You know about vocabulary lists, flashcards and pronunciation guides, but sometimes there’s more at stake than just knowing the language. In this article, you’ll learn about the hidden ingredient you need for avoiding misunderstandings (even offence!) worldwide.Read more
Hey everyone, welcome to episode 49 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast. This one is perfect for you if you have ever wondered whether language learning is the way to change the world.
Topic: Language Learning Can Bring World Peace
Language is a beautiful caress that can make strangers melt into friends, but la gusgen is also a verbal door that can be closed in the face of outsiders. (Eddie Butler)
We went for deep stuff, and discussed the many ways that language learning can improve the world. From individual peace of mind, via tolerance in your everyday life, to changing the outlook of your country.
We found it felt wrong not to talk about moving abroad. Considering what's happening in Britain this year, the discussion turned to migration. Do people miss out when something foreign is added to the community? Our discussion might surprise you, because as always all isn't quite what it seems. And yes, we did say the B-word: Brexit.
And what about language education in schools? If we believe that language learning creates world peace, should we make everyone learn as many languages as possible?
The Power of Language
Finally, we only need to give you one word that shows something very interesting: migrant. Even when you're not learning a foreign language, the way that people and media around us use language to shape opinions affects everyone's life.
We touch on the idea that language can send signals about all of us, and make or break peace.
In our discussion, Lindsay and I got as close as you can get to saying horrible words. But not all the way there.
We hope you have a listen to find out more, and get in touch to tell us where you stand on language and world peace.
Links and Resources
The Good, The Bad and The Struggling
Routines lapsing for the summer, looking forward to September, and permission to half-ass online courses in this week's catch-up with Lindsay and Kerstin.
What's your Good, Bad and Struggling?
We'd love to hear from you guys on this one. If you want to share what's good, bad and difficult in your languages right now, send your feedback to us. We read every one and your language news could make it to a show intro in the future.
Simply do one of the following:
1) go on Skype and leave a voice message for fluentlanguage
2) or email us at email@example.com - include a voice memo from your phone if you can, so we can feature your voice on the show
In Episode 12 of the Creative Language Learning Podcast, I interviewed a fellow podcaster! Chris Broholm is a language learner with a big mission: 10 Languages in 10 Years!
Listen to our interview to find out more about
Who everybody's favourite owl is!
How Chris built up his own support community of inspiring language learners through the Actual Fluency Podcast
Whether there is a best way to approach language learning methods
What to think about when you set yourself an ambitious goal like Chris Broholm's 10 Languages in 10 Years
The importance of bewaring information overload
The language learning method that you absolutely must try out
And why trying it out is all that we can tell you to do!
And most importantly...
We talk about Language Book Club and how much we're looking forward to it!
Article of the Week
Duolingo is Getting More Serious by Kay Alexander on Fair Languages
Tips of the Week
Chris chose Tip 1 as his favourite, because goal setting is still WAY undervalued in learning a new language.
Tip 1: set your chosen Fluency level (travel fluent, job fluent?)
Tip 2: Be a historical linguist
Word origins and vocab divergence can help with remembering words
Look up "etymology"
Tip 3: Sprint with the Language Challenge
Tips and Links from this Podcast
Actual Fluency Episode 32 with me talking about how to be an independent online teacher
Hi guys, after a few days coping with winter's inevitable health hazards I'm finally getting started on this post. The topic has been going round my head for weeks, and it's such a great one - let's look into some ways to involve music in language learning. This topic is so big and important, I'll break it up into two parts:
In Part 1, we'll have a look at many great reasons why putting music into the language learning is a real booster.
Remembering - it's a song
You know how catchy a good song or jingle can be. I can still recite 85% of the lyrics of anything that was a hit when I was a teenager. Embarrassing? Who do you think I am? Melodies and rhythm serve as excellent memory aids, and can help you rattle down whole sections of language when you haven't got the slightest idea what they even mean. My favourite example: Dragostea din Tei. You might remember this as the Numa Numa song?
Gangnam Style = Korea's real!
Pop from your target language's country in particular has the excellent benefit of inviting you into their culture. When you've only ever read about the Brandenburg Gate in a textbook, it can be wonderful to see it made real by an artist dancing around it in their video. Or it's not just pop music, since of course the music of Brazilian carnival and Oktoberfest couldn't fail to get you in the mood for getting the dictionary out!
What's more, music has got the feel good factor! When you're losing motivation or hitting a dip along the way, it's good to take your learning adventure easy. Break it up with a familiar song perhaps, and suddenly you'll realise "oh, I know that verb form!" Or get into composing and make a jingle out of your revision.
Here's a great example from ProfaT on Youtube:
In Part 2, I'll be scouring the web for some of the coolest resources I can find for German and French language learners - and perhaps touch on some of the other languages out there. Do you use music in your revision? Recommend your favourite pages in the comments!
Think, for a minute, about the last time you tried to sell yourself on paper. Maybe you were writing a job application, or even worse your CV. Do you have a language skill? Where did you rank the language on your list of selling points? If you are anything like me and following convention, it probably ended up right at the bottom next to "I can drive" and "I like to write poetry in my spare time". Now think about how many years, how much time and concentration and effort you have put into learning your language. With all the many interesting things it's taught you, I tell you what, language belongs right at the top!
Here are some of the things that language learning teaches you:
- Considering the other person
- Learning to listen
- Preparing for the unexpected
- Becoming more patient with yourself
- Applying rules and instructions in new situations
- Sustaining interest and curiosity about a project
Yep, they are team work, communication, analytical skills, diligence and motivation. Employers cite these as the most desirable skills. The world's most common interview questions are designed to tease them out of you. The best managers will see language skill in you, but it's up to you to show them how much your language learning has taught you beneath the surface.
I imagine the ideal European workplace, as it is in fact practice in countries like Luxembourg. Colleagues will chat to each other in English, then answer the phone in French and German. This vision's a little rarer in Britain, and in my experience the Brits are not as used to foreign languages yet. There is a little apprehension about the risk of shutting one another out, and often colleagues don't like not knowing what is being said. Become inclusive, become a proud ambassador of your language, and this apprehension will soon disappear. I believe that managers and employers will soon recognise the advantages a multilingual workplace can bring not only to customers, but also to the staff members. Language will build your workplace community. There could be the coolest activities: coffee club in German, away days with kick start Chinese lessons, football sweepstakes for the World Cup with chants in the country's language.
Languages belong in the workplace, because
they actually help us do more than just communicate. Learning a foreign
language teaches grammar and vocabulary, of course. But there's more! The
learner has to adapt to a whole new type of conversational partner. New sayings
or ways of thinking have to become ingrained in your brain. International
teamwork will enter a new dimension when you start involving foreign languages,
and intercultural awareness is the way to future proof your workplace.
I, for one, am going to go global and put languages on page one of my own CV.