• Language,  Methods

    Why Media Helps with Language Learning

    – The Media’s Role in Language Learning – I’m a strong advocate for using the media for language learning and there is a simple reason for this: We are storytelling creatures, and stories promote language acquisition. George Gerbner wrote about storytelling a lot during his academic career. As a media research scientist, Gerbner focused on storytelling because the television has a very serious influence on consumers. To summarize his research, the television is telling a story and we are listening. This concept is so powerful it led Dr. Gerbner to develop one of the most influential theories of mass media research, the theory of Cultivation Analysis, which says that “heavy”…

  • Language,  Methods

    Learning Two Languages at Once

    Recently I received an email asking about learning two languages at the same time. It was my privilege to respond, and it occurred to me that TrentBooks.com readers could benefit from our discussion as well. Here is the message I received: Hi Kenny, I would like to know , what is your opinion on learning two languages at once? I have just read your book and really agree with the things you said, so I would highly value your advice. I little background info: I am a homeschooled teenager. I developed a passion for Korean pop culture and decided to learn the language. (Currently at a basic level learning verbs)…

  • Methods

    How to Improve Language Study Time

    While living in Paraguay, I lived by a pretty set routine that gave me a certain time to study languages in the morning (I was studying both Spanish and Guarani at the time). Pretty much every day I set aside an hour for various language study topics – verb conjugations, vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, etc. – and prepared to put them into practice during the day. I felt pretty proud of myself for spending an entire hour studying every day. After about three months of this routine I realized that I often ended my study time with a slightly “empty” feeling – like I had just had a whole lot of…

  • Methods

    Language Learning for Children

    As a homeschooling father, language learning in the home is very important to me. As a parent, I see regular opportunities for teaching my own children how to learn a language (specifically Spanish in our home). But whether you are a homeschooling family or not there are substantial benefits to learning a second language (such as those found here: Can Bilingualism Make You More Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise?), so learning with your children can be extremely rewarding. In addition to the bonding that takes place between parent a child, language learning can open future doors that might otherwise be closed. Here are just a few ideas for language learning in…

  • Methods,  Vocabulary

    Learn Vocabulary: Four Simple Methods

    Strict memorization of vocabulary words can be a dreadful experience. Flash cards can be downright painful when it comes to learning a new language. But learning new vocabulary words doesn’t have to be so dull. I’d like to offer four simple methods to learning vocabulary to make it somewhat more enjoyable – and certainly more effective than straight memorization. I refer to these four methods as: 1) The Holistic Learning Method, 2) The Word Association Method 3) The Object Association Method, and 4) The Context Acquisition Method. Before I get more into detail let’s take a step back to see the big picture. The most important thing to understand before…