Learn a Foreign Language Before You Travel!

mocha_creamI’ve been desperately wanting to improve my Spanish skills as of late. I have always wanted to improve my Spanish skills, mind you, but with a summer of freedom before me, it definitely seems like the perfect time to get to a solid intermediate speaking level. I have taken a number of Spanish courses and have the luxury of nearby grandmother whose native language is Spanish. Due to the fact that I’m interested in gaining a position with the World Health Organization, the International Public Health Institute or a similar organization, it’s become necessary to have a good grasp on two of the primary languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese or French). I (obviously) have a pretty good grasp on English seeing as how it’s my native language, so I’ve been concocting ways of improving my foreign language skills as inexpensively as possible. Although I had seriously considered investing in the Rosetta Stone software — I hear it works! — I couldn’t bring myself to spending $500+ on the package (although I know I would spend a lot more in a classroom environment). Well, fortunately for me (and for you!) while at work I ran into a gentleman who introduced me to LiveMocha. I had never heard of it before, but let me tell you — the best free website out there for learning a foreign language. It’s powered by us — a network of English, Spanish, German, Italian, Chinese (etc.) speakers. When you sign up, you can state what languages you speak and at what level (i.e. I speak English as my native tongue, and I speak Spanish at an intermediate level), then you can let it know what language(s) you want to learn.For me, it’s just Spanish for now, and I want to be able to speak at an advanced/fluent level. For some people I have worked with, an interest in gaining knowledge in four different languages is listed (which is totally cool, too!) Everyone’s on there for different reasons: some people just want to learn a foreign language on a super basic level for an upcoming trip (in which case they might be “learning” four different languages) and for some people (like me), the learning is to gain a fluent grasp on a language.

The website allows you to take courses which include reading, writing, learning and speaking, if you have the necessary technology (microphone). The writing that you submit is reviewed by native speakers of the language and they give comments and advice. The submission requirements gradually get more complex and difficult and are a good challenge for those wanting to learn. It’s also a great way to meet and interact with people from all over the world. We get to all help each other. I have reviewed a number of submissions for Spanish, German or Italian speakers wanting to learn English and have given them advice. In return, Spanish speakers help me out and give me advice on my wording, verb conjugation, etc. It really is an awesome site for anyone wanting to gain some insight into a foreign language for free!! Check it out! Even if it’s just for an upcoming trip, it’s a cool way to better yourself during your downtime!

You can add me as a friend on LiveMocha & we can help each other!



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