This is a guest blog post from our friends at Lingua.ly.  We love this app as it turns your mobile phone into a language learning experience. Download the Lingua.ly Android App.  Reposted with permission.  Here is the original blog link.

5 Things to Keep in Mind When Listening in a Second or Foreign Language

 

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Listening is harder than reading– a sentiment shared by language learners around the world. In fact, one of the greatest fears of the language student is using a phrase correctly and being unable to handle the onslaught of native speaker speech received as a response. So, why is it that spoken language seems so difficult to process in comparison to the written word and what can a learner do to improve comprehension? Read on to find out!

1. Listening happens in real-time
Unlike with reading, listening forces you to process language as it is delivered. That means you don’t have an opportunity to pause the activity to look up a word in the dictionary. But it’s important not to panic, as this conscious monitoring of the listening process can cause you to miss the rest of what is being said as well. Learn to relax your brain and keep your mind open until the listening text comes to a natural pause.

2. Listening doesn’t mean you hear every word
Listening is something we do naturally and many people don’t realise that even in our native tongues we don’t necessarily register every word someone says. Instead we pick up on keywords which give us the information we need to make inferences about who, when, where and most importantly what we are listening to. So listen for the big picture words and let your brain fill in the rest. (more…)

Introducing italki Articles!

April 4th, 2014 | Posted by Jim in announcement | teachers | tips - (0 Comments)

articlesWe’re happy to announce our newest feature –  italki Articles!  

italki Articles are cultural and language learning tips which have been exclusively written by italki teachers and language learning enthusiasts for the italki language learning community.

We’ve got thousands of italki teachers on italki teaching all the world’s languages.

Many of our teachers have some great language learning tips and advice that they’ve accumulated over years of teaching their language.

Many of our teachers are also great writers.

italki articles allows these teachers to share their experiences with language learning and culture with the entire italki community. (more…)

Our friend and supporter, Benny the Irish Polyglot, has recently taken up learning Japanese. Here’s a fun little video that he put together which also features our italki Japanese teacher Yuri. (more…)

How italki is Helping Me Learn Spanish

 

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There is only way to learn to speak a language: speak it, speak it, and speak it some more.

While the easiest way to immerse yourself in a language is to travel – or, better yet, move – to a country where the language is spoken, all is not lost for those of us who can’t do that just yet. Thanks to the wonders of Skype and free websites like italki.com, we can immerse ourselves in any language from the comfort of our living room couches! (Actually, in my case, it’s the dining room table. I still haven’t quite mastered the art of using a laptop on my actual lap.)

If you’re looking to ramp up your language learning, then you might want to consider signing up for italki.

* Please note: this review is very long. I can’t help it. I’m full of words. Believe it or not, I actually cut out a good quarter of each post before I actually publish it. If you don’t like posts with a lot of words – well, you probably won’t like this blog. Sorry. (more…)

Jan vanderAa is learning Cantonese on italki.  After only 2 months of studying he’s having basic conversations!   His little language learning tip is: (more…)