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Premium PLUS: The Golden Ticket for Language-Learning

Tuesday, August 18th, 2020

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Do you remember the moment you fell in love with languages?

Do you desire to learn or advance in your target language(s) quickly and effectively?

Then you need a language tutor.

A common question that first-time language-learners ask is “Where do I begin?” The answer? Guidance.

For native English-speakers who want to learn Asian languages, for example, timelines provided by the U.S. Foreign Service Institute can appear discouraging. However, defeating these odds is not unheard of. If you want to beat the odds yourself, one of the best learning options is a subscription to Premium PLUS from Innovative Language.

As an active Premium PLUS member of JapanesePod101.com and KoreanClass101.com myself, I have an enjoyable experience learning at an accelerated pace with at least thirty minutes of study daily. The following Premium PLUS features contribute to my success:

  • Access to thousands of lessons
  • A voice recorder 
  • Spaced-repetition system (SRS) flashcards
  • Weekly homework assignments
  • A personal language instructor

As someone who decided to make Japanese her second language one year ago, I am extremely grateful for Premium PLUS.

Allow me to emphasize on how these Premium PLUS features strengthen my language studies.

Gain Unlimited Access to Audio and Video Lessons!

Woman learning a language with Premium PLUS on a tablet

As a Premium PLUS member, I have full access to the lesson library and other Premium features. Best of all, I’m not limited to one level; I can learn to my heart’s content with upper-level courses.

There are lessons on various topics that tackle crucial language-learning elements, such as:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Conversation

Specifically, there are pathways. Pathways are collections of lessons that center on a specific topic. Some Innovative Language sites, like JapanesePod101.com, even have pathways geared toward proficiency tests. For example, the JLPT N3 Master Course pathway.

Because of the abundance of lessons, I’ve found pathways in the lesson library to help me prepare for certain events. Thanks to the “Speaking Perfect Japanese at a Restaurant” pathway, I spoke fully in Japanese while dining in Japan. Additionally, I participated in conversations at language exchange meetups in South Korea after completing the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway.

Each lesson has lesson notes, which I read while simultaneously listening to the audio lesson. This strategy enables me to follow along on key points. Lesson notes generally contain the following:

  • Dialogue
  • Vocabulary
  • Grammar points
  • Cultural insights

As someone who’s constantly on-the-go, I heavily benefit from mobile access to lessons. Podcasts and lesson notes are available on the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS.

All lessons and their contents are downloadable. Prior to my flights to Japan and South Korea, I downloaded lessons on my iPhone. The apps make learning more convenient for me during my commutes.

Practice Speaking with the Voice Recording Tool!

a young man practicing his pronunciation with a microphone headset

Pronunciation is an essential ingredient in language-learning. Proper pronunciation prompts clear understanding during conversations with native speakers.

Prior to learning full Korean sentences, my online Korean language tutor assigned the “Hana Hana Hangul” pathway to me. It demonstrated the writing and pronunciation of Hangul, the Korean alphabet. Throughout this pathway, I submitted recordings of my Hangul character pronunciations to my language teacher for review.

I was given a similar task on JapanesePod101.com with the “Ultimate Japanese Pronunciation Guide” pathway. My Japanese language teacher tested my pronunciation of the Japanese characters kana. My completion of the two pathways boosted my confidence in speaking.

Speaking is one of the more challenging components of learning a language. The voice recording tool in particular was a great way for me to improve my speaking skills. Further, because the lesson dialogues are spoken by native speakers, I’m able to practice speaking naturally.

This feature is also available for vocabulary words and sample sentences. Being able to hear these recordings improves my pronunciation skills for languages like Japanese, where intonation can change the meaning of a word entirely. The voice recorder examines my speed and tone. I also follow up by sending a recording to my online language tutor for feedback.

A great way to boost one’s speaking confidence is to shadow native speakers. During the vocabulary reviews, it’s helpful for me to hear the breakdown of each word; doing so makes a word that was originally difficult to even read a breeze to say!

Some lessons create opportunities to speak your own sentences. For example, the “Top 25 Korean Questions You Need to Know” pathway presents opportunities to answer questions personally. This helps you gain the ability to give answers as the unique individual you are.

Example Scenario:

The host asks the following question:

어디에 살고 있습니까?

eodieseo salgo isseumnikka

“Where do you live?”

If you live in Tokyo, you would readily say the following:

도쿄에 살고 있습니다.

Tokyo-e salgo isseumnida.

“I live in Tokyo.”

Increase Your Vocab with Spaced-Repetition Flashcards and More!

A child learning words with flashcards

Imagine having a conversation with a native speaker and hesitating because you lack a solid vocabulary base.

Premium PLUS offers various features to expand learners’ vocabulary, including Free Gifts of the Month. JapanesePod101.com’s free gifts for April 2020 included an e-book with “400 Everyday Phrases for Beginners,” and the content is updated every month. When I download free resources like this, I find opportunities to use them with Korean co-teachers, Japanese friends, or my language tutors.

An effective way to learn vocabulary is with SRS flashcards. SRS is a system designed for learning a new word and reviewing it in varying time intervals.

You can create and study flashcard decks, whether it’s your Word Bank or a certain vocabulary list. For example, if you need to visit a post office, the “Post Office” vocabulary list for your target language would be beneficial to study prior to your visit.

In addition to the SRS flashcards, each lesson has a vocabulary slideshow and quiz to review the lesson’s vocabulary.

There’s also the 2000 Core Word List, which includes the most commonly used words in your target language. Starting from the 100 Core Word List, you’ll gradually build up your knowledge of useful vocabulary. These lists can be studied with SRS flashcards, too.

With the SRS flashcards, you can change the settings to your liking. The settings range from different card types to number of new cards per deck. Personally, I give myself vocabulary tests by changing the settings.

After studying a number of flashcards, I change the card types to listening comprehension and/or production. Then I test myself by writing the translation of the word or the spoken word or phrase.

The change in settings allow me to remember vocabulary and learn how to identify the words. This is especially helpful with Japanese kanji!

Complete Homework Assignments!

A woman studying at home

Homework assignments are advantageous to my language studies. There are homework assignments auto-generated weekly. They range from multiple-choice quizzes to writing assignments.

Language tutors are readily available for homework help. Some writing assignments, for instance, require use of unfamiliar vocabulary. In such cases, my language teachers assist me by forwarding related lessons or vocabulary lists.

In addition to these auto-generated homework tasks, language tutors customize daily assignments. My daily homework assignments include submitting three written sentences that apply the target grammar point of that lesson, and then blindly audio-recording those sentences. My personal language tutor follows up with feedback and corrections, if needed.

Your language tutors also provide assignments upon requests. When I wanted to review grammar, my Korean teacher sent related quizzes and assignments. Thus, you are not only limited to the auto-generated assignments.

Every weekend, I review by re-reading those written sentences. It helps me remember sentence structures, grammar points, and vocabulary to apply in real-world contexts.

Furthermore, I can track my progress with language portfolios every trimester. It’s like a midterm exam that tests my listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills.

Get Your Own Personal Language Teacher!

A woman teaching pronunciation in a classroom

My language teachers cater to my goals with personalized and achievable learning programs. The tangible support of my online language teachers makes it evident that we share common goals.

Once I share a short-term or long-term goal with my teacher, we establish a plan or pathway that will ultimately result in success. I coordinate with my teachers regularly to ensure the personalized learning programs are prosperous. For example, during my JLPT studies, my Japanese language tutor assigned me practice tests.

Your language tutor is available for outside help as well. When I bought drama CDs in Japan, I had difficulty transliterating the dialogue. My Japanese teacher forwarded me the script to read along as I listened.

Additionally, I often practice Korean and Japanese with music. I memorize one line of the lyrics daily. Every time, I learn a new grammar point and new vocabulary. I add the vocabulary to my SRS flashcards, locate the grammar in the Grammar Bank, and study the associated lessons online.

I send my teachers the name of the songs, making them aware of my new goal. One time, my song for Korean was “If You Do” by GOT7. My Korean teacher revealed that she was a huge fan of GOT7 like me! For Japanese, it was “CHA-LA HEAD-CHA-LA,” also known as the Dragonball Z theme song. My Japanese teacher excitedly told me that she sang the song a lot as a kid!

A remarkable thing happened to me in South Korea. I was stressed about opening a bank account with limited Korean. I sought help from my Korean teacher. She forwarded me a script of a bank conversation.

After two days, I visited the local bank. It all started with my opening sentence:

은행 계좌를 만들고 싶어요

eunhaeng gyejwaleul mandeulgo sip-eoyo.

I want to open a bank account.

Everything went smoothly, and I exited the bank with a new account!

The MyTeacher Messenger allows me to share visuals with my teachers for regular interaction, including videos to critique my pronunciation mechanisms. I improve my listening and speaking skills by exchanging audio with my teachers. In addition to my written homework assignments, I exchange messages with my language teachers in my target language. This connection with my teachers enables me to experience the culture as well as the language.

Why You Should Subscribe to Premium PLUS

It’s impossible for me to imagine my continuous progress with Japanese and Korean without Premium PLUS. Everything—from the SRS flashcards to my language teachers—makes learning languages enjoyable and clear-cut.

You’re assured to undergo the same experience with Premium PLUS. You’ll gain access to the aforementioned features as well as all of the Premium features.

Complete lessons and assignments to advance in your target language. Increase your vocabulary with the “2000 Core Word List” for that language and SRS flashcards. Learn on-the-go with the Innovative Language app and/or Podcasts app for iOS users.

Learning a new language takes dedication and commitment. The Premium PLUS features make learning irresistibly exciting. You’ll look forward to learning daily with your language tutor.

As of right now, your challenge is to subscribe to Premium PLUS! Complete your assessment, and meet your new language teacher.

Have fun learning your target language in the fastest and easiest way!

Subscribe to Premium PLUS today, and learn a language with your own teacher!

10 Ways to study Japanese for FREE

Friday, April 15th, 2016

What Lessons Would Suit for Me Before Traveling to Another Country?

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016

What lessons would suite for me before traveling to another country?

Hello Listener,

Are you already planning to go on a trip to another country? Don’t let the language barrier ruin your vacation. Find languages lessons that would suit for you!

What type of traveler are you?

  • A. I study important phrases in the target language. >> Click here!
  • B. I just take an app or a book containing travel phrases. >> Click here!
  • C. I prepare nothing, just enjoy my experience. >> Click here!
  • D. My answer is not here. >>Click here!

To Traveling The World,
Team InnovativeLanguage.com

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!

Language Learning, Language Teaching and Liguistics (Applied) - What’s the Connection?

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Scene #1 - A linguistics professor at university precedes a lecture by posing the question:
Name one benefit of Dr. James J. Asher’s Total Physical Response (TPR) method?

Scene #2 - A middle school teacher decides to try something new with her Spanish class. A flash of brilliance hits her! She takes the class to the Home Eco. class, and she has them bake a cake by giving instructions in Spanish! The baked cake, well, it missed the mark on taste, but the lesson was a hit with the class.

Scene #3 - A self-study Spanish student finds Simon Says in Spanish on YouTube. He hits the play button, and starts following instructions in Spanish. He puts his finger on his nose, his hand on his head, and you get the idea.

At the university they’re talking about the Total Physical Response method, and at the middle school classroom and the home of the self-study student, students are applying it. But chances are the teacher and self-study student don’t know name of the method they are applying. And at the university, chances are most of the students in the university linguistics class won’t see it applied.

It’s almost as if they’re separated by semantics. The teacher and students know what they’re doing is helping them learn, but are not familiar with the method’s history. And the linguists know the benefits and drawbacks, but in theory alone.

Bridging the Gap?<

On this blog we’ll discuss three main topics: learn learning by the student, language teaching by the teacher and applied linguistics. The goal is to help students and teachers understand the methodology behind our teaching style, and provide information for linguists on the results of the implementation of different techniques.

This is a work in progress, so we’re looking forward to your feedback and ideas.