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5 Magic Exercises that Will Help You to Study a Language Effectively

Learning a language is a long process and if you strive to master it, you will need to invest years of work. But is it possible to make it quicker? My answer is definitely yes. But to make it possible you will have to be conscientious and assiduous with your studies. Take your big goal and split it into small pieces, plan your studies and make a routine from it.
Today I will share with you 5 magic exercises that will help you to study a language effectively.

5 working days in a week distribute for each one an “M” exercise.

Monday is for Mood – nothing works better than doing what you like the most. On Monday, choose to do something you love to do but, in the language, you are learning. For example, if you study Romanian, you can choose a recipe from Romania, that is written in Romanian, to cook it you will have to look for the words you don’t know, you can make a list of the verbs that are related to cooking or even better to watch a Romanian cook in action and listen to his indications. It can be anything else as long as you are in the mood to do it.
Tuesday is for Memory – use your memory to boost your learning, no I am not talking about learning lists of words until you get so bored that you will want to run away. For sure you can do it in a fun way. For example, if you are learning English, pick any video – news in English and watch it, then write on the paper all you remembered from the video. Then go back and watch the video again correct all your notes and give yourself a grade, one for your memory and one for how accurate you were in using English. You will be better and better each time when you will repeat the exercise.
Wednesday is for Motivation – no matter what you do you need to keep your motivation level high. In the middle of the week is the perfect moment to work on it and of course why not to work on it in the language you are learning. For example, you are learning French, on Wednesday start your morning by looking on internet motivational quotes in French, or an article that is written in French and refers to motivation. First, you will find out a lot of great new things, you will improve your vocabulary as you will find new words for sure, and you will also improve your receiving brain area. How good is that? I know, and in reality is better than it sounds.
Thursday is for Mind – this is the element that enables us to be aware of the world and our experiences, to think, and to feel. On Thursday reflect on your week, what have you done, what do you still need to do so you would finish the week in the way you want. How do you feel and how would you like to feel, and of course you need to do the exercise in the language you are learning. Sounds hard, and it is, expressing abstract things is one of the hardest things in any language and sometimes even using your own, but how much will you grow by doing it – you will not gonna believe it. Just try it!
Friday is for Meaning – all we use in this life has a meaning for us, has a certain importance, all humans to conserve their energy prefer to don’t do things that are meaningless. This is a rule that our brain applies to everything, this is why when you choose what to read, what to watch, with whom to talk is important that you would do it with a meaning. On Friday, try to do something meaningful for you and of course in the language you are learning, talk with a friend that is speaking that language, look for a present in that language, plan a trip in that language. Anything that will cheer you up but at the same time will force to use the language you are learning. On Friday, as it is the end of the week, to relax in a meaningful way is the best prescription.

Leave your brain to relax on weekend and come back the next week eager to discover new things.
This plan weekly will assure you a continuous growth, an interesting learning path, and a never-ending motivation so you would achieve your final goal of speaking a language effectively.  I hope you like it and you will apply it.

Best regards,

Victoria

I am back

In September I made a shocking statement, I told to all my friends that I am going to disappear for 2 or 3 months. I kept it as a secret but from July I was already working on a manual and I felt I needed time to finish the biggest project I’ve ever started.

In the past year, I had a lot of students for Romanian all of them were “suffering” of a lack of learning materials, to help them I started to make new plans, to create schemes and clear explanations to support their learning. After 6 months I observed that all my plans work almost by themselves, my students were getting better and better with their Romanian and all this based on materials created by me. The next thought was that I can upgrade all this to a manual that people can use without me, and I start working.

By September I felt overwhelmed, I had a vision but to make it reality I needed to digest all I had in my head as a caterpillar so I would give to the world a butterfly. So, after 3 months of absence, in which I worked hard, I am back. I came with a whole new learning method of which I am very proud as I know it works and all my students are a living proof of that.

My Romanian Intensive Course for foreigners – my “butterfly” is ready to fly.

I chose December 1, Romanians National Day, to make it public as this is a very important date for all Romanians and I wanted to celebrate it in a special way. This book, in a way, is the key to understanding Romanian Culture at a deeper level as you cannot truly get into the meanings that people transmit without knowing their language. I hope that this manual will fulfil people’s expectations and will cover the need in this field as this was the main reason that pushed me to do it.

I am grateful to all people that supported me on this path, encouraged me and believed in me. Thank you all, and my traditional, see you soon 🙂

How to Start Learning a New Language From Zero?

* for step No.1 please read my previous article about THE GOLDEN MOTIVATION

As Aristotle was saying is not enough to wish for something you also have to do it. I had my Motivation List done when I realised that I am just at the beginning, I took a minute and counted all the words I knew in Italian – Ciao, Buongiorno, Uno, Due, Caffè, Mafia. I had 6 words and the Grande Dizionario Italiano dell’ Uso was telling me that there are 270.000 words in Italian. Of course, six is better than nothing, and I looked again at my Golden List.

And my warrior spirit spoke: No matter how big and far is your goal, you just take a paper and make a plan, choose a strategy, break it in small actions, and start acting – soon you will be there.

I continued the syllogism, language is a tool, we use it to transmit ideas and thoughts, material or abstract notions and all words are preset codes that we all learn in order to be able to communicate with others that know the same code (language). Now things were getting simpler, first I needed to learn words.

No teacher in this world could learn words for me this was exclusively my job. Luckily I live in the XXI century, technologies are here to help me to do almost everything. And I must say I was surprised how many wonderful free tools there are on the internet that can help you simply to learn vocabulary.  I started to learn words on http://www.duolingo.com, and for the next 3 months, I practised daily around 30 min. For me it was a great solution as I did not really felt learning, it was more like a game, free and always accessible on my phone and computer. After 3 months, the app counted that I knew 1500 words. I was able to make simple sentences of course with some errors, but I was making sentences!

Although I thought it is a good result, and my friends from Italy observed that for only 3 months of studying, I knew a lot. A problem occurred, I was talking like a robot, naturally, I thought, I learned from a robot. As I had a pretty unsteady schedule, I was able to find an hour per day to study Italian but I was not able to find an Italian that would be always available for me early in the morning or late in the night.  I needed another solution, and I found something suitable, http://www.memrise.com, it was very useful as there I was able to listen how Italians truly pronouns words. I turn off the sound on Duolingo, and continue to practice on both apps.  This was great, I felt how I grow very fast but at some point, I felt this is not enough, and the internet saved me again. Lucky me, I found on Facebook a great page https://www.facebook.com/italianoautomatico/   Alberto and his Grandmother were my company every day during my lunch break, I was listening to them 2 or 3 times, and this routine exercise developed my comprehension level very much. Thank you, Nonna & Alberto.

As things are not always smooth, I faced a new problem, I think that those of you that are constantly training in the gym will understand me, at some point you need to add more weight or muscles don’t grow. This was the exact feeling I had about my Italian, a good shape, some visible results but after 5 months of daily practising, I wanted more than just a slight feeling of rising, I wanted to feel a significant improvement. I added in my daily language training the reading of an article, radio, conversations with natives. I had 6 months of continuous practice and 2500 known words in my vocabulary. I was able to express more complex thoughts, still with some errors, but they were complex!     I looked back and I was very proud of me, I felt I did a very good job, I worked hard and the result was evident. My Italian was like a hard acquired diamond, a real treasure. Everything was almost perfect but my diamond needed to be polished if I wanted to wear it proudly. It was time for a personal, professional approach. I started to look for a teacher. All free tools I was able to found on the internet were great, they helped me a lot but in the end without a good teacher that would help me through until the end was impossible to achieve fluency.  My journey continues and I promise to come back with more details about the step No. 3, meaning – how to Masteries a Language.

Are you often tempted to quit your language studies? The Golden Motivation or How to never stop once you’ve started.

For me, learning a language could be compared with the conquering of a city. I decided to learn Italian and this was like deciding to conquer Rome. A huge, amazing, wonderful, and hard to conquer Latin kingdom. Taking control of such immensity needs time and preparation. I had a goal already but I also needed to set the most important base for my further advance -MY MOTIVATION.

We all have a personal motivation when we start a route this keeps us going even when things are moving hard and we get tired. Learning a language, first of all, takes time and many of us are tempted to quit on their way. I realise that I’m just a human and I work just as everyone else and I decided to prepare myself for this with more than just one motive. I thought that a list of all good reasons will be my greatest support in the toughest moments.

First, I wanted to know how my students feel when they learn a new language, this was a good reason but this only helped me to start my trip and I needed more to keep going. Secondly, I wanted to find out some more good methods that really could help someone to learn a new language. I was searching for a cause, something that would keep me focused and motivated all the time. It took me several days to make that list but each minute I spent on making it, fully proved its value.

I will share it in this article, all my 10 golden reasons and their effect on me. I think this list could work for anyone and any language, just add to it your very own personal reasons and you are ready for a successful learning campaign at the end of which you can proudly call yourself the king of your own new conquered language kingdom.

Learning a new language:

1.  Enhances our brain power – and this is not a myth, I felt it on my own and many of my students are saying the same thing. Our brain is a muscle while we learn we train it and obviously we become smarter.

2. Increases our Memory – another wonderful side effect, learning a new language is ameliorating our memory. I am still making notes about the things I need to do or what I need to buy or meetings I have but I observed I do not need them anymore, I simply remember everything without an extra effort.

3. Develops our decision-making ability – I must confess I was very bad at this, I was spending hours or even days thinking about something, should I do it or not, should I buy this product or not, lately I feel a huge improvement in this area and I’m not stopping here.

4. Develops our multi-task working ability – I love this one, this is a must skill in our days, so many things to do all the time and so little time for it. While we learn a new language our brain is developing its ability to organise and schematize and later applies this skill in all spheres of our life. And it truly works.

5. Grow our self-confidence – I think this is a logical effect, our confidence is growing while we learn new things and we accumulate so many things while we learn a new language.

6. Expands our career potential – I never thought about it from this perspective before I start learning Italian but now I have a huge advantage while teaching Italians. I think this is applicable in any field, speaking a new language could help you in making connections, meeting new people, moving in another country etc.

7. Develops our communication skill – to learn a language presume a lot of communication and practice always makes it better.

8. Enlarge us as life perspectives – I felt it right away, exchanging ideas all the time with people that were grown in another way helped me to see the whole world from a totally new perspective and this helped me to grow as well.

9. Changes our mindset – I must say that Italians are very positive, they always are smiling and they are making jokes and even the language has a certain musicality, all this, on the whole, made me more positive and of course, I smile more 🙂

10. Opens the door to a whole new culture – Seeing the language as a key is one of the best comparison ever, with this key now I am able to read Italian authors or travel in there without a guide, learn from locals in a lost village how to cook an authentic pizza, the possibilities are enormous, probably I even don’t realise at this moment how this will truly change my life in the future but is certain, I opened the door to a new culture which enriched me and continues to do it.

I am not at the end of my way with Italian but I must say that I enjoy so much the route that I even forget about the final goal. Learning a new language is also fun, a reason that was not on my initial list, it is something I discovered in time and it values even more than the rest.

What about you, could you think of a reason that is not listed here? Then please share it with everybody in a comment on this blog and help others in their learning trip.

Thank you!

 

Hello to all my dear readers!

Hello my dears and welcome to my blog!

 

A place where I would like to share with the world at least a little from my thoughts and experience. Through this posts, I hope to connect with like-minded people that will benefit from my knowledge and will share theirs with me.

In the past years, I’ve been working as an online teacher, this changed me and all my life perspective. My world became bigger, some borders disappeared and I started to appreciate all I have at another level.

Having lessons daily all around the world means to access different cultural environments in which I teach and I learn at the same time.  For me, all cultures are some kind of doors and languages are keys that can open those doors to incredible new worlds.

We all have our own time limit, we need to give love to our families, to socialise with our friends, to work to sustain ourselves and our beloved ones, to dedicate some time to our hobbies etc., so many things to do and so little time for it. This is one of my top preoccupation: How to make the learning process as efficient as possible so people in short time would obtain high results. 

Because I can write only when I feel inspired, on my blog, you will find articles related to things that I truly find interesting:

  • Students and learning methods
  • Teachers and teaching
  • People and Culture

I encourage all readers to share their ideas in comments and to participate actively in all discussions so this blog will become a dialogue in which all those involved will grow and develop.

This was Victoria, thank you and see you soon 🙂