FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Language Learning Programs

   
Author Topic: Language Learning Programs
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I really love learning new languages. I used to be quasi-fluent in Swahili, and haven't spoken it for several years. I really want to relearn it, but I lost my textbooks.

What are your favorite language resources (outside of a class), and do you have specific preferences based on language? They are uber pricey, but I keep looking at the Rosetta products because they seem so interactive.

Anyone ever watched the Destinos program to practice their Spanish? I would love to get a hold of those so I could refresh my basic Spanish, too.

My youngest brother and I used to listen to Pimsleur's Level One Japanese cds, while driving around. They were a lot of fun, but I definitely need basic grammar explanations for Swahili so I can read, write, and construct new phrases spontaneously.

Thoughts, experiences, suggestions?

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
Anyone ever watched the Destinos program to practice their Spanish? I would love to get a hold of those so I could refresh my basic Spanish, too.

Aren't those on late at night on PBS? I bet you could get them through pbs.org, and maybe from your library.
Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
dkw
Member
Member # 3264

 - posted      Profile for dkw   Email dkw         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been using Rosetta Stone to re-learn German and I love it. It's interactive, which is great, and it's total immersion -- instead of learning the German equivalents of English words you learn the German words for things, actions, and concepts. I was somewhat skeptical of how well they could introduce more complex concepts with just pictures, but the designers must be very creative folks, because they manage it.
Posts: 9866 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh my goodness, I just found the Destinos DVDs from the publisher and the entire series is $450!.

I bet they have played it on PBS, rivka.

That sounds great, dkw. Immersion + pictures + interactive is definitely what I need to learn.

My personal language goals (because I am empowered by public proclamation) is to be fluent in Swahili, and conversationally proficient in Spanish, French, and Japanese.

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Itsame
Member
Member # 9712

 - posted      Profile for Itsame           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
May I ask why, concerning Swahili?
Posts: 2705 | Registered: Sep 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dragon
Member
Member # 3670

 - posted      Profile for Dragon   Email Dragon         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Because it sounds super cool?

If you have time and want an actual travel-based immersion deal, there's something called the critical language scholarship where the US government will pay you to go learn a language that they consider to be somehow important...

Posts: 3420 | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kwea
Member
Member # 2199

 - posted      Profile for Kwea   Email Kwea         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
That is a very cool program. I wish my wife had known about it, as she speaks 5 languages already, and was a Spanish major/Japanese minor who wanted to learn Arabic....

I got her a copy of Rosetta Stone, and she likes it so far.

Posts: 15081 | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
My personal language goals (because I am empowered by public proclamation) is to be fluent in Swahili, and conversationally proficient in Spanish, French, and Japanese.

From someone who has the experience of having learnt three foreign languages (and that not in their infancy!), to the "conversational" proficiency: Practice is the only way. [Smile]

I recommend "the real experience", at least for all the "not dead" languages. [Big Grin]
I mean, living among people that speak (only) a foreign language helps a lot “improve” your proficiency very fast (and very reliably).

Tout d’abord, j’ai passé quelques années en France, alors, j’ai appris la langue sans aucune autre sortie [Wink]

El español, al aprenderlo después del francés, ha sido bastante mas fácil. Aun así, viviendo en España, o en cualquier país hispánico, es una gran ayuda.

English, well, that’s different. I read books, I watch movies and I participate in discussion forums. You’ll be the judge if that’s having a good result.

Anyway, I see learning languages as a great way of opening new avenues for communication (with a lot of people and cultures), so I wish you much joy in fulfilling your language goals. [Smile]

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
May I ask why, concerning Swahili?

I first took Swahili at VCU in my freshman year because they wouldn't let me continue in French without a placement exam. I went to go take the exam, and no one was there to administer it. I got irritated and picked up the course catalogue and was shocked to see Swahili being offered. I had no idea what Swahili sounded like, where exactly they spoke it. I had never heard of anyone learning it before. I immediately dropped French and signed up.

It was my best rash decision ever. Swahili is probably my favorite language. It is just beautiful to me. I love the sounds and the rhythm. I took it for a year, and my teacher offered the possibility of staying with her mother in Tanzania so I could "learn to cook Swahili." I was also going to drive around the countryside in a van with my new Ugandan friend, Moses.

There are many East African immigrants in Richmond and Northern Virginia, so I had a lot of opportunities to practice.

I ended up moving to California instead of going to Africa, but I never forgot my East African friends, nor lost my love of the language. I don't know how to explain it, it's just in me!

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rivka
Member
Member # 4859

 - posted      Profile for rivka   Email rivka         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I checked -- PBS definitely has shown Destinos in the past, via Annenberg learning courses. And they will have them again this summer.

Actually, if you get KLCS, and want to record them, it looks like Fridays 5-6 am is the key time. Or the same time Saturdays on KOCE.

Posts: 32919 | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Uprooted
Member
Member # 8353

 - posted      Profile for Uprooted   Email Uprooted         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by suminonA:
From someone who has the experience of having learnt three foreign languages (and that not in their infancy!)

What's your native language?
Posts: 3149 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Starsnuffer
Member
Member # 8116

 - posted      Profile for Starsnuffer   Email Starsnuffer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm an English speaker and for the first time this summer I went somewhere other than the tourist-ized parts of Mexico (to France, Italy, Greece). And I stayed with a Brazilian family in Italy for a few days. In France I was frustrated because people I was with knew French and could get by but I was left in the dark/tethered to them, and they could use it to talk behind my back! I think it became real to me that there are places where it's normal to say something in not english, where using French or Italian or Greek or what have you is not simply being obnoxious and is the norm.

I want to be able to get by with French, and less so Italian, German. I'm already in Spanish 5 at school so I'm more or less conversant in Spanish, I could definitely "get by" if I were dropped in spain or something. My plans for learning those languages, at present, consist of a French one book that I am slowly working through individually, which is a questionable replacement for actual conversation or class in French.

Posts: 655 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Starsnuffer
Member
Member # 8116

 - posted      Profile for Starsnuffer   Email Starsnuffer         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So this thread has just given me a fantabulous idea. My mom has recently expressed interest in re-learning spanish, and something like Rosetta stone could be a good christmas gift! HMMMM I don't know what level she would be at.. I'd say that she'd fly through early Spanish's hm... And also it would be an idea for my parents of a gift for me, some french-learning thing.

So the point of this post: What would y'all recommend as the "best" language learning programs?

Posts: 655 | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Uprooted:
quote:
Originally posted by suminonA:
From someone who has the experience of having learnt three foreign languages (and that not in their infancy!)

What's your native language?
I'm still not "ready" to reveal that on this forum (see my first landmark a year ago). But if you think it's very relevant for you, I'll sent you a PM. [Smile]

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by suminonA:
quote:
Originally posted by Uprooted:
quote:
Originally posted by suminonA:
From someone who has the experience of having learnt three foreign languages (and that not in their infancy!)

What's your native language?
I'm still not "ready" to reveal that on this forum (see my first landmark a year ago). But if you think it's very relevant for you, I'll sent you a PM. [Smile]

A.

Why would you not want to reveal your native language?
Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by porcelain girl:
Why would you not want to reveal your native language?

It may be just a silly thing, but deep down I think it really doesn't matter what my native language is, for the purpose of this forum and for my ability to communicate with all the others here. Just like my gender. I make special efforts to not reveal it, being on the same level of "relevance". [Wink]

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Tante Shvester
Member
Member # 8202

 - posted      Profile for Tante Shvester   Email Tante Shvester         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My native language, culture and gender seem like such integral parts of me, I have a hard time separating them out of the parts of me that might be relevant to the forum.

I think that in lots of ways, they are relevant.

But then, I probably have a lower relevancy threshold.

Posts: 10397 | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Tante Shvester:
My native language, culture and gender seem like such integral parts of me, I have a hard time separating them out of the parts of me that might be relevant to the forum.

Yep, there may be where the difference is. You'd see the exact same thing from me (on this forum), whatever the gender and native language. My culture is very much a part of me, but what is important for me is what I am and not what you might think about me because any of my "influences". (BTW, I did explain as weel as I could those influences.)

As I said in the first landmark, I'n not Real (Hatrack-wise), therefore such details (e.g. gender) remain irelevant. Again, IMO.

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
TomDavidson
Member
Member # 124

 - posted      Profile for TomDavidson   Email TomDavidson         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
I make special efforts to not reveal it, being on the same level of "relevance".
I can't help feeling like it would be unnecessary to make special efforts to avoid revealing something truly irrelevant.
Posts: 37419 | Registered: May 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
I can't help feeling like it would be unnecessary to make special efforts to avoid revealing something truly irrelevant.

Then I’ll help you: language is a tool, that can be easier to use for certain “jobs”. English has the beauty of being invariant, most of the times as to the gender of the speaker. So, in order to avoid the exceptional cases, for someone who doesn’t “master” the tool by many standards, I have to be careful. (The way I can talk on this forum would be impossible on a French one, BTW).

To cut to the chase: the gender is irrelevant from my point of view, but it might be relevant from yours (your choice). So, in order to not bring up something that you might use to misjudge me (based on prejudice) I still have to be careful not to reveal it here. Misjudge me if you want based on the fact that I’m “genderless” (my choice), but I don’t want anyone to misjudge me because of one gender or another (which was not my choice).

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
El JT de Spang
Member
Member # 7742

 - posted      Profile for El JT de Spang   Email El JT de Spang         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you really think this forum is prejudiced against non-native English speakers I can't imagine why you're still here.
Posts: 5462 | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
suminonA
Member
Member # 8757

 - posted      Profile for suminonA   Email suminonA         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by El JT de Spang:
If you really think this forum is prejudiced against non-native English speakers I can't imagine why you're still here.

I don't think that at all. (That's one of the reasons why I'm still here.) I've said it from my first landmark that I'm not an English native speaker.

But I still think that there is a possible prejudice based on gender, country of origin, age and the like. So, in order to avoid it, I have to avoid revealing them. [Smile]

A.

Posts: 1154 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Uprooted
Member
Member # 8353

 - posted      Profile for Uprooted   Email Uprooted         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'll go look for your first landmark (which I may have read but don't remember). I was just curious because I think it's interesting to know where people are from and so forth, but I don't think I find it relevant enough to have you tell me privately if you don't want to share that publicly.
Posts: 3149 | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Risuena
Member
Member # 2924

 - posted      Profile for Risuena   Email Risuena         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For those of you who are interested in Rosetta Stone, it might be worthwhile to check with your local library. My library offers Rosetta Stone programs online to anyone with a library card.
Posts: 959 | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Qaz
Member
Member # 10298

 - posted      Profile for Qaz           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like Rosetta too. I already knew some Spanish but Rosetta has me thinking in it.
Posts: 544 | Registered: Mar 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Risuena:
For those of you who are interested in Rosetta Stone, it might be worthwhile to check with your local library. My library offers Rosetta Stone programs online to anyone with a library card.

Ooh! I completely forgot that the library has language references available. Of course that may be because I have avoided the library in shame due to my obscene fine occurred when refusing to return a text book until I had finished it. Fudge.

I found some mini-swahili lessons on youtube that were originally used to teach missionaries (don't know what denomination) the basics in order to survive.

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
porcelain girl
Member
Member # 1080

 - posted      Profile for porcelain girl   Email porcelain girl         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was reading in Blayne's Mandarin thread and it reminded me that a few days ago on NPR they were discussing how many people use Skype to learn and practice foreign languages.

Anyone have experience with that?

Posts: 3936 | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
The Flying Dracula Hair
Member
Member # 10155

 - posted      Profile for The Flying Dracula Hair   Email The Flying Dracula Hair         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
So guided by an Amazon review for a Rosetta Stone product, I've been learning German privately with Pimsleur, Rosetta Stone, and a small grammar book (Barron's German Grammar) - Pims for speaking and RS for listening and booklet to fill in the blanks.

I think it's worth mentioning that this is proving to be a winning combination.

Posts: 299 | Registered: Jan 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2