Oct 18th 2018

How to Learn a Foreign Language to Fluency

 

Guest post written by Juan Koss.
How to Learn a Foreign Language to Fluency

If you’re anything like me, you have a fierce, constantly expanding desire to learn multiple languages, yet consistently fail to deliver on the promise you’ve made yourself. Perhaps this is due to lack of motivation, or simply because each time you undertake the task you’re reminded why you gave it up in the first place: It’s extremely difficult. However, I wholeheartedly believe that the average person can commit themselves to learning a language to fluency and deliver on this commitment, so here are my tips for completing a challenging task of which you can not only remain proud, but hopefully reap the employment and travel benefits from also.

  • Practise consistently: This seems outrageously obvious and I’m a little ashamed for reiterating it so blatantly, but anyone who has struggled to learn a language before knows how easy it is to forget this fundamental step. For those of us who can write my essay or learn a language in our spare time, guided only by books, the Internet, and occasional classes, consistent revision needs to be slotted in between work and other studies, and often seems unnecessary and burdensome. Anyone who has fallen prey to this idea, however, knows how quickly language skills are lost, and how much effort and revision is required in order to solidify them. If you want to learn a language to fluency, you have to accept that you’re in for an uphill battle, and put in the hours. Even watching a film or reading a short book or magazine in your chosen language, or revising over grammar notes once a week, will be immensely useful in your quest towards fluency.
  • Take classes: Whether you want to learn quickly and seriously via school or university, or opt for the more relaxed environment of a language school, community house, or private tutor, classes are, in my mind, a necessity. There is only so much that books and the Internet can teach you, and enrolling in a class forces you to practice and revise, whilst also allowing you to engage with others who are struggling to find the motivation and time to study. If possible, find a tutor who is a native speaker and immerse yourself in their classes and conversation. The more you surround yourself by the foreign language you’re attempting to learn, the quicker you will learn it.
  • Avoid word lists: This is a point that, in my mission to learn French, I still struggle with. Word lists continue to feel like a good idea. You learn a new word, you write it down, you memorize its spelling and meaning … it’s what I’d do if I came across an unfamiliar word in English, so what could possibly go wrong? The answer to this is simply that, in an unfamiliar language, there are too many words to learn by this process. Whilst I recognize the differences, I must use English as an example. Growing up, you didn’t learn English by making word lists, you learned it through immersion and constant exposure. This is the same way in which a foreign language, difficult though it is, ought to be learned. Whilst word lists can be helpful before tests, in familiarization with verbs, or in order to learn a certain category of words, such as those pertaining to body parts or colors, ultimately it’s going to confuse you more, as you spend your time memorizing the wrong things. The semantics and mechanics of a language must be learned before it can be understood. After this, the meaning of individual words will begin to come easily. This leads me to another key idea: Don’t directly translate between languages, as each language is unique and must be treated as such.
  • Read as much as possible: Again, this seems obvious, but due to the challenge it poses, I feel that many who are endeavoring to learn a language often overlook it. When I reflect on how I learned English (an almost impossible task given that I am a native speaker of the language) I realize that the process of learning it was greatly simplified by my constant exposure to it in both written and spoken form. Children learn words by reading and then asking for the meaning or by contextualizing. When we read books or magazines in another language, we build up these same skills, contextualizing words, learning how they’re used, and familiarizing ourselves with foreign grammar and sentence structure. An extremely arduous task at first, the more we read in the language of our choice, the sooner we will become familiar with the meaning, spelling, and grammar rules of individual words and sentences.
  • Visit the place(s) where your language is spoken: Immersion is the best, and really the only way, to learn a language to fluency, as, whilst the classroom is essential for written skills, the nuances of the spoken word and the pace in which it is colloquially spoken and amalgamated with street slang and innumerable dialects, can only truly be learned through conversation with native speakers. Don’t be afraid to engage in conversation with native speakers, who, contrary to judging you, will likely be only too happy to correct your pronunciation and to help you out. You’ll make a good impression by trying to speak their language, and likely have fun whilst doing so. If possible, travel extensively or take a job and work for a year or so in an area where your language is spoken as, though perhaps daunting at first, you’ll be amazed how quickly you pick up the language when you’re surrounded by it everyday.

As difficult as learning a language is, the employment and travel benefits – not to mention one’s own sense of personal pride – that are received by doing so, are unparalleled. Learning foreign languages enables us to familiarize ourselves with similarities and differences across dialects, revealing the depth of our own mother tongue through loanwords, and broadening our overall sense of culture and the infinite evolution of linguistics. Although I remain a speaker only of English, still battling with the threads of incomprehension currently restraining me from the world of French fluency, I am yet to lose the motivation and focus required for completing the challenge. A difficult task and one that must be crammed into an exceptionally busy schedule, I shall continue to learn French, and would encourage all those out there currently learning or considering learning a language to take the necessary steps towards fluency.

About author: Juan Koss – I am a school teacher with 23 years’ experience, PhD writer at DoMyWriting.com and writing articles has become my hobby.  Most of my articles are related to education and parenting ideas.

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Sep 27th 2018

The fuzzy line between professional and amateur writers

Guest post written by Warren Fowler.
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You always dreamed of becoming a writer?
But what was your dream, exactly?
Did you intend to become a professional in another niche and write in the meantime? That would make you an amateur writer. If you commit your entire time to writing and you turn it into a profession, only then would you be a professional writer.
But, is commitment the only difference between being a professional and an amateur writer?

Tim Urban, the author behind “Wait But Why”, used to publish posts every Tuesday… or Wednesday. Now, we rarely see a post from him, but his followers are still excited with each new piece of content that comes their way. Is Tim Urban still a professional blogger, even though he is not as engaged as he used to be? While, he might not consider blogging to be his profession, he is still considered one of the best bloggers out there.

So it’s mostly about commitment. However, it’s also about having that particular factor that makes you a pro. It’s about the thing that makes you cross the line between being an amateur and becoming a professional.
You may think you’re a professional writer if you commit your entire time to your projects, but you still might be making the mistakes of an amateur.

There’s a fuzzy line between professional and amateur writers. It’s time to learn how to cross it.

  1. Amateurs Will Wait for Inspiration. Pros Will Just Write!

Did you hit writer’s block?
That’s an opportunity to find out if you’re really professional about writing.
If you get frustrated and start blaming everyone and everything for your inability to write, you’re acting like an amateur. If you just relax, and wait for inspiration to hit you because you know the moment of enlightenment will come sooner or later, you’re still acting like an amateur.

What would a professional writer do in this situation?
I reached out to Matthew Cesen, a writer at BestEssays. “A professional writer doesn’t have the luxury of waiting for clarification. I get tasks to cover on a daily basis. When I’m not writing academic papers, I’m working on my first novel, and I still have deadlines. So waiting for the bad moment to pass is not an option. I just sit and write,” – he says. “I have several methods to find inspiration. I’ll do more research. I’ll brainstorm. I’ll take a piece of paper, and I’ll write without interruptions for at least half an hour. When you try hard enough, you’ll dig down to the ideas in the hidden layers of your subconsciousness.”

  1. The Amateur Will Only Do the Fun Parts. The Professional Takes Full Responsibility.

An amateur writer loves to write. This is the kind of person who can wake up inspired and spend the entire day writing without interruption. Is that enough to make them a professional writer? Not if they don’t maintain that energy throughout all stages of the process.
You’ll quickly see an amateur leaving the piece in the drawer for days, weeks, months, or even years. They might revisit it, but they might as well leave it there when it stops being fun for them.
The professional will also go through that stage of an inspirational high. However, they will also conduct diligent research. They will think about the formatting of their content, and they will also edit their writing as close to perfection as it could possibly get.

  1. An Amateur Won’t Take Writing Seriously; A Professional Writer Will Have Daily Rituals!

Did you know that Maya Angelou woke up every single day around 5:30 AM? She had her coffee and started her writing routine by 7:00. She kept a tiny, simple hotel room where she did her writing. She worked there until 2 in the afternoon.
It didn’t matter whether she felt like writing or not. It didn’t matter what day it was. It didn’t matter whether her work for the day was brilliant or not that good. She had her routine and she stuck to it.
Anyone who doesn’t have a specific routine and doesn’t show up to their writing for most days of the week is not a true professional.

  1. Amateurs Are Focused on the Goal. Pros Work Towards Progress

Every single writer wants to be recognized for their talent. They want to achieve brilliance with every essay, novel, short story, blog post, or whatever another piece of content they publish.
But there’s a difference.
The amateur will strive to get recognized for their genius. This is the kind of person who’s after praise. All writers go through such a stage. The professional, however, will realize that it’s better to tame their ego at one point or another. Everyone gets criticism. The professional writer will consider it and grow from it. The amateur will just assume that people don’t understand him and that they are not worthy of the brilliance in front of them.

  1. The Pro Aims for Long-Term Success; The Amateur Is after a Moment of Glory

A professional writer will not aim to make their book a bestseller. They don’t aim to write a viral blog post. They will just write the best they can. Of course, they want to achieve success with the piece they are currently working on. However, their focus is on being remembered instead of being noticed. That’s why they write evergreen content instead of something that could get popular at the moment.

If you recognized some of the symptoms of being an amateur, don’t despair! Every writer is an amateur before becoming professional. Noticing your flaws is a good thing! Now you know what to work on!

About author: Warren’s lifestyle is full of hiking adventures. When he’s not busy with his guitar or enjoying the sunny day outside, he excels at blogging skills and scrolls through social media. You can meet him on Twitter and Facebook.

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Sep 13th 2018

8 biggest misconceptions about the English language

Guest post written by Audrey Lamp.

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Despite the fact that this is the world’s most studied language, there are plenty of misconceptions and myths surrounding English. Even if you’re a native speaker, you’re not immune to these misconceptions. So let’s list the biggest ones, shall we?

  1. If English Is Your Native Language, Then You’re Proficient in It

When English or any other language is your native tongue, you assume that you use it pretty well. People can understand when you speak and you understand everything on TV and in newspapers pretty easily.
But what if you tried writing a research paper? When facing such a challenge, most students decide to hire professional writers to write an essay for them. Some would argue that graduates can’t write advanced prose because the educational system fails to train them properly. The fact is, no matter how hard you try to master the English language, there are always new layers to discover.

  1. British English Is the “Real” English

Most people, including Brits themselves, consider British English to be the purest form of English. The truth is, , that American English preserved a lot of the characteristics to the language that the British migration brought to the New World. Over the years, the British lost some of these nuances to the languages including non-rhotic speech , which became popular after the Industrial Revolution.
Believe it or not, the Americans never had a British accent that they lost.

  1. You Shouldn’t Start a Sentence with a Conjunction

“Don’t start a sentence with but!”
“Don’t start a sentence with and!”

How many times have you received such remarks on your essay assignments? Elementary and high-school teachers were usually pretty harsh with this “rule.” Still, there is no grammatical rule that says you mustn’t use a conjunction in the beginning of a sentence. This is a stylistic preference. No one can explicitly tell you what your style is. So if you feel like starting a sentence with so, you might as well just do that. But maybe you’d like to avoid it when writing academic papers. Teachers are still pretty strict with their stylistic expectations.

  1. You Can’t End a Sentence with a Preposition

This is another rule that teachers used to enforce: “Don’t end a sentence with by, on, with, about, or any other preposition.”
This “rule” has its roots in the 17th century, when Latin-obsessed writers wanted to impose their influence on the English language.

Compare these two sentences:
-You have much to dream about!
-You have much about which to dream.

The first one seems much more natural, doesn’t it? And it ends with a preposition.  

  1. Passive Voice Is Not Good

You’ll see this recommendation in many online writing guides: avoid passive as much as possible!
Surprise, surprise: passive is still an integral part of the English language. Nevertheless, you shouldn’t use it excessively unless it’s necessary.

  1. You Can Only Use Whose When Referring to People

If you check the Oxford Dictionaries, you’ll find an explanation that “whose is a possessive determiner and pronoun which means belonging to whom.” This brings us to the misconception that whose is intended to be used solely when talking about people.
The fact is; whose is a possessive form of both who and what. So you don’t have to feel unconfident when writing or saying “Apple is a company whose products changed the world.”

  1. You Can’t Use an Extra S after an Apostrophe in a Possessive Singular Noun Ending in S

Whoa, that was a mouthful. If that “rule” confused you, allow us to explain: do you like Jules’ sister or Jules’s sister?
Some people will be definite about it: the extra s is a mistake. The truth is: this is a pretty complex issue in English grammar. In some cases, you’ll go with the apostrophe. In others, you’ll use an apostrophe-s even when the word’s singular form ends with an s. Such is the case with duchess’s. But if the next word starts with an s, then you’ll use duchess’. It’s complicated, so you better investigate the rule before you claim something you’re not sure of.

  1. There Should Be a Specific Number of Sentences in a Paragraph

Some teachers will tell you to maintain a fixed number of sentences, such as three or five, in a paragraph. They are delusional!
The paragraph serves as a section that covers one main idea. You may use as many or as few sentences as you need to expose that idea.

So did I manage to bust some myths today? If you were aware of all these misconceptions, congratulations! Maybe you can add a few others to our list? I’d love to see some comments!

About author: Audrey Lamp is a proactive journalist who likes to get knowledge, analyze and present fresh ideas. Her background and various interests determine her genuine passion for writing. Find her on Facebook and Twitter.

 

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Sep 6th 2018

How to use social media in schools

Guest post written by Harsha Goel.
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59% of schools say their students use social media to solve their educational problems.
No doubt, the advancement of social media has helped every sector put their best foot forward in the market. Marketers highly acknowledge the growing importance of social media, but now, the education sector, and especially schools, have  also turned to social media platforms to share their special events, award functions, and the hard work of brilliant students with parents.

Your social media presence decides the number of conversions your website will have. We live in the era of digitalization, and social media is a useful tool for schools to stay ahead by acknowledging to parents the quality of education you provide.

No matter how many activities, parties, and gifts you distribute to students in the school, if your audience does not know about it, you are probably losing opportunities.
If you want to harness the full potential of social media but are looking for the subtle ways to understand its usage, then this post is for you. Go through each point carefully, and learn how to use social media to redefine the education system.

Stay updated:

Facebook can significantly improve the number of conversions. You can use it to establish your online presence. The number of Facebook subscribers is on the rise, and therefore, it becomes a good platform to let people know how you  differentiate from others.
Moreover, you can check out Facebook profiles of your prospects and pitch them at the right time.
Writing a post every day on Facebook keeps parents updated on the progress of students and how school is planning to make learning easier and faster.

Facilitate communication via social media platforms:

If your school never leaves a chance of guiding students on the latest topics, social media networks such as Facebook, Google Plus groups, and YouTube can help you spread the word in no time.
Moreover, you can communicate any decision, announcement, and provide useful information for teachers and students that have to be implemented quickly.
This will allow you to kill two birds with one stone. A high number of students will start paying attention to your policies, and parents will start acknowledging the efforts you put in to provide students with all the facilities they ask for.
It will even foster cross classes interactions regarding school’s function, trips, and other activities, which will further help establish unity and integrity amongst students.
Schools can use social media to reach students with important alerts through the pages they are connected to.
Engaging students will become easier for you if you will introduce hashtags into your post or any video you upload to your school’s social media profile.
From uploading datasheets to the school’s website to  guiding students on exams’ preparation, you can upload videos that can help students understand and learn faster without wasting time.
Before planning for your social media content management, I advise you to go through the functionalities of various platforms so that you can select the right platform geared to  your requirements.

Advanced learning management systems:

If comprehensive learning is your goal, you can take advantage of Learning management systems that are networking software capable of delivering educational programs to institutions.
By integrating your social media into an LMS,  you will allow students to use instant chat functions, and video calling while providing a platform where they find the latest information about their projects, tasks, Tuition Assignments, etc.
Having an advanced LMS with integrated social media will enable you to drive faster interactions among students. Not only will it increase the participation of students in online contests but students will also be able to easily collaborate on projects which would otherwise have taken a lot of time to complete manually.
An LMS works great at solving student and learning-related issues.  Using popular Learning management systems is important to generate a positive impact on students and staff through the system. From a career point of view,  an LMS will help children learn about the growth of the digital industry by using live conferencing systems, webinars, blogs and much more.

It helps in the research process:

The use of social media in schools will enable students to use subject monitoring tools that can help them find the latest data regarding their subjects. This will fasten the learning process, and moreover, students will stay updated on the latest technologies.
Having their profiles on learning platforms like Quora, stack exchange, etc., students can enjoy their interactions with experts worldwide while getting answers to their questions.
They can make their project reports more compelling by taking ideas from their seniors through connections on Facebook. Moreover, they can display their work on social media platforms so that other parents can know how your staff teaches students and works on their overall development.

Social media helps students in building their portfolios for their careers by enabling students to upload their completed projects to their social media profiles. This will portray the school’s standards in a better way and to a wider audience.

Caution: Though the wrong use of social media by students can upset the learning ecosystem of schools, keeping a check by using software that filters the data can prevent this to a great extent.

About author:
Harsha Goel is a writer who currently writes about technology and makes people aware of the current industry standards.

 

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Aug 30th 2018

Children’s books that everyone should read

Guest post written by Anthony Anson.

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Do you ever feel addicted to those childrens’ books residing in that old cabinet? These books helped you in learning a variety of lessons. Just because you’ve set out for your higher education or professional life doesn’t mean that you can neglect those lessons. These children books are the predominant reason for what we are today. They have shaped our imaginative powers, improved our concentration and developed an ability for empathy in a lot of us. Are you feeling motivated towards reading those books again? Just forget about your worries for the time being and take a glimpse at some of these best children books that you show read now:

  1. Matilda by Roald Dahl

Do you remember that exquisite, magical, and intelligent girl named Matilda? (Of course her grouchy parents and yes, how can we forget Ms. Trunchbull?). The story of this sweet girl revolves around the constant cruelty that she experienced at home and even at school. Getting misunderstood by her parents because of being different from others, isn’t it the cruelest thing one could suffer from? Matilda did! Through realizing the telekinetic powers and using them to turn the tables teaches the lesson that it’s good to be different!

  1. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Young sister and brother set out on a journey to find their long-lost father and go through struggles and challenges. The major lesson learned is that even if your life is filled with darkness, there still exists a bit of light and happiness. Moreover, being kind towards others in order to remove the hatred and facing the fears are some of the other notable lessons learned from the book.

  1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

It is the life story of a little talkative and happy girl who lived an impoverished life despite the fact that she was an orphan. The major lesson learned from her story is that take the opportunity to bloom wherever you are. It doesn’t matter what phase of life you’re in or what condition you’re going through, just forget about your frets for the time being, and convince yourself to live a wonderful, and happy life.

  1. Black Beauty by Anna Swell

Despite the range of steps taken to eradicate cruelty to animals, animal abuse is still prevalent in the world. If you’ve read black beauty, you must have recalled the moments where the horse succinctly describes his feelings and the sufferings he went through. It gives the evident lesson that a person should exhibit a great deal of understanding and compassion towards animals because mistreatment could add to their sufferings. Another major respectable moral through Beauty’s life is that how far you can take yourself when you have a good character. Despite the different impediments in the way, an individual should strive 100% to achieve their goals in life.

  1. Diary of a wimpy kid by Jeff Kiney

It is a light-hearted story of a child going through the struggles of fitting into middle school. One of the lessons is to dream big. Despite the fact that Greg Heffley was a lazy and blissfully unconcerned child, he never stopped dreaming big dreams. Moreover, taking the path of least resistance (which was in fact due to laziness or for conserving “his energy”) teaches the people that they should opt for the easiest way out instead of being buried under the heap of tensions.

  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

You must have read this book as a child? Didn’t you? This fantastic tale gives a glimpse of the life lessons through the protagonist named Charlie. Charlie faces a variety of challenges in life – no food and inadequate clothing. Yet he never lost the sense of hope. Moreover, in the extremely busy developing world, people tend to forget about their loved ones who deserve to get attention i.e. Families. Charlie teaches that you should spend quality time with family and spread love. Being grateful, shunning greed, and following directions are other prominent life lessons.

  1. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Have you ever faced a lot of dissatisfaction in your life? Everyone does! Whenever you’re going through a bad time and things aren’t going your way, you inevitably suffer through discontent. However, if you’ve read the phantom tollbooth, you should remember that despite being curious about what you don’t have, you should be happy with what you do have. When time runs out, you can never bring it back; thus, pay attention to this most precious thing (more than diamonds even!). Moreover, you should be cautious of your words as they hold the potential to hurt someone. Simultaneously, pay attention to even the tiniest things.

  1. The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Does it reflect the story of Mother love and society, or God’s love and mankind? Well, it might be the perceptions of different groups of people. However, the lessons about life taught by this enlightened piece cannot be neglected. In the competitive world where the people tend to ensure equality and justice, it is almost impossible to give up tallying things. However, the giving tree teaches people that they should enable the unrequited love factor through giving but not expecting anything in return. Moreover, how can we comfort a beloved one when he/she is feeling down? It isn’t important that there’s a need of buying things, ordering food; sometimes, your simple silent presence could make them feel at home. Thus, always be there for rendering an immense love and support to others.

 

You must be feeling nostalgic through exploring these books. Are you ready to grab them out of those dusty old brown cabinets? Wait! Did you forget about those assignments which were given to you? Don’t feel overwhelmed! You can easily hire the reliable, cheap, and best online assignment help and get over it. Order them to sit back and relax. Then, drag those books out, remove the dust, and revive your childhood! You’ll surely feel the sense of pleasure and happiness.

About the author:
Anthony Anson has always strived to pursue his career in the realm of writing. Thus, he has been providing his enthralling and quality services as a writer and working with the writing challenged customers for more than 4 years. He loves to read books, write blogs, and most of all work hard towards attaining goals.

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