Learning Chinese – What Are Your Learning Options?

Learning Chinese is beneficial to your career. This is considering that most international businesses prefer hiring those who are multilingual. With the country being a huge market and a leader in business, speaking Chinese will put you in a better position to land a dream job. The Chinese country is playing a major role in world affairs and is expected to do even better in the future. Learning the language therefore opens you up to employment opportunities that might arise as development continues.

When you study the language, you will have an easy time operating in the cultural context. It will be easier for you to settle down if you plan to stay for long or run your business. With the language, you can enjoy an adventure of teaching the English language as well to the local people as you continue sharpening your cultural skills to fit into the society fully.

What are your learning options?

When studying Chinese, you will probably have the need to settle down or work in a Chinese city. You will have the option of choosing to study from a university, a private school, through internship or using a private tutor.

University – If you decide to learn Chinese at a university, you will have no other option than to start the classes on the exact set dates and to work with the fixed class schedules. On the other hand, the universities have huge numbers of students which might be an added advantage for you to learn the language. The universities have very good and experienced teachers and you can therefore rely on them for the best learning experience. You will grasp the language very fast.

Private school – A private school gives you more flexibility in starting the course and choosing class schedules that work for your convenience. The course charges are also much lower than those at universities, but you need to be certain that this does not affect the quality of the education that you get in terms of the teaching staff. Some offer student Visas and others don’t. So be sure to check whether your preferred school will make it easy for you.

Internship – You can also get to study Chinese through internship that could be from exchange programs, masters or fellowships among others. The good thing about using this mode of learning is that you will have it easy getting the Visa and organizing the trip and even getting accommodation and starting your social life on a high note.

Private tutor – It is definitely an expensive option even when compared to a private school, but at least you get to learn at your own pace and you can work flexible classes all through.

The Development of Aims in Language Instruction

It is obvious that foreign language teaching has witnessed many changes in the methods used to pass on knowledge and in the objectives of classroom instruction. At the early stages, the overall objective of language teaching was to acquire a general knowledge about the language being taught. Learning languages in the first third of the 20th century was linked to philosophy. However, this interest was reduced in the 1930s and the 1960s which witnessed the incorporation of the formalist and structuralist approaches. Those periods were marked by ignoring the importance of the cultural rules in the acquisition of language i.e. the focus was on making the learner use the language in a correct way. However the skills that enable to appropriately communicate and respond to different social situations were neglected.

In the second half of the 20th century, there had been a shift in emphasis from linguistic competence to communicative competence since scholars realized that it was not enough to produce grammatically correct expressions without being able to appropriately use those expressions depending on the social context. The communicative approach has been criticized by Byram since it solely emphasizes on achieving communicative goals with no interest in expanding the cultural knowledge.. Then gradually the focus changed from historical and geographical data to analyzing values, beliefs and thoughts of other group members.

In the 1990s the dimension of intercultural competence emerged as an objective of FL instructional programmes. The term “intercultural competence” was introduced by Michael Byram, professor at Durham university in the United Kingdom.

As outlined above, the last decades have witnessed the developments of the aims of language teaching, and resulted in a focus on culture teaching. Learning is not simply knowing other languages, it is rather an understanding of people through their language and their culture(s). There seems to be general agreement that intercultural instruction should become an integral part of institutional education. Contacts with foreign languages and cultures provide the opportunity to foster the development of intercultural competence which is defined as the ability to successfully communicate with people from other cultural backgrounds.

This ability can be promoted and developed through reducing the stereotypical attitudes which leads to refusing any kind of interaction or exposure to knowledge of other aspects.

Foreign language learners are required to produce an infinite number of phrases to express their wants and ideas using appropriate and simple language structures. Accordingly, they should be in contact with the cultures associated with the language they are learning by being exposed to a wide range of data or cultural themes.

Learning Italian: Top 10 Reasons to Start Now!

Are you planning to go to Italy for holiday, study or business but you barely know how to say “ciao”?

Then discover 10 good reasons to start learning Italian now or to take some Italian language courses!

1) Italy is the home of the world’s cultural heritage according to UNESCO.

2) Did you know that 60 percent of the English vocabulary also comes from Latin? Learning Italian is not only another known language, but it may also help improve your scores in English.

3) When you think about literature you can’t forget artists such as Dante, Boccaccio, Petrarch and Machiavelli, to Verga, Svevo, Pirandello, and Gramsci, to name a few. Italy is the country of the world’s most famous thinkers and writers and Italian Language is the language of humanism, opera, film, science, political thought, fashion, design, and cuisine. You can appreciate and understand the treasures of Italy only learning the beautiful Italian language.

4) Italy is one of the most visited countries in the world. A contributing factor is also the 2015 EXPO in Milan, were you can discover the culinary traditions of more than 100 countries in the world, with a special focus on the Italian regional dishes and wines.

5) Italian is considered one of the most easy languages to learn as there is only one sound per letter of the alphabet (and four consonant blends). In fact, Italian has the “best phonetic fit”. For young learners, the easier the language, the better. Learning Italian will not compete with your English, it will enhance it.

6) Italian is the language of Opera. It was born in Italy around the year 1600 and Italian opera has continued to play a dominant role in the history of the form until the present day. Many famous operas in Italian were written by foreign composers. Works by native Italian composers of the 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Verdi and Puccini, are amongst the most famous operas ever written and today are performed in Opera Houses across the world.

7) Young people who want to be physicians, dentists and veterinarians, but who cannot afford tuition at their home country can study at Italian universities for a fraction of the cost. The only requirement: take an Italian language course before you go!

8) The only way to research your Italian family roots and interpret old documents is to learn Italian.

9) Give and get directions in Italian on your next visit to Rome, Milan, Naples..

10) You will be finally able to order in an authentic Italian restaurant attended only by locals.

What are you waiting for? Start learning Italian now!!!