madrid

“We” Commands in Spanish

May 12th, 2016

Students should learn how to make verbal commands early on in their language learning careers. There are endings to memorize, rules about placement of object pronouns, and even different forms for familiar commands, depending if they are affirmative or negative. It can be a lot to keep straight! Commands are most often directed at another person: telling him or her either to do something or not to do something.

There is one exception.

Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 11.08.59 AM

“We” Commands in French

May 12th, 2016

Students should learn how to make verbal commands early on in their language learning careers. There are endings to memorize, rules about placement of object pronouns, and even different forms for familiar commands, depending if they are affirmative or negative. It can be a lot to keep straight! Commands are most often directed at another person: telling him or her either to do something or not to do something.

There is one exception.

unnamed

Good for your Brain, Good for our World

April 2nd, 2015

Last month we offered an article that discussed the cognitive benefits of learning a language. In addition to improving the health of the human brain, it turns out that language learning has also proven to affect students’ attitudes towards the world around them.

Tags:
unnamed

The 2015 editions have new ISBNs!

May 19th, 2015

We are happy to announce that the 2015 editions of Breaking the Spanish Barrier and Breaking the French Barrier will be released under new ISBNs. Each edition in our collection has been revised to include the most up-to-date cultural information, and we have also diligently edited each edition to provide the most precise and accurate instruction available. Starting June 1st, these editions can be purchased for $39.50. 

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 11.34.07 AM

The Recent Past with Venir de – French Lesson Plan and Free Exercise

January 19th, 2016

Venir de

Similar to the the recent past in Spanish, French uses a construction with the verb venir to describe

Screen Shot 2016-01-18 at 11.31.25 AM

The Recent Past with Acabar de – Spanish Lesson Plan and Free Exercise

January 19th, 2016

 Acabar de 

To describe an event that just took place in Spanish, use the present tense of acabar (“to end”) along with the preposition “de” and an infinitive. Here’s the formula:

Gates Photo

What makes Bill Gates feel “stupid”

March 24th, 2015

In a recent Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session, Microsoft founder Bill Gates admitted “I feel pretty stupid that I don’t know any foreign languages.” Gates, who chairs the philanthropic Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, went on to note, “I took Latin and Greek in high school and got A’s and I guess it helps my vocabulary, but I wish I knew French or Arabic or Chinese.” 

Tags:
Language learning blog image

The Cognitive Benefits of Language Learning

March 6th, 2015

As passionate advocates of language learning, we internalized long ago a set of reasons as to why we believe learners of all ages should set off to master new languages. These include a deeper understanding of the world, the opportunity to make travel more authentic, and the ability to truly share in the stories of others, regardless of their national origins.

Tags:
beware

Beware of those Bears Near the Fork!

January 20th, 2015

I know the following statement will not be earth-shattering to veterans of language study, but it is good for all of us to be reminded of the following:   One language does not translate easily word-for-word into a different tongue!

Tags:
speak

What the World Will Speak in 2115

January 20th, 2015

An interesting article by John H. McWhorter that appeared in The Wall Street Journal entitled: “What the World Will Speak in 2115.”

Tags: