), Swedish is spoken in parts of Finland and is mutually intelligible with Norwegian. Knowing Swedish grants you access to the Nordic part of Europe (except Iceland – but we’ll get them too!) But if Vikings aren’t your thing, why not try Hungarian? It’s the most prevalent non-Indo-European language in Europe and would be quite handy if you’re interested in their history or cuisine, or choose to explore Hungary’s passionate spa culture.

    Stay tuned for the announcement of the final 3 languages and more details to come on how to get in on the discounts!

    What do you think the next 3 languages are? Which new European language are you most excited about? Leave a comment today!

    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.

    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.

    Language Learning - Submersion

    Monday, August 31st, 2009

    Submersion is the sink or swim method to learning a second language. Students who have acquired the language naturally and those learning the same language are put in the same learning environment and required to learn as much as they possibly can.

    This approach does not provide any structural support to learning a second language. The student is pretty much on their own. An assumption is made that students will either fail or pass the learning acquisition model.

    Only one type of language is used in the classroom or environment where students learn. Students, however, are provided with examples of the language, but are not given any kind of individual instruction in the language. They have to figure it out on their own. The student’s native language is not included and teachers are not able to familiarize themselves with the student’s culture and language.

    There are some disadvantages to this approach as students may feel inferior intellectually from their peers. They may also be less motivated and have low self esteem as well as frustration and anxiety.

    An example of “submersion,” or “sink or swim,” method of learning a new language in a classroom setting is when the teacher uses English as the main language and not being aware that a Spanish student is in the class. The Spanish student is left to fend on their own and either quickly learn the language or fail the class.

    There are a few public schools in the United States that host submersion programs as a way to get students who speak a different language to learn English faster.

    The submersion program offers students little or no help with the expectation that these students who speak a different language will use their language acquisition skills in a native language to learn a new language if they are placed into that environment.

    Conclusion

    In actuality, there are only a few schools that participate in programs like this because they realize that if you put a native Spanish speaking student into a classroom with English speaking students and expect them to learn the material without any assistance, it just would not work. The sink or swim method is not suggested by many linguist as being the best method for second language acquisition.

    Language Learning - Silent Way (Gattegno)

    Monday, August 24th, 2009

    The Silent Way was created by Caleb Gattegno and is the instructive approach to teaching a foreign language. The primary objective is for students to work independently as learners of a new language.

    It allows students to develop their own theoretical models of learning a second language. Students are encouraged to use their mental abilities to decipher the meaning of a new language.  Expression of thought and feelings are created in the classroom among fellow students. The student trades their time for experience.

    The student’s native language gives them leverage in learning a new language and they are given room to learn how to speak in the new language. It is the nonverbal aspect of their native language which includes sounds, gestures and writing that helps the student to identifying with a new language.

    Gattegno used his model on certain observations and he thought that students did not learn because teachers did not teach. Instead, teachers need to do a study of how students learn and to do that experiment on themselves.

    Gattegno used himself as an example and even though he was a teacher, he wanted to know how students learned so he became a learner and that is when he realized that awareness is the only thing that teachers can educate when it comes to humans.

    His learning model claimed to be more approachable to teaching a second language because it was based more on awareness than on offering knowledge to the student. For every learner that Gattegno studied, no matter what age they were, he found one common principle and that is students were gifted and intelligent. They brought a strong will to learn, a lifetime of experiences of managing challenges and they were also independent.

    Most of the methods of teaching using the Silent Way came from understanding how students learned. Included in this approach was the style of how the teacher corrected the student and how the teacher used silence to validate the student. The teacher wouldn’t give any answers that the student could not find out on their own.

    A lot of people think that communication is the only tool to learning a new language. However, Gattegno does not seem to think that communication is the only key ingredient. He observed that communication called for the person communicating to convey their ideas and the student listening must be willing to submit to the message before giving a response.

    Conclusion

    Learning a second language is expressing thoughts and feelings, ideas, perceptions and opinions and student can do this effectively with their teacher. They will be able to develop criteria for right and wrong by exploration of the two boundaries.

    Therefore, it will require making mistakes, which is a part of the learning process. If teachers can study the art of learning and realize that mistakes are good for the learning process, they will appreciate when students do make mistakes.