In our blog The GamesforLanguage Program - Part 1, we describe the key points, approach, and methods of our program. Part 2 describes the various games, the players' activities and how you'll learn with the games.
In the “Memory Game” (left), you'll first see key words and phrases of “The Story.” You then pick a red (English) card and click on the matching foreign word. With this game, you'll acquire new vocabulary for your understanding of “The Story.”
In these games, you'll hear a foreign word (from “The Story”) and then - choosing among 3 similar looking words - click on the word you just heard. Such games (e.g. "Moon Landing," right) train the ear. Your brain is normally tuned to the sounds of your native language. The listening games teach you a new and different correlation between sound and spelling.
In this game, you'll hear and are asked to repeat select phrases of “The Story” before the text appears briefly on the screen. When learning a language, you are challenged to recognize new letter combinations, to pronounce new sounds, and to get the timing of the intonation right. The Say-It games allow you to focus on hearing and reproducing the melody of the foreign language without worrying about meaning. Then, to help you correlate the sound and spelling of a new foreign phrase, it appears briefly before you hear the next one. (This we always felt was missing from audio-only courses!)
Word and Phrase Games
These games, e.g. "Snap Clouds" (left), require you to identify the correct story words in different types of games and settings. By switching between native and foreign translation, you are challenged again and again to produce the right answer. At the same time, you'll assimilate the meaning, spelling, and essential grammar of the foreign words and phrases that you're practicing.
Pronoun, Verb, Number, et al. games
Here, e.g. "Balloon Shoot" (right), you'll learn and practice particular word categories and/or forms. Each language has its own challenge if you want to master pronouns, gender, verb conjugations, noun endings, etc. These games recall vocabulary as well as the special features of each language.
In these games, e.g. "Deal no Deal" (left), you are asked to choose the correct translation of each of the sentences that form a segment of “The Story.” Quick tips explain relevant points of grammar or culture, providing you with further insights into the new language.
Word Order Games
Here, you are asked to build sentences from “The Story” by clicking on individual words in the correct order. An English translation and specific word choices guide this task (see "Word Invaders," right). Once you've selected a correct word, you'll hear it again.These games draw attention to idiomatic expressions and highlight the difference between English and foreign word order.
Considered often the most difficult task in any foreign language (besides speaking), writing here becomes a fun game. In a race against the clock, you'll translate and write out first simple foreign words, then in later levels, short phrases.
In the recall-games, you'll practice the vocabulary and short phrases you learned in an earlier scene. For example, "Word Hero" (right) lets you review the words and phrases of the previous SCENE, while "Recall and Record" has you recall and speak the words, phrases, and sentences from a scene in the previous LEVEL.
Here (not really a game), you'll hear and see all individual sentences from “The Story” and have the chance to easily record each one in your own voice. A playback button allows you to compare your recording to that of the native speaker. You can do this as many times as you wish. This is a great way to improve your pronunciation, and also an excellent way to internalize and memorize individual phrases and sentences.
The table below summarizes how you learn from each Game/Screen screen and Player Activity. In order to keep you, the learner, both engaged and challenged, the sequence and configuration of the games changes throughout the six levels of each course.
How You Learn
Hear language melody
Guess meaning from context
Listen, see foreign phrases w/optional translation “roll/over”
Identify and memorize key words and phrases
Hear, see, and click on key words
Identify correct word, correlate sound and meaning
Hear, see, and click on key words
Imitate sounds, recognize patterns
Hear, repeat, then see key words & phrases
Identify the meaning and basic grammar of the foreign sentence
Hear, see, and click on translation of foreign sentence
Practice vocabulary, sound, and spelling
Identify, click and hear foreign word
Figure out idiomatic construction, word order, and grammar forms
Word Order Games
Identify, click on, and hear foreign word while building foreign dialog sentence
Recall vocabulary, sound, spelling
Hear foreign and click on native word/phrase
Practice pronouncing the melody of sentences
Listen & record own voice and compare
Translate and spell
Write foreign words/phrases
Figure out grammar forms
Pronoun, Verb, et al. Games
Click on the right grammar form
Recall earlier scene vocabulary
Hear foreign and click on native word/phrase
We invite any questions about or comments to our program and games!
Self-teaching language programs are available as books, CDs, DVDs, and direct downloads. Some well-known names are Assimil, Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, Fluenz, Michael Thomas, Busuu, Rocket Languages, and recently Duolingo. While all programs help motivated learners improve their language skills, not all are equally effective for learning to understand, speak, read, and write a foreign language.
The GamesforLanguage learning Program has been designed to teach all four (4) language skills. Games are a way for making language learning more fun. But games - with their special ways to engage your brain - can also make learning more effective, as shown by researchers that study how people learn. For example, see Kathy Sierra’s Crash course in learning theory.
Entertaining digital games have auditory features (spoken language, sounds), visual components (text, colors, images, design), as well as kinesthetic elements (writing against the clock, clicking on moving images, etc). By engaging multiple senses, digital games enhance a learner’s ability to recall and retain new words and expressions. Language learning is about message decoding and communication, and this is not a straightforward process. Learning a language involves trial and error, a certain amount of confusion, but also plenty of insightful “aha!” moments.
Three important points guide our development of the GamesforLanguage Learning Program:
- Adults can learn a second language more rapidly online when they can relate words, phrases and grammatical structures to their native language. In this way their learning experience is quite different from that of children, who are able to acquire their first language without even knowing how to read and write. This notion is supported by observations of other learners and our own experience.
- Learning with the help of a story allows you to identify with situations and circumstances you will encounter yourself. This makes the acquired vocabulary not only immediately relevant and useful, but also helps you to memorize it more easily.
- Learning foreign languages as an adult requires an effort. Playing language games will make this effort fun. Memorizing vocabulary, phrases and sentences, identifying grammar rules and structures all occur "playfully," as you can test and improve your language skills during increasingly more challenging games.
The GamesforLanguage Learning Program may appeal primarily to teenagers and adults. However, we know that children who have just learned to read and write also enjoy the games. Our courses work for beginners without any prior knowledge of the foreign language, as well as for learners with some language background. While beginners will spend more time on each scene, advanced players may be able to move through the scenes more rapidly. Throughout each of the courses, you'll accumulate up to 12,000 points by playing various language games. At the same time you'll acquire a working vocabulary of close to 700 essential words and many idiomatic expressions. At the end of a course, you'll also be able to read and understand the entire travel story, which consists of over 2,000 words.
Each course consists of 6 levels, with 6 lessons (we call them “scenes”) per level for a total of 36 scenes. So far, the most effective approach has been for learners to do one scene per day (which should take around 15 minutes) and to review an earlier scene for extra recall. Each lesson builds on the previous one and adds between 16-20 NEW words to your vocabulary.
Each scene has a dialogue or narrative of 8-16 lines, which we call “The Story.” For the first 3 levels, or 18 scenes, “The Story” appears at the END of each scene. When you get there, you'll have learned the words and phrases in the various games, and understanding “The Story” will now be easy. Beginning with level 4, “The Story” appears at the BEGINNING of each scene, requiring the learner to guess the meaning, based on the (English) introduction and context. This is quite similar to what you would experience when arriving in a foreign country with some language background. (For the impatient player, a roll-over option provides the full translation right away.)
The 36 scenes of a course tell the story of a young man who travels to France, Italy, Spain, or Germany. From talking with his neighbor in the airplane, greeting his aunt who picks him up at the airport, asking for directions to a friend's house, to ordering food and drink, and chatting with friends, the vocabulary is a great start on learning how to communicate. The travel story engages the learner, provides relevant vocabulary, and creates a framework that ties everything together.
Part 2: Games Summary
A next blog will describe the various games we are using in our program. Our games are not just individual learning clips, nor are they simply an enhancement of a conventional language program. The games ARE the language program. We'll add a summary table that shows the specific skills each game teaches.
No matter what stage you are in when learning a language, think of "building" your skills, step by step. Words and phrases that you learn in context provide you with "building blocks." Most people learn a new language to communicate with others. To really understand a conversation and take part in it, you need more than just words or a series of phrases. You need to understand how words and phrases connect to create meaning. Nothing does this better than learning language in what the linguist Stephen Krashen calls "comprehensible context."
The Context Helps You Remember
There's another reason for learning language in context. You remember words and phrases much better if you can associate them with a real situation. Yes, there are ways to create associations to boost your memory. But to do this for every word seems impractical if you want to speak in full sentences. On the other hand, if you can create a situation in your mind and connect certain phrases with it, you'll have the language ready when you need it. For example, when shopping in a Spanish speaking country, the following phrases would be very handy: "Estoy buscando ...." (I'm looking for ...); "¿Tiene usted un/una ...?" (Do you have ...?); ¿Cuánto cuesta eso?" (How much does this cost?) , Or a practical example from our French course where the origin of the “bouillabaisse” is explained: “Pour réussir cette soupe, quand l’eau bout, tu baisses le feu!” (To succeed [with] that soup, if the water boils, you lower the fire [heat]) Now, you may need to learn the verbs, nouns, etc. individually, but will will certainly remember them better when you recall the context of this sentence. Listening to and singing foreign songs is another excellent way to increase your vocabulary, especially if a song's refrain stays with you.
Build Your Language With All Four Skills
To really absorb a word or phrase, you need to read and write each one of them, in addition to hearing and repeating the sounds. Small children obviously learn just with spoken language, but don't forget, they'll spend years learning to read and write their first language. The same would be true for fluency in a second or third language. For adults, reading and writing are highly effective tools for learning and practicing a foreign language. According to a lifehack blog: "In fact, it seems that writing anything down makes us remember it better." Learning just with audio, leaves you clueless as how to spell many of the words. Should you travel to the country, you may experience quite a few funny or unwelcome surprises.
Grammar Holds Language Together
Learning words and phrases in context also provides another benefit: You'll absorb plenty of grammar without needing to memorize rules. The key is to pay attention. Your brain is wired to figure out and interpret the "grammar" of a sentence. As a matter of fact, different areas of the brain seem to respond to various types of sentences. A study suggests that "...humans rely on several regions of the brain, each designed to accomplish different primitive tasks, in order to make sense of a sentence... Depending on the type of grammar used, the brain will activate a certain set of regions to process it."
Just by paying attention, you'll easily notice how the language you're learning is different from English. For example, things to look out for: Does your foreign language normally drop pronouns?; Are articles used and do they have gender?; How is the word order different?; How do you make a question?; How do you make a negative sentence? Once you've noticed details like that, you'll see them again and again as you continue to read and practice. And, when you do look up some rules, they'll start to make a lot more sense.
Intensive and Extensive Learning
It's not a bad idea to alternate short texts that you work with intensively, with reading longer texts "extensively," where you only occasionally look up a word. For a short text you can practice each word individually, listen to it, pronounce it, write it, and pay close attention to the grammar. With a longer text, you would read freely and guess from the context what some of the unknown words mean. Of course, you also have the option of watching short and long videos, or once you are up to it watch foreign movies... The more clues the text or the video gives you, the better you'll be able to guess what it's about and the more you'll understand.
Use as many tools as you can for building your language with words, phrases, and sentences that fit together. It's a great feeling to start taking part in foreign language conversations with friends and new acquaintances!
I've been learning Spanish for about eight months now. After a few lessons with Rosetta Stone (see my blog #3) and the initial 6-week boost with our Spanish 1 course, progress now is slow but steady. Learning a new language means building new skills, gradually. During the weeks before election, one or the other candidate spoke or had ads in Spanish, e.g. President Obama in this You Tube clip. I could understand most of these, no problem! I feel that I'm ready to add Social Media to my tools for improving my Spanish further.
30 Minutes a Day
Life is busy, but most days I do manage to squeeze in about 30 minutes of Spanish - 10 minutes here, 5 minutes there. My learning "schedule" is scattered throughout the day. Generally, it consists of:
- Reading a few pages of my Spanish ebook (at the moment, Zafón’s La sombre del viento) );
- Playing a couple of Vocabulary Games with sound;
- Reading Spanish newspaper articles online;
- Watching a Spanish soap for 10-15 minutes in the evening
- Doing a couple of grammar exercises from an old fashioned book with my husband over coffee. We chuckle over some of the weird and useless sentences that come up - such as: ¿Cómo come Juan? (How does Juan eat?) and ¿Dónde beben los animales? (Where do the animals drink?)
Social Media for Learning Spanish
It's easy to add Spanish to your Twitter(left) or Facebook feeds. And, you can read the posts when you have a spare moment or whenever you feel like it. Choices are endless, but they'll all grow your grasp of Spanish and the culture of Spain and Latin American countries. You'll begin to better understand how opinions are formulated, how regional humor is expressed, how discussions are carried on, etc.
12 Social Media Terms in Spanish
So, if you are ready to participate in Spanish on Social Media, here's a start with some basic social media terms:
Compartir - Share
Conectar - Connect
Comentarios - Comments
Enviar - Send
Escribir - Write
Recuérdame - Remember me
Seguir - Follow
Twittear - Tweet
Usuario registrado - Registered user
Lo más visto en ... - The most seen on ...
Lo más debatido ahora - Most talked about now
Lo que hacen tus amigos - What your friends are doing
Once you have mastered some of the basics of a new language, using your Social Media News Feeds is also a great way to foster your motivation. News Feeds let you connect to the topics that interest you and expand your vocabulary in just those areas. Research has shown that learning new words and phrases in context will help you retain and use them more easily.
Vocabulary acquisition is an essential part of language learning. Individual words and phrases are the building blocks of communication, without them, you won't have much to say. How many words you need for basic, effective communication is up for debate. It depends on the language and the kinds of topics you want to talk about. Opinions differ quite a bit. At one end of the spectrum, for example in German, 2000 words can get you started pretty well and provide a good base to build on. Near the other end stand 10,000 words as the native vocabulary mastered by a five year old who is ready to start school. The bottom line is that you gotta build your vocabulary!
First, keep a dictionary handy. It's the most basic tool for any language learner. You'll use it for quickly looking up a new word, for double-checking the meaning or the spelling, or for looking up verb conjugations. You'll also want to see common expressions that use a particular word. For example, Ultralingua offers these features, and, in addition, you can download iPhone or iPad apps. Having a dictionary on your mobile is really convenient when you're traveling. Such apps contain much more information than the mini-dictionaries I used to travel with.
Here are FOUR more tools for building your vocabulary:
Flashcards are a great way to create a base of words and phrases, and you can keep using them to continue building your vocabulary. Resources abound and they come in all kinds of configurations: Words + Translation; Picture + Written Word; Picture + Written Word + Sound, etc. Some of the programs incorporate spaced repetition, some allow you to add your own vocabulary. A popular flashcard program, to name one, is Anki.
Language Exercises & Games
Good language exercises and fun games can take vocabulary to the next level. Besides learning new vocabulary, you can practice verb tenses and conjugations, drill subject and object pronouns, learn to build sentences, etc. Besides our own program GamesForLanguage, Mindsnacks is definitely a fun program to try.
Reading with Translation
Once you have a grasp of basic vocabulary and grammar, reading has to be the best way to keep on building vocabulary. When you read a longer text, the same words and phrases will often come up several times. Depending on your venue, you can get a translation with a click, or by checking a printed translation. With time, you'll get better at guessing the meaning from the context. A versatile program like LingQ provides a library of texts and tools for learning. You can also read foreign language newspapers online and use Google Chrome's Language Immersion feature.
Listening: Podcasts, Audio Books, and Videos
Understanding a stream of foreign words may be the hardest skill to learn (besides becoming fluent in speaking). The trick is to listen to the same audio many times. Your goal is to hear the words and phrases distinctly, and not as a stream of gibberish. Listening to foreign language audios, you'll keep hearing words you know and start to put them into your long-term menory. But you'll also hear new words that you are able to understand because of context. Here's list of language learning podcasts.
When starting a new language, one of the hardest things to learn is to understand a native speaker. It's definitely much easier to read a foreign language than to understand a stream of it when it’s spoken quickly. When I started learning Italian, TV programs sounded like gibberish. But now, I’m pretty good at understanding Italian speakers and Italian TV and films. Just as with building any skill, it helped me to break down the learning process. You can do it in these three steps.
1. Listen repeatedly to a short audio or video
Listen to a short audio of which you understand or can guess about 50%. Listen to this same audio segment several times in the next several days.This will make your brain familiar with the "music” of the language, its melody and rhythm. Pay attention to where stress goes on words and which words are stressed in a sentence. You’ll quickly learn to distinguish individual types of sentences (statements, questions, negative responses, short emphatic answers, etc.). You'll be surprised how repetition increases your understanding of what is being said.Also, from day to day, your brain continues to processing the sounds that you are learning. After some time, you may find that you'll be able to identify individual words within the stream of sounds that is whooshing by. That's a huge step and a very exciting one.
To get the idea, here are the MP3 audios of Scene 2 from our four languages, French, Spanish, Italian, and German. Pick a language that you understand somewhat. Then listen to the corresponding scene in a language you don’t know at all. It’ll give you a taste of audio learning.
2. Watch or listen to an ongoing story
Watch a TV series in your new language. Or, if one in your language is not available, look for an un-dubbed film that you can watch in short increments. The ongoing story will provide you with related vocabulary and lots of repetition. The context of the story itself will offer plenty of clues so that you can guess the meaning of what is going on.
3. Learn by immersion with a variety of materials
Now you’re ready to tackle all kinds of different audio and video material in your new language. TV programs in the language you’re learning, films, news audios and videos, a radio station. learning, etc. Increasingly, context clues will help. A great way to get into immersion is a site like yabla.com. Also a good post to check out is Learn a Language by Listening to the Radio. Also, in an earlier blog, I list 10 essential grammar items to become familiar with. They’ll help you get a good start with immersion learning.
Language learning is not a linear process
You may want to go back to any of the previous steps from time to time. Learning to understand a new language is not a linear process, it's more like a fun zig-zag, filled with new discoveries all the time. Of course, if you can interact with native speakers, you'll want to do that right from the start. They'll make your language learning personal, add direct experience of the language, and give your valuable feedback.
Have fun! And yes, these “language exercises” for your brain have all kinds of good benefits. And as said by Rita Mae Brown: "Language is the road map of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going."
The first steps in language learning may be the hardest: Getting a good basis in a language, so you can build on it and really enjoy learning more. With “basis” I mean four simple things: 1) mastering a number of essential phrases, expressions, and short sentences that you can use with native speakers; 2) pronouncing these in a way that native speakers can understand you; 3) learning the melody of the language (the up- and-down in sentences, questions, requests, etc.); 4) gaining an understanding of grammar that you need for communication (distinguishing past, present, and future forms, identifying pronouns, and choosing the correct form of politeness).
Learning Castilian Spanish in Barcelona
No doubt, the most desirable and effective way to immerse yourself in a new language is by staying for some time a country where the language is spoken. But not all “immersion” stories are the same. Here’s one of an American ex-pat couple, Rob and Lila, whom we recently met in Barcelona. The couple had moved to Barcelona a few years before and set up an international business that they’ve been running – in English - over the Internet. Lila already knew a few languages and learned Spanish easily by watching TV, etc., but Rob, who now speaks Spanish quite well, had to learn it from the ground up, word by word.
Dogs Can be a Great Asset...
Over a glass of wine, and great-tasting “montaditos” (small, hot sandwiches), Rob told us about his “method” for learning Spanish. “Right from the beginning, my dog was my most valuable asset,” he said with a chuckle. He then told us that he went walking with his cute little pooch every day, morning, late afternoon, and evening - looking for Spanish conversations. Other dog owners were easy to talk to, and of course, their conversations revolved around dogs. They talked about what kind of dog, the dog's character, funny little anecdotes, etc. At first, Rob said, he understood very little, but he'd go home and look up words in a dictionary or find them on the Internet. This way, he explained, he built up a stock of vocabulary, little by little.
Learning “Real” - Not “Textbook” Language...
Another part of his “method,” he said, was to talk with homeless people in parks for a euro or two. “They were happy to pass the time chatting with me,” he added, “and I learned real language, not just textbook phrases.”
The next step for Rob was to have regular conversation sessions with Maia, a local friend, who very patiently corrected his Spanish and explained the why and how of certain phrases. “She was wonderful,” he said. “I would treat her to a cortado (an espresso with a dash of milk) and she would practice small talk in Spanish with me.” For Rob, the hardest but most effective part of these sessions were the “language tasks” Maia prepared for him. She instructed him to go to the market or to various shops to buy specific items; or she asked him to go buy bus or train tickets, make a phone call, etc.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The key to language learning is practice, practice, practice. Obviously, when you are living in a country where the language is spoken, practice comes easier. But even then you may have to develop your own strategies and systems to improve your skills. This is especially true, if you are living in an ex-pat community or working with colleagues in an English-speaking environment. Whether you follow Rick Steves’ suggestions, are using one of the many online language programs, or are learning new foreign words with vocabulary apps, consistent practice will eventually let you build your language “basis.” You’ll then find out what a great adventure it is to travel and interact with locals - in their language.
Why Online Language Games based on a Travel Story can help you learn Spanish (and German, French, and Italian)
As we completed our Spanish 1 course in preparation for our upcoming stay in Spain, we were reassured that our idea of a “Story” to drive our language courses makes sense. (Click HERE to listen to the "Story" as our Spanish 1 "hero" flies from Boston to Barcelona.)
How do we know?
When we are trying to recall certain words and phrases, we begin to imagine the situation our traveller (David) finds himself in. And expressions such as: “...es la primera vez...”, “ ...es muy bueno...”, or “...no es muy bueno...”, “...me quedo tres semanas...”, “...me alegro...”, etc., etc. often come to mind as we are thinking about '”The Story”.
We also fully expect that with a vocabulary of only 700 words, we will not be “fluent”, nor likely to understand everything that is being said. But we already know that we can read a fair amount of Spanish text (which users of only audio and picture programs may not be able to); and watching yesterday a Spanish "soap opera" (La Que No Podía Amar) for the first time, we already understood quite a bit.
We'll keep a log of our language adventures...
We’re off to Spain next month! We’ll be retracing the steps and travels of our “hero” David, from Barcelona, to Granada, Sevilla, and Madrid. In preparation, we are learning Spanish with our Spanish 1 course. The similarities and differences between Spanish and Italian require constant vigilance. Distinguishing between a new language (Spanish) and a known one (Italian) certainly keeps our grey cells engaged, but also allows for comparisons and mnemonics.
As I’m playing through the various scenes and games, I notice how I can recall particular words better, when I remember them in the context of a phrase or sentence. For example, with the expression for “Would you like to... (eat something)?”, in Spanish: “¿Te gustaría ...(comer algo)?”, I don't even worry about having to use the conditional verb form. Later on in the course, I can easily adapt the phrase to “¿Me gustaría...”, a very useful expression, as for example, in “Camerero, me gustaría pagar.” (Waiter, I'd like to pay.)
I still remember picking up the expression “J'aimerais...” (I would like...)when I was learning French some years ago. Though it was a staple of my daily interactions (I was then living in the French part of Switzerland), I was totally oblivious to its “conditional” form.
Another expression that helps me remember several words is: “Tengo que comprar algo.” (I have to buy something.) While learning this expression, I recalled that the Italian “comprare” is very close to the Spanish “comprar.” However, the Italian and Spanish equivalents for “I have to” are different: “devo" vs. “tengo que,” as are the words for the English “something.” In Italian, the word for “something” is “qualcosa” and in Spanish, it’s “algo.”
This is how many of us learn our second, third (or more) languages: by constantly comparing and contrasting the new language(s) with the language(s) that we know.
Flash cards with or without pictures – as used by many online or CD-based language programs - are useful for learning the vocabulary of objects, numbers, colors, etc., however, the words for actions, feelings, opinions, etc., are best learned in the context of phrases and sentences. Learning set phrases and sentences will not only help you memorize particular words, but will also minimize any struggles for finding the correct grammatical form.
No, I don't mean jogging while you listen to a language learning lesson on your iPod. In her "Well" Blog, Gretchen Reynolds recently wrote: "Why, as we grow older, do we forget where we parked the car, and could exercise sharpen our recall?" She goes on: "Young adults are good at differentiating the images into those that were brand-new, already seen or similar to but not exactly the same as earlier pictures (a baby grand piano instead of a full grand, for instance)." Apparently, this is an issue of "pattern separation." For example, can you remember what you had for breakfast today, yesterday, the day before? Ideally, the meal that you have each morning is unique and should create a "unique set of memories" in your mind.
The good news is that exercise has the potential of enhancing "pattern recognition" and "pattern separation." By extension, (non-head-butting) exercise should also help language learning for the same reason. Learning to recognize and process patterns is an essential part of language learning. We don't learn a language "word by word," we learn a language by beginning to understand "groupings of words" (phrases and expressions) in context. In a New York Times column, Ben Zimmer refers to this as “chunking.” Kids learn that way, but so do adults - even if second language acquisition is different from learning your first.
The “Johnson Blog” of the Economist picks up the discussion of “chunking” in language learning. One of the readers comments: "...[learning expressions or idioms] is the biggest problem in language teaching. …. expressions are really essential if you are to use a language day-to-day. … they're dotted around a language and often very idiomatic ..."
Expressions or idioms in a foreign language may be only slightly different from a direct translation of the expression in your own language. Being able to remember these "slight differences" is part of learning to master a language.
Maybe exercise can help gear up that part of memory!
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- The GamesforLanguage Program - Part 2: Games Summary
- Zorro: 1 (big) Thing to Learn Spanish
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