Eating Alone In Half The Time

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The Best Way To Improve Your English, Spanish (or any language)

April 22nd, 2013 · No Comments

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What this latest post is all about:
Three ways to help improve and speed up learning a language. Emphasis is on English and Spanish but it works with any language.  Includes listening (understood or not), speaking to oneself (correct or not), looking up words, phrases, idioms. Gives useful links.  Be sure to scroll down for previous posts on cooking by a single guy when hungry and thousands of other topics.

 

1.
Listen to the language (without looking at any text) for a minimum of 15 minutes a day. The more the better.  Do not attempt to understand, just listen. This is exactly how the unborn and newborn child experience language.  Later, when you speak, the correct phraseology will feel right, and you will use the accent you have heard in the pronunciation of words. So, unless you want a particular accent, be sure to listen to speakers from various parts of the world or country and you will form your own pronunciation patterns. You can actually do other things while you are listening.   

 
English Readings with Text
http://esl-bits.net/ BITS English Lanaguage Learning
Free English site with readings and accompaning texts – Incredible range of subjects and speakers (both American and British) with two reading speeds – faster and slower. This is one of the best sites I have come across for improving your English.   
How to use:
Click on the major titles for all listings of available readings:
Audiobooks
Sherlock Holmes
Intermediate
Advanced
Songs
Audio Dramas
Or click on the featured title just below each major category.
Also, you can scroll down for all of the major titles
plus English idioms, Saying & Slang
Reading Activities and Test Preparation for the PET
Practice Using Articles ‘a’ – ‘a’ – ‘the’ 
Hosted by Skip Reske
 
 
Spanish Readings with Text
http://www.audiria.com/
A fantastic site made by 4 young people in Spain is perfect for listening to different individuals on many subjects. On this page you can select the type (category) of podcasts you want to hear, including the most popular and the best podcasts. Also take a look at all the categories covered including sections on phrases, idioms, vocabulary and a lot of tips and pitfalls (on this one, just click next to go from tip to tip – very useful). Remarkable site.
 
 
Other Resources for Listening:
Another way to listen is to copy a Spanish paragraph or article and put it into Google translate and just listen, without even looking at the translation. Also, be sure to add
whichever tool you usually use to the Favorites Bar at the top above all your tabs on IE (click the yellow star with the green arrow) hint: add it when the input is empty. Otherwise you will get whatever was pasted into input every time. 
http://text-to-speech.imtranslator.net/
Copy a paragraph or article into this text-to-speech facility of IMtranslator.net. Very good speaking voices. You can control the speed of reading the text.  

2.
Speak the language to yourself at least twice a day. It doesn’t matter what you say. It also does not matter whether or not it’s correct. What is important is the experience of speaking the language and the flow of words which is created, so that you will feel comfortable with it when you actually want to use it. Whatever comes into your mind. Have a paper and pen or recording devise available to record expressions or words which you do not remember or want to learn, although this part is not important. Eventually, these meanings will be learned in the process of listening to and learning the language. Do this for whatever period of time is comfortable. 
 
 
3. 
Look up at least 3 words, expressions, or idioms each day
a.  Translate them with  
     Google http://translate.google.com/
     Microsoft’s Bing Translator http://www.bing.com/translator
 
b. Linguee  

http://www.linguee.com (Fantastic resource)
Many examples of how phrases or words have been actually translated by professional translators.
If you are studying one of the languages and your native language is not one of the languages covered, just enter the word or phrase of interest and you will get many examples of how it has been used in context.
Languages currently covered: English, Spanish, German, Portuguese.

 

Tags: learning language

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