Author Archives: Thomas

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Tips to beat the fear of using languages

Does the thought of using a second language make you feel nervous or bring you out in a cold sweat? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We’re here to help you overcome your anxiety, so we’ve compiled some handy tips just for you.

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Boost your confidence, learn better

Are you apprehensive about talking to or understanding others? Maybe you’re worried that they will think negatively of you? Or are you concerned that you’ll do badly in a test? There’s a name for how you feel: foreign language anxiety (FLA).

Speaking, listening, reading or writing can all provoke FLA. At busuu.com, we’ll help you build your language confidence. As a result, you’ll get more out of your learning experience, whether taking part in activities or better remembering new words.

Tips for overcoming your fear

Stay focused – think about why you’re learning a language and how it will help you to reach your aims. This will motivate you to keep studying. Why not set yourself some goals to track your achievements?

Give yourself a break – communicating in any language is about getting your ideas across, not about being ‘perfect’. Everyone makes errors, even in their native tongue! No-one will judge you; in fact, they will appreciate your efforts to speak to them.

Be prepared – if you need to make a call or see someone, think about what you want to say. Practise sentences in your head and even note down some key words on a piece of paper, so you have them in front of you if you forget.

Get helpful feedback – we learn from our mistakes. Find people who will give you genuine, constructive tips. At busuu.com, our native speakers are there to do just that; you can return the favour too, by helping them with their writing and speaking.

Feel in control – if you can learn at your own pace, in a comfy location of your choice, you’ll be more at ease. Repeat exercises as often as you like, work as quickly or as slowly as you need to and talk to native speakers using a chat tool (only when you’re ready).

How did you tackle anxiety?

Did you suffer from sweaty palms or a rising feeling of panic whenever you had to use a foreign language? If so, let us know in the comments how you got over your fear. Maybe you’ll help someone else to beat their anxiety!

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Complete a Live Unit in 48 hours to earn 100 busuu-berries!

Here’s a quick challenge for you!

Complete a Live Unit on busuu.com between Wednesday, 03 July 2013 at 3pm GMT and Friday, 05 July 2013 at 9pm GMT and earn bonus busuu-berries!

Once you have completed the Live Unit, you will earn 100 busuu-berries as a special reward!

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Maybe you can use them towards an animated gift from the busuu-Shop to help bring your Language Garden to life or get a discount on our Premium Memberships!

Don’t miss out and complete the Live Unit now!

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Take part in ‘Language of the Month’

Learning a language is about much more than remembering grammar rules and memorising words. It’s about discovering new, exciting cultures and a fresh perspective on the world.

So join us here at busuu.com as we take a look at a different language every month! We’ll journey through each one, focusing on the linguistic differences as well as the cultural ones.

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Get social and get involved

How does it work? During a whole month, we’ll dedicate posts across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to one of the 12 languages we teach on busuu.com. And we want you to get involved!

We’d love to hear about any crazy phrases or curious facts you might have about each Language of the Month. So make sure you join in the fun to discover something new about your favourite language.

Learn a language, jump into the culture

You’ll learn unusual words and phrases, and find out fun things that you won’t hear in the classroom or language classes. We’ll help you fire up your passion for each language, boost your motivation and learn faster – almost without realising it!

We’ll explore the different countries where each Language of the Month is spoken, as well as finding out interesting (and sometimes unusual) facts. You’ll learn language tips and discover new music, food and other cultural aspects.

Spanish – our first Language of the Month

We’re going to kick things off with Spanish, spoken in Spain and throughout Latin America. It has nearly half a billion speakers worldwide and it’s the second most widely used language on Twitter.

So if you’d like to know the difference between ‘estupendo’, ‘regio’ and ‘chévere’, discover Spain’s 12 cultural treasures or find out how to cook ‘mole’ (and what it is), follow busuu.com on  FacebookTwitter and Google+ ¡Hasta pronto!

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15% discount on all online products!

Until June 30th 2013, we’re offering a special 15% discount on all online products!

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Take advantage of our special mid-year promotion, and treat yourself to a 15% discount on all of our online products, including our feature-packed Premium Memberships! The discount code is automatically applied at the checkout, but only until 30th June 2013!

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Imitation is the key to learning languages

Did you know that if you mimic someone’s accent, you’ll be able to better understand what they say? As playwright George Bernhard Shaw once said: “Imitation is not just the sincerest form of flattery – it’s the sincerest form of learning.”

That’s what psychologists at the UK’s University of Manchester and Holland’s Radboud University discovered in a study in 2010. The results showed that imitating the person you’re talking to helps your speech comprehension.

So for language learners, this means it’s best to practise your conversation skills with a native speaker.

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Imitation speeds up learning

In the 1970s, American psychologist Andrew N. Meltzoff identified so-called ‘social learning’, where people or animals observe and then copy their companions.

“Imitation accelerates learning and multiplies learning opportunities”, he noted. “It is faster than individual discovery and safer than learning by trial and error.”

 

Practise talking with a native speaker

So if you want to learn a new language, don’t just study books. Make contact with native speakers to set up a language exchange – you’ll learn, have fun and make new friends, all at the same time!

People who want to learn at any time and anywhere have met native speakers from all over the world on busuu.com, the online language-learning community. Its integrated video-chat function makes it easy to log in and start talking.

 

Hot tip for learning even faster

Don’t simply imitate your partner’s way of speaking, accent or intonation; try to mimic their gestures and facial expressions too. Not only will you sound like a native speaker, you’ll also act like one!

There are so many benefits to learning a language like this. As well as having a great time and enjoying interesting conversations, you’ll practise your observation and socialising skills.

Tell us what you think! What languages have you learnt by interacting with native speakers? What extra benefits have you found? And do you have any tips for successful conversations?