Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

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letsgobobby
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Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:03 am

I am thinking of embarking on learning one new language while trying to become quite a bit better in another that I already can 'get around' in.

I do not have good access to instruction locally.

Besides traveling to speak with native speakers for an extended period of time, what resources have you found helpful to become proficient in a foreign language?

I discovered that the Foreign Service Institute is making available in digitized and remastered format all of the old (1960s era) language courses used by the State Department of that era. The price is exceptionally attractive ($19.95 + s/h for the each entire course). I've been exposed to the Spanish version in the past (on cassette) and found it quite thorough.

Have you used these programs (tapes) before, or any others, with good results?

http://www.foreignserviceinstitute.com/

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by mikeast » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:21 am

You might mention the language you're going to study because there may be some resources out there unique to that particular language.
For example, I use a website called Deutche Welle to study German. It's a comprehensive, interactive set of courses that can take a learner all the way
to C1 level. And it's free to anyone.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Oct 24, 2011 3:27 am

good idea.

The new language is Hebrew.

The getting better language is Spanish.

Also on my list are Vietnamese, Chinese, and French, but who has the time?

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Volkdancer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:32 am

Boke Tov, letsgobobby,

The quality of the Foreign Service language learning programs varies tremendously in usability. I too used the Spanish tapes (that long ago) on my own and found them exceptionally well designed and useful as I spent many months traveling south of the US. Other languages, like Hungarian, Bulgarian, were very awkward to use as their methodology was old fashioned. You would have to test drive each but, for $20 per, not a big deal.

The FS Hebrew learning is clumsy, like a large version Berlitz book of phrases, and I found it especially awkward because they transliterate Hebrew into archaic English phonic equivalents. Hebrew for Dummies is okay for basic phrases but one needs to memorize dialog for it to be useful and then figure out how to modify the memorized phrases to create new contexts. Also, their transliteration system may not match other transliteration schemata. I would strongly recommend the Rosetta Stone system. It is very good, in my opinion, on a quality par with the FS Spanish.

For a fun way to get some basic language information, take a look at the Behrmann House website http://www.behrmanhouse.com/ a look at the children's language teaching books.

Take the time. What else is time for?

Volkdancer

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by fredflinstone » Mon Oct 24, 2011 7:57 am

Your kids should learn Chinese. I suggest you pick something easier! :lol:

You've mentioned in past threads that you work out. I used to listen to Pimsleur language CDs while working out. It won't get you fluent, but it can give you a good start. Warning: the CDs are expensive. Maybe buy them used.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Oct 24, 2011 8:36 am

The price is so attractive that I'm tempted to just 'load up' on the 5 and see what happens.

Sorry to hear about the Hebrew, in particular, as that is the one language I have essentially zero exposure to and was hoping for the most from FS. For the other languages I have anywhere from 1-5 years of study; I don't know if these different levels of exposure might make the FS programs more helpful or not, but it sounds like for Hebrew in particular I might need to fork out the big bucks for Rosetta? I have purchased a highly recommended basic, short book on learning the alphabet, the sounds, etc of the written language which is what I will start with, but I will need something to help me hear the actual sounds.

I am aware of "Partners in Torah" which also provides for one on one telephonic instruction, for free (donation-supported) - this might be an option as well.

One area my local library is quite deficient in is language programs. I know Rosetta and others tend toward expensive, but outside of Spanish, Chinese, and Russian, my local library has very few good, comprehensive systems.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Volkdancer » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:36 am

If you can locate someone who already has Rosetta Stone you could purchase used or perhaps borrow and copy. It seems Rosetta Stone may be paying someone one to zap all ads to sell used copies on Craig's List. Also try You Tube for various details. Here is a link to a fun children's song for learning the alphabet - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UiCzoTs1AdE - and there are others for listening. Any pronunciation drills could be useful. Take care to distinguish between Biblical Hebrew and Modern Hebrew. You might try a local synagogue, temple, or shul but their Hebrew lessons tend to be reading from the prayer book and Torah so not particularly useful for conversing in Hebrew. You will probably not learn how to say "Thank you" (Todah, or Todah rabah) there but you could inquire if there was someone who could help. By making lists and flash cards, one can tailor make a "course" as one learns. Hebrew for Dummies can be good for that.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Oct 24, 2011 9:51 am

Volkdancer wrote:If you can locate someone who already has Rosetta Stone you could purchase used or perhaps borrow and copy.
I wouldn't recommend buying Rosetta Stone used. Their copy protection is pretty tight and I've heard more than one story of somebody buying the software on ebay and then being unable to run it on their computer.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:32 am

any other tips for language learning programs?

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by SRenaeP » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:48 am

[quote="KyleAAA"][quote="Volkdancer"]If you can locate someone who already has Rosetta Stone you could purchase used or perhaps borrow and copy.[/quote]

I wouldn't recommend buying Rosetta Stone used. Their copy protection is pretty tight and I've heard more than one story of somebody buying the software on ebay and then being unable to run it on their computer.[/quote]

I wouldn't buy Rosetta Stone used either. It's not their copy protection. There is an activation code that can only be used twice. Unless you deactivate one use of the code (similar to iTunes computer authorization), you will not be able to use another installation of the software. You will be able to install it, just not run it.

-Steph

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by gtaylor » Tue Oct 25, 2011 10:42 am

Since when are these lessons $20? They are in the public domain, and are free downloads as mp3 files. Seems like a bit of a scam to sell them. Wish I'd thought of it ;)

See http://fsi-language-courses.org/

For free, I don't see why you wouldn't just try the fsi lessons and see where it gets you.

Also for free or cheap, my understanding is that people routinely practice with native speakers over Skype or similar, they want English practice, you want <X> practice, everybody wins. Google about for that when you think you're getting somewhere.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Tue Oct 25, 2011 8:03 pm

I had no idea these were freely available. You just saved me $100 + s/h. Thanks so much!

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by dowse » Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:44 am

To look into language learning, I came across this old thread, then saw a Ted talk : http://www.ted.com/talks/luis_von_ahn_m ... laboration which describes duolingo : http://www.duolingo.com.

I tried it briefly, and it looks to be a brilliant and free way to build language skill while simultaneously contributing something. Apparently, studies show the method works better than some costly alternatives such as Rosetta Stone. You may want another tool for assessing speaking ability and pronunciation.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:13 am

Immersion is the best method in my opinion. I knew someone who wanted to learn Spanish. She found people Spanish people who wanted to learn English. They would meet in a neutral place such as Starbucks and give one another lessons. I've spent years trying to learn foreign languages. I'm fluent in Afrikaans as I learned it for 12 years in South African schools. As a result I can understand Dutch and German is easier as the structure of the language is similar as well as the vocabulary.

I also studied Latin for nearly 9 years at school and college. I liked attending French, German, Spanish at a local community college. I'll continue this when I retire. Grammar is a walkover for me because of my Latin background but I wasn't great at "hearing" the language. So I started watching Spanish soaps with English subtitles. The subject matter is a little painful for me as I only read non-fiction. But after a long day at work I could veg out and watch nonsensical soaps. I've travelled quite a lot in South America. I can understand most of what they say if they don't speak too fast. I only open my mouth if it's necessary :D

I haven't investigated it recently but I could get a French channel for about $9.99 a day. At the time they did I not have English subtitles. I've dumped cable but I'm sure there are alternatives available.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Sep 13, 2014 11:32 am

In my opinion, if you are going to dedicate the time, effort and memory to a new language, you should not try to save money. Find the most effective for you approach, whatever the cost. This recommendation is based on my own, failed, experiences. I have boxes full of Spanish and French books and electronic resources, including the Foreign Language Institute's materials that I have never opened.

I recently bought Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World by Benny Lewis. The book has excellent reviews. I have not read it yet, but will (promise!) in preparation for my el Camino walk.

Victoria
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Barefootgirl » Sat Sep 13, 2014 12:10 pm

I've used various methods and second the opinion about immersion. Immersion took me from a being able to read and understand a second language, to actually becoming interactive.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by bberris » Sun Sep 14, 2014 7:11 am

duolingo
Free smartphone app
Research shows it's better than rosetta stone.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:46 pm

I've used both Rosetta Stone and FSI extensively. Duolingo is better than both, and it's free. It has its drawbacks, but it's surprisingly good for self-study.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Louis Winthorpe III » Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:58 pm

Pimsleur is good. Not cheap though.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by LadyGeek » Sun Sep 14, 2014 3:04 pm

Learn the language like anyone else - total immersion. It's much easier to listen than to speak the language.

For Spanish, tune into the local TV shows (available in my area). Read the Spanish language newspapers. Know anyone who speaks Spanish? Talk to them.

The same for Hebrew. חדשות, ידיעות מהארץ והעולם - עיתון הארץ Problems? Google Translate to the rescue.
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by dowse » Sun Sep 14, 2014 11:37 pm

I think it depends on one's goals. For true fluency, I agree there is no substitute for immersion and putting in the time. For just getting by in situations such as travel, brushing up, etc., I think some of these programs can be helpful tools. In my case, I studied German years ago, but am not at all fluent. I passed only the basic placement level test on duolingo. Perhaps it can be a way to improve and maybe motivate me to move into an immersion approach.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by 3504PIR » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:36 am

I remember those old tapes and looked for something similar on the DoD's language website, which is essentially a waste of time unless you are enrolled.

Thanks so much for the various links in the thread.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:52 am

Have been playing with duolingo and it's cute but certainly not going to create speaking or listening fluency, unless I am missing something. It's a bit of a brush up for my Spanish vocabulary and grammar but the spoken examples are very brief. Telenovelas and noticieros on Univision are more helpful for listening but often just a bit too fast for me. News in Slow Spanish is too slow and I don't like the fact that one of the speakers is British and one Spanish, wish both were native speakers and one Latin American or Mexican.

The FSI tapes vary in quality, both content quality and recording quality. For example in the Chinese version they still actively teach the use of "tong zhi" or comrade to refer to an acquaintance. That said the Chinese one is very good as far as repetition and patterns so it's a good learning tool. Not remotely enough to keep up with my daughter now in her third year of immersion Mandarin elementary school... oh to have the brain plasticity of a 7 year old again.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:55 am

I haven't checked it out lately but I think that the telenovelas are online now. Otherwise you can record them and start/stop them. Another way is to buy DVDs of Spanish classics - preferably with subtitles.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 9:58 am

The elephant in the room: to get good in a language one should have a lover speaking that language. The OP needs an Israeli girlfriend.

Victoria
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by IPer » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:11 am

That site looks like a ripoff and commercialization of the government created programs that are free, here: http://fsi-language-courses.org/Content.php
I have overviewed a lot of these and they are old and crude but get the job done and some of them are quite spectacular. I believe the ones I have used are

Hebrew, Thai, Arabic, Spanish

So far.

Oops just read more of the thread and see they mentioned this already, and that I am way late to the party!
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Mon Sep 15, 2014 10:57 am

One might be able to learn to speak and understand Hebrew and Arabic by immersion. Its a totally different matter writing and reading these languages. I even got as far as buying a few books on writing Arabic and writing from right to left. Actually its not that difficult once one gets used to it. Chinese is a different matter as its a tonal language and the structure of the language is not difficult. But good luck trying to write Chinese characters! I've somewhat abandoned my language studies as I'm still working and I'm travelling a lot. I'm going on a cruise of the Dalmatian coast in December. Apparently the languages on based on Slavic though native speakers cannot understand Russian. When I went to Russia, I investigated learning the language. I discovered that the grammar has the same complexity as Latin. So I gave up and only learned the Cyrillic characters. Interestingly Hindi is a Indo-European language. I found the similarity of some of the vocabulary fascinating.

I'm going to Cuba in February - maybe I'll become inspired to relearn some Spanish.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by SRenaeP » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:11 pm

letsgobobby wrote:Have been playing with duolingo and it's cute but certainly not going to create speaking or listening fluency, unless I am missing something. It's a bit of a brush up for my Spanish vocabulary and grammar but the spoken examples are very brief. Telenovelas and noticieros on Univision are more helpful for listening but often just a bit too fast for me. News in Slow Spanish is too slow and I don't like the fact that one of the speakers is British and one Spanish, wish both were native speakers and one Latin American or Mexican.

The FSI tapes vary in quality, both content quality and recording quality. For example in the Chinese version they still actively teach the use of "tong zhi" or comrade to refer to an acquaintance. That said the Chinese one is very good as far as repetition and patterns so it's a good learning tool. Not remotely enough to keep up with my daughter now in her third year of immersion Mandarin elementary school... oh to have the brain plasticity of a 7 year old again.
I agree with your assessment regarding Duolingo and watching TV. IMHO, the only way to become truly conversational is interaction. If traveling isn't an option, try Meetups or something similar. That said, what is your language goal? I have a goal to become conversational in Spanish. However, I recently returned from 8 days alone in Panama and was able to get by without being conversational. My greatest frustration is that I speak enough Spanish to give people the impression that I actually speak Spanish but my comprehension is poor. I was constantly asking people to repeat themselves and getting lost in the conversation. I could grasp enough to understand/do what I needed to do but anything other basics was hard for me.

-Steph

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by technovelist » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:27 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The elephant in the room: to get good in a language one should have a lover speaking that language. The OP needs an Israeli girlfriend.

Victoria
This is often recommended but can cause problems if one is married. :D
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by lowerleisureclass » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:55 pm

While it's absolutely true to say immersion is best, for those of us with jobs it's generally not an option to move to another country for months or years.

Don't overlook your local library as a resource -- I managed to get from only a few words of Spanish to conversational and able to make reservations etc. over the telephone in five years without quitting my job or moving by taking a couple of evening classes at the local community college, but mostly using the local library like crazy.

I've used the library for Pimsleur and other language learning CDs, music CDs, telenovelas and movies in Spanish (or turning on Spanish subtitles when watching movies in English), children's books (some that came with a CD to listen to as you read along) and YA books, comics, novels written for adults (also sometimes available in both hard copy and books on tape versions).

I also have gone to conversation groups either found through friends or the meetup website, generally trying for once a week, worked my way through a bunch of grammar exercise books, listen to Spanish radio in the car, etc.

I'm going to guess there are a lot more Spanish resources out there than Hebrew resources, but you might check to see if there's a Jewish cultural center in your city; they often offer courses or I would think would at least be able to point you in the direction of someone who does.
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 1:58 pm

lowerleisureclass wrote:Don't overlook your local library as a resource -- I managed to get from only a few words of Spanish to conversational and able to make reservations etc. over the telephone in five years without quitting my job or moving by taking a couple of evening classes at the local community college, but mostly using the local library like crazy.

I've used the library for Pimsleur and other language learning CDs, music CDs, telenovelas and movies in Spanish (or turning on Spanish subtitles when watching movies in English), children's books (some that came with a CD to listen to as you read along) and YA books, comics, novels written for adults (also sometimes available in both hard copy and books on tape versions).
It's a good point. I am getting serious about picking up some Spanish for the el Camino walk and will check out our library.

Victoria
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by target2030 » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:02 pm

Seriously, VictoriaF, you are planning on the El Camino walk? The only Spanish I would need is " ¡Ayúdame!" and hope someone hears me!

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by AddingUp » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:05 pm

I've found that a large part of learning a language is your motivation. If it's for work or because you'll be moving/traveling to another country, you have a goal. If you just want to learn a language as a hobby, you might not make the time each day/week to do it. It's probably best to determine why you want to learn the language and make it a priority so it happens despite all your other commitments.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:11 pm

target2030 wrote:Seriously, VictoriaF, you are planning on the El Camino walk? The only Spanish I would need is " ¡Ayúdame!" and hope someone hears me!
I was planning to go in April-May 2014, but did not retire in time. Now, it's April-May 2015. One reason for selecting el Camino as my first walk is that the need for the local language is minimal. But I might as well practice Spanish while I'm there. In the future, I might do less popular paths.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by chaz » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:27 pm

VictoriaF wrote:The elephant in the room: to get good in a language one should have a lover speaking that language. The OP needs an Israeli girlfriend.

Victoria
Very expensive alternative.
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:35 pm

chaz wrote:
VictoriaF wrote:The elephant in the room: to get good in a language one should have a lover speaking that language. The OP needs an Israeli girlfriend.

Victoria
Very expensive alternative.
And yet, people choose this alternative for far less important reasons than learning Hebrew.

Victoria

EDIT: I did not mean that the girlfriend has to be an elephant.
Last edited by VictoriaF on Fri Jan 16, 2015 1:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by lowerleisureclass » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:36 pm

AddingUp wrote:I've found that a large part of learning a language is your motivation. If it's for work or because you'll be moving/traveling to another country, you have a goal. If you just want to learn a language as a hobby, you might not make the time each day/week to do it. It's probably best to determine why you want to learn the language and make it a priority so it happens despite all your other commitments.

Bingo. For me, it's just a hobby, but if I didn't actually enjoy the process of learning the language, there's no way I would have been able to maintain my motivation for so long. Periodic trips to Spanish-speaking countries help keep the motivation high, too.
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Dutch » Mon Sep 15, 2014 2:39 pm

Thanks for the duolingo link. I tried it out over the weekend and I really like it.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:02 pm

I was supposed to have Dish with Spanish installed last Saturday. I waited till about 6:30 p.m last Saturday but the installer had the wrong DVR. I felt sorry for him. So I get to wait again this Saturday afternoon this week. Grammar is second nature to me as I spent 9 years studying Latin verbs - well 50 years ago! I think the French and Spanish verbs have the same tenses - 7 simple and 7 compound. Of course there are many exceptions! I'm planning to try to read. A good French teacher I had a community college made us read from the beginning - read the text three times and then look up words you don't know and memorize them, She said that the problem with usual grammar books is that is too mechanical. For example, if I am learning the Present Subjunctive, all exercises follow a common form. Of course English is a Germanic language (structure) with an overlay of French. One of my Latin books said that 60% is badly pronounced French.

So I'm good at grammar .. but ... . By the evening I'm tired so I'll veg out and watch a Spanish soap before I go to bed. Sometimes I wish I were retired .. one day!

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Statch » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:02 pm

There's a web site called italki.com where you can connect with instructors around the world in various languages for online interactive sessions. I haven't tried it myself but it's an interesting idea. They have lists of 'professional instructors,' 'informal tutors,' and 'instant tutors.' Each instructor lists his/her hourly rates, and the site shows how many sessions the instructor has conducted. The search option lets you search for an instructor who teaches a particular language and also speaks another particular language (a Hebrew teacher who also speaks English, for example). Seems like it would be most useful for someone who already has a basis in a foreign language and doesn't have anyone local to practice with.

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by letsgobobby » Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:03 pm

Statch wrote:There's a web site called italki.com where you can connect with instructors around the world in various languages for online interactive sessions. I haven't tried it myself but it's an interesting idea. They have lists of 'professional instructors,' 'informal tutors,' and 'instant tutors.' Each instructor lists his/her hourly rates, and the site shows how many sessions the instructor has conducted. The search option lets you search for an instructor who teaches a particular language and also speaks another particular language (a Hebrew teacher who also speaks English, for example). Seems like it would be most useful for someone who already has a basis in a foreign language and doesn't have anyone local to practice with.
I have always thought there was promise in an idea like this. i will check it out - thanks

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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:26 pm

From another thread (and refers to the previous post): Subject: What Book Are You Currently Reading? Part VI
Lynette wrote:Lady Geek. I posted my reply in the thread you gave. I was trained as a Latin teacher .. so grammar is easy for me.
I have a strong technical background, grammar is not so easy for me.

From my perspective, language is primarily spoken, not written. I think a lot of people don't understand this aspect.

I can hear the subtle differences how words are spoken (tonal inflections, etc.). I then repeat everything exactly as I hear them. You need both speaking / listening and reading / writing skills.

I watch my local Spanish TV channel (Univision, Philadelphia) when I work out. I'm starting to know the soap opera characters. The commercials are fun.
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MoonOrb
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by MoonOrb » Fri Jan 16, 2015 5:43 pm

Possibly also relevant here is a book I just finished called "Fluent Forever" by Gabriel Tyner that provides granular, precise nuts and bolts instruction regarding the process of learning and retaining foreign language skills, and walks you step by step through creating your own self-study system that is designed for maximum efficiency. Too early to see how effective it is, but I'm taking baby steps with it. One of the resources he recommends on it is italki.

Lynette
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:24 pm

MoonOrb wrote:Possibly also relevant here is a book I just finished called "Fluent Forever" by Gabriel Tyner that provides granular, precise nuts and bolts instruction regarding the process of learning and retaining foreign language skills, and walks you step by step through creating your own self-study system that is designed for maximum efficiency. Too early to see how effective it is, but I'm taking baby steps with it. One of the resources he recommends on it is italki.
Thanks, I'll check it out - when I get back from Cuba. I think it also depends on your past language experience. I think it structure because of my Latin training. On the other hand I find it easier understanding German .. well slow as I an fluent in Afrikaans - Dutch dialect.

Statch
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Statch » Fri Jan 16, 2015 7:38 pm

The U.S. Defense Language Institute, which trains military linguists, also makes a wealth of great material publicly available: http://www.dliflc.edu/products.html.

For people interested in the process of langauge learning, a really fun site is The Mezzofanti Guild (http://www.mezzoguild.com/).

Lynette
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:02 am

As mentioned above, it depends on one's motivation. If one does not use a language, it is easy to forget it unless one spent many years learning it preferably as a child. I'm interested in being able to read and understand. Speaking .. maybe not so much.

Artificial intelligence is making great strides. I haven't tried it personally but I think that Skype is working on this.

desiderium
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by desiderium » Sat Jan 17, 2015 12:21 am

Many years ago I used the Foreign service tapes for Swahili, when there were few self study alternatives.. It was miserably slow and difficult. Eventually learned more by immersion. There are much better programs now, IMO.

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VictoriaF
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by VictoriaF » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:04 am

Lynette wrote:Artificial intelligence is making great strides.
But I don't want artificial intelligence to learn Spanish. I want my intelligence to learn Spanish.

Victoria
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William Million
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by William Million » Sat Jan 17, 2015 9:13 am

The Foreign Service process accompanies intensive classes for State Department officers. Using the materials without the instruction will not yield the same results.

For most people, I don't believe it is possible to learn a foreign language without instruction by an actual teacher. You can pick up a few words/phrases, but you won't really speak the language. As someone else mentioned,Italki is a great way to get 1-on-1 language instruction for a cheap price.

Lynette
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Re: Learning a NEW language - Foreign Service Inst

Post by Lynette » Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:02 am

I went to a community college where I did some French, Italian, Spanish and German. In my state, if you go to a community college in your county, it is really inexpensive - was about about $250 per semester. If you don't need the credits, you can audit the classes and not write the exams.

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