The essential first thing you must learn when studying a foreign language

I listened attentively as one of my students completed the remaining sentence of the Diglot-Weave Narrative.

”For le reste de la competition, Je couldn’t get out of my mind l’image de la belle patineuse en robe bleue avec le shiny ruban dore dans les cheveux.”

All the remaining students on the French course I was teaching had read the Diglot Weave Story perfectly.I paused, my head pointing towards the floor for what must have been five minutes.

“What’s wrong sir? One of my students asked?”

I think a tear or two did escape my eyes.Tears of joy. For it was their first readings in French.Yet they had read the French words in the story perfectly. I must admit to you that I was quite surprised by this outcome.It proved that what I had taught in this short teaching module was correct.It also proved the diglot-weave narratives to be, what I believe the best approach ever created for reading a new language.

I will explain more about the great Diglot-Weave Narratives next time. But first — the essential key to rapid language learning.

How were my students able to read French perfectly on their first attempt? They had already been programed to read without knowing it. How? Here’s the secret.

The Alphabet = the essential short cut to fast language learning.

The majority of language courses jump you straight into reading a new language immediately.Their courses create scenarios which they think you will most likely meet when in a foreign country.Examples include, booking a reservation at a hotel, ordering a meal etc.Then they choose the most appropriate model sentences for you to learn by heart. Unfortunately the method doesn’t work.
Remembering back to when I was a student, I recall how another fellow student took a total of ten minutes just to read one French sentence.The words look similar because the letters are similar.The French and English alphabets are very similar.But the sounds of many of those French letters are different.

Therefore the key; the short cut to learning any new language must begin with the alphabet.What are termed the Romanic languages, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, has a similar alphabet system to the English system.Learning the sounds of those foreign letters is the most important first step.

I state again — the very first task to learning a foreign language fast is to master the sounds of the alphabet system.They must become ingrained in your mind before you attempt anything to do with the foreign language.Only then will you be able to read and pronounce new words of your target language correctly.

It’s crucial how you begin to learn a new language in order to be fluent.The alphabet system of a new language is the foundations.Letters become words and words become sentences.

Communicating with non-English speakers

In our multicultural society, we’re often in a position where we need to communicate with people who speak a language other than our own. That’s also increasingly true as business becomes increasingly globalized.

Americans have traditionally relied on the other person to speak English. Today, that approach is often not accepted. Suppose, for example, you get a promotion to a position that has you working with clients in China (or Germany, France, Italy….). You don’t speak the language. The client is probably going to make allowances for that, initially. But after a while, this is going to get old.

They are going to start shifting business to your competitor. Why? Here are some things your competitor might have done:

*Took the time to learn a few facts about the client’s culture.
*Took the time to learn a few words and phrases in the client’s language.
*Used an electronic pocket translator in a meeting with the client.
*Has started learning the client’s language.

But don’t think you’re going to be immune to language barriers by dint of learning a few languages. There are eight major languages in Europe alone, plus the major Asian languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tagalog. It’s unlikely you’re going to learn all of these any time soon.

Maybe you had Spanish or French in high school. How much of that do you remember? If your company assigns you to handle a new account in China, will that long ago training do you any good?

One solution to such predicaments is to take a language course for the specific language you need. But getting up to speed is going to take a while. And sure, you can shorten the calendar on that by devoting more of each evening to language studies. But you may not have that much evening to spare.

Another solution that appeals to many people is using an electronic translator. These are pocket-sized devices that two people can use to help bridge the language gap.

Of course, I like this solution because my company sells electronic translators ( www.Mindconnection.com/Translators ). But these devices solve only part of the larger puzzle in communicating with non-English speakers.

When you’re dealing with people whose native language isn’t English, the communication situation is not totally about the technical skill of language fluency or translation ability. It’s also about the attitude you communicate.

Suppose your company is exploring a new venture, and delegates from another country visit your offices. You can tell right away that English isn’t their native language; in fact, they aren’t very good at it.

You know a few words of their language, and you have a pocket translator. But that’s not at all the same communication situation as if you grew up next door to each other.

How can you accommodate these people in a way that reduces stress and aids communication? Here are some tips:

*Use simple, common words wherever possible. These are the ones the other people probably learned.
*Speak in short sentences. These are easier to process than are long sentences.
*Speak slowly. When you speak quickly, the foreign language speaker may find it difficult to discern the individual words.
*Speak in semi-staccato. Deliberately leave “spaces” in your words.
*Avoid adjectives or adverbs. These just add translation load.
*Don’t shout. The issue isn’t that they are hard of hearing.
*Use and read body language. Frequently make eye contact. Use relevant, meaningful gestures.
*Use pen and paper. Not for text, but to draw. You don’t have to be a great artist to make meaningful representations on paper. Anyone can draw a glass with water being poured into it from a pitcher, for example.

What about correcting the other person’s diction or word use? Yes, it’s acceptable within fairly narrow limits. It is not acceptable to pollute the conversation with a stream of corrections.

So, what are those fairly narrow limits? When the other person asks you for “how do you say…?” or seems to be struggling for the right word or how to say it, your help is being sought. It’s OK then to offer the correct word or pronunciation. Smile when doing it, and take a tone of suggestive helpfulness rather than one of correcting the other person.

Another time is when you don’t understand. Start off by saying you don’t understand. “I’m sorry, but I don’t understand.” You then might ask the person to try to write it out, or you might suggest a word. But make it a process where you are both working together to figure it out.

Language differences can be a barrier. Or, they can bring two people closer through their mutual efforts to cross the language barrier. Whether it’s personal or business, the effort you make to understand the other person speaks volumes about you.

While language lessons and electronic translators are extremely helpful, always be sure your tone and your actions communicate respect for the other person. If that respect is the only message that really gets through, you’ve managed to communicate the most important message. If you fail to communicate that, the other messages probably won’t much matter.

Reasons To Learn The English Language!

There are an estimated 1 billion people learning English in the world and about 400 million native English speakers, with a further 1 billion claiming to be able to speak English as a Second Language. Therefore, this makes English the most spoken language on earth. If this fact along isn’t enough for somebody to learn English, here are some more reasons why learning English can help people all over the world.

To begin with, the majority of websites, academic journals and most of the world’s combined intellectual information is recorded in English. If you are able to understand English, you have access to a lot more information.

Not only do you have access to a lot of information that might not be available to you if you didn’t understand English, you can also further your career by understanding what is fast becoming the world’s de facto language. If you want to work in a large multinational company or even work abroad, you will need to understand English just to be in with a chance of securing a job. The majority of multinational companies require that their employees can understand English.

Learning English will help if you want to travel and learn about other cultures. You’ll find that English is the official language in a number of countries, and even where it isn’t, you’ll always find somebody that can speak English. Travelling can help you develop your knowledge about foreign cultures and learn to be more tolerant of the world. If you can speak English, it makes travelling a whole lot easier!

If you’re interested in science, or you want to be a scientist, then English is very important for your career development. About 95% of the world’s articles in the Science Citation Index were written in English, but not all of these came from native English speaking countries. In fact, only about half of these did, meaning that the other half were written by people whose first language isn’t English.

Furthermore, you can keep up to date with the news anywhere in the world. Only English speaking News stations and newspapers are published in virtually every country in the whole world. It’s important to stay abreast of current affairs for a number of reasons. For example, you will know what’s going on in the world, knowing what’s happening can improve your knowledge and conversational skills.

Finally, you have access to some of the world’s most famous entertainment. A huge number of popular singers, authors, TV and movie producers all create their work in English. Having the ability to understand all of this entertainment can also help you, it might give you inspiration to write your own book, learn how to play music, or even pick up a video camera and start making your first movie!

As you can see, there are many reasons that learning the English language is important for your growth as a person. English is fast becoming the ‘lingua franca’ around the world and more and more people are learning to speak English than ever before. By not being able to understand English, you are missing out on some great knowledge, job opportunities and communications opportunities with other people. By being able to speak English, you help your self development by giving yourself every opportunity to better yourself in your job, personal life and more.

Why an English Paper Is More Similar to a Math Formula Than You Might Think

Many students think of an English paper or essay as a big amoeba-like project they must tackle without any rhyme or reason to it. Because of this, when they begin working on a paper or an in-class essay, they just begin writing whatever comes first to mind. And then they write and write until at some point, they’ve run out of ideas. They’re stuck, having no clue as to what to write next, and usually they just continue writing and sometimes perform some type of essay editing before turning the paper in. However, students who realize that writing essays is less like creative writing or poetry and more like math can write English papers, essays, and research papers for any class quickly. Why? Because similar to working with material in Algebra, Physics, and Chemistry, they know how to apply formulas for whatever paper they have to write. The simple formula is outlining, writing, and essay editing, but below are the specific steps for applying the basic formula for a typical English paper.

1. First, before writing the paper or essay, write down the exact formula you are going to follow:

That means outline! Your outline is the basic equation of your English paper. If you’re missing even one variable, your final solution will be wrong. The basic formula for an essay is: Introductory Paragraph + Body Paragraph(s) 1 + Body Paragraph(s) 2 + Body Paragraph(s) 3 + Concluding Paragraph = The Complete Paper. Just as you must have all of the variables of the Pythagorean Theorem and the Quadratic Formula, you can’t have a complete paper without one of these parts. Before you begin writing an English paper for homework or an essay in class, you should list the parts of this formula on scrap paper! Essay outlining is the first step to writing an excellent and well-organized English paper.

2. Now that you’ve written down the formula, fill in each part with the content needed for your specific paper:

So for your Introductory Paragraph, you know that you must, must, must have a thesis. This is what you are going to try to prove in your paper. Before you begin writing, you should write underneath the Introductory Paragraph, your thesis statement. Beneath Body paragraph(s) 1, you should write what the topic sentence / your first claim that supports the thesis is.

Then, you should list the evidence, including quotes, which you will use to directly support that claim. Finally, you should write a sentence or two for each piece of evidence that you have listed that explains the way in which the evidence ties into the claim. You should then proceed to follow this process for Body Paragraph(s) 2 and 3.

Lastly, in your outline or formula, you should list underneath the words, “Concluding Paragraph,” the restatement of your thesis. When you eventually write this paragraph, you will restate your thesis, briefly reiterate the points of evidence you’ve cited in the body paragraphs, and then leave the reader with an interesting point about the topic to think about.

3. Now you’re ready to start plugging away and writing your paper:

Great! Now you’ve written down the formula and plugged in the information for this particular problem or paper, similar to when you plug in numbers 3, 4, 5 for a2 + b2 = c2. After essay outlining, you’re ready to begin writing your English paper. Begin by writing the introduction, working your way down your paper from a general statement related to the subject matter and writing more specific sentences related to your thesis statement until you are at the end of the paragraph. At the end of the paragraph, write your thesis statement. Using your outline as a blueprint, continue writing your English paper, making sure that you do not leave any parts of the formula out until you reach the very last sentence of the concluding paragraph.