Keys to Language Learning

Language LearningWhen you prepare to learn a second language it is helpful to understand the distinct but connected components that comprise your studies. Vocabulary, grammar, and practice are the three keys to language learning. Becoming bilingual very much depends on the inclusion of all three, and understanding their place in the order of things will help you learn quickly and thoroughly. Interestingly, as you progress from basic to intermediate to advanced, the three components start to merge for more in depth learning and comprehension.

1. Vocabulary

Learning the words is the very basis of language learning. When you understand the words you increase your comprehension. Even a single word can say a lot! But vocabulary is about more than reading and writing, it is also about speech and sounds. Make sure your source is authentic and reliable!

2. Grammar

Learning where to place the words in a sentence is what grammar is all about. And using sentences to express ideas is what language is all about! Grammar can be tricky. There are rules to learn, and then there are also exceptions to the rules to learn, but don’t let it overwhelm you. To make it easier on yourself, grammar should be learned in increments. That is to say, start with the basics, and build on those. Taking it a step at a time will help you break it down into manageable pieces.

3. Practice

Practice makes sure you have learned the material. It includes speaking or reading aloud, interacting with others, and using repetition. Look for materials that require you to fill in blanks, rearrange sentences, and answer questions. Look for quizzes, puzzles, and illustrations that will elicit correct answers from your memory. Repeating words or sentences gets you started, but using what you have learned in new constructions, created by you, means you have stored the material in your brain for future use. Use television and radio and CDs to listen and repeat; use classmates and teachers for interactions; seek out community members to exchange greetings and pleasantries. Practice leads to fluency!

Language learning is clearly a process that starts with words, builds to sentences, and finally, with practice, becomes a means of full expression. But perhaps we should include a fourth key: hard work! Individual effort and self-motivation support successful language learning, and people who become articulate in a second language are, without exception, rewarded by the achievement in many ways. Become bilingual; make it your goal!

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Online Language Lessons

Language LearningIf you are thinking about studying a second language you will find that there are several paths to achieving your goal. Some students enjoy traditional classes, while others choose to study on their own. What’s great is how online languages lessons fit into both categories.

Independent Study: No matter how motivated you are you may not be able to get to a classroom for your lessons. You may not live near a language class. Maybe you travel a lot for your employer. Or perhaps your family obligations prevent you from taking a class.  Whatever the reason, you will enjoy the convenience of online lessons because you get to make your own study schedule. Lessons are available on any computer at any time that suits you. This flexibility gives you the ultimate freedom to choose where and when to study. You don’t have to abandon your language learning goals for any reason when you choose online lessons.

Classroom Study: If you are taking an onsite class your study routine is determined by your teacher. Usually, your lessons in class are reinforced with practice exercises for homework. That routine can be augmented by using online lessons as a study aid. Using these extra lessons will move you ahead quickly because of the ease with which you can access the lessons.

How Online Language Lessons Work: Most online language lessons are not complicated to use. An especially nice feature is their use of technology to refresh your approach to the material. For example, in a book you are given words to study. Obviously that list of words doesn’t change and you risk memorizing them in the order they are given. In an online lesson you can ask the system to rearrange the words so that your brain is not relying on rote memorization. By doing this, you learn each word separately and completely. Self-testing quizzes can also be re-sorted and repeated until you have learned the material well. Many students claim this is a fun way to learn; they enjoy the process as much as they enjoy their success at it.

The Best Way To Learn: A combination of study materials is the best way to learn. Ideally the online lessons will work in conjunction with the book you are using or the class you are taking. Not every school offers this combination, but it is worth seeking a school that takes this approach.

The Bottom Line: Learning a second language is a big challenge and you will help yourself by taking advantage of any study method that gets you closer to your goals. Online lessons are popular because they are so convenient and effective. That’s why Maria uses online lessons as a lab to augment her onsite classes. But whatever method you choose don’t be confused by promises of instant language learning. It takes time and effort to become bilingual, and it is a goal that can be reached if you are willing to work hard. Luckily, online language lessons are there to help you.

  • Maria Oliveira Language Learning School, 3150 Hilltop Mall Rd., Suite 13, Richmond, CA 94806
  • TOLL FREE: 877-251-8353 (510) 223-3320 or (707) 746-5979

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Vocabulary Building Techniques

Vocabulary BuildingVocabulary building is one of the most important techniques for efficient language learning. After you have conjugated verbs and memorized grammar rules, it all comes down to vocabulary. Having a wide collection of words at your command is what enriches your conversational abilities. Furthermore, a well-developed word bank will often override any deficiencies in your sentence formation.  As you strive to become bilingual, you should focus more and more on vocabulary building because the broader the range of your word choices, the more you can express yourself.

There are several techniques for vocabulary building. The most effective vocabulary building technique is to fully immerse into the project, making it an ongoing, daily process. Instead of going through your usual routines without much thought, add the challenge of naming everything you come across using your target language. When you walk across the floor, you can use your new vocabulary to name the rug, the carpet, the tile floor that you cross. You can name the process of walking, the objects you past, the things you do, and the tools you use. Developing your awareness of the things around you is an excellent vocabulary building technique. Just say the word aloud, if it is feasible, or think it to yourself. You can even add identifying notes to stick on objects as reminders of the vocabulary you need. In time, if you keep this up, you won’t need such notes any longer! Awareness of your surroundings can be extended to your car, at work, or any other place.

Another vocabulary building technique is to use vocabulary cards during those times when you have a few minutes to study them. In line at the bank, on the commuter train, wherever you are, you can pull out your cards and work at storing new words in your vocabulary bank. You can look at the word in your target language, or in your native English, and translate it. Flip the card over to check your answer. This is an older vocabulary building technique that has been around for a long time because it works so well.

Many people now prefer a more digital approach to vocabulary building. They want to listen on their earphones while they are exercising, cooking, or commuting. They want to actually hear the new word so they can repeat it using correct pronunciation. For these reasons, and because of the convenience and adaptability of technology, vocabulary programs on CD are probably the most popular technique for expanding vocabulary. Vocabulary CDs are useful in the car, around the house, wherever you are. You can use earphones or the speakers on your sound system. Transferring the CDs to your MP3 player makes them even more portable. The lessons can be stopped and restarted any time you want to check your pronunciation or review a particular word. And using CDs is a participatory vocabulary building technique. You listen and repeat, focusing on the sounds of the word as well as the meaning. It’s a great way to learn!

As you can see, there are several approaches to vocabulary building. Choose the one that suits you best, or use them all in combination. Perhaps you have your own method for vocabulary building, but no matter which you choose, as you accumulate new words regularly, your path to fluency becomes so much smoother!

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Online English Lessons

English for Portuguese Speakers

Portuguese-speakers who wish to learn English are now able to use online lessons to accomplish their goal. Our online English lessons for Portuguese Speakers are available wherever there is access to the internet, and the ability to self-test with quizzes and puzzles makes the process of learning English both efficient and flexible. The use of audio bits enables the user to hear the correct English pronunciation for the words. By replaying the sound as many times as necessary, the student can hear and repeat until they’ve mastered the lesson. The subject of each lesson is always relevant and useful; taken from everyday situations; the vocabulary offered can be used immediately.

Using online lessons is a well-regarded method for language learning because the lessons combine reading skills with verbal practice. Hearing, speaking, reading, and comprehending English words builds confidence and leads to efficient learning. And being able to re-sort the quizzes allows effective review and retention and discourages rote memorization. Thus the student is in control of their own learning experience in a fun and absorbing way.

Our online English for Portuguese Speakers course is affordable and efficient. The useful vocabulary and relevant phrases presented in 32 lessons enable students to engage successfully with native English-speakers. Practicing and self-testing with over 100 interactive exercises is easy in the digital format provided; access is assured on any electronic device, from computer to hand-held.

All the lessons include audio expressions for correct pronunciation of American English.LindaNY1 Practice lessons can be repeated as often as necessary enabling students to learn at their own pace. This online course is an excellent beginning for Portuguese natives who are planning to live in an English-speaking country, and it is equally practical for visitors who need English language skills for touring or doing business internationally.

Online English Lessons for Portuguese Speakers

 Inglês para Portugueses – Curso Online

Apresentamos-lhe um curso prático e eficaz, com o qual aprenderá rapidamente Inglês. São 32 lições que contêm vocabulário e frases essenciais para uma aprendizagem garantida do Inglês. Além disso, contém ainda mais de 100 exercícios interativos e simples, com os quais aprende naturalmente e sem demasiado esforço. Cada uma destas lições é acompanhada por uma parte auditiva, para que treine, não só o seu ouvido, mas sobretudo a sua pronúncia de Inglês americano. Podendo repetir estas lições práticas as vezes que desejar, seguindo assim, o seu próprio ritmo.

Este curso é uma ótima oportunidade para quem queira aprender Inglês, sendo especialmente pensado para os falantes nativos de Português. Todo o curso é oferecido em formato digital, permitindo-lhe estudar em qualquer dispositivo eletrónico, desde que tenha ligação à internet, e assim, em qualquer lugar e hora.

Se vive ou pensa viver num país de língua inglesa, fazer negócios internacionais ou simplesmente comunicar, este será o curso ideal para si! Agarre já esta oportunidade e comece agora mesmo a aprender a língua mais falada do mundo.

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Portuguese Vocabulary 2


Learning Portuguese vocabulary is definitely not “all work and no play!” Try our Portuguese crossword puzzles for fun and entertainment, and you will be pleasantly surprised at the number of words you absorb into your personal Portuguese word bank. That’s because it is well-proven that language learning is made more efficient and effective if the student is having fun! With our puzzles you first must pick the right word, come up with its correct spelling, and then look for the reward of acceptance by the online mechanism. Try it, and see how the interactivity of online learning can be a language learning aid for you!

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