Menu

Neil Kendall Languages

The Language Learning Challenge

Blog Component

A comprehensive review of Linkword German and how it has helped me learn German

October 10, 2017

Readers of this blog will be aware that earlier this year I successfully went through the Linkword Spanish and Linkword Japanese courses. Well, since then I have also been learning German with the Linkword Method too. I'd like to write a blog post about how I got on....and I must warn you this could be a long one!

Years ago when I was in high school I studied German while there, but upon leaving could not speak the language, and years later could not remember hardly a word of it. Having developed a passion for language learning later in my life, I decided to try learning German from the perspective of an adult and someone who now has some real world experience of language learning. But more to the point, I was keen to see how the Linkword method would work for learning German.

I want to start by saying that I'm a big fan of the Linkword Method, created by Dr. Michael Gruneberg. I'm not in any way affiliated with Linkword, so this will be an unbiased review based upon my own experiences. For those of you who haven't read my reviews of the Spanish and Japanese courses, Linkword involves learning vocabulary and grammar using visualisations to create a little memory hook/mnemonic in your mind's eye. You essentially think of an English word or phrase (or part of/more than one word or phrase) that sounds like the word in the foreign language you're trying to learn, and you create an image in your mind linking this with the meaning of the foreign word, which then serves to help you remember and recall the word for later use - hence the term 'Linkword'. 

For example, the German word for railway is 'Eisenbahn'. This sounds a bit like the English words 'ice' and 'barn'. So you could imagine in your mind's eye a visualisation of a person shoveling ice into a barn next to a railway, thus helping you remember the German word for 'railway' more easily. Because you are using both the left and right sides of your brain, recall speeds up and it also makes the process of learning words much more stimulating than simply trying to memorise them parrot-fashion.

All Linkword courses give you ready made visualisations like this for every word, so you do not need to come up with any of your own.

Of course, there is much more to Linkword Method than simpy memorising a list of words. You are also taught grammar and asked to construct/translate sentences using what you've been taught, which gets you using the language in the context of real sentences and phrases so you can actually speak and use it. 

So anyway, let's get onto how the Linkword Method is applied to German, and how it worked out for me!...

An overview of the German Linkword course

Linkword German comes in 4 Levels, each level consisting of 10 or 11 sections, and it takes roughly 45 minutes to an hour and a half to complete each section depending on its complexity. Each level teaches approx 300 - 400 words, meaning you will have learned around 1200 words by the end of all 4 levels. 

Generally, words are taught in blocks of between 5 and 10 at a time, then you are given a test on the words, followed by a short grammar point tutorial, and then you are given some sentences to translate from English to German and vice versa. This keeps things manageable and you get a real sense of progress as you go through the course.

As with other Linkword courses, you can choose which format your prefer to learn with - when you purchase, you get the course in mp3 audio format (or on cd), PC or Mac software, as well an app for Android. The content is exactly the same for each version, the only difference being that the software and app versions include writing practice in addition to audio. For me, I started out by going through the mp3 audio course first, then I went through the PC software version to learn the reading and writing element of German. One can equally start with the software version first, but it was simply my personal preference to do it this way.

Categories of vocabulary taught include adjectives, common everyday verbs for the present and past tense forms, auxilliary/modal verbs, adverbs, common everyday phrases, as well as nouns for animals, furniture, colours, household items, numbers, days of the week, months of the year, seasons, food and drink, shopping, business words, travel and tourism, illness and ailments, clothing, family, car words, places in town, countryside, weather, tools, parts of the body, household items, emotions, musica instruments, sports, flowers and plants, cinema and theatre, prepositions, etc.

Grammar points taught include the present tense, future tense, simple and perfect past tense verbs forms, reflexive verbs, auxiliary/modal verbs, most types of pronouns, sentence order and structure, comparatives, superlatives, as well as covering some of the more difficult aspects of German such as adjectives, plurals, as well as how articles change in certain parts of sentence (i.e. whether they are before the subject or object of a sentence) and after prepositions, and not forgetting 

In short, this course is extremely comprehensive in terms of what is covered. There is also a glossary at the end of each section, which is invaluable in helping one revise the vocabulary they've learned in that particular section. I should also mention that Linkword German also applies the method to teach the genders of each noun, which I'll discuss in the next section....

The tricky aspects of German, and how Linkword deals with them

Although many words in German are similar to their English equivalents (since part of English comes from German; English vocabulary for the most part being a 'hybrid' of French and German words), certain aspects of German grammar are very tricky and pose learners with quite a challenge when trying to become fluent in the language. In this respect, German is quite a bit different from English. I'd like to write about these challenges in this section and how, in my opinion, Linkword makes them much easier to understand than with traditional methods:

1) Genders of nouns - unlike English, German has 3 different possible genders for each noun (der, die and das, for 'the' and 'ein' or 'eine' for 'a' or 'an'), and in many cases there is no way to figure out what the gender is by looking at the word alone (note: there are some particular word endings and word groups in German that follow certain gender rules, but for the vast majority of words it's not possible to figure out the gender in any logical kind of way, unlike Spanish, for example where you can mostly tell by the ending of a word as to where it's masculine or feminine). This means that genders must be memorised when learning a word.

To make things even more difficult for a learner, if one gets the gender of a word wrong then several knock on mistakes will happen later on down the line - you see, the der, die, and das articles change into den, dem etc at certain points in a sentences and/or after prepositions etc, so if you get the gender wrong in the first place then you will inevitably get the den/dem forms wrong as well. To put it mildly, this can be really frustrating for the aspiring German learner!

How Linkword deals with this issue: Fortunately, the Linkword method is applied to learning genders, making it no problem at all to memorise the particular gender of a word. After you've been taught a block of nouns, you are then taught (and tested on) the genders of each one. The way Linkword teaches genders is to visualise each word with something feminine for feminine nouns, something masculine for masculine words, and something more neutral for neuter words (hint: it's to do with a boxer, a little girl and fire...but you have to get the course to find out more!). You're given easy to remember images for each one, making it easy and enjoyable to learn genders. 

Dr. Gruneberg mentioned to me that some people favour learning genders of words in the same visualisation as for the initial word, whereas Linkword teaches separate visualisations for the gender. I see no problem with this, and it was very effective for me (more on that later).

2) Word order of sentences - When forming sentences in German, the word order can be tricky. For example if there are 2 verbs in a sentences, the second always goes at the end, and certain other words can send the verb to the end of a clause or sentence too.

How Linkword deals with this issue: Once again, Linkword comes up trumps. Word order is explained in amongst the grammar points taught, in a short and concise way that makes it easy to understand and apply. Also, by doing the sentence practice exercises in Linkword, word order becomes more second nature.

3) The case with 'den' for nouns - You'll have forgive me, dear reader, as I don't know the technical grammatical term for this point, so don't send the 'grammar police' after me....however in German, if a masculine noun is the object of a sentence rather than the subject, the article 'der' changes to 'den' (and likewise, 'ein' changes to 'einen'). This can pose problems if one doesn't know this grammar rule, or worse, if they don't memorise the genders of nouns in the first place!

How Linkword deals with this issue: As I've already mentioned, the first 'issue' Linkword solves is that of memorising genders. But the grammar points for the 'der to den'/'ein to einen' case is once again explained in a short and sweet way that makes it uncomplicated to comprehend. It's just a simple rule, that once explained and practiced becomes second nature also.

4) Articles changing after prepositions, and inactive vs active prepositions - Yet another potentially problematic element of German grammar is that fact that after prepositions, the articles der, die and das (and therefore ein, eine) can change to dem or der (and following on from this, ein, eine to einer and einem). To make this doubly difficult, there are 2 main categories of prepositions in German - inactive and active - and the rule for how the articles change after these is different for each category. It's enough to drive even the most dedicated language learner crazy!

How Linkword deals with this issue: As ever, good old Linkword breaks this down into the clearest, most concise to follow explanation, and you are given ample opportunity to practice this grammar point in the context of sentences until it is etched into your mind and seems totally natural. Yes, I know it sounds like I'm repeating myself a bit here, but I'm just making the point about how well explained the grammar in Linkword German is :-)

5) Adjectives - Another maddeningly frustrating facet of German is adjectives. The ending of an adjective can change depending upon many different things - the position of the adjective in the sentence, whether it's after a definite or indefinite article etc. How on earth can the language learner get their head around such a dilema?

How Linkword deals with this issue: Luckily, there is actually a logical pattern to German adjectives, and unlike most grammar books which just over-compicate things and make your head spin, Linkword breaks it down and explains the pattern/rules of German adjectives nice and succinctly, leaving it clear in your mind as to the endings, especially after you've practiced sentences with adjectives for a while. This point is also revised at various points in the course too, further reinforcing it.

6) Plurals - Unlike English, Spanish or a lot of other languages, there is no simple or definite pattern to making German nouns into their plural form, thus potentially leaving the learner with a lot of head scratching.

How Linkword deals with this issue: At the risk of sounding like I'm contradicting myself here, there ARE actually a few logical patterns/rules to forming plurals in German, although the fact remains that even if you follow these patterns/rules you won't always be correct all of the time because there are often exceptions to these rules. However, Linkword once again teaches these patterns/rules so that you won't be confused at all, and further reassures you that even if you get a plural wrong, natives will most likely still be able to understand you, therefore you shouldn't be put off from trying to speak German with them for fear of getting a plural ending wrong!

7) Forming the past tense form of verbs with 'have' (the 'perfect tenses') - In German, when one uses the past tense with 'have', for example 'I have eaten' or 'I have spoken' etc, although there is a general pattern for the 'have' part and the fact that most past tense verbs add 'ge' at the beginning in this form, there is no set way to tell what the ending of the verbs in this form will be (they can either end in 't' or 'en'). So how on earth is a learner supposed to handle this, without having to memorise them parrot fashion? 

How Linkword deals with this issue: Fortuntately Linkword comes to the rescue again! Everything is made really simple - if a past tense verb ends in 't', you are asked to visualise it with with a 'tea' (the kind that you drink, obviously...), and if it ends in 'en' then you visualise it with a 'hen'. You're then tested on them to make sure they've sunk in. This is a simple yet ingenious way of handling one of the frustrating aspects of the past tense in German.

8) Forming the simple past tense of verbs - One more tricky point about the past tense in German is with the simple past tense, i.e. the past tense without 'have', for example 'I ate', 'I spoke', 'I bought' etc. Like a lot of verbs in English, when you go into the simple past tense in German there is no obvious way to know what the verb changes to. As a result, a lot of German learners are left with no option but simply memorise parrot fashion the simple past form (as well as the past tense form with 'have'). Surely there is a better, more efficient way, right?

How Linkword deals with this issue: In answer to the question I just typed, yes there is a better way to deal with the simple past tense in German, and to my mind this was the most creative and impressive part of Linkword German. Essentially, Linkword notes that verbs in the simple past differ from the infinitive form by either adding a 't' or by changing certain vowels into other vowels. The result is that you are given simple visualisations of some words beginning with these vowels, thus meaning you can easily remember the vowel change for the simple past form, without any parrot fashion type straining. I was super impressed by this point and have never seen anything like this explained anywhere else.

So, how did Linkword German work for me?

As the old saying goes, 'the proof of the pudding is in the eating'....so let me examine how Linkword German worked out for me. I'll start by saying I found German a harder language than Spanish, and possibly even Japanese, mainly because of the more complex grammar that German has in comparison to these other languages, and as a result it took me a fair bit longer to get through than the previous courses. That might also have been down to the fact that I have been learning several languages at once this year, which inevitably made things take a bit longer.

However, I can confidently say that Linkword German worked out great for me and is a really impressive course. I started with the mp3 audio version, and generally would go through 1 or 2 sections each day to make it manageable for myself. If you have more time, you can definitely work through it a lot quicker; this was simply a pace that worked for me. I found it easy to remember most of the words and genders taught (and it was no big deal to forget the odd one, because it's easy enough to revise the ones you don't get right), and therefore the memory hook visualisations were effective.

As for the grammar, I really liked how Linkword explained everything, including the more complex aspects, in an easy to follow and concise way. I find most grammar books a bit frustrating - often it's like reading a scientific manual because they are written in such a dry and formal sort of way, and you don't end up helping you to actually speak or use the language. However, the explanations of the grammar in Linkword made it clear and accessible to me. Sometimes I had to listen to/read through the more complex points a few times to truly get them, but that is to be expected for anyone really.

Where I'm at now is that I feel I have quite a comprehensive vocabulary in German, and that I could communicate in many everyday situations. I feel I've also got a pretty good command of the grammar too, but that I'll have to continue practicing it to make it second nature to me. 

I've also recently started reading various music and sports articles in German, and can understand a decent amount of what I'm reading thanks to what I've learned in Linkword. There is still a long way to go before I am able to understand in more detail what I read, but Linkword has provided me a very good start with that.

I wouldn't say I'm fluent in German, but again I feel Linkword has given me a really good overview of the German language and a great foundation to build upon, as well as all the tools I need to expand my vocabulary and master the grammar with continued study. And most importantly, I can REMEMBER what I have learned.

In summary, from what I've looked in, I think Linkword German is one of the best and most comprehensive German courses on the market, so I'd highly recommend it. I've learned more German in the last 6 months than I did in my entire time at high school, so I think that speaks volumes about the quality of this course (as well as the failings about how languages are taught school - but that's a subject for another blog post!).

I'd also like to thank Mr Gruneberg for creating the course and for his generosity in allowing me to try it out. Linkword is definitely helping me to achieve my polyglot dreams :-)

I am looking forward to learning more languages with Linkword Method (in fact I will be going through Linkword French very soon) so expect more blog posts about that in the future.

Auf Wiedersehen, meinen Freunden!

By the way, if this review has peaked your curiosity about the Linkword method, please visit their website at www.linkwordlanguages.com to find out more. They also have a special autumn offer of all 15 of their language courses for only £24.99 (yes, for all 15, grab it while you can), as well as a FREE BONUS of all their language 'survival courses' when you purchase their language courses (subject to end at any time, so don't blame me if it's gone by the time you read this post :-) )

How to immerse yourself in a language on your own, without native speakers or moving to another country

September 22, 2017

It has often been said that a good way to improve your skills in another language is to practice with native speakers or even to visit or move to a country where it is spoken, the idea being that you will get to immerse yourself in the language a lot more. Whilst there certainly is merit in this advice, I'd like to share some of my thoughts on what you can do by yourself. Is immersion in a foreign language really possible without moving abroad? Here are some ways you can integrate another language into your everyday life even if you live in a country where it's not the main language:

1) Start thinking in the language

Everybody has an 'internal voice' that they use when processing thoughts inside their own head. As you go about your day, you will no doubt talk to yourself internally, thinking about things you need to do that day, mulling over the past, the future, about how you feel etc. I have no doubt also that you probably do this in your native language. Well, here's a novel idea - start thinking in whatever language you're trying to learn!

Ok, I haven't gone completely mad by recommending this! It is actually a really good idea, and an excellent way to internalise a new language. You see, you are thinking thoughts all day long - it could be things like 'I have to go to the shops to get some bread and milk''I need to reply to John's email', 'I'm getting hungry, I should make some dinner soon' or maybe 'I need to sleep soon because I'm tired' etc. But you could do this in another language too!

It won't be easy at first. You have to consciously make an effort to think in another language, but once you get used to it, it's not too difficult. If you can't figure out a way in the foreign language to think whatever it is you were thinking in your native language, try to think of another, simpler way of expressing the same thought, and if that still doesn't work then go online and find out how to say the word or phrase that you're stuck on. If you make a conscious effort to think in another language, it will soon become a lot more natural, but not only that - you will be simultaneously practicing and improving your knowledge of the language!

2) Read anything you currently read in your native language in the language you're learning instead

You probably read the news, or articles about your favourite subject or sport etc fairly regularly, perhaps on various websites on the internet. You might like to read music news, blog posts, articles about your favourite sport, business, current affairs, celebrity gossip, the weather, etc. Well, why not start doing this in another language instead? Again, at first it won't be easy, but what will happen is that over time your reading skills will improve, and you will find yourself understanding a lot more of what you read.

I've recently started reading music and Formula 1 news in Spanish and German. I have found it has massively improved my reading skills to do so. Obviously you have to have a certain amount of ability in a language to begin with, but once you've gone through a course such as Linkword or Michel Thomas Method, it's time to move on to reading in the language.

Here is the key to making this work: do not stop to look up words your don't understand in a dictionary (at least not at first). Just keep reading, and your brain will figure out the gist of what you are reading. What I have personally found is that you do not need to know what every word in a sentence means in order to understand the overall meaning of the sentence. I realise this sounds totally contradictory, but as I said, your brain has a way of 'filling in the blanks' if you understand some of the words, but not all of them.

The other key point is simply to relax and enjoy your reading - do not strain and do not try to figure out what you're reading, and do not translate it back to your native language in your head. Just keep reading. After a few weeks, months etc you'll be amazed at your progress.

Now, if you keep seeing a word repeated that you are not sure of, THEN you should look it up in the dictionary and make a mental note of it. The fact that you have seen this word repeatedly means it is used fairly frequently and is therefore worth looking up. But I am confident you find reading in another language very rewarding.

3) Write things you'd normally write in your native language in the foreign language

Of course, this might not always be possible if you are writing to people who only speak your native language, but perhaps you need to write down a list of tasks you need to do on a particular day, or make a shopping list of items you need to buy when you next go shopping. Why not write these things in the language you're learning instead?

4) Watch videos of tv dramas, cartoons, news, films etc in whatever language you're trying to learn.

Watching videos of people speaking the language you're trying to learn is a great way to improve your listening comprehension skills, and all helps you to put everything you're learned into context rather than it just being something you learned in a language course. The easiest way to do this is via Youtube, though you may be able to find sources online to enable you to watch tv from other countries from the comfort of your own computer. Start with simple things like kid's cartoons, then move on the drama series', news programmes, documentaries, films, and even interviews with famous people.

At first you might find it a struggle to comprehend what you're hearing, but after a while your brain will start to figure out what you're hearing and it will get easier. As with reading, you do not need to be able to understand every word you hear spoken to be able to understand the gist of what you're hearing.

It is my recommendation that you do not use subtitles or a transcript when watching videos in another language. Let your brain figure it out. Let your brain, in conjunction with your ears and eyes, 

5) Listen to music with lyrics sung in the language you're learning

One thing that can really enrich your life, as well as enhance your knowledge and appreciation of different cultures, is to search for artists who sing in whatever language you're trying to learn. For example, if you're learning Spanish, look up some famous Spanish rock or pop artists and then check out their songs on Youtube. You should also be able to find translations of their lyrics online too, which will help you a lot too. Feel free to sing along with the songs too!

6) Find radio stations and podcasts in the language you're learning

As with watching videos, if you listen to the radio and/or podcasts in the language you're learning, you will also improve your listening comprehension skills over time too. 

So there you go - I hope I have convinced you that you can 'immerse' yourself in another language all by yourself. Follow the tips in this article and you won't go wrong.

Continuing my Japanese studies by learning the plain form of verbs, plus the Hiragana and Katakana writing systems

September 20, 2017

Earlier this year, I started learning Japanese with various courses such as the Michel Thomas Method Japanese (both the Foundation and Advanced Courses), Linkword Japanese, and a method called Earworms Japanese which involves learning via music.

Whilst all these course were really good, one thing that was not taught was the plain form of the Japanese verbs, nor any of the writing systems used in Japanese. You see, there are two main levels of Japanese - the polite form, which is used when talking to people of higher status than you or to those in positions of power etc, and the plain/casual form, which is used only when talking to friends and family and those close to you. The Michel Thomas Method Japanese concentrates only on teaching the polite form, which is ok but a bit limiting if you wish to become fully fluent in Japanese. So I decided to read/watch some tutorials about the plain/casual form of the language, and how to conjugate the verbs etc. 

It was really difficult to find a decent tutorial that explained everything in a clear and easy to follow way. It seems to me that many websites that teach Japanese grammar do so in a very formal, dry sort of way that makes it like reading a scientific manual, thus just leaving the reader even more confused!

Anyway, I eventually found a gem of a site called www.kanji-link.com, which has some really amazing and easy to follow video tutorials about the verb structures of Japanese, including the plain/casual form of the language. I have been going through these videos recently and it's all starting to click for me. I've also started building up my vocabulary of common everyday verbs used in Japanese, and I will learn 200 to 300 of these in the next month or 2 so I can express myself in most situations.

And now onto the writing systems: Japanese has 3 different writing systems (4 if you include Romaji, a way of writing Japanese using roman writing) - Hiragana, Katakana, and then the Kanji characters. In recent weeks, I have been concentraing on Hiragana and Katakana via some excellent tutorials I found. The easiest way to learn to pronounce the Hiragana and Katakana characters (know as 'Kana) is to use mnemonics by thinking of something that the letter looks like that is also linked to how the character is pronounced - it could look like an object, and animal, a person, etc. Then you use that as a 'memory hook' in order to etch the pronunciation into your brain. For example there is one character that is pronounced 'Ya' that looks a bit like a Yak's head. The tutorials I have been going through give a mnemonic hook for every letter, then some exercises so that you can practice what you've learned. 

I have found it invaluable to start learning the Japanese writing systems, because a lot of grammar tutorials teach Japanese grammar with Hiragana, so it makes sense to learn these. Plus, there's just something really cool about being about to read in Japanese. To me, their writing systems look like a work of art. I will get to Kanji soon, which will be another big challenge as well, and I will write more on that soon.

The 'look and observe' method of learning vocabulary - the blindingly obvious method most language learners overlook

August 12, 2017

When learning vocabulary, I see a lot of language learners looking at lists of 'the top 100/200/500/1000 etc words in (whatever language they're learning)' as a source of inspiration for vocabulary they should focus on learning. Although this is a good method and certainly does have its merits, I would like to point out a much simpler, and blindingly obvious, method of figuring out what vocabulary is worth learning in order to reach fluency.

And what is that, I hear you ask? It's simple - just look all around you. Look and observe your life, and ask yourself:

1) which actions you perform on a daily basis (this will give you an idea of which verbs you need to learn)

2) what everyday objects/places etc do you use and/or encounter (both in and outside your house) on a daily basis (this will give you an idea of the nouns you need to learn to become fluent)

3) what are the most common emotions you feel during any given day, and what other ways do you describe nouns you use/encounter? (This will give you an idea of which adjectives you need to focus on learning in order to be able to express yourself properly).

As blindingly obvious as this is, it is a great starting point for deciding what vocabulary you need to learn in the language you're studying. See, a language is a communication system and to reach fluency in it, you need to be to able to navigate most everyday life situations within that language. Therefore by looking at and observing your life in the way I have just suggested, you will easily be able to notice the vocabulary you need to know in order to get to this level.

For example, when looking at which actions you perform each day, well the first thing we do is to wake up, then get up, then get dressed, then perhaps comb our hair, wash, brush our teeth, make some breakfast, wash the dishes. Then we might leave the house, lock the door, drive a car or take a form of public transport in order to go to work. We all eat and drink every day, and cook/prepare food. You might have to visit a supermarket and buy something, or go to the bank and deposit or withdraw money. You will definitely have to charge/recharge your mobile phone or computer during the day too. You will have to do things. You will go somewhere. You will come back. You will enter and exit buildings. No doubt you will telephone or text somebody. You will read and write something. You will speak, talk and say things to people. You will walk. You may run. You will visit someone. You probably use everyday items. No doubt you like to listen to music or watch tv, and plug and unplug things, as well as switch things on and off. You will stand up and sit down. And unless you're superhuman, you will need to sleep at the end of your day too.

The point being, is that all everyday actions, if consciously observed, are indicative of the verbs you should be learning in whatever language you're working on. The list above is simply SOME of the actions most people perform in a typical day, so I would suggest you get a piece of paper (or open a blank word document on your computer), and jot down the actions you do each day, and keep adding to it as you notice more. Make each of these into a verb in the 'to' form, such as 'to eat', 'to drink', then go to a quality dictionary such as wordreference.com and find the translations of each verb in whatever language you're learning, and write these down in your list. Then go about gradually memorisising each them.

Do the above not only with verbs, but look all around you at whatever everyday items you use and encounter, for example a knife, fork, plate, cup, cooker, door, window, car, bus, train, supermarket, bank, house etc. Then do the same with emotions such as happy, sad, content, frustrated, bored, excited, pleased, etc, and then common adjectives such as big, small, thick, thin, tall, short, fat, slim, high, low etc.

Before long you will have a good vocabulary that will allow you to communicate in pretty much any everyday situation. Whenever you notice a gap in your knowledge, something everyday that you just don't know how to say or describe, add that to your list of what you need to learn next.

Then once you've done this, you can go back to those lists of 'the 100/200/500/1000 etc' most common words/verbs etc in the language you're learning and consolidate what you've learned by learning these too. There will of course be a lot of overlap with what you already know, but that doesn't matter. 

An update on my language learning journey

August 11, 2017

Hi all, it's been a while since I wrote a blog post here, so I just thought I would write about how my language learning journey is going! In addition to Spanish, Japanese and Scottish Gaelic, I started learning German in April this year too.

Since I completed the Linkword Spanish course, I have also gone through the Michel Thomas Spanish courses (foundation, advanced and the language builder) and Earwords Spanish (Volumes 1, 2 and 3) and I have been building up my vocabulary by learning the most popular everyday verbs for most life situations. I have a Spanish contact in Colombia who has been really helpful with this. In addition to this, I've been using a Spanish flashcard website to further increase my vocabulary of nouns and other everyday vocabulary.

I joined some language exchange websites too, to practice writing in Spanish with native speakers (in exchange for helping them with their English). I regularly read articles on the Spanish website marca.com too. I am delighted with my progress in Spanish, and am well on the way to a high level of fluency.

For Scottish Gaelic, I have mostly been learning with a BBC Alba programme called 'Speaking Our Language', which I watch on Youtube. There are 4 series, 72 episodes in total. I am currently about 2 thirds of the way through series 3, and am very happy with my progress. Although I have a lot of work to do, I feel I'm getting there with Scottish Gaelic. A lot of my family speaks Gaelic, as do some people I know around Inverness, and I sometimes get a bit of Gaelic conversation practice in with them. I look forward to completing all 4 series of 'Speaking Our Language' within the next few months, and then I will move on to learning in more detail the grammar of Gaelic.

For Japanese, I completed the Michel Thomas Method Advanced Japanese course and this has helped expand my knowledge of the verb structures of Japanese, and has given me more scope for expressing myself in a wide variety of situations. I have also gradually been going through the Earworms Japanese course (volumes 1 and 2), and from time to time I revise the vocabilary I learned in Linkword Japanese. I'm definitely improving my Japanese all the time, however I still have not learned the writing systems, and I still need to learn the verb structure for the plain/non-formal form of the language. These are my next steps in Japanese.

For German, I've been going through several courses. I have completed the Paul Noble German and Michel Thomas German (foundation and advanced) courses, as well as been going through Linkword German too. I have currently finished level 3 of Linkword German, and will start level 4 soon. Once I have completed the Linkword course, I will move on to Earworms German to further consolidate what I know, then boost up my verb vocabulary etc to get more fluent. I am really happy with how I'm doing with German - it is definitely a trickier language than Spanish and Japanese, mainly because of the genders of nouns and other grammar points. I will do a review of Linkword German once I complete it, and will discuss in more depth the complexities of German and how Linkword deals with them.

So my polyglot journey is still very much alive and I am really enjoying it! I still have plans to learn French, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and more, but my current priority is to reach fluency in the languages I've been studying this year and then I will move on to more languages.

I will write some more blog posts soon on different aspects of language learning, so stay tuned!

A polyglot's worst nightmare - time management!

May 19, 2017

Well, I should start this post by stating that 'biggest challenge' might be a better phrase than 'worst nightmare' here. And what is the biggest challange facing a budding polyglot? 

Is it memorising words? Is it learning the grammar of a language? Is it speaking, reading, writing or comprehending the spoken language? Although all these things can be taxing and require hard work, I've personally found there's one thing that's even more demanding than all of these, and that is time management!

Yes...there are only so many hours in a day, and when a language learner has to juggle several languages, while trying to move forward and learn new things in each, but also revising and maintaining what he/she has previously learned, it can very quickly eat up large chunks of time. It gets even more challenging when one has to fit all this around the rest of their life too!

And to top it off, if one lets the languages slip for a while (and that's easy to do when life gets in the way....), they'll quickly find themselves getting a bit rusty and just not as sharp in each language. So what is the solution?

Good time management, that's what! If you are a serious language learner and want to get to a high level of fluency in whatever language(s) you're learning, you're going to have to be able to control your time properly in order to fit in regular language learning/practice in order to progress. 

For me, that has meant getting up earlier, starting earlier in the day, fitting language studies around other things, and giving myself a set amount of time and/or certain targets to reach in each language (such as finishing a section of a course, etc) before moving on to the next language I'm working on. Fortunately I'm self employed, so can be more flexible with my time, but I dread to think what it would be like for someone holding down a full time job and bringing a family up who is trying to become a polyglot.

I guess it's slightly harder for me given that I am studying several languages at once, and in fact I will be writing a blog post on that very subject soon to giving my thoughts on how to manage just that.

So how do you other budding polyglots manage your time? I'd love to hear back from you if you happen to be reading this post.

Until next time, take care :-)

Linkword Japanese - learning my second language with the Linkword method!

April 25, 2017

After I completed Linkword Spanish (European) course, I decided to give the Linkword Japanese course a try because I really enjoyed this method and was keen see how it would work with other languages besides Spanish. I'd like to write about my experiences here.

An overview of the Japanese course contents

The first point to note is that there is only one level in the Linkword Japanese course, whereas for the Spanish and other languages in the Linkword series there are up to 4 levels (some of the courses have 2 or 3 levels). I would've loved to have had a full 4 levels for the Japanese, but even one level is a good start.

As with the other Linkword courses, you can choose between different formats - audio, software, Android app or iPhone app - and the content is exactly the same for each. I decided to use the audio (mp3) version (more on this later), which is presented by a native Japanese speaker.

Contents wise, the course is split into 10 sections, each of which I'd say take roughly an hour to an hour an a half to complete (depending on how fast you get through them). Vocabulary topics covered include animals, food words, colours, restaurant words, airport words, hotel words, furniture, household items, clothes, family, places around town and in the countryside, time words, numbers, days of the week, business words, car words, transport, parts of the body, doctor/medical/emergency words, months of the year, prepositions, as well as several useful adjectives and a few verbs.

Basic grammar points are taught too, including how to construct sentences with nouns and adjectives (and some verbs) for the present and past tense, using words like 'and', 'but', how to ask questions, the negative form, how to use prepositions in sentences, pronouns, telling the time, etc.

So how did it work for me?

I decided I'd work through the audio mp3 course. Although I went through both the audio and software versions of the Spanish course, with the Japanese I didn't feel I'd gain anything extra by using going through the software course because of the way Japanese is written. You see, the Linkword Japanese software course is written in romaji, which is a way of writing Japanese using the western Latin alphabet. And there's nothing wrong with romaji, but for me I am planning on learning the other Japanese writing systems* so I felt it more useful to simply go through the audio course. That said, it was helpful to look words up in the software courses glossary section to double check the pronunciation of words I found trickier.

(*In Japanese there are effectively 4 different writing systems - the kanji characters (similar to Chinese writing), 2 phonetic alphabets (hirogana and katakana), and one that is used to romanise the words called romaji. However from what I've read, romaji isn't really used much in Japan (with natives, but foreigners do use it. I will write more about this in a future blog post when I start learning the read and write in Japanese).

It took me 10 days to complete the course, as I went through one section per day. I found this to be manageable for me without getting overloaded with too much all at once. Although Japanese has lots of loan words from English, many of the words are also totally different to English, and once again I found the memory hooks to be creative and effective in helping me memorise the words, including the trickier ones.

I am happy with the level of vocabulary I learned during the course, which is in the region of 300 to 400 words, and gives me a broad cross section of vocabulary I'd need to live my everyday life in Japanese, and I can construct a reasonable number of sentences too. From a grammar point of view, this course only gives a basic starting point, so you will need to look beyond this to expand upon what you learn here, particularly for learning how to handle the verbs, different tenses etc. This isn't really a criticism of this course, but more down to the fact that there's only 1 level here. That said, the grammatical points were explained clearly and they do provide a really good starting point for further study.

Additional note: I'd also like to add that I revised the content of the course a week later, and again a week or so after than, and had no problem remembering most of the words. This is testament to the quality of the course.

In conclusion, I'd definitely recommend Linkword Japanese to anyone who wants a great starting point into a language that is often perceived as impossibly difficult to learn for English speakers, particularly for the range of vocabulary you'll learn in such a short space of time and the confidence you will gain as a result.

To find out more about Linkword languages and the courses they offer, please visit www.linkwordlanguages.com

** Linkword languages also have a special spring 2017 offer - get all 15 of their courses for just £24.99 via the link below **

http://www.linkwordlanguages.com/product/all-15-linkword-course-downloads-combined-copy/

 

So I completed all 4 levels of Linkword Spanish. More about my experiences with this amazing method...

March 28, 2017

As anyone who reads this blog will know, since mid January I have been working through the Linkwords Spanish course. Well today I finally completed it, and I'd like to write my thoughts on how I feel with my Spanish now that I've reached the end of the course.

In my previous post about my experiences with Level 1 of Linkwords Spanish, I mentioned that there are 4 levels to this course, and it is available in both audio and software versions (and also as apps for Android and Apple systems, which I didn't use), as well as that each level contains 10 to 11 sections, each of which take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to complete.

I would generally do 1 or 2 sections a day, where possible (I'm sure you know that life often gets in the way of things sometimes, though!). It took me a fair bit of time to get through all 4 levels because I wanted to just work through everything gradually and learn all the material thoroughly. The other factor that made things take a bit longer was because, for each section, I first learned the material with the audio course, then I went through the software course in order to learn the reading and writing part.

So what did the whole Linkwords Spanish course cover, and how far can it take a Spanish learner?

With all 4 levels, I have now learned a vocabulary of around 1200 words as well as have a comprehensive knowledge of Spanish grammar.

Vocabulary wise, the course covers pretty much everything a person could need in most aspects of their everyday lives. Names of animals, household items, places in town, types of food and drinks, family members, car words, parts of the body, places in the countryside, hobbies, school subjects, telling the time, talking about the weather, illness/ailment words, and much more. Heck, even how to start and end letters was discussed. In addition to this, most of the common verbs and adjectives you'll need to describe what you do and how you feel as you go about your life are taught too.

Grammar wise, the course teaches most of the essential verb tenses (present, future, past, conditional, imperative, etc), and even some of the more complex ones (such as 'I had...' for the past) that are required in order to express one's thoughts properly and have articulate conversations. I feel I have a good command of these now, and am comfortable in manipulating the verbs to get in and out of the different tenses as and when I need to. Also taught is how to handle adjectives, nouns, plurals, comparatives, superlatives and a whole host of other essential grammatical points required in order to construct sentences properly.

You're also taught some really useful phrases such as basic greetings, asking how people are, asking someone to repeat something or speak slower, etc.

I have to be honest and say that this is an extremely comprehensive amount of knowledge, and considering I've learned it in just over 2 months I'd say that makes the course very impressive (well, either that or I'm just a super genuis!). There's no way even a school student studying Spanish for over 5 years knows as much as what I've learned in these past few months, so that says a lot about how effective Linkword is.

So what level of Spanish am I at now, honestly?

So I guess the question is, where am I at with Spanish now that I've completed the course? I mean, the thing that truly matters is how all this knowledge works for me in the real world, and whether I can actually now speak, read, write and understand Spanish or not. That will be the acid test as to how effective Linkword Spanish is...

Ok, first of all I've noticed I know the name of the noun for most items I'll encounter in a typical day. I look around my room and I realise I can name most things in here in Spanish. I can walk round the city and know the name of most landmarks and types of shops in Spanish. So that's a massive plus point in favour of Linkword. For the words I don't know, I'll gradually add those in as I continue with further study.

I can describe most of my everyday actions (what I have done, am doing or will do later in the day) thanks to the comprehensive list of verbs taught in the course. I can also describe many of my emotions and feelings in Spanish too.

You know how we all have that little voice in our heads where we kind of talk to ourselves througout the day? Like when we will mentally say to ourselves what we have to do, etc (for example, 'I have to go to the shops and buy some bread' etc)? Well, I can think most of my everyday thoughts in Spanish now, so that's pretty cool!

I decided to see if the writing and listening aspects of Linkword had paid off for me and so I started reading news and sports articles on a Spanish media website. To my surpise, I could understand quite a lot of what I read, as well as recognise the different tenses the sentences were written in. Sure, there are still a lot of words I don't know, but for many articles I can more than get the gist of what I'm reading. As for the listening aspect, I started watching kids cartoons in Spanish (since these are more likely to be easier to understand than films etc). Upon doing so, I was able to recognise a lot of the words I was hearing, and understand portions of the script (phrases and sentences). I still have a long way to go before I can totally understand fast spoken Spanish, but I have a good starting point thanks to Linkword.

As for the speaking aspect, I feel reasonably confident in that, but would like to practice with Spanish speakers if I can to further improve my conversation skills.

I almost feel I have enough knowledge to live the bulk of my life through Spanish know, if I had to (obviously there would still be words I'd need to look up, especially for more specialist things, and it would be hard to totally understand tv and radio as of yet) which would be a fun challenge, but since I currently live in an English speaking country I'll have to use Spanish as and when I can :-)

So where do I go from here?

Having completed Linkword Spanish, I now need to continue further study in order to reach a higher level of fluency. One point made at the end of Level 4 by the presenter was that 'there is no end to learning a language'. That is so very true. I mean, at what point can one say they now 'know enough' in a language and don't need to study it any more? My answer to that question is that one never stops learning a language; you will always be learning new words, phrases, etc as time goes by. Heck, we even do that in our native languages if you think about it.

So with that in mind, I will look to some other Spanish courses and resources to add to what I've learned with Linkword, as well as keep learning new words for nouns, adjectives and verbs I don't know. There is a really good resource online called 'wordreference.com' where you type in an English word and look up Spanish word (as well as for other languages too), so that will be my 'go to' in order to add more vocabulary to my knowdlege. I will use the Linkword memory technique to help me learn further vocabulary too, because it is highly effective.

I will also continue reading in Spanish, perhaps more articles and some books, and look to start watching drama series' and films in Spanish too. I'm sure all this effort will pay off. 

I will also regularly review the content of Linkword Spanish, perhaps every week or so for the next few months, until I really feel it's part of me and I am 100% confident with it all.

I'll say I definitely recommend Linkword Languages method to any other language learners out there. I'd like to thank Dr Michael Gruneberg for allowing me to use his European Spanish course too. I will continue using Linkword courses for other languages I learn in the future. In fact, I purchased their Japanese course today, which I am excited to get started on soon and will blog about for sure.

Further points on the Linkword Languages method

Before I bring this post to a close, I'll add a few interesting points regarding Linkword. The method has been proven to work with dyslexics and poor learners, and there have been some interesting studies done regarding this:

http://www.linkwordlanguages.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Linkword-at-Rugby-School.pdf

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/09571730285200231

http://www.linkwordlanguages.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/Linkword-in-the-classroom.pdf

To find out more about Linkword method and the courses they offer, please visit www.linkwordlanguages.com

Is It Possible To Learn Languages With Music? A review of Earworms Japanese Volume 1

February 24, 2017

In the last few weeks, I've had the privilege of trying a language learning method from a company called Earworms Learning, which involves learning languages via music. 

I have been using their Japanese course (Volume 1), and in this blog post I'd like to tell you a bit about Earworms Learning as well as document my personal experience using their method.

Who are Earworms Learning and what is their method?

Earworms Learning is a language learning company that specialises in teaching languages via musical 'earworms'. I believe they have courses in around 16 mainstream languages, as well as some in other languages which teach English too.

In case you're wondering what an 'earworm' is, the dictionary definition is 'a catchy song or tune that runs continually through someone's mind'. I'm sure you've had the experience of certain songs you just can't get out of your head....that's an example of an earworm.

The idea behind the methodology is that words, sentences, phrases and grammar points are taught within these earworms as part of the lyrics and melody to simple but catchy music. You listen to these earworms continuously until the information taught within each earworm anchors itself into your mind.  Although much of Earworms Learning courses contain speaking rather than singing, the same basic principle applies, and many of the spoken phrases are deliberately said in time with the music to create an almost hypnotic effect.

Research has proven that this approach is very effective, and works much better than conventional methods, since the mind has a natural capacity to memorise musical  (melodic and rhythmic patterns). Think of it like listening to some of your favourite songs, and how the words and melodies stick in your mind effortlessly without you needing to 'try' or 'strain' in order to memorise them. Learning languages with earworms is a bit like this.

The final point is that music changes one's emotional state; it can evoke different emotions from have a calming effect to being very uplifting, and everything in between, depending on the tempo or the ambience of a song. This can all aid the learning process by putting one in a more resourceful state of mind for the brain to memorise things more easily, as well as helps provide a more interesting learning experience.

An overview of an Earworms course

Each language course is split into volumes - some of the more popular languages such as Spanish have 3 volumes, while others have 1 or 2 volumes. Each volume contains around 11 songs, which are in the region of 5 to 9 minutes in length.

You can buy each volume as an mp3 download or on cd, whichever you prefer.

Each song covers a different topic, e.g. ordering food and drinks in a restaurant, asking if someone has something, asking directions, numbers, days of the week, telling the time, basic greetings, and a whole host of other phrases one needs to know in order to get by in most everyday situations. Volumes 2 and 3 go into more detail and cover more of the grammar and structure than the first volume.

The songs have a British narrator on them, as well as a native speaker of the target language. You are presented with words and sentences, while simultaneously learning the grammar and structure of the language, and it really is very fun and enjoyable.

The courses also come with a pdf booklet so that you can see the correct spelling of the words and phrases, as well as quickly review what you've learned.

In terms of the content taught, Earworms courses follow the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) on language learning, levels A1 to B1.

So how did this work for me?

I started out by listening through all the tracks in the Japanese Volume 1 course to get a basic overview of the songs, and how the Japanese language sounded. After that I listened to each track maybe two to three times a day during the past few weeks, and read the pdf booklet so I could see the correct spellings of everything.

My plan, at first, was not to try too hard but to simply enjoy listening to each song and effortlessly let the words and phrases be absorbed into my mind. I found that even after the first few days, much of what was taught was starting to remain in my mind. For the things that I didn't remember at first, I simply kept on listening to the tracks each day and going through the review booklet, and after a week or so, I could pretty much say most of the the phrases along with the songs from memory, as easily as singing the lyrics along to my favourite songs,

I found the tracks very easy on the ear, very pleasant to listen to, with my foot often tapping along to many of them too. Each song has a different tempo, groove and musical style to it, which takes the listener through a range of different emotions, thus keeping you engaged in the learning process. Often, certain phrases in the songs are repeated numerous times, and in time with the music/in certain rhythms, almost like the 'melodic hook' in the chorus of a catchy song. The British and Japanese presenters also had very soothing tones of voice, which I found quite relaxing to listen to. 

I liked the way the course was structured, so that by the end of the 10 songs one has a solid foundation of phrases they need to get by in a typical day and in a wide variety of situations. The other thing about the Earworms courses is that you are not simply memorising phrases - you are, almost without realising it, learning the grammar and structure of the language as well as a lot of vocabulary (for nouns, adjectives and verbs etc) without having to sit down and consciously memorise it like you would in a classroom.

Overall it's a fun and stimulating way to learn a language, in total contrast to the dull and boring classroom academic methods that the education system is still clinging on to. Perhaps the education system needs to take a leaf out of methods such as Earworms, as it might encourage more kids to learn languages at a young age. But that's a blog post for another time, I think :-)

I'm looking forward to working through Volume 2 of the Japanese course, and I will write another blog post about that in the next few weeks. I've also purchased Volume 1 of their European Spanish course, which I'll likely write about soon too.

In closing, I can say I'm now very intrigued by the whole concept of learning languages via music, and I'll definitely be exploring this method further to see how far it's possible to go in a language with it. It definitely does work and has merit, and I believe it's a wonderful starting point in learning a new language.

So for now, I'd like to say arigatou gozaimasu to Earworms, and to my readers: sayonara, matta kondo!

And for those of you who would like to find out more about Earworms Learning and their courses, please visit www.earwormslearning.com.

Linkword Languages: My thoughts on the Linkword method and my first week of learning Spanish with it

January 27, 2017

I recently became intrigued by a language learning method called Linkword and decided to give it a try. 

The main concept behind the Linkword Language method involves using memory techniques/visualisations to memorise words in foreign languages quickly and easily. Basically, you listen to a word in a foreign language and relate it to a word or phrase that it sounds like in English. You then create a visual image in your mind of this image along with the English word, which makes it quickly and easy to learn and remember lots of words.

For example, the Spanish word for bee is 'aveja'. This is pronounced 'a ve ha' (or, since the Spanish letter 'v' is pronounced more like a 'b', this word would be pronounced closer to 'a be ha), which sounds a bit like the English for 'a baker'. You therefore imagine in your mind a visual image involving a A BAKER and a BEE....so for example, a baker being chased by a bee and running away from it.

Although this memory technique isn't new, the way that it has been applied to language learning via the Linkword Languages courses was, and still is, very unique. This method really does work, and you can learn hundreds of words a day if you put in a bit of time.

However, Linkword isn't merely about memorising hundreds of words. You are also systematically taught grammar - how to actually USE the words you've learned to construct your own sentences and express your thoughts.

The background to Linkword

The founder of this method is a man named Dr Michael Gruneberg, who is a qualified and internationally recognised memory expert with numerous credentials, including authoring/co-authoring books on memory and involvement in various BBC broadcasts on the subject of memory. It appears he put together Linkword in the 1980s in book (and cassette) form, before releasing and expanding to more language courses in audio and software format in more recent years.

Studies have shown that Linkword can teach a language up to 3 times faster than conventional methods, and has even been shown to be be beneficial to people who are dyslexic too. The popularity of Linkword by language learners worldwide seems to further validate these points.

I contacted Dr Gruneberg to ask whether I might be able to try his Spanish course and then write about my experiences of using it, and to my surprise he said he would be delighted to let me do so. He was kind enough to send me the European Spanish course, which I will go into detail about and discuss how I got on during the first week with Level 1.

An overview of a Linkword Language course

The Linkword European Spanish course is split into 4 levels, each of which teaches over 400 words and lots of fundamental grammar. Each level contains 10 to 11 sections, which take around 45 minutes to an hour to complete. The course comes in audio format (as mp3s, or cds), as well as software format. The content is the same for the audio and software version, but the latter allows the learner to learn and practice the reading and writing aspect of the language.

The audio course is presented by a native Spanish speaker, which is good because you get to hear the correct pronunciation of the words. Each section covers a myriad of different topics, such as household items, animals, travel, clothing, types of foods, verbs, adjectives etc.

You are generally given ten words to learn at a time, and for each word you are given a memory visualisation based on the principles I discussed earlier in this post. You are given 10 seconds to visualise this image before moving on to the next word. Sometimes the foreign word will sound close to another word in English, other times it may sound like part of an English word or even a sentence. Either way, the memory hooks given are very clever, and often bizarre and witty (which helps them stick in your mind better).

Immediately after learning the 10 words, the presenter tests you on them, first by saying the words in Spanish (to which you have to answer in English), and then vice versa. 

Then after this, you are given some short grammar lessons followed by being prompted to translate sentences from English to Spanish and vice versa. This is great because it consolidates what you've learned and gets you used using it within the context of making real sentences.

Finally, at the end of each section of the audio course there is a glossary of all the words you've learned. 

Like I said, the software course has exactly the same content as the audio one, but you actually get to see the words written down and you have to answer the questions by writing (typing) them out. 

My personal experience with Linkword

I went through Level 1 during 5 to 6 days last week and found it a fascinating experience.

Mr Gruneberg told me there is no right or wrong way to go through the course, i.e. one can start with the software and then use the audio to revise, or vice versa, or even just choose one format instead of the other. For me personally, I decided to start with the audio lessons, 2 sections at a time, and then move onto the software equivalents of these, so I could consolidate what I'd just learned as well as work on my reading and writing in Spanish. I'm someone who needs to HEAR words before I get onto the reading and writing aspect, but I realise some people might be different.

I could've gone through the first level faster, but decided to stick to a steady 2 sections a day for 5 days, and use the 6th day to revise everything I'd learned.

Overall, I had no problem memorising the words taught in level 1, because the memory hooks were so good. 

I found the grammar points were explained clearly and concisely, and as such I had no problem understanding them.

Making sentences both from English to Spanish and vice versa wasn't too hard. I found that having to translate Spanish sentences back to English was good for developing my listening skills, i.e getting used to hearing the Spanish words spoken in sentences. A couple of times I had to listen again to help my ear 'tune in' to a few words, but I soon got the hang of it.

As for reading, I found this generally no problem at all, since Spanish is a very phonetic language and, unlike in English, each letter is always pronounced the same way. Once you've learned how each letter is pronounced, it's no problem to read Spanish after that.

Spelling some words was a little bit problematic, but I soon got used to how Spanish looks in written format and certain letter combinations. For example, where we might have a double 'l' in English, they generally have one 'l' in Spanish. Or where we use the 'qu' sound, in Spanish this sound is written with 'cu'. I soon got used to these differences after a while, though.

At the end of the level, I found it useful to go through the glossary to test myself on all the words I'd learned.

After the first week, I was amazed by how much I'd learned AND remembered. Because the visual hooks for each word are so strong, they tend to 'stick' in the mind really quickly and for a decent period of time afterwards. Although a few of the visual memory hook images given in the course are not exact replicas of how a word is pronounced, they are close enough to jog your memory, and you will hear the words repeated throughout the course anyway, which helps consolidate the pronunciation of them. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that I could look around my room and go about my daily routine and know the Spanish word for a lot of everyday things I'd encounter, such as river, path, shop, bed, kitchen, shirt, trousers and a lot of other things such as foods, clothing, and that I could also make sentences too. Of course, I've still got a long way to go before I could live my whole day entirely in Spanish, but this is an amazing start.

I'd like to thank Mr Gruneberg for allowing me to try the course, and at the time of writing this blog post I'm almost through level 2 of the Spanish course, so I'll write another blog post on that soon.

Until then, adiós amigo!

And for anyone who would like to find out more about Linkword, please visit their website, www.linkwordlanguages.com

View older posts »

Search

Comments

There are currently no blog comments.