Think Spanish Audio Magazine Review

An independent language advantage course review by Andrea Lainé

Think Spanish online audio language magazineThe Think Spanish audio magazine is more than a simple Spanish audio language course – it is designed to help you to learn Spanish while teaching you about life and culture in Spanish-speaking countries.  It is a much more current and engaging approach to learning Spanish online for intermediate and advanced learners.

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Think French, Think Spanish, Think Italian This Winter!

think spanish november 2011The nights are drawing in, schools and colleges have settled in for another academic year and you need a language course to brighten up your days! If you’ve already got a basic level of the language and now want to get up to intermediate or advanced level, then we recommend the Think Spanish, Think French and Think Italian audio magazines, which are proving to be a very popular way to learn Spanish, French and Italian online. [Read more…]

‘Internationalise Your Website And Maximise Your Market Potential’

london chamber of commerce logoSarah Carroll will give a talk at this year’s Opportunities in Business and International Markets seminar organised by the City of London in association with the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry and, UK Trade & Investment. The seminar is free and will be held on Monday 17th October 2011. Sarah’s talk is entitled ‘Internationalise your website and maximise your market potential’.

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Masterclass Workshop: Optimising Your Website For International Trade

Sarah Carroll is running UK Trade & Investment’s specialist training workshop to learn practical steps you can take to boost your international business performance online, on the 27th September 2011.

Does your business have an effective online strategy for boosting overseas sales? Is your site optimised for international search engines? When Googled internationally how is your company presented online?

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One Year Free with Think French

Think Language online audio language magazineSign up for Think French Online Magazine and receive one year of back issues completely free!! Once you place your order you will have immediate access to the current 4 issues – as well as the free full year of archives.

That’s TWO full years at an already reduced rate! Think French is a complete online learning package of monthly articles, audio, lessons and more. An engaging approach to language learning, Think French is designed to improve your French while teaching you about life and culture in French speaking countries.

read our review of the Think French online audio language magazine now>>

more information and to buy Think French online audio language magazine now >>

Internationalise your Website and Maximise your Market Potential

Language Advantage’s founder, Sarah Carroll, is presenting at a workshop run by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday 11 October 2010 at the British Library.

The workshop is ‘Internationalise your Website and Maximise your Market Potential’ and Sarah will help you to understand why you should internationalise your website as well as the key elements of an international web strategy. It’s far more than just translation … [Read more…]

Internationalising Your Website

ukti-logo


Sarah Carroll, the Founder of Language Advantage, is speaking at UK Trade & Investment’s Internationalising your Website Workshop in London on Tuesday 25 May 2010.

The workshop will explore practical steps you can take to boost your international business performance online.  [Read more…]

Internationalising your Website

ukti-logo


Sarah Carroll, the Founder of Language Advantage, is speaking at UK Trade & Investment’s Internationalising your Website Workshop in London on Tuesday 10 November 2009.

The workshop will explore practical steps you can take to boost your international business performance online.  You will receive the latest web knowledge and tips so you can grasp the international opportunity that web 2.0 presents [Read more…]

BBC TALK PORTUGUESE ON-LINE REVIEW

An independent language course review by Sarah Maddocks

Talk Portuguese is an on-line introduction to Portuguese set in Portugal and Brazil. It is divided into 10 short sections with slideshows, video clips, useful phrases and quizzes. The course covers 10 subjects such as your typical topics i.e. greetings, introducing yourself and others, describing yourself, in a cafe, directions, food shopping, accommodation, getting around, in a restaurant and hobbies). The website suggests that you also try out (alongside the course) the TV series, a book and audio cassettes and also if you are a tutor to look at the tutor notes with added activities. To be honest, once you’ve done the on-line course you don’t have to buy the BBC Talk language pack, unless you want to do the above away from your computer if you’re on your way to work. The TV series might be good to see what you can understand though. The internet course is in a step-by-step layout and easy to navigate around, although one thing to be aware of is you have to double click on the arrows otherwise you will be waiting 5 minutes for it to load (don’t want to own up to doing that as looking back it does sound like a very stupid thing to do!)

I think the best thing for me to do is to get the negatives out of the way (there’re not many so please don’t stop reading here and not try out the course because it sounds bad!!). I found that the most annoying thing about the on-line course is that you can’t see the dialogue from the slideshows in both English and Portuguese. You can see them side by side in the useful phrases section, but I would have liked to hear and read the phrases in both languages at the same time. The quiz is sometimes irritating as there are an assortment of answer types (that’s not the irritating thing) and some of them are fill in the blanks. This is especially difficult seeing as the word is not actually in the useful phrases (i.e. vocé is you – sorry have just told you one of the answers!) and so you are not told how to spell this beforehand. The only way you would know what the answer is would be to sit down, take notes from the slideshow (which would be easier if both languages were on the same screen) and then learn the notes (I know I sound like I’m moaning on a bit too much about this but it has annoyed me, plus if I wanted to do a course where I had to write things down then I would have chosen to do a paper course and not an on-line one!).

I think this is a great way of really learning the spoken accent and knowing what to expect if (or when) you visit the country.

Right, I think I have done enough ranting and raving on the bad parts,so it’s now time for the good bit. I found that the video clips were good because they used native speakers, so at first it is hard to understand the accent but once you have listened a couple of times you can really hear and understand what is being said. I think this is a great way of really learning the spoken accent and knowing what to expect if (or when) you visit the country. I thought the quiz was good as it allows you to fill in the blanks without having to worry about accents on the words, it accepts the word without accents typed in, this is very handy as it often takes me about 10 minutes to find the right accent for certain letters (this is also unusual for online courses to do this, instead they just flash an incorrect on the screen with the correct version of the word – of course with accents!).

Another great thing about this course is that the sections are short and fun. I seemed to absorb more vocabulary and information by doing one unit a day rather than cramming them all into one session. Each section took me around 15-20 minutes which I found was the right amount of time to actually remember what I had learnt the next day. This is fab especially if you work, you can just come home, turn the computer on, do 15 minutes of Portuguese a night (time that would be spent watching half an episode of Neighbours!) and hey presto in about 2 weeks you would have completed a beginners’ Portuguese language course (the miracle of modern technology never ceases to amaze!) The course needs Flash in order for the video clips to work. The BBC website offers a link to get this downloaded for free, and it is worth doing this as it is good to watch the video clips with sound.

One thing you should remember if trying this course out is that it is better to have a fast internet connection as it could take a while for each screen to load (this however is not a must have but if you are like me and slightly inpatient it is probably better to have a speedy one). The site also mentions the fact that you may have problems connecting to the video course if the internet is too busy. I’ve tried this site at various times of the day and so far (touch wood) have had no problems, so don’t let that put you off!

And did I forget to mention this? The on-line Talk Portuguese course is free. Yes, you pay nothing … thank you BBC Education.

Overall I would recommend people to try this course. At the end of the day, it takes 15 minutes to do one session which is hardly a lifetime – and in exchange you get to speak a little Portuguese from doing it. And did I forget to mention this? The on-line Talk Portuguese course is free. Yes, you pay nothing … thank you BBC Education. All I have to do now is track down somewhere I can go and speak to people in my newly acquired language!!

to find out more about BBC language courses>>

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BBC STEPS ON-LINE REVIEW

An independent language course review by Sarah Maddocks

The BBC ‘Steps’ language course is a free beginner language course available on the BBC website in the language section, where you can choose from four languages; French, German, Spanish or Italian.

The website is easy to navigate around (even for someone like me who is not exactly up on all the new whiz technology) and has a simple layout. The content of the course is 24 parts, divided into six small sections. I know this sounds like a lot of time sat at a computer, but it’s really not as the sections are short and easy to do. The syllabus of the course follows the Common European Framework Level One which seems more or less like the equivalent of the UK GCSE examination content.

The site offers many extras on top of the course, such as learning logs where you can record your marks from the various end of session tests, grammar tips (very basic grammar tips) and a pronunciation section. The pronunciation practice was better than I thought it would be, as I wasn’t really looking forward to hearing a robotic voice attempt to speak the language. However, on this site they actually use native speakers, so it sounds exactly like what you would hear people using if you were in the country.

The site also offers the chance for people who have already studied the language to do a fast track session, which is essentially a test where you complete the questions on-line. If you get everything right, you get a pat on the back and if you are wrong, you get offered a revision session.

This BBC Steps courses also has a fact file section. In order to check that this was useful and accurate, I went into French Steps and checked it out as I’d spent quite a bit of time in Paris and know what there is, how to get around and so on. Most of the information here was correct, although some of it was slightly off i.e. it said that you could easily walk around Paris. This comment made me question whether the writer had even been to Paris and if so, had actually tried to walk around! But then it made me question whether it was just me and I was lazy when i went there!?

I found everything on this site so straightforward and self-explanatory that I think even my mum could do it (she nearly sheds a tear when she has to use a computer!).

I could pick and choose what I wanted to learn. This was fab as it was as though I was choosing what I wanted to learn and not what someone wanted to teach me.

The layout of the course was great, as I could pick and choose what I wanted to learn. This was fab as it was as though I was choosing what I wanted to learn and not what someone wanted to teach me.

I would recommend these BBC Steps on-line language courses for people who want to literally ‘step’ into a language (hence the name of the course!). It is a fab beginner guide and the sections take hardly anytime at all to do. Depending on whether you want to do a quick refresher course or to really learn simple vocabulary, you can do the sections as and when you please and from anywhere that you can get onto the internet. I found this worked really well for me, as I could come home from work and do one section a night and woohoo in 24 ‘steps’ I can speak (well beginner-speak) a new language.

to find out more about BBC language courses>>

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