My favorite website for learning languages – Guest post by JannaM of Janna’s English Blog and LingQ

The post below was published by JannaM on her webite http://englishbyjanna.wordpress.com/ and is reproduced here with her express permission. Janna went to the same university as I did and she has extensive experience with just about every Romance language there is, so don’t be afraid to take her advice about language learning to heart. She created “Janna’s English Blog” for her students in Spain and all the rest of you English learners out there, so be sure to follow the link and check out all the great content!

My favorite website for learning languages

Posted on March 31, 2011 by jannamelissa

The Internet is a very useful tool to help you learn English (or any other language). There are many useful resources on the Internet. Soon I will post a longer list of useful resources. But first I just wanted to highlight one website that I have found to be particularly useful in my own experience, learning Portuguese, Spanish, and some Italian.

The website is called LingQ, and the URL is www.lingq.com. It is an input-based learning system, which means that you increase your fluency by focusing heavily on listening and reading, and less on grammar.

In your regular language classes you might be frustrated or bored of focusing so much on grammar. There is a better way, and that is focusing on hearing and seeing the language as much as possible, so that the grammatical structures are naturally reinforced in your brain, without directly studying them. You should listen to/read the language in a wide variety of contexts and situations, with all the different grammar items mixed together—the way it is in a real conversation.

The benefit of LingQ is you can create a FREE account, and have access to unlimited free podcasts with transcripts. You can also download the MP3s and put it on your iPod or MP3 player. You can also use their system to easily learn new vocabulary words (it has a built-in automatic dictionary), so it makes reading new material in English a lot less tedious. There is also a tool for online flashcards (vocabulary cards), but you have to pay for this feature. However, the basic membership price is very reasonable—only $10 per month.

Here is a short video introduction of LingQ (demonstrating how it works):

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I am currently a member of LingQ with the basic membership and I find it to be a very helpful system for learning various languages. I personally recommend it to you because I think you might find it to be helpful in your efforts to learn English. The more you read and listen and study using LingQ, the more you will benefit from your conversation classes. It’s necessary to practice both—reading and listening (input) along with speaking and writing (output). I can help you with speaking in my classes, but it’s up to you to read and listen outside of class to improve more. It’s not enough to just speak for one hour per week.

Another advantage of LingQ is you can import any articles you read anywhere on the Internet. So you can even import this blog post and use LingQ to look up all the words you don’t understand!

If you’re like me, you will find LingQ to be a fun and even addicting way to learn a language. The most effective language learning system is one that is fun, that you enjoy doing, so you will feel motivated and continue. In my opinion that includes things like reading books in English, watching TV shows and movies, listening to music, but also studying that language more intensely (examining new vocabulary, for example), and LingQ is a very helpful medium for that, another tool for you to use.

Try LingQ, and tell me what you think! If you do use it, please click on this link so we can be friends on LingQ.

And if you’d like to contact me on LingQ, just do a search for “DavidMartin” on the friends page once you’ve signed up for a free account! Thank you Janna!

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