What’s the best method to learn a new language?

Like many people, I have promised myself time and time again that I will brush up on my foreign language of choice. However, the GCSE French textbooks I stashed away many years ago, confident I’d definitely use them again, have remained in a bag in the back of a cupboard somewhere ever since I put my pen down in my final exam. Now I’m out of education and I have a little more free time, I would like to make a proper attempt at re-learning everything I’ve forgotten. But what’s the best way to go about it?

Textbooks

Textbooks are great for giving you a consistent source of information. You will learn the correct grammatical structures and spellings, and the same terminology will be used throughout. Textbooks are also great if you want to keep revisiting the same material. However, it will be tricky to learn the accent with a textbook alone, so a textbook and CD-ROM combination might be more valuable.

Audio

Lots of language courses are delivered solely via mp3 audio files or audio CDs. These are good as they help you pick up the nuances of the pronunciation and the rhythm and intonation patterns, which can help you become a more natural, fluent speaker. However, you may receive less exposure to spellings, which you will need to learn alongside the audio course to reinforce your understanding.

Face-to-face courses

Evening classes are a fantastic way to hone your skills with other like-minded friends. You can test your skills in conversation classes and learn from experts and other amateurs and benefit from your new support network. Many language courses now take place overseas in countries with native speakers, giving you a more immersive experience and allowing you to familiarise yourself with the language with natives in their own environment for the ultimate challenge.

Apps

Apps are the biggest trend in language learning right now. Apps like Duolingo can be downloaded onto your phone or tablet, meaning you can learn languages on the move. They are designed to be used in short bursts, perhaps when you’re on the bus or waiting for a meeting to begin, meaning you can cram your learning into your busy schedule. ‘Being too busy’ is no longer an excuse, as your lessons come with you!

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Give the gift of Michel Thomas!

Christmas is nearly upon us and the New Year is just around the corner. Do you need a lastminute gift for someone and can’t think of what to get? How about giving the gift of Michel Thomas! Michel Thomas language courses are available in over 10 languages including French, Spanish, German, Italian as well as Portuguese, Russian and Arabic.

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New Year Review! BBC Active Quickstart French

bbc-active-quickstart-frenchGoing to France this year? Or, another French-speaking country? We asked one of our volunteer reviewers, Becky Delalandre, to review the BBC Active Quickstart French language course. Becky had some knowledge of the French language from her school days but wanted to brush up on her skills to help her feel more confident speaking French during trips to France. So, we introduced her to the BBC Active Quickstart French language course and, this is what she had to say>>

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BBC Active Quickstart French Language Course Review

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I have some knowledge of the French language from school and I also did a recreational GCSE French course around 8 years ago.  I wanted to brush up on my skills and to gain confidence to speak more French while in France. I tried the BBC Active Quickstart French language course and think that it is good value for money at £13.99. As a beginner, I found the course easy to follow. Each section used reflective learning methods where a conversation took place in French, after an introduction in English. This conversation was then broken down into multiple sections and there was time for you to repeat each sentence and to answer the questions relating to the phrases.

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New Review! Michel Thomas Method: Polish Introductory Course

michel thomas method polish introductory courseDo you fancy learning Polish? This review of the Michel Thomas Method: Polish Introductory course is by Imelda Michalczyk of Surbiton, UK who has wanted to study Polish for years. She struggled to learn French during her school years as she didn’t really enjoy the teaching process. So, we introduced her to the Michel Thomas Method: Polish Introductory course so that she could learn Polish on her own and, this is what she had to say>> [Read more…]

Michel Thomas Method: Polish Introductory Course Review!

An independent language advantage course review by Imelda Michalczyk –Surbiton,  UK 

michel thomas method polish introductory courseI’ve wanted to study Polish for years and much of my hesitation stemmed from not enjoying my experience of learning other languages at school. Despite passing my French exams, I always felt like lessons were such a struggle and that I never fully understood what was going on. I’ve even bought a ‘teach yourself’ style programme for Polish in the past, with a CD and book, but just felt daunted and never quite made a start. So, I was very intrigued by the Michel Thomas Method, which claims to teach a new language “the way you learnt your own”.

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WE LOVE MUZZY! Muzzy Review Coming Soon!

bbc muzzy 20th anniversary edition level 2We love Muzzy. We really do and it seems that so do many of you as the famous BBC Muzzy is still one of the best and most innovative language courses for kids on the market today. Just put on the DVD and see your young kids captivated by their new language. This could be the most important gift you ever give your child. And, what’s more, we have a young mum trying out this BBC muzzy course on her two little boys as we speak. Her review will be coming soon!

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