Brent: Ulrike, it’s terrific to reconnect with you! When we worked together more than 20 years ago, it was always fun to indulge our passion for languages. Now we’re doing it in the context of memory.
Ulrike: It was great to hear from you! The role of memory in language learning is a complicated and fascinating one. I'm fluent in four languages and on an intermediate level in two more. For the thousands of words I know in each language, I think I've consciously memorized only a fraction.
Brent: For centuries, the preferred method of language teaching was rote memorization. Do you still think that’s relevant?
Ulrike: Obviously, we acquire much vocabulary and grammar in other ways than by rote learning. Still, deliberate memorization through repetition and practice is important for learning a language, especially if you're an adult.
Brent: Learning a foreign language means reading, writing, listening, and speaking. Do you think they can be prioritized in order of effectiveness?
Contrary to some popular marketing slogans (“Learn a foreign language like a child”), adults cannot really do that.
Because they have already learned their native language and are able to read and write it, adults cannot acquire a foreign language like a child.
As adults, we have to take a different – our own – path for learning a new language.
For a starter, we should pay attention to our likes and dislikes.
In addition, being aware of HOW we learn, can make learning interesting and ultimately quite effective.
LEFT AND RIGHT BRAIN
Research on left brain (logical, verbal, auditory, sequential) and right brain functions (creative, visual, spatial, emotional) has been ongoing for decades, and new imaging techniques have greatly enhanced our knowledge of how the brain works.
It’s no mystery that learning a language involves many functions of the brain for everyone.
For example, we now also know, that new words are “encoded” in our brain and once they are “consolidated,” they start shifting from short-term to long-term memory.
Gamesforlanguage's FREE online, story-based Courses and Quick Games for French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Inglés make learning and practicing fun.
After hearing a dialog of “The Story” at the beginning of each Scene, players then learn the words, phrases, and sentences in easy games.
Players practice their listening skills with the Podcasts before or after they have completed a lesson; they focus on speaking and pronunciation by repeating after the native speakers in the “Say It” and “Record It” segments.
3 Easy Tips for Accelerating Your Language Learning
You started learning a foreign language some time ago, maybe in high school or college; or, maybe, you took a course at a language institute.
This was a few years ago and you haven’t really kept up with the language.
But recently, you got interested again.
Maybe a friend suggested an online course and you even subscribed to it for several months; or you signed up for a course at a local community college; or someone gave you a some language CDs; or maybe you even joined a language community on Facebook.
Whatever the tools or methods you’re using to start again, remember these tips:
In 2016 GamesforLanguage.com is partnering with language learning companies that have a unique method or a game and context approach similar to Gamesforlanguage's.
To date we have established links with the following partners:
“Fluent in 3 Months” and other products – offer learning methods that will accelerate your learning immensely. Benny Lewis himself is the best proof that his methods work!
Frantastique, which offers personalized French lessons online that are humorous and practical. You follow the adventures of Victor Hugo as he explores the Francophone universe with his extraterrestrial companions!
Gymglish, very similar to Frantastique, offers personalized English/Inglés lessons online. Each episode introduces you to a new chapter of the Delavigne Company in San Francisco, with a touch of humor, business English and a variety of accents.
Lingualia – The gamified lessons for Spanish and Inglés adapt to your skill level and let you connect with a social network for corrections and interaction.
Lingohutoffers a variety of languages and an extensive vocabulary list to practice with.
We continue to look for partners for German and Italian with similar characteristics as the above sites.
We recently published this Guest Post on Lingohut.com :
Six Popular Approaches to Foreign Vocabulary Learning
We’re huge fans of using multiple resources for learning a language! We’ve found that different programs and approaches work well together and tend to fill in each others gaps.
From learning individual words and phrases with spaced-repetition, to learning a language in larger contexts, here’s a sampling of programs.
Many online language learning sites (and apps) we’re familiar with, start out with teaching basic vocabulary and/or grammar topics. Others provide a larger context and give you tools to master the details. However, there’s a huge diversity in presentation, which is made possible by the Internet and the various technologies that have become available – audio, text-interactive, visual, etc.
Learning Vocabulary with Spaced-Repetition Flashcard Programs
Memrise is a community-driven site with courses that are based on an elaborate flashcard system. Many of the words have mnemonics (which some find very useful) and there’s spaced repetition... (read on)...
You can read more about LingoHut where you’ll find free language lessons, activities and articles on how to make language learning easier, or visit LingoHut’s Facebook page.
In May 2015, Speaklikethem mentioned Gamesforlanguage courses as a fun way to get started with learning a foreign language:
Where to begin when learning a new language?
As you know, Speaklikethem.com is a platform to improve language skills, not to start learning a language. Beyond the well-known e-learning sites, there is a site we’ve just discovered for those who want to learn the basics fast and in a fun way: on www.gamesforlanguage.com you’ll dive right into language learning with its effective play-and-learn method.
Why do we like GamesforLanguage? First of all, it’s a smart set of games to feed the learn-by-playing methodology. Maybe we like above all the creativity behind the games. Maybe you’ll start with one of the Quick Games or Tests. And then, when you play one of the courses (currently French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Inglés) you’ll look forward to the next Scene of “The Story” or the next level of the game!But beyond the games, you’ll also discover other surprises. If you surf the site, you’ll soon bump into podcasts, dictionary databases, and blogs with learning tips, travel experiences, or cultural topics. Moreover, GamesForLanguage offers 100% of their services for free, with no up-sell or limited time functionalities!!
Developing one’s own practice path
Obviously, practice is essential for improving your foreign language skills. It is also one of the founding ideas of Speaklikethem. Read on...
GamesforLanguage is adding Vocabulary Quizzes for each of its language courses: French, German, Italian, Spanish and Inglés.
(Inglés para hablantes de español, con 24 lecciones, se encuentra actualmente en desarrollo y no está completo.)
Each Vocabulary Quizz uses the vocabulary of each level and can be played in the "Quick Games" without log-in or registration. They use the quick moving and fun games of the courses, such as Snap Clouds, Shootout, Word Heroes, Writing Clowns, etc.
Links to each Level's pod-casts also allow users to practice their listening skills and refresh their memory.
You can test your skills by clicking Here and selecting your language.
GamesforLanguage.com has now placed “The Story” of its young traveler as six (6) podcasts for each of its four languages, French, German, Italian and Spanish, on its site. “The Story” describes in dialogue and narration the experiences of a young man as he travels through France, Germany, Italy and Spain respectively.
The useful and everyday language of “The Story” is also the basis for the vocabulary and various games in each of the courses.
Listen to the Level 1 podcast (6 Scenes) of your target language HERE, if you already have started to learn, and find out how much you understand.
Or just start a FREE course and surprise yourself how fast you'll learn by following the young man on his travels.
GamesforLanguage has started to upload the vocabulary for its German, French, Italian, and Spanish courses to Quizlet.com. You'll find all words, phrases, and sentences of each Scene and can even add your own to learn and practice.
Quizlet's FREE flashcards, tests, and study games make learning fun and engaging for students of all ages. Use Quizlet on your computer at home or school using Quizlet's mobile apps for iOS and Android and practice our Gamesforlanguage vocabs on the go!
Join one of our GamesforLanguage Quizlet classes of German, French, Italian and Spanish. Play and practice with our travel story online, and accelerate your learning even more with Quizlet/Gamesforlanguage.