Hello! My name is Samantha and I'm a 21 year old university student studying Spanish and Linguistics. :) I love to learn different languages and I also love "snailmailing", collecting postcards and currencies from around the world and trying to understand what the hell is going on in this crazy universe. I am an avid reader, a lucid dreamer (at least, I try!) and I frequently meditate. I am always trying acquire new skills and better myself, and it is a wonderful journey. :)
Language Zen Recently I've been a part of a research project carried about by a new language learning website: Language Zen (link above). The premise of the website is to learn a language in a stress free manner, hence the "zen". I think they have done a good job so far, especially being a new website. Being a part of the research means that I will get full access to the website after (as of now there is no cost to join, but perhaps there will be in the future?). What I've had to do is basically use language zen for 2 or more hours a week for a couple months. At the beginning I took a test to place my Spanish level, and after the research period I will take another to see if I improved using their learning system. I am eager to see the results. PROS
Easy to use, visually appealing
Good for RECALL and not just recognition. Big plus for me.
Good native pronunciation of the language
Allows you to learn with music
Teaches you phrases and words you SHOULD know
Only available language is Spanish (although they are planning to add more)
Grammar explanations could be more thorough
Doesn't include cultural tidbits
Overall, I like the system and I'm sure I'll continue to use it after the research is done. However, at this point I think the best way to utilize this website is as more of a review and a supplemental resource to other language learning techniques. I also hope they add more languages soon!
I'm here to give blogging another shot. If anything, just to record my current views and see how they change over time. Recently I've been thinking a lot about opinions and views that we all possess. I think it is better to have an open mind or, to explain further, a mind that is open to changing it's opinion. To have a solid and definitive opinion of anything is slightly presumptuous and even indicative of ignorance in some cases. In contrast, being able to synthesize incoming information to come to a new (or perhaps revised) conclusion of a certain topic is much more honorable and shows that you are not bound by prevailing opinions that have been thrust on you your whole life (either by others or even yourself). To put my idea into context, I always think of religion. I think to have an utterly defined definition of religion, God, the afterlife, etc. is not indicative of a strong mind, but a mind that refuses to change. This is not to say that those who believe in God are right or wrong. I am merely saying that perhaps we should be asking more questions, listening to others with differing opinions, and taking in all this information to become more informed about what we believe to be true. I suppose I am also insinuating that anything I post is my opinion AT THE TIME. My mind is always open to change, and my opinions often change. I believe that is what having a strong mind is all about.