Tuesday, February 12, 2008

How to Read Your Way to Better English or Foreign Language Proficiency

First stop, the Library

So, we’re improving our English or learning a foreign language are we? Then our first stop is the library. You’ll need to track down a decent grammar book in the target language and a variety of relatively short-length reading material in the target language too. Both of these resources may be readily on hand at the local library, and at little or no cost, as well. The grammar book will be a useful guide through those rough spots you’ll hit when the target language grammar differs substantially from English or your native tongue. But make no mistake, it’s not “the bible” and you shouldn’t overburden yourself with grammar rules and regulations. Your grammar book is a handy guide for occasional reference. Use it accordingly.

The Structured Type
“I’m an very structured type of person so I definitely needed to have a grammar book to help me with the structure of Dutch and then German which are very strict in their application grammar rules”, adds American ex-pat Kayleigh Garman now living and teaching English in Istanbul, Turkey. “That also let me go on to learn Danish using many of the same methods I’d picked up from studying and using my other foreign languages.” Kayleigh speaks seven languages now. He must be doing something right.

Cochimi or Kukapa, Anyone?
A copious variety of entertaining magazines exists in most major languages and unless you’re learning Cochimi or Kukapa, you should eventually be able to find something. Short, newsflash type articles are best at first. A newspaper, general interest magazine, the Bible, brochures, flyers, and even – oh yeah, comics can help you along the path to fluency in your new tongue.

Though you might be able to wade through one or more of these publications in a matter of a few minutes, your personal satisfaction at having done that will be priceless. Copies of foreign language magazines are available from newsstands, libraries, airline offices, consulates and embassies, bookstores, universities, language institutes, ethnic stores, shops, travel agencies and restaurants, by subscription and online.

For some of my greatest tips, tricks and techniques for quickly and easily learning virtually any of the world's 6912 living languages just go to:

Larry M. Lynch is an English language teaching and learning expert author and university professor in Cali, Colombia. Now YOU too can live your dreams in paradise, find romance, high adventure and get paid while travelling for free. For more information on the lucrative, fascinating field of teaching English as a Foreign Language, get your copy of his no-cost, full multi-media, hypertext-linked pdf ebook, “If You Want to Teach English Abroad, Here’s What You Need to Know” by sending an e-mail to lynchlarrym@gmail.com with "free ELT Ebook" in the subject line. Need professional, original content and photos or images for your blog, newsletter, e-zine or website? Want more information, have a comment or special request? Contact the author by e-mail for a prompt response.

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