Aprender inglês com música, “For the Longest Time”

Posted by & filed under How to learn languages with songs and the media, Resources.

Aprendi português ouvindo a radio portuguesa e cancoes brasileiras. Sei que e posivel aprender uma nova lingua sem viver no pais onde se fala a lingua. Eu nunca morei em um pais que fala a lingua portuguesa mas, eu falo o português. Falo 7 línguas (ruso, francês, espanhol, italiano, serbo croata, português e inglês). Nesse vídeo, vou utilizar uns pedaços de uma canção americana para te mostrar como uma canção pode te ajudar com a gramática e pronuncia inglesa. Compreendi depois de ler o livro, Musicophilia, de neurologista Oliver Sacks, que eu ouvia as línguas como música. Quero ajudar outras pessoas à aprender línguas com bons sotaques utilizando a música e outros meios pra suplementar as suas aulas de línguas. Estou procurando uma editora ou alguma instituição de ensino que se interesse em traduzir o meu livro e queira publicá-lo no Brasil. Acho que o tema é muito interessante para o povo brasileiro porque a música faz uma parte importante na vida dos brasileiros e as minhas dicas poderia ajudá-los à aprender inglês ou outros idiomas. Também gostaria de ajuda para fazer outros videos, como esse, pra ajudar aos brasileiros à aprender inglês com músicas. Caso esteja interessado, envie um… Read more »

How to learn Turkish

Posted by & filed under Experiences, Free Language Learning Resources.

Here is the second part of my conversation with Aaron Myers of Everyday Language Learner, an expat from the United States who has been living in Istanbul for over four years. We met in November 2011 near in Istanbul, where he told me about some difficulties and advantages of learning Turkish as an English speaker. We spoke again in March 2012 by Skype and I recorded our conversation so that others interested in how to learn Turkish could benefit from his experience. Here is the segment of our conversation about how to learn Turkish:

How deaf people can learn foreign languages with music

Posted by & filed under Como aprender idiomas con música y los medios, Experiences, How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual women, Susanna's TV interviews.

I often hear these excuses: “I have no ear for languages” or “I don’t have any musical talent, so I can’t learn a foreign language”. WRONG! Here is a very short video I did on Spanish language television (with English subtitles) about how my deaf German friend learned English with the help of the flute. You don’t have to be musically talented to learn foreign languages. If a deaf woman can speak a foreign language, then there’s no excuse for the rest of us to not learn a new language! Press the “CC” button for English subtitles.

Making language learning free and available to all

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Free Language Learning Resources.

Aaron Myers and I met in Istanbul, Turkey in November 2011. Aaron Meyers has created his project, I-586, to bring free language learning materials to people in languages other than English since so many language learning materials online are only available in English. Here’s the portion of our Skype call about how he wants to help people worldwide have access to language learning materials for free. Later, I will post the sections of our call dealing with tips to learning Turkish, how to raise kids abroad and advice for “everyday” people who want to learn a new language.

How Russian speakers can sound harsh in English without realizing it

Posted by & filed under Benefits of multilingualism, Experiences, Resources.

Jon Stewart of The Daily Show made a funny and correct assessment of why Russian speakers sound “evil” in English, although they may not have any bad intentions. “I wonder if Russia has been our (US) enemy for so many years because everything they say just sounds evil. Maybe it’s all been a misunderstanding of tone and syntax,” comedian Jon Stewart comments on Russian President Medvedev’s statement to President Obama at the recent nuclear summit in South Korea. (The two leaders thought their microphones weren’t on.) Unfortunately, Russian speakers can sound very harsh in English, especially when they don’t use the definite and indefinite articles correctly and say “I want apple” instead of “I want an apple”. This is why paying attention to details and getting into the music and flow of your target language is important, or else you may sound like a Neanderthal without realizing it. Before anyone accuses me of being anti-Russian, let it be known that I’m a native Russian speaker and I know all to well how Russian speakers sound like to English ears. I’ve witnessed more misunderstanding and miscommunications between Americans and Russians than I care to remember precisely because of the directness of… Read more »

Multilingualism: Being a Russian heritage speaker in the former USSR

Posted by & filed under Articles about me, How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual identity.

  Professor François Grosjean, the Emeritus Professor of psycholinguistics at Neuchâtel University, Switzerland is a specialist in bilingualism, multilingualism and heritage language speakers. Last week, he wrote a blog piece, Portraying Heritage Language Speakers: Heritage language speakers are bilinguals with a difference. in Psychology Today about my case as a Russian heritage speaker working in the former Soviet Union. I learned Russian, my heritage language, because that was the language I grew up with at home but I had very limited formal education in the language. (I came to the United States from Russia as a young child.) Difference between heritage speakers and native speakers Heritage speakers have a special place in the range of multilingualism. They are different than native speakers because they often lack the same extensive vocabulary that a native would have. They may make mistakes speaking their heritage language although they may speak it without an accent. Heritage speakers require a different approach to properly learning the grammar, writing and vocabulary of their “native” heritage tongue. Heritage language curriculum I am very glad that  the San Francisco School District has Russian heritage language classes for Russian immigrant children or US-born children of Russian speaking parents. This… Read more »

Mi proprio segmento, “El idioma es música”, en Univision. My own “Language is Music” segment on Univsion.

Posted by & filed under Como aprender idiomas con música y los medios, Susanna's TV interviews.

Cada lunes en mi segmento titulado “El idioma es música” en el programa “Al Despertar” en San Francisco, doy mis consejos de como aprender inglés mediante la música y los medios. Canal 14 (Univision) desde las 6 a 7 am y en canal 20 (Telefutura) en el programa de las 7 a 8 am. I have my own segment in Spanish on the Al Despertar morning show on Univision San Francisco called “El idioma es música” where I give tips on learning English with songs and the media. “Al Despertar” airs on Univision/Telefutura San Francisco every Monday on both the 6-7am (Channel 14) and 7-8am (Channel 20) shows. Mis ultimos videos (My latest videos): Como evitar errores comunes en inglés con la canción “People are strange” Como pronunciar la “B” y la “V” en inglés mediante la canción “New York, New York” Pronunciación de la TH en inglés en la canción “For the longest time” Aprender inglés viendo televisión y películas

The importance of female role models for female language learners

Posted by & filed under How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual women.

Last week, for International Women’s Day, I wrote a blog post, How we all benefit when women are multilingual about the scarcity of female language bloggers and You Tube polyglots on the Fluent in Three Months website along with a video of a Skype call I made with two other female polyglots, Fasulye and Jana Fadness, about encouraging female language learners. Why are role models important for women learning languages? I didn’t need a role model to learn the languages I did. When I started posting videos on my You Tube channel, I was oblivious to other people on the Internet who were showing their language skills online. Just because I didn’t need a role model or someone motivating me doesn’t mean that others might not benefit from seeing more women posting videos, blogs or audio podcasts of their language abilities. When the majority of Internet polyglots are male, some of whom are competitive or who leave unprofessional or nasty comments about other polyglots or language learners on the Internet, women may be discouraged from posting their videos or displaying their languages in other ways. Role models inspire people not to give up. Since Jeremy Lin of the Knicks basketball… Read more »

Learning Portuguese with rap and Brazilian music, Don Blanquito and Idahosa Ness

Posted by & filed under How to learn languages with songs and the media, Susanna's podcast/radio interviews.

I interviewed (Don Blanquito) and Idahosa Ness about how they, as native English speakers, create rap, funk and hip hop music in Spanish and Portuguese. They also discuss how music helps people get into the flow of their new language. Don Blanquito lives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he gives concerts in Portuguese. He also raps in Spanish. I found out about him in the article, Californian With an M.B.A. Follows His Heart to Brazilian Funk. Idahosa Ness speaks Chinese, Spanish and Portuguese and has created the Mimic Method for language learners to acquire the flow of their new language and get the right pronunciation by using music in their target language. Idahosa posted a guest article in Fluent in Three Months last December titled, The “flow” of fluency: How to freestyle rap in a foreign language about his method to teach people to learn the rhythm and flow of their new language before learning the structure. Given that I also promote learning the musicality of one’s new tongue first, Ness’ method resonated with me. I was very happy to interview both of these men because the exemplify the power of music to get us deep into our new languages.

Review of Babel No More: what makes people learn many languages?

Posted by & filed under How to learn languages with songs and the media, Multilingual identity.

I highly recommend the book, Babel No More. It’s a fun read as it’s written like a detective story and you can feel the passion for languages that the hyperglots demonstrate. Why I read Babel No More First there was Michael Erard’s opinion article in the New York Times about how monolingual Americans really are and then there was Nataly Kelly’s interview with Erard in The Huffington Post about Erard’s new book, Babel No More, about how hyperpolyglots can speak so many languages. I became curious what the book was about. Hyperpolyglot? I had never heard the term before. But once I read the Huffington Post article, I realized that I am a hyperpolyglot because I speak seven languages. By definition, a hyperpolyglot knows more than six languages. (Knowing a language may not mean the person can speak the language on demand. He or she may be able to read and write in the language better than understand it spoken or be able to speak it.) Once I read in the Huffington Post that a common strain amongst these super language learners was that they had visual-spatial disabilities, I knew I had to read the book. Then I saw my fellow… Read more »