Weekend Links: January 30

This week was hectic, and I didn’t have as much free time as I wanted, but there’s a lot in stock for next week, so don’t unsubscribe yet :)

Today, as usual, I’m sharing some of the most interesting articles I’ve come across during the week. All of them are a treat to read; click through to get all the goodness.

Intensive Language Course Blues by Antonio Graceffo

Antonio, who is the author of several books on martial arts, is also an avid language learner, speaking six languages. Currently he is taking an intensive language course in Vietnamese at a university in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

In the post which I want to share with you he describes his observations on how attitude and commitment together comprise the effectiveness of learning a language. He also explains a couple of techniques which he uses besides the course. Have a look!

Mixing and Code-switching by Olga Williamson

The author of Bilingual Age Olga Williamson is the source of information for all things bilingual, and the the post which I’m sharing today touches upon the problem of mixing two languages by children, and what processes are behind that.

For me personally, this was a fascinating read; I’ve been studying English since my first days at school, and today I experience the effect of mixing quite often. I don’t mean only deliberate use of the word from another language, but unintentional use as well. It turns out I know some spheres of my life better in English, than in Russian, my native language.

This post by Olga provides a solid background on the relationship between two languages in the consciousness of a child. I liked it; hope you will too.

Lost in Translation OR How to THINK in English by Robby Kukurs

I’ve written the post “Think Differently” along the same lines, but Robby did a great job of looking at the problem from a very different standpoint — and I couldn’t agree with him more!

He explains that speaking a foreign language plays a major role in achieving fluency. My extensive reading on this problem proves that it is in fact true. That is, the more you speak, the more confident and less hesitant you become. Of course, you still have to learn vocabulary and a bit of grammar, but it’s extensive speaking that takes you to confident speech.

Don’t be discouraged that Robby’s post is about English — that information is applicable to any language out there. Oh, and check out the comments.

The silent period – a comfortable way to waste time by Benny Lewis

Another great post from Benny the Irish polyglot, in which he touches upon the very same problem of speaking and intensive language exposure. His vast experience confirms that speaking plays an important role in reaching conversational level in a language. He adds that “conversational” is in the title for a reason, and it is conversation you should focus on.

Check out Benny’s post for his own experience in silent periods and early speaking. He’s the man to believe: he did it all and came back to tell us.

Spanish Resources for Teachers and Learners by Andrew (from HowLearnSpanish.com)

If you’re learning Spanish, you’ll want to read this guest post by Andrew over and over, and then save it in your bookmarks. Andrew shares his experience in studying Spanish and shows the list of resources he’s using. He’s also writing a blog on studying Spanish, which I would check out, if I were you: it’s that good.

I hope you’ve had a great weekend. See you next week!

Related posts:

  1. Weekend Links: January 9
  2. Weekend Links: January 16
  3. Weekend Links: January 23