Monday, 4 August 2008

Learning Through Linguaphone

With a full two months to go before my departure, I have been making good use of my time by taking out a half an hour in the morning and evening to familiarize myself with some basic Italian. This is the first time that I have actually made a point of buying a set of language CD's and learning independently, and so far, it has been a gratifying experience.

Firstly, the way I've been obtaining these CD's is through a rather unconvential means. You see, in Britain, newspapers like the Daily Mail tend to give out free CD's and DVD's on a regular basis, ranging from BBC period dramas, to language learning sets, to collections of 80's tunes you can easily forget to remember. These CD's, when unwanted, usually either end up in the garbage, or on a shelf in a charity shop. One such series that tends to appear in charity shops is the Linguaphone Italian CD set of eight, and so far I have found three of eight. I must say that I enjoy the hunt for these CD's just as much as I do listening to them, and there is the added bonus that all money spent on them is going to charity.

Secondly, the method used is devoid of all stress usually associated with language learning. It is what linguists call situational learning - that is, you are presented with a situation (i.e. at the hotel) and you learn phrases useful in that situation. The speakers are clear, and the time it takes to absorb a concept is comparatively short, especially when I compare it to the time it took me to pick up anything in French class. All in all, it's been a brilliant experience, and I hope that these CD's will give me enough of a basis to communicate my needs when I first arrive in Italy.

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