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The Language Learning Advisor Newsletter, Issue #006
November 11, 2007
Welcome to Issue #006 of the Language Learning Advisor Newsletter! As usual, I have an abundance of work to do on the site and I am generally in over my head! Thanks to the many readers and visitors who have offered advice and inspired me to keep improving the site. I truly appreciate it and admire the work you have done and the success you have all had as language learners!

This month, a new addition to the site, Language Learners Give Back!, represents a new milestone for the site. It's another step forward and a way for the site to be even more productive and meaningful.

Of course, we have our regular updates on recent additions to the site, as well as new resources and the ever-popular Language Learning Tip of the Month. This month we're talking about podcasts!

A brief review of Rosetta Stone will be followed in the upcoming weeks by a much more in-depth look at one of the most popular language methods.

Language Learners Give Back!

For a long time I've wanted the site to really give something back. Until now it hasn't been feasible. But, I've finally found a charitable organization that allows my site to do that on an appropriate level.

I've partnered with to fund some small projects for public school students studying foreign languages. It's a great idea that allows small sites like mine to contribute something to a good cause. The flexibility to choose the projects to fund, and the fact that they are only asking for a few hundred dollars in many cases, makes it very appealing. It is an easy charity to work with and we can immediately see the results of our giving.

I urge you to consider donating something to help their cause. Even $1 can make a real difference. Visit Language Learners Give Back! on the site, or go directly to Help Public School Kids by Funding my Challenge at DonorsChoose

Recent Additions

There is no shortage of interesting languages in the world. There are so many that have regional or local importance and long and interesting histories. Tagalog is another Asian language that I have added a page for as I continue to focus on more non-European languages.

There are a number of new visitor contributions to the site. Using Romanian on a Mission Trip and one visitors Pimsleur review entitled Pimsleur Spanish CD Set are just two of several new additions to the site from other language learners. Read what they and other language learners have to say or add your own contribution. What are you waiting for? Let's hear your story!

Language Learning Tip of the Month - Podcasts

Podcasts are one of the best new ways for us language learners to get information for free. They represent the best of what the internet has to offer.

Podcasts are cheap. You can't beat the price - free! There are some podcasts or podcast extras (like accompanying PDF transcripts) that you have to pay for, but the majority of podcasts are free. The quality of most are good, and some are excellent, even rivalling commercially produced language learning products.

There are a wide variety of podcast types available. Depending on the language, of course, there are productions for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. There are tutorials, podcasts on culture and history, slang etc.

Look for podcasts made especially for learners, but also for fluent speakers of your target language. You may find some with lots of music, different speakers, different regional accents or some other particular slant that you may find helpful to listen to, even if you only understand a little.

As this site visitor says, podcasts can be a great addition to your normal study routine.

New Resources

ArchieComics Did you ever try to read a comic or cartoon in your new language? Archiecomics has a few examples of this famous comic strip in French, Greek, Norwegian, Swedish, German, Korean, and Spanish! This site has links for internet TV channels from around the world.

Seasite This is a supersite for learning South-East Asian languages and culture. There are tutorials, audio, music, games and culture for Tagalog, Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, Indonesian and other languages.

Rosetta Stone

Rosetta Stone is one of the most recognizable names in language learning. We can see their ads in magazines, across the internet and even on tv. They're obviously very successful at marketing their language learning software, but how good is it?

Some people love Rosetta Stone and others hate it. Why? I think it is simply a clash of learning styles. If Rosetta Stone doesn't click with your learning style, you will probably be disappointed, especially considering it's relatively high price. Pimsleur suffers from a similar problem.

Beat the high price of the best language methods! Ask for Rosetta Stone, Pimsleur, FSI and other popular courses in public libraries! If they don't have it, they may be able to order it for you.
I do have Rosetta Stone for several languages and I do like the software and use it. However, due to my learning style and its ease of use, I prefer Pimsleur to Rosetta Stone. But it also has a high price tag and probably a few more limitations than Rosetta Stone. I can easily see someone else preferring Rosetta Stone.

You need to define your learning style before you buy. I stress on the website that people should shop around before buying a core language learning method. But, if you can adapt Rosetta Stone to your learning style (and it is fairly flexible), or adapt your study regimen to what Rosetta Stone has to offer, the price is justified.

At its core, it's pretty comprehensive. It gives a good foundation in the language, a basic understanding of grammar, a good base of vocabulary and some experience reading the language. I think it works great when coupled with another method like a book-based course. But, I say that about any language method!

The best way to find out is to visit Rosetta Stone and download the demo and try it yourself!

Until Next Time

Keep practicing, reading, listening and studying. Remember to do something with or in your new languages every day. Set goals and re-evaluate often.

Exciting things are afoot for the site in upcoming months, so stay tuned!


"Any language is necessarily a finite system applied with different degrees of creativity to an infinite variety of situations, and most of the words and phrases we use are “prefabricated” in the sense that we don’t coin new ones every time we speak."

David Lodge

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