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Learning a new language with LiveMocha
Guten Tag. Buon Giorno. хороший день. Beau Jour. Goede Dag.
Learning new languages can be one of the most fruitful, as well as challenging, activities you can do. Grammar, punctation, sentence structure; It all changes when a foreign book rests open in front of you. How best to conquer these chimeras of words?
Livemocha is one of those things you regret you haven't found yet. Teaching languages from English and French to Xhosa, and Wolof it's surprising to learn it's completely free. That's right, Livemocha breaks it all down nice and easy for you, at no charge.
Generally, You have to pay 50$ just to learn Spanish. With Livemocha you can be learning french, learning chinese, and study any number of foreign languages on the side. It all comes down to dedication. If your willing to put the time into it, it's a cinch to learn French.
Let's say you're fluent in English looking to learn a bit of the German language. You're sitting on the livemocha homepage, what next? There'll be two boxes in front of you. What language do you speak? What language do you wish to learn? Fill them in and enter the signup page. Filling in the profile, skipping the obvious, you'll come to a page asking about what languages you wish to learn. There's not as many languages here, you might see, as the first page checks your native tongues and what languages you proficient in to better match you with other students. How to learn Spanish you ask? Simple, Click on the lesson tab, or if the box is already open, the drop down menu. You simply select the language you want now. (If I was learning Mandarin, I would select Mandarin Chinese, then next) Now that your first lesson is open, what to expect?
Livemocha starts each lesson by introducing a word and having it pronounced for you. This makes learning new words easy and simple. Each word has a play button to allow you to repeat as much as needed till pronunciation is perfect. Below each word you'll have a translated box showing the word in your native tongue. The box above can swap between the written word and a pronunciation of the word. This lets you see exactly how they speak it; letting you relax and take time with each word till you have mastered it verbally. The bonus being you can read it in Chinese (for example) while grasping the verbal concept. Alongside each different page there are user tips as well; these let you see what top advice other members have for each word or phrase.
The first exercise continues as such, letting you read the words while speaking alongside native speakers. There are eight exercises a lesson, 4 mandatory and 4 optional. Allowing you to put in extra work on lessons where you need it. The mandatory exercises are Learn, Review, Write, Speak. Optional being Read, Listen, Magnet, Quiz.
The exercises are all designed to work different venues of communication whether verbal or text. Each exercise having you form the words together in new ways, if not learning new ones. Let's continue by looking at the rest of the mandatory exercises.
After learning the words you'll make it to review. Review has you take the words you've just acquired and use them to make sentences. Each question is different. Some of them you will be using the words spoken to you to match to given words. When you answer correctly your allowed into the next question. When you answer wrong, It's highlighted red and you have to pick the correct answer. This lets you see instantly what words you need improvement on.
他很瘦。 他很胖。 他个子高。 他个子矮。 我老了。 他很年轻。 那个男孩很年轻。 那个男人上了年纪。 那个女人上了年纪。 那个女孩很年轻。 那个女人个子高。 那个女孩个子矮。 你很有钱。 我很穷。
This is what a speaking exercise looks like. (In Mandarin Chinese at least) Don't worry, That's not as complex as it looks. At this stage you will have had each symbol read to you several times. Alongside the user tips, where most words are broken down to their roots, this is a cakewalk.
To start the exercise you'll hit add audio. A box will appear that says, start recording. Clicking on the button will start recording audio from your mic. You then speak each phrase best you can into the mic. After you've done that you hit the submit. Pretty simple.
This is where Livemocha shines though. You remember earlier when you had to submit your native language, right? Well, submissions that hits the website that match languages your proficient in will be sent to you to review. That means as soon as you begin taking these language courses you're already speaking to native speakers.
On top of those exercises there are a few extra to help improve your linguistic skills. These are Read, Listen, Magnet, Quiz. These aren't too different from earlier exercises but they do help improve your fluency.
Reading is a simple exercise. Similiar to when you first learned the words, they show you pictures from the lesson and you match words to one of the pictures. When you get it correct, they show another question. When you get it wrong the answer highlights red so you can pick the correct answer.
Listening is almost the same. You hear the word instead of reading it. You then select the correct picture that matches the word.
Magnet is an interesting one. When you start this exercise you'll be greeted by a phrase or word in your native tongue. Below that is a selection of words that are draggable. This exercise consists of you taking the draggable words and forming the word show in your native tongue.
Quiz wraps the lesson up. It's pretty self explanatory. You have fourty (40) questions to answer. They can range from any of the exercises, it's a toss-up. Each question has 30 seconds to be answered. Below that is a timer showing you the total time taken so far. This exercise really helps show you what your slow at. After the timer expires, if your unable to answer, the correct answer flashes and the next question pops up.
Pros - Cons
Pros - It's hard to beat this kind of quality for free. You get access to native speakers, free language tools and exercises, etc. All that's asked is that you occasionally review a couple submissions. Which is completely optional as well. Each activity done on the website earns you points which can be used in the future to pay for the more detailed courses. There's also a way to earn some cash by teaching your language to other people on the site by becoming a "teacher"
Cons - The only problem I've found with this website after using it for months myself is that some of the grammar isn't explained. The 4 tones in Mandarin Chinese aren't elaborated on for example. However, working hand in hand with native speakers helps alleviate the grammar problems pretty quickly.
Overall, If your looking to brush up on any language this is what I would recommend.
- Learn with Livemocha.
If you've read the article you know how easily Livemocha can help you learn another language. Click this link to visit their homepage.
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DogGodFrogLog (author) from Multiverse on October 29, 2009:
Nice, my first 90 hub.
DogGodFrogLog (author) from Multiverse on October 25, 2009:
You're right, I can't believe It slipped my mind.