Language learning software and you

Learning another language is a complex task and to help there is a wide range of software available at vastly varied prices and with different aims. This article is not about recommending a specific make of language software, not because I dont have opinions on the matter but rather I believe that people learn in distinct styles. It follows from this that the same software is not suitable for everyone. Instead, this article is considers what you should look for when you are in the market to buy language software, which in fact is more about you than the software.

Start with yourself

The starting point is not with the software but with yourself. You need to establish your goals. Of course you want to learn a language but to what level and how much time do you have to devote to it ? Regardless of whether or not you intend to use a computer as your primary learning method , you still need to set aside enough time. There is no point in buying an expensive language course if realistically you can not fit the time in to use it to the full potential.

What are you going to use the software for ?

The obvious answer is to learn a language, but learning a language is best approached from different angles and so a software package on its own will generally not be sufficient for any but the most simple of purposes. If the software is going to be your primary learning method, then it needs to be sufficiently comprehensive to meet your learning goals. Remember that no piece of software will bring fluency or allow you to talk like a native. Language software is a very useful way of acquiring vocabulary and testing yourself on what you know, but you can not converse with it. The question to ask is whether you intend to use the software on its own or in conjunction with other products or language courses.

What should the software do ?

It should encourage you to use it. As Ive already written, different people learn in different ways and so the same software will not necessarily appeal to everyone. Try the software and (a lot of language software has a free internet demo) and check it suits you. If you dont enjoy using the software then no matter how comprehensive and sophisticated it may be, it is worthless to you.

The features you need will depend on your goals, and no-one apart than yourself can tell you where your learning emphasis should be. Do you just want to learn a few words ? Is spelling important to you ? Do you want to spend time on your pronunciation ? If possible download the software from the internet and check it does what is necessary for you.

What should the software cover ?

There is a lot of language learning software on the market designed for all levels of ability, and with prices to match. Ensure that the software matches your goals and intended use.

For example, Linguata language learning software is designed for the learner who doesnt want to learn a language fully, but wants to learn selected words and phrases before travelling. This suits me as I like travelling but I dont have the time or aptitude to learn too much of any particular foreign language, and my goal is usually to learn a few hundred words whenever I visit a new country. If you are at an intermediate level or want a more structured approach then this wouldnt suit you. I also tend to use language learning software as a secondary learning method. In other words, when I am learning a language I will use a structured course away from it and use the computer as an aid to learn words and practice pronunciation.

Different software for different people

This article started considering language software but the focus quickly moved onto the user. You. Only you know your aims and so only you can match these with the appropriate software. It would be easier to say buy Xs language software, and many people prefer this type of recommendation, but in reality there is no best that suits all learning styles. Remember to consider your goals, time available and how you intend to use the software before making a purchase.

8 Tips to Improve Your English

Learning English isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. (Learning the difference between “sprint” and “marathon” can be your task of the day!) Studying English is difficult and fluency does not happen overnight. You must work hard at learning English, or any other language, in order to improve and reach your goals. The most important thing you can do is follow a plan, set yourself targets, and reward yourself when you meet these targets. You should have patience and be prepared for some setbacks along the way. Here are a few more tips for success with the English language.

1. Be Realistic

Learning a language is a slow and gradual process. You shouldn’t expect to be fluent overnight. Be prepared to spend some time studying the language and you won’t be disappointed if you have to spend lots of time on one topic or another.

2. Have a Plan

Work out your objectives and reasons for learning the language and set yourself targets concerning what you want to learn and why you want to learn it. For example, if you want to learn English for travel then you should focus on conversational English and leave workplace English for a later date.

3. Establish a Learning Habit

Try to practice English or learn something every day. When you study every day you are more likely to keep the English in your head. Make it a habit to practice English – try setting the same time each day for English study. You don’t have to study for hours – 10 minutes every day is better than two hours once a week.

4. Keep the Process Interesting

Vary your studies so you spend one day concentrating on grammar, then another on listening, etc. This will help you find links between the different areas and it also stops you from getting bored.

5. Benefit from Intensive Learning

All the books in the world won’t be as effective as speaking English intensively with native speakers, or actually studying the language in England.

6. Find Friends

Whether you are attending a summer school or spending the summer at home, find friends you can chat to in English. Make a rule that you are only able to speak in English during the times you get together. Use a penalty system for every person that breaks this rule.

7. Study What Interests You

Find materials on the Internet or the TV that interest you so you are more likely to pay attention and enjoy studying. For example, watch a TV series in English or read articles about travel in English online.

8. Practice, Practice, Practice

Possibly the best advice for learning English is never to “switch off” your English – keep practicing as often as you can. Read, write, and speak English. Write emails in English to friends. Practice saying phrases out loud in English – every little helps.

VOLUNTEERING, STUDYING AND WORKING ABROAD

Studying abroad involves any form of overseas experience ranging from classroom based learning, to short programs, to independent research to internship programs. Volunteering is working for good will, may involve payment but not guaranteed to the international labor organization standards. Working abroad involves employing your career skills in a country that you did not leave and learn from, your mother country.

The benefits of studying, volunteering and working abroad include; it helps one to focus career and academic goals, teaches one to interact with people of diverse cultures, learning abroad enables one to learn In world renowned learning Centre, it also helps one unleash untapped potential, working abroad increase social network ties among different regions and it strengthens ones resume.

How to study, volunteer or work abroad.

Before embarking on this remember to define your objectives by considering your reasons for wanting to volunteer study or work abroad. Then you need to visit a travel advisory office for orientation and information. Adviser offices also help you to get course approval. Then there is the application stage whereby you get information about applying to programs and having them approved, getting a passport and financial aid.

Cost and Funding.

For studying one can land merit based partial or full scholarships or grants based on need. Volunteers are mainly maintained by the organization they work for. If working abroad then the salary given is as defined by job description and academic qualification of the country.

Preparation.

Changing location of living entails alteration of one’s lifestyle. You should be ready to deal with the dynamics involved you should d therefore prepare for;

Weather

Due to the varying climates across the globe always fully prepare for the climate. This may be through changing of your clothes to suit the weather.

Language

Different places have varying national and or official languages. If they differ then,

You will have an option of either getting an interpreter or learning the language.

Currency

Each country has its own currency of trade. Some can be used in more than one country. Find out the currency used and change your local currency for immediate use before you travel. This helps you not to be stranded when you get to destination.

Travel documents

Visas vary depending on your nationality and how long you intend to work or study. The purpose of the visas can give access to some jobs as some countries give work permits or restrain students from working before a specified period elapses or a given academic qualification. Be sure to get the right visa early enough.

Accommodation

Make prior arrangements for accommodation. This highly depends on your financial ability. Make online reservations online or arrange with a travel advisory company to provide the service.

Communication

Communication lines vary so get information on the most convenient way to keep in touch while traveling and when settled in the place you work or study.

Food culture and activities

Staple foods vary globally. Availability also varies with demand. Get information on the foods available where you intend to relocate to. If varying greatly try to get acclimatized to them early or carry some to help you settle.

Dressing

Dress code largely varies with a country. This may be influenced by weather, or religion. Before departure make sure you have the information on the standard clothes acceptable in the place you are going.

The experience of being away from home involves a delicate balance of making new friends and keeping touch with the old ones far away. Social media like Google plus, twitter, facebook, linkeden will help you with this.

The Basics of Chemistry

The study of identifying the substance found in a matter is called chemistry. Chemistry shows how each substance works and contributes to all the other substances found in matter. Studying chemistry is very helpful for you, since we use chemistry all the time. We will be able to understand why or how something happens, like why do you become alert after having your cup of coffee. Getting help with chemistry will allow you to understand most science branches as well. Chemistry allows you to learn how to live in harmony with the world. Here are the basic topics of Chemistry that you need to learn:

Acid Base Chemistry

Acid base chemistry is a study that focuses on different acids and bases. You will be able to study the components of a substance that has to do with water. Acid base chemistry also focuses on the study of Ph value, of the acidity and basicity of a substance. There are also different meanings of bases and acids.

You will be able to learn the Lewis Theory, Arrhenius and Bronsted-Lowery in acid base chemistry. The acid base character, acid base titrations and anything that has to do with salt will be discussed on acid base chemistry topics.

Atomic Structure

You will be studying what atomic structure is all about. The smallest building block of matter is called an atom. Protons, neutrons and electrons are what makes up an atom. With the atomic structure topic, you will be learning the introduction to the periodic table of elements where you will have to memorize the symbol of each element. The periodic table consists of 8 different groups. To understand how atoms work, you will need to understand how atoms charge, which will be discussed in this topic. You will be able to understand quantum numbers and atomic numbers. The configuration of electrons will be determined in the study of the atomic structure.

Periodic Table

The periodic table, as introduced in the atomic structure topic, will be discussed further. The periodic table topic will focus on the configuration of electrons. In here, the concept of different periodic trends such as electronegativity, electron affinity, ionization energy, radii, electron configurations and oxidation numbers will be discussed.  You will learn how to determine the complete configurations of elements.

Lewis Structures And Diagram

The covalent structure of an ion or molecule is used to represent the Lewis structure while the Lewis diagram represents the unpaired and paired valence electrons. The topic talks about different Lewis structures, such as electron-rich compound, resonance structure, polyatomic ions and electron-poor compound.

Chemical Reactions

The changing process of at least one substance is called a chemical reaction. In this topic, you will be discussing chemical reactions using a chemical equation where the substances produced in a chemical reaction are called product while the changed substances are called reactants. There are different chemical reactions that could happen, such as classifying reactions, non redox reaction and redox reaction.

Stoichiometry

Stoichiometry is also known as chemistry math. This is used to calculate moles, percents and masses of a chemical reaction. With this topic, you will be able to learn how to make and calculate chemical equations. Using the equation, you will be able to tell how many moles are there in products and reactants.  In this topic, using the equation, you will be able to learn density, concentration of solutions , molecular and empirical formula, composition of a percent, limiting reagents and balancing chemical equations.

Chemical  Nomenclature

Naming of compounds is also a term used for chemical nomenclature. This will help you to study the different conventions and rules. The oxidation and reaction is an important part of chemistry that you should learn. You will be able to form ionic compounds if you learn about oxidation. Once you have learned how ionic compounds are formed, then you will be able to name them which you will also learn in chemical nomenclature topic. You will be able to learn atomic structures within this topic as well. Naming different compounds will be learned too, such as molecular compounds, inorganic acids, binary molecular compounds and compounds.

Though it may sound complex, chemistry is really fun to study. Understanding how things work around us through chemistry will amaze you in many ways. You can easily get help with chemistry if you find some things to be confusing.

Using The QFT To Drive Inquiry In Project-Based Learning

Project-based learning (PBL) is a method teachers employ that requires students to integrate and synthesize skills from different subjects to solve complex, real-world problems. It focuses on active learning through the completion of hands-on projects rather than passive absorption of information. PBL is not a new technique and it can certainly be argued that this process has been the foundation of all learning since the earliest times. However, in our digital age the PBL method can be enhanced remarkably when combined with the use of digital portfolios or ePortfolios as they are more commonly called. Students and teachers can now use ePortfolios to collaborate on projects in real-time and develop perceptive skills while obtaining feedback from their classmates and teachers on their work. ePportfolios can be especially useful in group projects as they facilitate student collaboration. PBL through ePortfolios provides distinct advantages for students:

Students are encouraged to synthesize knowledge and think, instead of just memorize;
Students are given a great collaborative tool for solving problems;
New material can be introduced to students in different ways, including multimedia.
Students can be given continual feedback and assessment
Education has too often focused on rote memorization rather than actual synthesis of knowledge with the result that many students cannot employ information in a creative manner, because they never learned it with problem solving in mind. Project-based learning provides students with a context for the information they learn; it places theory into a real-world context. For example, instead of requiring students to read a book on modern China, a teacher may assign a project. Students may have to give a series of presentations on Chinese art, modern political economy, and environmental challenges. These areas combine art, politics/history, and science into one theme. Such projects also force students to recognize information and distill it into a presentable format. Students can thus develop their reasoning skills and find creative solutions to questions that do not have a clear answer.

Project-based learning also requires that students engage in discourse and idea sharing with classmates. Collaboration becomes important in the working world, as concepts often need several levels of colleague verification and input before implementation. The same proves true for PBL. Several students with delegated tasks working in a group can use their collective knowledge to produce a more comprehensive product than one could alone. Constant reflection and adjustment of ideas and concepts allows students to engage the material at a deeper level; students help one another learn. Possibilities expand further when students use ePortfolios to connect and work on projects. They have many more opportunities to interact through the ePortfolio than they would by working on the project during or after school thus perpetuating the learning process.

Engaging student interest is perhaps the most compelling argument for the implementation of project-based learning. Lectures often leave students bored and without a deeper understanding of the material. In a PBL setting, teachers often give students only a basic introduction to the material. In this scenario students are required to make the transition from teacher-directed instruction to self-directed learning. The goal is for the students to immerse themselves in the learning process to the point that it does not feel tedious or like work. The project becomes more like play for them. Students who like school and learning will have a greater craving for knowledge and that process will transfer to a higher rate of learning. The theory behind project-based learning is that forced feeding of information does not yield optimal results. Learning should be an organic process that gives students the opportunity to discover knowledge for themselves. The first step in the process is for students to be engaged. They will simply perform at a higher level if they are truly interested in what they are doing.

Your Teens Learning Day to Day With Their Education

Do your teens want to learn for some reason but cannot? Do your teens have mental disorders which make public learning environments a difficult place to learn properly? When it comes to teens and children who need a different kind of level of learning attention and direction it can be difficult for them to succeed in your typical learning environment, and even though schools can offer classes for students who need a more direct learning approach they can really only offer so much due to the heavy mass of students who attend the school from your area.

There are many other factors which contribute to a student being incapable of receiving the kind of education they need, active home life leaving teens tired at school, teens with ADHD or ADD (Attention deficit hyperactive disorder, and attention deficit disorder.) Other students can also interfere with your teen’s ability to learn by interrupting classes, teasing, peer pressures such as skipping class, doing drugs, sex, and fighting. When you put all of these factors together and are incapable of helping your teen yourself you may want to consider a boarding school.

What is a boarding school?

Boarding school is a school which works by housing its students either short or long term. Boarding schools are divided into multiple sections the largest buildings of the schools are typically the boarding houses which contain the many individual sleeping quarters for the students, hence the name boarding school. Boarding schools offer kids and teens a direct attentive learning environment by minimizing the number of students per classroom. And since the students live within the school grounds the students can receive after class help, and monitoring to make sure they are learning and doing their work properly.

But don’t get us wrong boarding schools are not prisons, there are many enjoyable facilities and out of school activities your kids and teens can attend such as, recreation rooms, therapist sessions, lobbies, sports facilities, parks, playgrounds, libraries, clubs, community service, field trips, and if the students earn it and are of a specific age, they will also be free to leave the school into specific areas near the school to do their own thing.

Boarding schools have three options, long term stay, weekly stay, or day students.

Long term stay is when a student is going to the school for a course of about 4 years, only returning home around 3 times a year for vacation and holiday time.

Weekly stay is when a student only stays during the weekdays and returns home for the weekends.

And day students attend a boarding school as if it were a normal school, attending the class’s everyday then returning home, simply to escape from the influences of a public school.

Why should you choose a boarding school?

With a struggling teen, a boarding school can be a great investment. Struggling teens will receive help before and after class, direct attention in learning during class, many students who they can relate too, lots of great outdoor and indoor activities, regular exercise, therapy, and much more.