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:


  • 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.


  • 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.

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!


Unwritten Knowledge Vs. Unthinking

Skip Ward presented in his video 5 key ideas about the online course for CCK11 (Connectivism and Connective Knowledge 2011) and he ended up his talk by “You can’t unthink“. Surely we can not unthink but we need to record our thinking to not only share it with others but also to make it growing bigger by fulfilling one’s specific needs.

Imagine yourself in a maze of “unwritten information” and your goal is to develop a knowledge throughout this big maze; first of all you need to build a social network because unwritten knowledge is distributed over many people and accessing resources (data and knowledge) is very important to connect dots and nodes in the space-time dimension. Challenge will occur in fractal dimension where complex variables interfere for creating a big picture of what is known and what is not. We need to demystify the complexity of learning in some areas and make it accessible to everybody by presenting it in different shapes and colors, in different terms and formats so that people in all level take advantage in developing their learning.

Lady with veil

The lady of wisdom has so much unwritten knowledge and experience that it could fill a library when ‘unveiled’

Same thing will happen for “Unwritten Knowledge when it become Written”.

The Love of Triangle: C.I.T

I Joined CCK11, Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) about Connectivsim and Connective Knowledge. From the first Elluminate recording session, the Facilitator of the MOOC, G.Siemens, talked about the core elements of learning: Create-Interact-Track. he added:

… If we make our learning transparent… it’s like assuming a teaching role

Interactions with one’s artifact increase intrinsic motivation and create connection between people and knowledge. Everything is connected somehow but each of us may have different vision of how to connect different dots in a given space.
Image Source

I have introduced in the Plearn blog the principle of ELIS Wheel : Explore, Learn, Interact and Socialize in the learning process. We need to create something and share it with others in the cloud and we need to interact to enhance intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in the crowd’s spirit.

Enjoy your learning and keep going!

Openness For Todays Learners

The world is changing and we need to change our vision of todays education. When I think about 28 years of my university education, I ask myself am I using all what I learned in amphitheaters? in which neuron the information was stored?

Education is how the information become a knowledge.Education is important for each society but todays learners are technology-oriented and are not passive recipients of education but producers. They want to have productive role and to be involved.

We are fortunate to be part of this active world and to live the changes. Digital learners, we live a world full of opportunities to sharp our intelligence and to be digitally literate. My objective this year is to read 35 books but using the technology I could read and listen to more than 50 books for pleasure without counting technical books. There is no reason to be illiterate today!