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Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Cultural Immersion Experience – How to Stay Local

by Mafe Rodriguez

As language enthusiasts we are convinced that the best way to learn a language, say Italian, is by moving to Italy for a whole year and force our way into the Italian culture. Although this is true, not everyone can afford to travel abroad. But traveling abroad is not the only way to achieve the cultural immersion experience.  Here I give you five ways to learn a language without leaving your town.

  1. Switch your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and phone language to your target language

Aside from that one time I set my phone to Arabic and then spent ten hours trying to change it back, this method is one of my favorites because I get to learn the modern lingo without even realizing it. For instance, I now know the “like” button in French is “j’aime”, and much more!

zzzznacg2 NOTICIAS ARGENTINAS BAIRES, DICIEMBRE 5:El sitio Facebook estaria afectado por un virus segun informo la empresa de seguridad informatica McAfee. Foto NAzzzz

 

  1. Listen to music or the news in your target language

Your Pandora playlist should always be on, or listen to the radio in Spanish. Make yourself believe that your life is interesting enough to have a soundtrack play all. The. Time. Not only will you perfect your pronunciation but you will also memorize words faster. Play it while you take a shower, while you get dress, or paint your toe nails. No matter where, just listen to music!

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  1. Try ShareLingo!

If you’d like to talk with English and Spanish native speakers in a judge-free environment, while perfecting your language skills, then ShareLingo is exactly what you are looking for! It’s something like Tim’s strategy but in real life. You pay $200 for 10 two-hour session classes. That comes to be $10 an hour with a chance of financial aid for those who qualify. Here you can find out more about The ShareLingo method.

Get out of your comfort zone and meet new people, now!

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  1. Reach out to the online world

I hope you know who Timothy Doner is. If you don’t, allow me to enlighten you. He is a language prodigy who speaks 20 languages and learned them all in less than two years! Not only is he my hero, role model, and nerd celebrity crush, but he also taught me a ton. He updated videos of himself talking in Arabic, Persian, Russian, Dutch, Hindi, Indonesian, and many more, and people on YouTube corrected his grammar, pronunciation and even taught him about their culture! Isn’t that just the coolest thing ever? The answer is yes, yes it is. You can try something like that. Online communities like CouchSurfing, or Facebook groups can be a great tool to connect with other language enthusiasts. Read more about Tim here. Watch TV in your target language.

timdoner_ted_polyglot

  1. Watch TV in your target language

Watching a TV show you know really well, in my case Friends, in your target language will help you translate not in a literal manner but in a cultural one, which is super important to have in mind when you’re doing any translation work. Netflix has TONS of TV shows offered in Spanish. If the audio isn’t available, try subtitles in Spanish. To make it even more fun, you can build a fort and invite your family and friends!

fort


About ShareLingo
The ShareLingo concept is really simple. Instead of learning from a white board or a computer, we help English learners meet Spanish learners for face-to-face practice together. A bilingual facilitator uses our method and materials to keep things moving so you are never bored. We have language learning solutions for individuals, businesses, non-profits, and schools. Learn more at www.sharelingo.org.

Love Me, Love Me Not… Valentines for Everyone

Valentine’s Day used to be a hopeless-romantic dream; a day dedicated to red roses, chocolates, giant teddy bears and romantic dinners. Today; Valentine’s Day is different.  It is a day to celebrate those badass friends you have, the family who is always there for you, and the chocolate sales at Walmart. We understand the struggle to find the perfect way to cherish your partners in crime so I’ve put together a little list of fun activities you can do with anyone.

funny-graphs-benefits-valentines

Make your friends’ day by doing one (or all) of this:

  • Make a heart with post-it notes on your friend’s bathroom mirror. On each post-it write a reason why you love them. Or not. Get more ideas here
  • Since you probably have a ton of post-its left, you can leave random cute notes around their place: in the fridge, by the stairs, on their pillow, etc.
  • Bake a cake. It does not have to be heart-shaped, but everyone loves cake. And wine. And sweatpants. Maybe combine all three.
  • Personalized mason jars: have one jar for each member of your family. On a piece of paper write a personalized note on why you love that particular person, and write a new note every other day. Bonus: Decorate each jar to make it extra special!
  • Remember when you used to color for fun? Well, it’s back. Adult coloring books were the most sold books in 2015. You can also have some fun coloring this Valentine’s with your family. Download free coloring pages here.
  • You and that special someone can play “The Love Board Game” Learn how to here.
  • If you’re feeling emo, celebrate Galentine’s day instead. Get drunk with your girlfriends, cry on each other’s shoulder, curse all your exes; or as I like to call it: Saturday night.

 Rooftop

Where to go

You can go out to the usual dinner OR you can go to any of these awesome places with your friends or significant other.

  • Stay at home and make a fort.
  • Have a bonfire in your backyard
  • DIY Spa Night: Light some candles, play relaxing music, and spend the night taking turns giving and receiving back massages and foot rubs.
  • Rooftop date
  • Drive- in date
  • Picnic -date
  • Photoshoot- date
  • Café hopping-date
  • Igloo-Date
  • Re-live your first date
  • At home- wine- and –cheese- tasting -date
  • Theater -date
  • Stay at home and just enjoy each-others company date

I use the word “date” but it does not necessarily mean you have to do it with your boyfriend or girlfriend. These are places you can go to with your friends and family.

HeartShaped Sticky Notes


About ShareLingo
The ShareLingo concept is really simple. Instead of learning from a white board or a computer, we help English learners meet Spanish learners for face-to-face practice together. A bilingual facilitator uses our method and materials to keep things moving so you are never bored. We have language learning solutions for individuals, businesses, non-profits, and schools. Learn more at www.sharelingo.org.