My Experience With Learning A New Language

“Each tongue is a man” (Arabic proverb)

I love traveling and I have pleasure meeting new people and exploring new landscapes and enhancing my communication skills. There are two major skills to learn a new language: 1- Active Skills and 2- Passive Skills. I think passive skills are much easier to develop than active ones, I don’t know why? May be because of their passivity but they are useful to develop active skills. To develop the active skills, learners should put more effort and engage in their learning process.

Let’s get started:

** PASSIVE SKILLS

  • Listening
  • Being digital learner is the key. I listen to audio-books on CDs on my computer or my mp3 player while exercising and cooking. I used to use playaway gadgets. I download useful podcasts from iTunes store about topics I am interested in.

    To use iTunes store, download iTunes software for free. Watch this video tutorial to get familiar with the software and learn how to subscribe to podcasts. On search field type ESL (English as Second Language) or Learn English, or Apprendre Français or Imparare Italiano or whatever your new language is and subscribe to feeds.

    Another option is to listen to your favorite podcasts using a desktop or a web-based application Reader. I use Google Reader to subscribe to RSS podcasts feeds. To know more about Google Reader and how to use it, follow this link. I used to watch subtitled videos and movies to get familiar with different accents and to improve my pronunciation. One of my favorite website is TED talks.

  • Reading
  • Being book lover is the key. I enjoy reading books. I used to read ESL books that enhanced my vocabulary. Remember that it took us long years to learn our mother language. Don’t hurry, chill out and enjoy your learning journey.
    You may consider twitter as your learning platform, people share a lot of resources on twitter by using hashtags (#). To learn more about hashtags, watch this video tutorial. In the search field, type #ESL (English as a Second Language), or #EFL (English as a Foreign Language) or #French or #Language and in each tweet, you may find other hashtags that take you to other resources.

** ACTIVE SKILLS

  • Speaking
  • Being socially present is the key. Belonging to groups and being socially present is my way of getting more envolved in the community and develop my active skills. I joined English Corner and Public English Discussion. I joined Women’s Friendship Circle and Newcomers Group Greater Moncton & Surroundings. I volunteer with many organizations and I enriched my network with new connections. Don’t be shy, go and meet native speakers… people are nice!
    I went for a linguistic trip in Halifax, NS for English Immersion program at Dalhousie University. It was very interesting learning experience because I was exploring a new place and meeting new people.

  • Writing
  • Being connected is the key. I use social media and I am “Connektd to Explore”, it’s why I created this blog and of course my friends are from different countries and they speak different languages which help me in improving my new language. I love writing and I am working on developing my writing skills to unveil the knowledge.

** YOU ACCENT IS YOUR IDENTITY
I quoted from Successful English blog:

The second thing language does is identify you as a member of a social group. Your language may identify what part of the country you come from – people from Boston sound much different than people from Dallas. It may identify your profession or level of education – people with more education often use different vocabulary than people with less education. It may identify what country you came from – Mexican-Americans sound different than Asian-Americans. Accent is part of your identification, but again, only a part. Vocabulary and other language elements also help identify the group you belong to.

Everybody has an accent, for instance Acadian French accent is different from Quebecer’s accent which is also different from French accent in France. English native speakers have different accents too. British accent is different from American Accent. I certainly have an accent When I speak English which is fine because it reflects my ability to speak other languages. After all, is to get understood and to “communicate” with people. The most important is who you are. Have a look at this funny video, just live your learning journey with a lot of fun and please don’t give up… Good luck!

Podcast your knowledge

Podcast is, according to Wikipedia , a series of media files (audio or video) that are released episodically. Think of podcast as a radio/TV show, except you can enjoy podcasts whenever and wherever you want. This online resource is made available for download to any portable device such as mp3 player, computer…

With a simple mp3/mp4 player, you can “podcast” your knowledge by harvesting podcasts from online directories like iTunesPodcast Pickle. and Podcast Alley.

If you are living in New Brunswick, Canada, you can have access to a myriad of audiobooks and Ebook at the Electronic Library NB.  Google and Sony launched a Reader Store for free E-books. You may be asked to download a required software to listen to the E-books and to transfer the resource to your mobile device.

If you wish to learn anything, to coach yourself, to listen to your favorite show; Podcasts and E-books make the journey easy for the learns.