Tag Archives: books

The single best resource for your language learning!

This week we’ve got another guest post from Maik (@lingotutor)
Okay, I admit it. I like Amazon … a lot. Or to be more specific, I like the wealth of resources they put at my fingertips as a language learner. So let me be upfront about this: I think the single best language learning resource is Amazon Prime and signing up for Amazon Prime is a no-brainer. And here’s why.

 

Physical language learning books

I’ve needed to buy a good number of language learning books in the last few months, either as a resource to use for language tuition, or to refresh / improve my own language skills. Currently I’m brushing up on Latin which I’ve not used since my school days over twenty years ago. But there’s no need to go for a brand-new book every time (although I love the smell of a new book, I’m weird like that!). So most of my purchases were sub-£3 second hand copies, which could still be in my hands the very next day thanks to free next day delivery with Amazon Prime. You’d pay more than £3 for just the delivery charge elsewhere!

 

Le tour du monde en 80 jours

Le tour du monde en 80 jours

eBooks

Sometimes I’m too impatient to wait for next-day delivery, which is when eBooks come in handy. The great thing is that there are so many free eBooks available in various languages. In French for example, you could be reading “Le tour du monde en quatre-vingts jours” by Jules Verne or “Le Chien des Baskerville” by Arthur Conan Doyle at no charge at all.

The choice is even wider if you have an Amazon Prime membership, as you’ll automatically benefit from the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library, which lets you chose from a vast number of eBooks. You can chose a new book each month, provided you “return” your previous one. My personal favourites recently have been “The A-Z of Learning German” and “Learn German for Your Holidays” by the amazing Angelika Davey (review to follow).

The only drawback is that, as the name suggests, the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library is only available to you if you own either a Kindle eReaderor Fire tablet. If you don’t, you’ve got two options:

(1) Sign up for Kindle Unlimited, which allows you to read as much as you want on any device or

(2) Get yourself a Kindle eReaderor Fire tablet. They’re seriously awesome and with the benefit of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library basically pay for themselves within 7 months.

Chinese Children's Classics

Chinese Children’s Classics

Prime Music

Okay, the selection here is not (yet) as wide as on Spotify or Deezer, but there is a lot of quality stuff here, especially for the language learner. One of our family favourites is “Chinese Children’s Classics” by A Little Mandarin. And there’s not just music, as the name suggests, but a good number of spoken language courses, including my personal favourite: the “Learn in your car” series. It’s a great way to fit language learning into your commute, and as a Prime member, you have access to Spanish, French, Italian, Mandarin, Russian and German courses at no charge. The CD versions would easily set you back £20 each.

Fire TV Stick

Although there used to be a good number of Foreign Language films available on Amazon Instant Video, including the hilarious “7 Zwerge” (again free to Prime members), they are now few and far between. But I still use the Fire TV Stick a lot for watching language stuff from YouTube on the big screen of my telly rather than the smaller phone or tablet screens. And the Prime membership does come in handy when I’m taking a break from language learning to watch “The Imitation Game” or “Paddington”. Not to mention that I’m ready for Clarkson, Hammond and May next year, now that they’ve left the BBC’s Top Gear and have signed with Amazon instead.

The Top Gear Trio on Amazon Prime

The Top Gear Trio on Amazon Prime

So, as you can see, our Prime membership gets used A LOT. Mostly, but not exclusively for language learning. I think it’s a must for every language learning enthusiast, and now is probably the best time to sign up. You get a month’s free trial anyway, and the free next day delivery is incredibly useful in the run-up to Christmas. Best of all, if you sign up through the link below, you’ll help us bring more language learning awesomeness to you in the future. What’s not to like? So go ahead, you know you want to 🙂

Try Amazon Prime free for a month!

Spanish resources

It’s great to find helpful resources. Here are our favorite Spanish books from class for you to read together at home.

La Oruga muy Hambrienta.

El Hombre de Pan de Jengibre.

Los Tres Certitos

Diez deditos de las manos y diez deditos de los pies.

German resources

It’s great to find great resources for language learning.
These are a few books we love to use in class. Simple text and interactive stories for you to read together at home.

A family is not complete without a Bollerwagen.

French Resources

It’s great to find good resources.Here are a few books we like to use in class. Simple text and interactive stories for you to share together at home.

Spanish

Manuel¡Hola! At Lingotastic we love to sing and play and make in Spanish. We love to share a Spanish story together too. Manuel is our friendly Spanish speaking puppet who encourages children to speak Spanish in a group setting. We sing lots of fun active songs and children and grown ups soon join in and sing along in Spanish. We often have a mix of bilingual families, expert speakers, those who spoke Spanish at school, total beginners and it works really well. Through this fun we help promote family language learning by modelling simple techniques you can continue at home.

Spanish weekly classes start in September

German

HeinzGuten Tag! At Lingotastic we love to sing and play and make in German. We love to share a German story together too. Heinz is our friendly German speaking puppet who encourages children to speak German in a group setting. We sing lots of fun active songs and children and grown ups soon join in and sing along in German. We often have a mix of bilingual families, expert speakers, those who spoke German at school, total beginners and it works really well. Through this fun we help promote family language learning by modelling simple techniques you can continue at home.

German weekly classes restart January 2015 For holiday classes keep an eye on the front page. 1 to 1 German available all year round

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French

PascalBonjour! At Lingotastic we love to sing and play and make in French. We love to share a French story together too. Pascale is our friendly French speaking puppet who encourages children to speak French in a group setting. We sing lots of fun active songs and children and grown ups soon join in and sing along in French. We often have a mix of bilingual families, expert speakers, those who spoke French at school, total beginners and it works really well. Through this fun we help promote family language learning by modelling simple techniques you can continue at home.

French weekly classes start in November

Interview with Sam and Catherine from B Small Publishing

As a family we’ve found it difficult to find good language learning resources, so over on our
resources page. we’ve compiled lots that we’d recommend. These resources were created as individuals realised there was a need and that they were able and willing to meet that need. There are inspiring stories behind all of the resources and this time we hear the story Sam and Catherine from bsmall publishing

__SAM-AND-CATH-DOODLE2[1]

Could you tell me little about yourself and your family?
My name is Catherine Bruzzone and I started the business in the early 1990s publishing high-quality activity books for the Early Learning Centre. After these first few titles, I started to create bilingual books focussing on first words in English-French and English-Spanish. At the time, I was married to an Italian and my young children were learning both English and Italian. Prior to being a publisher, I was an MFL teacher in secondary schools teaching French and Italian – so languages were in my blood! Sam has taken on the daily management of the business over the last few years and he also studied French and Italian so is keen to carry on this important side of our business.

How does your product help family language learning?
Our activity books are created for non-experts to introduce and practise foreign languages at home. We are a commercial enterprise and so focus on creating French and Spanish material because this is what we sell best – especially in North America. We have dabbled in Italian, German and Chinese and still have a few of these titles on our list. Kids and parents of all ages benefit hugely from having a go at foreign languages and it’s really important to encourage kids when they are not feeling self-conscious about their ability – so our books target kids aged 6 to 9 years (though we have a few first words and older stories), which we feel is a great age to encourage practical activities in foreign languages. They don’t replace a real teacher or local languages group but are a good support.
The_Rights_of_the_Language_Learner_-_b_small_publishing[1]Is there anything else you’d like to tell those reading our blog?
We have created a fantastic poster encouraging kids to ‘have a go’ at learning languages. It’s called Rights of the Language Learner and is available either in a posh A3 laminated version from Little Linguist or we can give you a free PDF that you can print yourself on bsmall publishing Please email us on books@bsmall.co.uk if you’d like to receive it!

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