How should we learn grammar?

Do we even need to formally learn it? There are many opinions within the language learning community on the part of teachers and learners regarding grammar. Some people believe that a grammar-based approach is key to efficiently learning a language. They claim that a thorough grammar study is necessary for understanding the structure of the […]

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My American Accent

Since I started making videos on YouTube, one of the most common questions has been: how did you learn to speak American English that way? Some people suggested that I must have an American mother or that I simply lived in theUSwhen I was a little kid. Flattered by these suggestions, I decided to share […]

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An extraordinary story: Richard Simcott

Making YouTube videos gave me the possibility to come into contact with amazing people. One of these is, without a doubt, Richard Simcott. On the 16th October of 2008 the following video came out on YouTube: [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAtWuQmdexs] I was very impressed by Richards language skills and I decided to contact him. He was kind enough […]

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Tips on how to learn – Chinese tones

Did it ever occur to you to see a person on YouTube or face-to-face who speaks Chinese surprisingly well? The first reaction you will probably feel is one of admiration and surprise. Admiration then gives way to doubt: how did they reach such an incredible level in the language? Until a few years ago, Mandarin […]

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Tips on learning – Chinese characters

Since it is a language that does not have a strict phonetic alphabet, Chinese scares many students due to its particularly challenging writing system. Chinese characters (汉字hanzi or “Han characters”) are more properly known as logograms, where each symbol represents a morpheme (or a meaningful language unit), and are mainly used to write Chinese, and […]

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Native accent in language learning – 3/3 – An example

A native-like accents requires the speaker to: Pronounce individual words correctly  Observe the rhythm of the language and alter single word pronunciation to fit sentence stress (dynamics of language). An example of phonetic analysis in Italian How do we carry out phonetic analysis?  – Repeated and intense listening  – Reading   – Using special markers […]

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Native accent in language learning – 2/3 – The method

THE METHOD  Single words It is important to proceed step by step. The first step is theoretical. Many language courses provide an overview of phonetics and they usually discuss the following: • Pronunciation of vowels: those that are identical, similar and alien to the language of instruction.  These vowels sounds may be single vowels or […]

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Native accent in language learning – 1/3

Pronunciation and accent form an interest area for study and debate amongst language enthusiasts. Speaking like a native in a foreign language is what many want and few achieve, but: Is it an effort worth making? Is it achievable for everyone? Should we simply be happy with an clear pronunciation and sufficient vocabulary and grammar […]

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The 3 stages of language-learning evolution

There are two keys factors that influence language learning: Time Method Acquiring a language takes time and a flexible learning method. Flexibility at the various stages of your language acquisition is essential to developing a solid “linguistic core”. My method enables your brain to acquire effectively the language in a progressive manner over time. Language […]

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