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Learn a Foreign Language With Your Cell Phone?

Aug 21, 2007
When students think of learning a foreign language, the first thought is of books, exercises, audio cassettes and all the rest. Those are all important and fundamental to learning but the time comes when you need to spice things up a bit.

After all, you need to maintain your studies over a long period of time. In order to do this, it's necessary to change things so that your interest level remains high. After all, most people have the initial desire but lose interest due to, among other things, a boring routine.

That's where things like a cell phone come in handy.

It's the perfect addition to your study materials. You have it with you day after day, you are familiar with how it works and you can use it to practice whenever you have some downtime. No need to have your books by your side or be in your car to listen to tapes.

Let's take a look at how to add your cell phone to your study toolchest.

Tip #1 - Set up your cell phone to use the language you'd like to study. - Go to the menu, find settings, locate language and change it to Spanish, Chinese, whatever you would like to learn. If you ever get stuck you can go and change it back.

Tip #2 - Take a look at the buttons you normally push and begin associating those items with the new vocabulary. - This is a great way to master simple words and phrases with little or no effort. For example, each time you open up your cell phone you'll see, (in the case of Spanish), "mensajes" instead of "messages", "juegos" instead of "games" and "llamdadas hechas" instead of "calls made."

These words begin to stick once you see them again and again. Before you know it you'll recognize the Spanish word just as quickly as the English one.

Tip # 3 - When you have downtime, take out your cell phone and start hitting buttons. - You'll be surprised at all the vocabulary you can learn by just playing with the different menu items. Some things you'll recognize immediately and others you'll be able to guess just by where you find them.

As you probably know, the more contact you have with the language the better. That is particularly true of vocabulary. Seeing a word for the first time and then not seeing it again is a recipe for a very limited vocabulary. You have to get the repetitions needed to help move the information into long term memory.

You also need to see things in context. With a cell phone, you begin to see relationships between words of the same category. For example, the category "llamadas" is "calls" in English. Contained in this category are "llamadas hechas" (calls made), "llamadas recibidas" (calls received), "llamadas perdidas" (calls missed), just to name a few.

You have a goldmine of related words and phrases that can double your vocabulary almost overnight. Why not take advantage of it?

It's one of the ways you can keep your learning fresh and interesting. And that's important because boredom is a big problem with language learners. You need variety and a cell phone is one way to get it.

Don't fall into that trap. Grab your beloved cell phone right now and start hitting some buttons!
About the Author
Jim Sarris is a veteran Spanish teacher and the author of a new ebook/audio series "The Secret to Learning Any Language." Visit his blog to obtain free information and learn about other resources to help you learn faster and easier than ever.Language learning made easy.
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