Learning a languages and take a course abroad: blogs, contributions, stories, summaries and tips

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Learning languages abroad and speaking foreign languages: blogs and contributions of WorldSupporters - Bundle

Learning languages abroad and speaking foreign languages: blogs and contributions of WorldSupporters - Bundle

How does recognizing, understanding and speaking of language work? - Chapter 10

How does recognizing, understanding and speaking of language work? - Chapter 10


For cognitive psychologists, one of the most intriguing human abilities is the ability to use language. Steven Pinker (1994) described this as follows:  'Simply by making noises with our mouths, we can reliably cause precise new combinations of ideas to arise in each other's minds'. The question that arises is which cognitive processes are involved in the ability to use language. Many cognitive psychologists state that language skills cannot simply be understood in terms of memory, reasoning, and other cognitive processes; they argue that language ability is based on a relatively autonomous set of capabilities that function primarily independently of other cognitive processes. How the language system works has become especially clear by studying patients with language disorders. Some important concepts when it comes to language are:

  • Speech is the spoken form of language. It is a way to convey linguistic information with the human voice;

  • Syntax is about the grammatical rules of a language. These rules determine the way words can be combined. It is independent of the meaning of the sentence;

  • Writing is a visual system to display the language. There are various writing systems, such as alphabetical, syllabic or ideographic / logographic.

What does the language system consist of?

A question that concerns psychologists is which processes are involved in:

  • Understanding language (speech and reading);

  • The production of language (talking and writing).

Linguistics has provided insights into the different levels of language, and the systematic and rule-led way it works. The following levels can be distinguished):

  • Phonetics - the sounds of speech.

  • Phonology - the sound system of a certain language.

  • Morphology - word formation.

  • Syntax - the combination of words into sentences.

  • Semantics - the meaning of words and sentences.

  • Reason (discourse) - which goes beyond individual sentences (stories, conversations, etc.).

Speech sounds

The field of phonetics studies the process of articulation of speech and the physical properties of speech such as sound waves. A phoneme is a term that expresses the smallest unit of sound that can make a difference in meaning. Phonemes can be combined to form words; every language has its own rules for this.

Visual language

Sign language is a

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How to Learn a Foreign Language Without Leaving Your Bed

How to Learn a Foreign Language Without Leaving Your Bed

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Learning a foreign language can be quite challenging and exciting at the same time. But what can be more exciting and fun? Laying in your bed all day doing absolutely nothing. It’s heaven!

The amount of enjoyment derived from a certain activity always has to be equal to or greater than the amount of enjoyment I get from never leaving my bed. If it does not, I will inevitably struggle to do that thing with the enthusiasm it deserves.

Let’s also add the fact that learning a foreign language will make you seem sophisticated and smart. You can also add that to your Tinder bio and get matches instantly. People like smart.

Now, let me tell you a few tips and tricks on how to learn a new language effectively and easily; from experience.

I’ve been learning Spanish for the past four months. Why Spanish you ask? Well, learning Spanish has always been on my bucket list and the grammar is somewhat similar to English which makes it easier.

Moving on, here are a few tips and tricks:

  • Watch Shows/Videos in your target foreign language

There are a plenty of videos online especially in YouTube that has films and clips of a certain language and sometimes, they also have subtitles to provide translations for people who don’t speak it (yet).

  • Duolingo

Duolingo is the world's most popular way to learn a language. It's 100% free, fun and science-based. 

It also offers a variety of languages that you can choose from plus, you can get help from the community when you’re having trouble with a certain part of the language such as grammar and slang. Duolingo can be downloaded on any smartphone and be used on any computer browser.

  • Listen to songs

Now this is another effective way to immerse oneself in the language. This is the fun part in language learning. You get to explore different genres in music and discover music artists. Who knows? One foreign song could be your life’s anthem?

  • Read

While I was (and still am) learning Spanish, I used to (and still do) read children’s books because they’re generally a lot easier to read and understand. The words are simple and the pictures that come with it are too cute to ignore! Eventually, you’ll want to up your reading skills and proceed to kids’ novels and the like.

  • Travel (Optional)

If budget permits, why not travel to the country where the language you’re learning is spoken? It would be really helpful and you can get to hear the locals speak real time and possibly pick up their accent along the way; plus, vacation anyone?

Hopefully, these tips and tricks would make language learning easier. Now, get some chips and climb on to your bed and get ready to learn a language!

 

 

 

 

Language café Oslo

Language café Oslo

Language café

Language café

How cool would it be to get to know people and learn a new language at the same time? 

The University of Oslo makes this possible, you just need to come to the Language café and the rest will follow! Especially if you are new student at the University of Oslo you need to come to brush up on your language skills.

It doesn't matter what your level is, you can talk to each other in an informal and relaxed setting. Registration is not necessary, but it is desirable to let know in which language you are interested. You can also contribute to the café as a language leader by guiding the conversations and answering simple questions about the language. 

This language café will be hold in “Lille Scene & Litteratursalongen” in the basement floor of The Humanities and Social Sciences Library (Georg Sverdrups hus).

Time and place: May 5, 2022 5:00 PM-7:00 PM

Click here to let know in which language you are interested

Learn different language!

Learn different language!

Education Category: Language
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It' s nice to learn a different language. Learn Dutch! 

 

Hello, my name is ...       Hallo, ik heet ...

How are you?                 Hoe gaat het met je?

I' m fine, thanks.            Het gaat goed. 

How old are you?            Hoe oud ben je?    

What about hobbies?      Wat zijn je hobby' s?

Do you like it here?         Vindt je het leuk hier?

Yes, it' s very nice!          Ja, het is erg leuk!       

Ways to Improve your Vocabulary

Ways to Improve your Vocabulary

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For all those who want to improve their English skills, it is important to expand your vocabulary. This will make it easier for you to have a conversation, understand others, and to improve your writing skills. Even for advanced speakers of English, it is important to update your vocabulary every once in a while, since that is a way of expanding your knowledge of the language. Below, I will list a few ways and tips to do so.

  1. While watching your favourite TV shows and/or films, have a notebook within reach to write down words that are new to you. You only have to write down the words while you are watching said show or film. After you are done watching this, you  should look up all the words and write down their meanings, and an example sentence if you want. By writing these words down you are already unconsciously learning them.
  2. Test yourself! You could do this by using the words you have been writing down while watching something. You could write the words on flashcards with the meaning on the back or fill them in on a website. You could also practice and test your vocabulary skills on websites, here is a link to an article that lists 16 useful sites https://www.educatorstechnology.com/2013/02/16-websites-to-teach-and-learn.html. On the websites you can find words that are useful to know, and these websites offer different techniques to learn them. Try to find one or two that are useful for you.
  3. Try to avoid (over)using the word "very". When you want to express yourself and want to emphasise a word, it is very easy (see what I did there?) to use the word very in a way to emphasise the word. Try learning words that will help you avoid overusing the word "very". Websites that list some of these words that I, personally, find effective are https://kathysteinemann.com/Musings/how-to-avoid-very-in-writing/, https://www.proofreadingservices.com/pages/very, and https://www.globifylanguages.com/english-words-instead-very/. By avoiding this, you will not only learn new words, but will also come across knowledgeable and more articulate. It will definitely improve your speaking and writing skills, at the least.
  4. Look up words that you think you will need. Meaning, that you should think about the area in which you use English the most, e.g. work space, university, friends, etc. Try looking up words that you will actually use in your everyday situations. This way, you can also practice using them straight away. It will help you remember them more clearly, and this will show you when it is most useful to use them or when not to.
  5. Watch documentaries! It is informative and will help you learn many words about a specific topic in an interesting way. Watch documentaries that you find interesting or that might be convenient for you to know. You can find quite some documentaries on YouTube, Netflix, or other streaming sites. This will help you improve your vocabulary, listening skills, and knowledge.
  6. Listen to podcasts that you find interesting. This one is similar to the last tip, but one significant difference is that you can listen to podcasts everywhere you go. When you have to wait for your train, while you are driving to work, while jogging in the park etc. Podcasts are a simple way to learn more about certain topics and while doing so, improving your vocabulary and listening skills massively.

Hopefully (some of) these tips will be useful for you! These are just some interesting and fun ways to improve and spice up your vocabulary. By doing this you will be so much more confident when having a conversation or writing a paper.

Whats in a language? - Ano ang tagalog? I

Whats in a language? - Ano ang tagalog? I

What is in a language? So interesting after 5 years through studying intensive tagalog (filipino) I learn, more and more, deeper and deeper. My guro’s/maestro’s/titsers say (a lot) they explained me pasok, to enter, pumasok ka, you enter. Pasok by itself is not good, because who is entering? Who else is behind the fence hiding, waiting to be fed as well? So in dutch we would ask, where to enter, front door, backdoor, kitchen door? In tagalog it is understood, where you enter. Wondering where it is coming from….?

What is language? - Chapter 11

What is language? - Chapter 11


What is the anatomy of language and language deficits?

Of all the higher functions that human possess, language is perhaps the most specialized and refined, and it may well be what most clearly distinguishes us from other species. Language input can be auditory or visual, so both of the sensory and perceptual systems are involved with language comprehension. Split-brain patients, as well as patient with lateralized, focal brain lesions have taught us that a great deal of language processing is lateralized to the left-hemisphere regions surrounding the Sylvian fissure. The language areas of the left hemisphere include Wernicke's area and Broca's area. These brain areas and their interconnections via white matter tracts form the left perisylvian language network. 

Before neuroimaging, most of what was discerned about the neural bases of language processing came from studying patients who had brain lesions that resulted in various types of aphasia. Aphasia is a broad term referring to the collective deficits in language comprehension and production that accompany neurological damage. Aphasia may also be accompanied by speech problems caused by the loss of control over articulatory muscles, known as dysarthia, and deficits in the motor planning of articulations, apraxia. There is also a form of aphasia were the patient is unable to name objects, this is called anomia

Broca's aphasia

Broca's aphasia is the oldest and perhaps the most-studied form of aphasia. Broca observed by patient Leborgne that he had a brain lesion in the posterior portion of the left inferior frontal gyrus, now referred to as Broca's area. In the most severe form of Broca's aphasia, singleutterance patterns of speech are often observed. The speech of patients with Broca's aphasia is often telegraphic (containing only content words and leaving out the function words that have only grammatical significance, such as prepositions and articles). Broca's aphasia patients are often aware of their errors and have a low tolerance for frustration. Broca's aphasia patients also have a comprehension deficit related to the syntax, the rules governing how words have to be put together in a sentence. Often only the most basic and overlearned grammatical forms are produced and comprehended - this is known as agrammatic aphasia

Wernicke's aphasia

Wernicke's aphasia is a disorder primarily of language comprehension: patients with this syndrome have difficulty understanding spoken or written language and can sometimes not understand language at all. Their speech is fluently with normal prosody and grammar, but what they say is often nonsensical. Wernicke performed autopsies

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Basic language activity

Basic language activity

Education Category: Language
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Basic language learning activities

There are many fun and instructive activities for children that can be used to develop basic language skills and teach them to be attentive.
Small children need to move a lot and lively activities with a specific learning goal are a healthy and fun way to keep them in motion under a teacher's guidance.
Learning to cool down and focus on a task that requires attention is also an important switch and essential for their development in the preceding learning stages.

Lively activities:

Roll the ball:

Age: All
Time: 5 minutes
Language aims: question and answer
Other aims: motor skills, eye-hand co-ordination
Description: children by rolling a ball to each other, ask and answer questions.
Materials: A small ball (such as a tennis ball).

Preparation: Choose which question and answers you want to practice.  Spend one or two minutes teaching and exercising.

In class:
1. Children sit down in a circle.
2. Roll the ball to one of the kids and ask a question that you'd like to exercise (for example: questions starting with 'Wh' in English .  'What's your name?  What color is the ball ?...' etc.
3. Let them reply the question and roll the ball to another one
4. Encourage them to start a conversation together: example: The one who rolls the ball asks a question, the one that holds the ball replies the question etc.
7. When one of them answers,let him roll the ball and ask a new(or same) question etc.

This might seem a bit laborious but once the children get the idea they will see it as a game and have fun while learning.
Older children can throw and catch a ball instead of rolling the ball!

Pass the ball:

Age: All
Time: 5-10 minutes
Language aims: whatever language you want to practice.
For example: children could practice saying:  
My name is  ... Or I'm four years old, colors, names of the animals or instruct them using imperative verbs such as 'Run around the circle' or Touch your toes...' etc.
Other aims: use music and movement to language
Description: The children pass a ball while the music is playing. When music stops, they practice the target language.
Materials: A music player, some lively music, a small ball.

In class:
1. Children sit in a circle
2. Pass the ball to each other while the music is playing
3. When the music stops they also stop and you can start a conversation with the child holding the ball such as: ' My name's Pedro , what is your name? '
4. Encourage the chat by thanking.
5. Repeat the activity

If you have a large class, only few children will get a chance to rehearse but they also do so mentally in case they would be holding the ball.
The excitement of the game will involve them all.

Variation: Put pictures to  words using cards in a box or a bag. They pass this round while the music is playing. When the music stops, they take out a picture and say what it is.

Go find:

Age: All
Time: 5-10 minutes
Language aims: follow instructions, practice vocabulary, introduce a useful chapter in learning a language
Description: The teacher defines and children try to find the correct picture.
Materials: Pictures of vocabulary items you want to practice.

Preparation: Cut out or draw large pictures of the vocabulary you want to practice and stick these on the wall.

In class:
1. Walk to the first picture and teach the word then let them repeat.
2. Do the same with other pictures.
3. You can instruct by calling one of the children :
Calling : 'Andreas, come here, please '
When Andreas arrives you can mime or instruct 'Go to the bus '.
If he performs the right way show your appreciation by exclamations and thanking 'Well done! Great! Thanks you!'
If he is not sure, Help him by giving hints, mimicking and of course  you can hold his hand and take him to the bus.
4. Repeat the procedure with other children.

Older children may like a competitive element. You could call out two children and give them both an instruction, for example: Andreas, go and find a bus and Mohammed, go and find a plane. The first one to get there is the winner.

Fetch:

Age: All
Time: 5-10 minutes
Language aims: to follow instructions, to revise vocabulary
Description: The children listen to instructions and fetch the correct item.
Materials: Some objects or pictures of vocabulary you have already introduced in a previous lesson.

In class:
1. Show the children the objects or pictures and practice the vocabulary.
2. Spread the things and pictures on the floor.
3. Call out one of the children and request them to do some tasks according to your instruct :
'Marta~ could you fetch me a rabbit~ please?' If she has difficulty understanding, go with her to pick up the rabbit image and then let her to fetch it for you.
4. Continue in the same way, getting different children fetch things.

Follow-up:
1 Place objects or pictures in different places around the room before the children come in.
2 Get the children go and fetch pictures and objects according to your instructions.

Point at:

Age: All
Time: 5-10 minutes
Aims: Language: follow instructions, practice vocabulary.
Description: Children find and point at the correct picture.
Materials: Images of the vocabulary you will practice

In class:
1. Show the children the pictures and teach or revise the words then stick the pictures on a board.
2. Then ask them who can point at a tree image on the board. Help them when they have difficulty by giving hints or by pointing at the correct image.
3. Rearrange the images and repeat the exercise.

Drawing on the board:

Age: 4,5,6
Time: 5-10 minutes
Aims: Language: practicing names of the body
Description: Children draw on the board following the teacher's instructions.
Materials: Board and chalk or board-pen.

In class:
1.  Draw a head , body together with children.
2. Everyone adds something to the image.
3. Invite different children to add different features until the drawing is completed.

Children love being allowed to draw on the board using the teacher's chalk or board-pen.

Variation: draw on a sheet of paper at the same time and pass on their drawings, and combine them to a body by naming the parts.

Simon says:

Age: All
Time: 5 minutes
Aims: Language: listening, following instructions, parts of the body, classroom vocabulary
Description: The children listen and carry out the instructions only when 'Simon' tells them to'

In class:
1. Explain to the class that you are going to give them a set of instructions but they must only apply when you say 'Simon says'.
(You can change this to fit any current popular characters such as 'Robocop says!')
2.  Explain the instructions by performing these yourself at first:
Simon says touch your nose.
Simon says touch the fioor.
Simon says stand on one leg.

Then let them apply the same

Be sure they touch the nose when you say ' Simon says Touch your nose' only and not when you'd say ' Touch your nose' just!

3. If you have a child who is very confident and speaks well, you could let her/him give some of the instructions.

Calming activities:

These activities encourage the children to put their attention on a task, work quietly and independently, develop cognitive skills and visual recognition, prepare them to Primary School.

Recognition:

Age:  4, 5
Time: 5-10 minutes
Language Aims: learn to follow instructions, practice vocabulary
Other aims: visual recognition
Description: Children select an object in a picture following the teacher's instructions.
Materials: Crayons

Preparation: Draw some objects on a sheet of paper. Make one copy for each child. And introduce names od basic geometrical figures.

In class:
1. Draw some animals on the board, for example: a snake, a sheep, a bird, a cat.
2. You can then tell the class 'Let's draw a circle around the cat , a triangle around the bird, a square around the dog etc. '
3. Ask the class who would like to draw shapes around the animals.
4. Invite different children to draw different shapes.
5. Hand out worksheets and tell the children to draw a circle around the fish and continue by coloring

With older children you can say, for example, Color the snake in green, Color the bird in brown, and so on.

Activities for language learning

Warmers & Finishers

Information about warmers & finishers:

Warmers:
Warmers are often class activities with the children focused on the teacher, the board, or flashcards.
They may be simple activities, games which need minor explanation, they are short, easy and usually familiar to the children.
This means that all the children can perform the activity easily and start the lesson on a positive note.
Warmers help the children make a transition from their previous classes to the English class, allow them to make use of their knowledge skills, create connections between one class to the next one and usually by recalling they can add  previous learnings to actual the topic of the lesson. They can also be a useful informal assessment instruments for the teacher to measure the level of the children and modify the  lesson if necessary .

Finishers:
Finishers mark the end of the lesson: they may well draw the threads of the lesson together, often by using a different context or medium which allows the children to transfer their learnings. Finishers do not introduce anything new but consolidate the material that has already been covered.  It is essential to review learnings at the end of a lesson and this can be done by asking questions that can reflect on the 'how's rather than the 'what's of a lesson.
It is more difficult to define activities suitable for finishers. You may wish to end your class quietly and thoughtfully in which case a finisher will probably be a written activity done individually which requires the children to apply what they have been learning in some way or you may feel that the children have been working intensely and need something that enables them to let off steam, so you can finish with a whole class activity like a game or a song. Like warmers. A finisher can allow a teacher to asses how much of the material covered has been absorbed and what needs to be revised and recycled.

Some ideas for warmers:

Find the pair:
Stick some flashcards in a row on the board and some word cards in a row underneath them. Number each card. Ask a child to name two numbers and turn the corresponding card over. If they match, the child keeps them and gets another turn. If they don't another child can call out two more numbers.

The numbers dance:
Prepare flashcards using the numbers from zero to nine so that each child in the class gets one / or a set.
Set a lively music and let them move/ dance and form groups of 2(easier)
when the music stops Let them show their numbers and name them.

As an advanced exercises they can combine two numbers and name the numbers of tenths (group of 2) , hundredths (group of 3),  order the numbers etc.

Some ideas for finishers:

Conduct a chant:
Teach the children these gestures: hands together for slow. hands apart for fast, hands down for quiet and hands up for loud. Ask for a volunteer to conduct a chant that the class already knows.

Classify words:
Prepare a worksheet with a mixture of words (pictures of words) on it - they can be about different topics and be performed by different age groups: You can use the exercise to practice adjectives, nouns, verbs etc.  Challenge the children to categorize groups by using different shapes, colors .

 

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