French Greetings The Right and Wrong Way to Greet Someone in French

15 Greetings in French: How to Properly Meet & Greet Someone in France

15 Formal French Greetings: How to Say Hi & Bye to Someone in France

How much do you know about French greetings and salutations? Knowing how to approach and greet someone in France is crucial as a beginner – what better way to strike up a conversation and make some new friends?

To get you started, here are a few easy greetings in French so you can make an excellent first impression!

15 French Greetings to Know

Remember, how you say “hello” in French depends on your relationship with the other person, and the social setting. So at the end of this article, there is a section with French etiquette tips, dos, and dont’s.

To help you begin pronouncing some of the most common French greetings, check out this short video! We’ll go into more detail and cover even more greetings below.

1. Bonjour – Good morning / hello

Use bonjour to say “good morning” or “hello” to someone when you’re seeing them for the first time today. If you encounter the same person again later in the day, it’s appropriate to use a less formal version of “hello.”

2. Enchanté(e) – Nice to meet you

In a more formal setting, it’s polite to indicate that you’re delighted to meet someone after they introduce themselves, and this French greeting is the perfect way to do so.

3. Bonsoir – Good evening / hello

This greeting is used in similar situations as bonjour, but reserved for the evening.

4. Salut – Hi

Considered one of the more casual French greetings, salut is appropriate when you see someone again later in the day.

5. Coucou – Hey

Close friends use this French greeting often. You can skip the formal bonjour and use this word, or even ciao, when seeing close comrades.

SEE ALSO: 50 Inspiring French Quotes

6. Ça fait longtemps, dis donc – Long time, no see

An ideal greeting between old friends, young French people tend to use this phrase often.

7. Âllo – Hello

This French greeting is used exclusively for conversations on the telephone.

8. Ça va? – How are you?

A very simple way to ask someone how they are doing is to say Ça va? It’s a condensed version of the question Comment ça va? – How are you doing? Either version is correct and can be used in formal and casual settings.

9. Tu vas bien? – How are you doing?

Literally translated to “are you doing well,” this is a polite way to ask someone how they are when you’re expecting a positive reply.

10. Quoi de neuf? – What’s up?

This one of the very casual French greetings, so we recommend using with close friends.

RELATED: 50 Beautiful French Words

11. Au revoir! – Goodbye!

Rather formal, this is a safe way to say goodbye in French no matter the social setting.

12. Salut! – Bye!

This French word for “goodbye” is much more casual than au revoir.

13. Ciao! – See ya!

This phrase is Italian in origin, but is popular among the younger French population.

14. À plus! – Later!

This is one of those easy greetings in French that is a simple way to indicate you’ll see someone later, but at an unspecific time.

15. À demain! – See you tomorrow!

The word demain can be replaced with any day of the week if you know that you will see the other person soon.

Dos and Don’ts for French Greetings

The proper etiquette for greeting people in France relies on a few factors. While it’s expected and considered polite to greet everyone, from colleagues to shopkeepers, the way you greet each person depends on your relationship with them and the social setting. For example…

  • Les bises (kisses) are a typical greeting when meeting friends in France.

Depending on the region of France, la bise can include one, two, or even three little kisses on the cheek. If in doubt, let the other person initiate and move to one side of your face or the other. The kisses generally begin on the right side of the face.

  • A handshake is a greeting that is reserved for formal or business settings.

When entering a meeting for work, it’s normal for colleagues to offer a firm handshake. It’s also common for men to greet with a handshake rather than with une bise.

  • A hug, contrary to American greetings, is reserved for close family members or significant others only.

A hug is seen as an invasion of privacy to the French and can make someone feel awkward or uncomfortable if you don’t know them well enough.

Learn More French Greetings & Phrases

Once you’ve mastered these greetings in French, you can start to work on more conversational skills! Here are some additional guides for you to check out:

Want to learn even more French? Your options are endless! To start, try working one-on-one with a French tutor near you. Or, you can always sign up for some free online French classes if you’re on a budget. Good luck!

Post Author: Jinky B.
Jinky B. teaches French and ESL. She has her Bachelors in French, French Literature, and Psychology from Florida State University and has been teaching since 2008. Learn more about Jinky B. here!

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The Magic of Music 8 Musical Phenomena Explained

The Magic of Music: 8 Musical Phenomena Explained [Infographic]

Have you ever thought about how awesome music is? The joy of performing and listening to music forms a universal language that connects us across cultures and across time.

And yet despite how universal the experience of music is, there’s still a lot we don’t know about its effects on our bodies and minds. In fact, the famed anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss once said that music is “the supreme mystery of human knowledge.”

Mysterious though it may be, scientists have discovered some interesting theories for the most common musical phenomena that we all experience. For example, why do songs get stuck in your head? What’s the effect of music on memory?

Check out the infographic below to discover 8 musical phenomena, and continue reading to find out more!

earworms-other-musical-phenomena-infographic-2

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1. Why do songs get stuck in my head?

Whether it’s a commercial jingle or an overplayed radio hit, you’ve likely experienced having songs stuck in your head. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as an earworm, and they don’t know all that much about it.

For one, it’s difficult to study: a song popping into your head can happen at random times. Moreover, it often happens when your mind is zoned out and focused on a repetitive task.

As you can imagine, these are not conditions that are easy to replicate in the laboratory!

What we do know: several scientific studies have shown that one of the biggest contributing factors to experiencing an earworm is listening to a song over and over in a short amount of time. Other studies suggest that the shape of your brain plays a part.

Ok, but how do you get that song OUT of your head? Other music may serve as a useful distraction, but one of the best cures may be to give in and listen to the song again.


2. Why does my voice sound different on recordings?

You’ve lost your phone (again), so you borrow a friend’s to call your own. It’s ringing… did you leave it on silent? You let it ring through to your voicemail, when all of a sudden — whose voice is that?

Scientists believe this phenomenon is because of the mechanics of your ear. When you speak, you hear your voice in addition to vibrations from your vocal cords passing through your throat and mouth into your inner ears. These vibrations are typically low frequency, which is what you’re used to hearing. When you record your voice, you only hear the air-conducted sound — which is why you might think you sound higher-pitched.

Test it yourself: As you’re speaking out loud, curl both hands behind your outer ears and pull them forward. This will allow more air-conducted speech sounds into the ear, changing the volume and timbre. For the opposite effect, try plugging your ears to hear only the bone-conducted sounds.


3. I’m bad at singing — am I “tone deaf”?

Not everyone has the courage to sing in public. Some even fear that if they so much as open their mouth, everyone in the room will cover their ears and glass will shatter!

But there’s a difference between being truly pitch-challenged and having an untrained singing voice. The inability to follow a tune or to differentiate between pitches is called amusia, and researchers say it occurs in about one out of every 20 people.

While brain scans have revealed some differences between people with amusia and people without, it’s hard to say which came first. It’s possible amusia is wired into the brain at birth, but it’s just as likely that a lack of musical training is to blame.

Are you really tone deaf? Learn more and take the tone deaf test.


4. Why are some people so bad at keeping rhythm?

Similar to the inability to hold a tune, some people find keeping rhythm a challenge. But before you try to excuse yourself from the dance floor citing auditory arrhythmia, keep in mind that the actual scientific condition of being “beat deaf” is even rarer than amusia.

In one study, researchers found only two people to be truly rhythmically challenged, out of a group of hundreds.

These “beat deaf” individuals had no trouble tapping out a beat in silence, but they couldn’t synchornize their movements with sounds. Scientists think this is due to an abnormality in brain connectivity and internal biological rhythms.

Bad at rhythm? Here are some great tips to improve from Easy Ear Training.


5. Why do I get chills when listening to music?

Ever felt chills while listening to a specific song? You’re not alone! Scientists call this musical frisson.

It’s little surprise to scientists that the experience involves dopamine release, the brain’s “feel-good” chemical. What did come as a surprise in this scientific study was that the emotional climax of a song was not actually the part responsible for musical frisson; it seems the anticipation of emotional release during the tension-building moments matters just as much as the eventual resolution in giving us that tingling feeling.

What song gives you the chills? Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” is one of our favorites. More songs here.


6. Why do certain artists and songs bring back memories?

There are many experiences that prove the connection between music and memory. Listening to music can make you think of a time or place, and it can make you feel nostalgic for a past relationship. Similarly, music has been shown to deeply affect those with Alzheimer’s disease.

Despite significant research into the subject, there’s still a lot we don’t know about the connection. It’s challenging to study, since music blends emotional experiences with text and meaning — and these are stored differently in the brain. Emotional experiences are encoded as an episodic memory, and text and meaning is encoded as semantic memory. This is why sometimes you remember the title or lyrics of a song, but not the tune, and other times you remember the tune, but the words never make it past the tip of your tongue!

Music can also help you learn other subjects faster! Check out the research (and our playlist) here.


7. Does music really help you exercise?

Many people rely so much on music when exercising that when their phone or iPod runs out of battery, they are completely thrown off and can’t even complete their workout. And many professional athletes rely on a particular playlist to pump them up.

A recent scientific study on workout music reveals several explanations for this phenomenon. First, music serves as an important distraction from physical pain and fatigue.

Second, music can trigger your “rhythm response” — your body can’t help but move to the beat! This keeps your movement consistent and helps you use energy more efficiently.

What’s the BEST workout music, though? Check out this playlist from Fitness Magazine.


8. Why do I love listening to sad songs?

In addition to energizing us, music can lead to deeply personal emotional catharsis.

Psychologists pinpoint the release of the hormones oxytocin and prolactin as one reason we keep coming back to sad songs in particular. These hormones, involved in social bonding and nurturing, are also part of romantic attachment. Emotional identification with sad songs is an important part of our ability to empathize and bond with others.

What are the best sad songs to listen to? In a Rolling Stone readers’ poll, Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” topped the list.


So there you have it — 8 musical phenomena that connect many of us. Whether you’re enjoying 400-year-old classical music, learning how to sing or play music, or jamming to the rap album that dropped last week, we all get an equal chance to participate in the many mysteries of music.

 

magic-of-music-david-heinenPost Author: David H.
David H. writes freelance psychology articles out of Milwaukee, WI, and has a passion for presenting a psychological perspective on any number of different topics. A veteran instrumentalist and a Tenor 2, David enjoys car singing and playing improv jazz in his free time.

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What If I’m Not Any Good? 4 Reasons We Put Off Learning New Skills

Vocal coach Terry Wood (left) works with 2010 Operation Rising Star winner Melissa Gomez during recording session at Firehouse Recording Studios in Pasadena, Calif. U.S. Army photo by Tim Hipps, FMWRC Public Affairs

Learning a new skill, exploring a new hobby, or working toward a big goal can be both exciting and nerve-wracking.

The cycle is all-too-common. Maybe you buy a brand new guitar or a bunch of books in another language, and you’re pumped up to start learning! You noodle away for a while or thumb through some pages… and then the doubts start to creep in.

What if I have no musical talent? What if — after months of practicing Spanish — I still get nervous talking to a native speaker?

Those self-doubts can get the best of you if you let them…

… but you’re stronger than that, right?

We recently surveyed our readers to find out some of the common worries when it comes to taking lessons. Is it nerves? Is it fear that you won’t be any good? Do you feel clueless about what instrument to buy, or which supplies to invest in?

Here’s what we found out, followed by advice straight from current students for overcoming the most common concerns.

1) I’m worried I won’t be talented at my instrument, target language, etc.

This was one of the most popular responses in our survey. And we totally get it.

But here’s the brutal truth: you probably won’t be any good… at first. So here’s what you need to keep in mind:

  • If you’re a total beginner, remember that teachers are used to this! As long as you’re motivated and excited about learning, that’s what your teacher wants to see.
  • Your teacher is also there to give you real-time feedback. If you’re trying to learn from prerecorded videos or books, you’ll miss out on that one-on-one help. With the right guidance and practice, you’re bound to improve your skills.
  • Learning just for fun? Even better! Try to think positively, and remember that even if you’re learning slowly, you’re still making progress.
  • Setting small and specific goals can help immensely. And don’t forget to celebrate when you reach them!

no-musical-talent-quote-1

2) I’m worried formal lessons will make learning boring.

Did your parents force you to take piano lessons as a child? Did you take a language class in high school or college to fulfill a credit requirement?

Here’s a little secret: even if you disliked these lessons or classes back then, making the decision to learn something on your own is a totally different experience.

Now is your chance to set your own goals. Are you learning a language for an upcoming vacation? Do you want to learn an instrument for fun, to keep your mind sharp? Take some time to think about your motivations.

Next comes the fun part. The great thing about working with a private teacher is that your lessons will be customized exactly for you. If you’re clear about your goals, your teacher will work with you to keep you motivated — so if you’re feeling bored, speak up!

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3) I’m worried I won’t have enough time to commit to learning, practicing, etc.

Ah, the common excuse: I don’t have time for lessons!

In reality, it’s just a matter of reorganizing your time to make room for your hobbies. We like to compare it to budgeting your money — and that starts with setting those specific (and realistic) goals, taking advantage of practice time you may be overlooking, and following the “pay-yourself-first” rule (learn more here).

Moreover, taking private lessons can actually keep you on track. Instead of wasting time on confusing online programs or watching tutorial videos out of order, your teacher will have a plan to ensure you’re making progress at the right pace.

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4) I’m worried my teacher won’t be a good match for me.

Yup, we get this one too. Working with the right teacher can play a big part in your learning experience.

Maybe you need someone who’s great with kids, if you’re booking lessons for your son or daughter. Maybe you want to work with a teacher who specializes in a certain genre, dialect, or style. Thousands of private teachers have joined TakeLessons, so you’re bound to find a great one.

So take a look, browse around, and let us know if you need some help. And don’t worry — you’re always covered by our 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

More tips here: The 7 Types of Learners & How to Find the Best Teacher For YOU

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OK, ready to take the next step?

You might still feel nervous — that’s OK. Even our pro teachers were in your shoes once. Heck, even Kurt Cobain, Misty Copeland, Mark Zuckerberg, and anyone else who inspires you was once a beginner. And look where they are now.

For the aspiring musicians out there, we’ll share one last piece of advice from Belinda M., one of our guitar students:

Learning to become a great musician is like the lottery… You can’t win if you don’t play!

How can you argue with that?

Photo By U.S. Army

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An Introductory Guide to Becoming a Multi-Instrumentalist

Infographic: How Easy Is It To Switch Instruments? | Music Tips

Drummers, are you curious about the cello? Is it easy or hard to switch from guitar to piano? Learn the tips and tricks for switching instruments in this post by teacher Willy M

Have you been playing an instrument for a while now, but you’re beginning to realize that it doesn’t do everything you’d like to do musically? Did your parents spend a lot of money on an instrument (and you like it), but you’d also like to try something new?

If you answered yes to either of these questions, then this is the article for you!

Switching from one instrument to another — from guitar to piano, for example — doesn’t have to be difficult. Sure, you won’t master it overnight. But this article will dive into tips and tricks to make the transition easier.

How to Play Multiple Instruments

switching-from-piano-to-guitar

I am a multi-instrumentalist. I play keyboard instruments, and I play stringed instruments like the guitar, the banjo, and the mandolin. I also play wind instruments like the harmonica and the tin whistle, as well as percussion and drums for different bands.

People often come up to me when they see me perform with some kind of amazed wonder. Other musicians approach me as if I am some kind of superhuman to be able to play at a professional level on a wide variety of instruments.

But let me assure you, I am a normal person just like you.

What makes me different is that I’ve learned to understand that all instruments share some of the same fundamental principles. And once you understand the principles that apply to all instruments, you can figure out how to make music on these instruments.

But first, let’s break down the four main types of instruments:

  • Piano (including keyboards)
  • Stringed instruments (including guitar, banjo, mandolin, and violin)
  • Wind instruments (including flute, harmonica, brass instruments, and bagpipes)
  • Percussion instruments (including drum set, djembe, and cajon)

Understanding the Basics

switching-from-drums-to-guitar

There are a few things to keep in mind when transitioning from one instrument to another:

1) The basic notes will almost always be the same, no matter what instrument you switch to. (I say almost, because some world instruments do have extra notes, but for our discussion we will stick to well-known Western instruments.) A Major scale will always be A Major scale. A Minor scale will always be A Minor scale.

2) There will be some muscle memory issues that need to be worked out with almost every transition you make. Sometimes you will be switching from predominately using your left hand to predominately using your right, or vice versa. Sometimes, you’ll need to build finger strength when you move over to an instrument that requires more than your first instrument. Posture muscles, lip and mouth muscles, finger calluses, arm muscles, and even leg muscles may need to be developed and conditioned.

3) You may find that the way you comfortably sit with one instrument is not the way you sit comfortably with another instrument. As an example: when I play the banjo, I sit with my knees tucked in to allow the banjo a place to rest while I play, whereas with the drums, my knees are wider apart to reach the hi-hat and kick pedals.

4) You may find that your fingers are already trained. For instance, a guitar uses the left-hand fingers for playing chords and lead lines. The Irish tin whistle uses the left hand to finger some of the holes, and the dexterity gained from playing the guitar can easily cross over to the tin whistle.

5) Depending on the instrument you begin with, some new musical techniques may need to be learned. If you started with an instrument that uses a particular clef, you might need to learn to read another clef. If you never read tablature before, you might need to learn.

How to Switch Instruments – Diving In Further

An Introductory Guide to Becoming a Multi-Instrumentalist

So now that we’ve covered some basic things that you need to look out for, let’s take a look at switching to and from certain instrument categories.

Jump to Sections:

Piano to Strings
Piano to Wind
Piano to Percussion
Strings to Piano
Strings to Wind
Strings to Percussion
Wind to Piano
Wind to Strings
Wind to Percussion
Percussion to Piano
Percussion to Wind
Percussion to String
Recap

  • Switching From Piano to a String Instrument

Switching from keyboards to stringed instruments can be tricky. If you are switching to a stringed instrument that primarily uses tablature (guitar, banjo, mandolin, lute) you might find that learning to read the TAB is confusing.

Another thing to look out for is this: when you play a keyboard instrument, it takes little to no muscle strength to push down on the keys to produce a note. But with most stringed instruments, you will need to build up finger strength, finger sensitivity (yes, you might start developing calluses on your fingers), and even arm strength when you transition. These things are normal.

  • Switching From Piano to a Wind Instrument

When you switch from playing the piano or keyboard to an air-blown instrument, you may find that you are much more conscious about your breath control. You may find that your ribs hurt, and you might feel lightheaded at first as you learn how to support your breath. Also, depending on the type of instrument (padded, valve, or open-holed) you may find that you develop thicker pads on your fingers if you are switching to an open-holed type of wind-blown instrument.

As far as reading music is concerned, though, most wind instruments use the same clefs that you have already memorized– so that will be easy for you!

  • Switching From Piano to Percussion/Drums

One of the nice things about switching from piano (where you are using pedals with one foot) or organ (where you are using pedals with two feet) to the drum kit is that you are already trained to use your feet as you play. This dexterity of your hands and feet will make this transition much easier.

Also, many piano parts in popular music and classical styles tend to be rhythmic and multi-rhythmic, respectively,  so mastering the multi-rhythms of the drums should feel like something you already know.

The tricky part of this switch is it might take you some time to develop finesse on the drums. It is all well and good to beat out a rhythm on a percussion instrument, but to do it smoothly and with subtlety will take some practice.

  • Switching From a String Instrument to Piano

It’s always easy for me to spot a performer who started out on a stringed instrument and then moved to the keyboard, because they tend to have what I call the “guitarist’s hiccup.” When you play guitar, you play left then right — the left hand forms the chord first and then the right hand strums. Even if this is done almost instantaneously, it is still something that you will hear when a guitarist-turned-pianist plays. There is always a ba-dum rhythm to their playing as the left hand lands on the keyboard slightly before the right hand. Musicians who successfully transition from guitar to piano learn how to get rid of this stutter.

Another thing for some string players to consider: if you’re switching from an instrument that is devoted to one clef, you might need to learn a new clef; if you are coming from a TAB-based instrument, you’ll need to learn how to read sheet music. Also, proper seated position at a keyboard might be a bit uncomfortable for some string players, but you’ll develop it with practice.

  • Switching From a String Instrument to a Wind Instrument

Many of the challenges here are the same as the ones I mentioned for switching from piano to wind instruments.

Additionally, if you’re a guitar player who has developed calluses on your fingers, you may have some trouble with open-holed instruments, as the calluses on your fingers may cause a gap. You’ll have to press down with extra strength to seal the hole.

Here’s the bonus: Some air-blown instruments can be played while you play your stringed instrument, like playing a harmonica with a guitar.

  • Switching From a String Instrument to Percussion

Moving from a stringed instrument to a percussion instrument, like from guitar to drums, is a relatively easy transition. Both use wider arm movements, and both tend to be used as rhythmic instruments. Percussion sheet music is similar to TAB, and often the rhythm string players are used to listening for the kick drum to help them keep time. The left-hand dexterity that is developed in many stringed instruments is also good for helping you play smoothly.

However, if you’re switching to a drum set that requires playing with both hands and feet, this is where you’ll need practice.

  • Switching From a Wind Instrument to Piano

This may be one of the more difficult transitions to master. Muscle memory will need to be re-learned, since your hands will transition from being in-line to side-by-side. You’ll be a pro at reading one clef — but with keyboard you’ll need to read two clefs (and up to 10 notes) at a time.

For this type of switch, I recommend approaching each finger on the keyboard as if you were looking at a separate wind instrument. Spend a lot of time learning how chords and harmony work, too.

  • Switching From a Wind Instrument to a String Instrument

This can also be a bit of a tough switch, as you’ll have a similar problem with the hand positions. You also may have a lot of pain as you develop calluses on your fingers, and as you develop muscles in the arms you are not used to using.

Also, if you play an open-holed wind instrument, keep in mind the same advice applies from transitioning from strings to air-blown instruments. Your calluses might get in the way of achieving a nice tone on the stringed instrument. You may also need to learn how to read tab, if you’re switching to guitar.

  • Switching From a Wind Instrument to Percussion

If you play a wind instrument, switching to percussion might seem like a bizarre transition. For some percussion instruments, you’ll need to get used to using both your hands and your feet!

Keep in mind, though, that rhythm doesn’t change from one instrument to the other, so the rhythmic principles will always apply. And the fact that you are used to playing left and right hands in various sequences will do you well when you switch over to the drums.

  • Switching From Percussion to Piano

Switching from drums to piano produces a lot of the same challenges as the other way around. On the plus side, it’s good that you can use both your hands and your feet. This will be useful, especially if you are going to be playing the organ.

But there are a lot of new musical principles that percussionists will need to learn. For example, you’ll have to learn chords, scales, how melodies work, how chord progressions work, how harmony works, and the differences between major and minor and modes. It’s a far greater learning curve than the other transitions that I mentioned above.

  • Switching From Percussion to a Wind Instrument

As a percussionist, you’ll likely have rhythm down pat — so that part will be easy for you. But for this transition, you’ll learn to focus on one note and one hand position at a time. While you might find this a bit constrictive, in the end it will give you another outlet for your musical expression. You’ll also need to practice breath control and support.

  • Switching From Percussion to a String Instrument

Like the transition from drums to piano, switching from drums to strings has a whole host of challenges. The foremost is probably development of finger strength, which is not something most percussionists spend a lot of time on (unless you play something like the djembe or cajon). Other issues include learning tab or sheet music, learning about chords and harmonies, learning about melody, and all of the other things that you would learn if you were to transition to the keyboard, as mentioned above.

On the plus side, you’ve probably built up your arm strength, which will carry over well.

Recap: Notes for Switching Instruments

guide-to-switching-instruments-guitar-piano-violin-etc

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Ready to Make the Musical Switch?

So this concludes my overview of the tips and techniques that will help you become a multi-instrumentalist. One last piece of encouragement: if you decide to delve into this exciting world, know that you will be greatly rewarded! You’ll learn about different aspects of music, as well as find your strengths. In the end, you’ll be a much better musician all around.

Readers, what instrument will you learn next? Are you currently switching from guitar to piano, piano to guitar, or another category? Leave a comment below and share your experience!

 

Willy MPost Author: Willy M.
Willy M. teaches guitar, ukulele, and mandolin lessons in Winston Salem, NC. Willy has been teaching for 20 years, and his students have ranged in age from young children to folks in their 80s. Learn more about Willy here!

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How to Use Your Smartphone for Language Learning

10 Genius Ways to Use Your Smartphone to Learn a Language

How to Use Your Smartphone for Language Learning

Can your phone help you learn a language? Absolutely! Check out these tips and ideas from Spanish tutor Joan B. and start exploring…

You’re addicted to your phone (join the club) and love everything it offers you — access to friends, amazing deals through apps, and up-to-the-minute news. But did you know you can also use it to help you learn a language?

It’s true: your smartphone is one of the best tools you can use to strengthen your language skills — especially when you use your phone to supplement your learning in between regular language lessons with a tutor.

Ready to get started? Try these tips to transform your phone into a portable language-learning console!

1. Visit fun sites.

You now have permission to play games and fun apps as often as you’d like on your phone — as long as they’re in another language. Here are a few language learning apps and websites you can explore:

Tip: If you’re working toward a specific goal, ask your language tutor for their recommendation for an app to use or a game to play based on your strengths and challenges.

2. Watch YouTube videos.

Try watching music videos in your target language! Often you can find the lyrics in the notes below the video to read along if you need extra help. You can also watch how-to tutorials on any language that interests you, such as the ones on the TakeLessons channel.

Tip: Browse through our recommendations for YouTube channels for learning German, learning Italian, and learning French.

3. Listen to foreign music on Spotify.

You can also discover new artists and reap the benefits that come with listening to music in your target language. You’ll get a feeling for the culture and sentiment in addition to learning new vocabulary and pronunciation.

Tip: Check out tutor Christopher S.’s recommendations for 5 New Musicians Who Can Improve Your Spanish.

4. Message friends on WhatsApp.

This is my favorite way to communicate with friends abroad, since it’s secure and free for everyone (no surprise fees here!). You can send each other jokes, ask how their day is, and get in a little language conversation practice all at the same time.

Tip: Choose from one of these conversation starters in Spanish and start chatting!

5. Snapchat in another language.

Create snaps with language from your target language to practice, or watch snaps from the country or language you’re interested in to get a taste of what’s happening locally.

Tip: Lindsay from Lindsay Does Languages offers some great tips for using Snapchat here.

6. Try the WordReference App.

This handy dictionary is actually way more than a dictionary. It also includes threads from native speakers who share the true meaning of confusing phrases and word usage. It’s exhaustive, and in the unlikely case that you can’t find what you’re looking for, you can start a new thread and receive helpful advice.

Tip: Word-a-day updates like the one from SpanishDict are another great way to continue learning.

7. Keep lists of new vocabulary using Google Keep or Evernote.

Retaining new vocabulary is key in language learning, and keeping it in a list on your phone will allow you to review it frequently. You can also share the lists with others, like your teacher or tutor, or other friends learning the same language.

Tip: Struggling with remembering the vocab you’re learned? Check out my advice for memorizing French words.

8. Talk to Siri (or Google).

Did you know that if you change your settings on your phone to your target language, you can have long, deep conversations with Siri? You can ask her various probing questions (“How was your day?”; “Tell me a story, please?”) that will provoke long answers. You can listen to her pronunciation and read her words. Even better, she will test your pronunciation. If it’s a little off, she won’t understand; you’ll become much more precise and accurate thanks to her insistence.

Tip: Here’s a cool post from author Mike Boyle about how iOS 7’s Siri can help you learn a language.

9. Change your language settings on a few apps.

If you don’t feel ready to switch your whole phone to your new language, try changing it on just a few apps, like Facebook. Spanish learners, for example, will intuitively understand that “me gusta” means “like,” even if you’re brand-new at Spanish language learning. And by switching languages, you’ll absorb all kinds of new vocabulary and key phrases.

Tip: Learn how to change your language settings on Facebook here.

10. Join communities to get more conversation practice.

The best way to learn a language and speak colloquially is to get in more conversation practice! Try browsing through Facebook, Instagram, and other social networks to see how native speakers interact casually.

Tip: More ideas for using Facebook here, via AlwaysSpanish.

Feeling better about your smartphone addiction? With these tips, you can use your phone to improve your language skills and learn something new. There’s so much to explore! Get started today, and watch your skills grow and thrive.

Readers, how do you use your smartphone for language learning? Leave a comment and share your best tip.

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Tips for Teachers How to Gear Up for the Holidays & Get More Students

[Teacher Tips] How to Supercharge Your Profile & Get New Students this Holiday Season

Tips for Teachers How to Gear Up for the Holidays & Get More Students

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… the holidays will be here before you know it! In this post, Keenan R. from our Teacher Support team will show you how to maximize your time and efforts — and find new music students, language students, and more.

 

With the holidays just around the corner, there will be tons of new students looking for the perfect instructor to help them achieve their personal goals (and New Year’s Resolutions!). Wouldn’t it be nice to close out the year with a roster full of new students? Of course it would!

Throughout my tenure as a Teacher Support Representative with TakeLessons, I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with thousands of teachers and tutors. The question that I receive the most is: “How can I leverage the TakeLessons platform to get more private students?”

I can assure you, it’s easier than you think! And it’s more important than ever during the hectic holiday season.

What Trends Do We See for Private Lessons?

The holiday season is an exciting time for our partners! TakeLessons has been around since 2006, so we’ve worked through enough holiday seasons to notice the trends.

Yes, you may have to deal with reschedules or canceled lessons as people travel and take time off. But we also see a lot of students taking extra lessons to gear up for holiday recitals and semester-end final exams. And behind the scenes, we’re helping parents and loved ones pick out the perfect gift, setting up our top teachers for a busy (and lucrative) January.

So, want to improve your chances of getting new students during this time? Here are my tips to ensure you’re making the most of your time and efforts.

1) Teach Online

The best way to get new students and keep your roster full? Be accessible to more students! When you offer online lessons, your profile shows up for students searching from all over the world — one of our instructors just taught an online lesson to a student in Dubai! With online learning, students are no longer bound by time, space, or transportation. This means they have a better chance of finding the perfect teacher who best matches their needs and goals. (And who knows… that could be you!)

Not only that, offering online lessons adds value to your current students. If you or your student is traveling for the holidays, you can continue your lessons through the TakeLessons Classroom, no matter where you are.

2) Keep Your Availability Updated

With finals typically falling in December, it’s a prime time for tutors. To reduce snags, make sure your available timeslots are up-to-date.

But even if your teaching schedule is slowing down, it’s just as important to maintain your availability calendar. You never know who might be checking out your profile! Around the holidays, we sell a lot of lesson packages as gifts — so you may get inquiries or bookings early on, though the student won’t actually start until after the New Year (after they’ve received the gift!). Again, ensuring your calendar is correct will make for better matches and fewer scheduling issues when they do start up.

3) Spruce Up Your Profile

Attracting new music students, language students, and other private students begins with a quality profile. If you have extra down time due to reschedules, take some time to review your profile, update anything that’s outdated, and ensure that you’ve completed all available sections of your profile. Then, take advantage of the resources TakeLessons has to offer. Here’s what I suggest:

  • Curate more reviews: Our research has shown that students are more likely to book instructors with a minimum of 7-10 reviews. Remember, reviews are not limited to TakeLessons students. They can come from previous students, current private students, and even colleagues. Request more reviews and you should see an improvement in your profile views.
  • Update your profile picture, if needed. Your profile picture is your personal brand and it’s the first impression that a student gets. Make sure the picture you’ve chosen conveys a sense of professionalism and reflects the quality of your lessons. (Check out more profile picture tips here.)
  • Improve your subject details: This may be the most underrated section of your profile. If you haven’t taken the time to write a thoughtful entry for each subject that you offer, you may be missing out on some great opportunities! Explain your unique value propositions for each subject and avoid information that is already listed on your profile.

4) Respond Quickly to “Ask A Question” Inquiries

Prospective students and parents typically browse through several profiles before booking lessons — so you’ll need to stand out from the crowd! While your profile will display your rates, available timeslots, and lesson details, students sometimes have additional questions. That’s why we created the Ask a Question tool, allowing you to communicate with prospective students before they book lessons.

The student-teacher relationship begins here, so it’s important to remain patient, friendly, and accommodating when responding to these types of inquiries. Thank the student for contacting you, and tell them how excited you are to get started! You can also provide instructions for purchasing lessons, to help move them along the process.


Now is the perfect time to focus on your TakeLessons profile, and the tips above will help you gear up for the New Year and increase your chances of getting new students. Still have questions? Check out the Teacher Support Center for help with profile settings, teaching tips, and more.

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side jobs for language lovers - teach abroad

10 Ways to Make Money as a Language Lover [Infographic]

Do you speak multiple languages? Maybe your linguistic love affair started in high school, when you took your first Spanish class. Maybe you were born into a bilingual family, exposed to the beauty of languages at an early age. Or maybe you even caught on later in life, after taking language classes just for fun.

Whatever the case, we applaud you! Being bilingual is an awesome skill, and one that can lead to higher-paying jobs, a sharper brain, and an expanded network of friends and colleagues. But beyond the pride and goal-achieving side of learning, did you know there are ways to make money with your skills?

Check out the infographic below for 10 perfect side jobs for language lovers…

10 Ways to Make Money as a Language Lover

How to Make Money With Your Language Skills

1. Become a tutor.

Teaching part-time is one of the easiest side jobs for language lovers. Some companies may have you sign on as an hourly contractor, working specific hours at a specific location. Other companies offer more flexibility — with TakeLessons, for example, you can set your own prices and availability, as well as offer convenient online tutoring.

2. Work as a freelance translator.

Another popular option for language lovers is working as a freelance translator. Online translator jobs are plentiful and can be found through marketplaces like Upwork.

3. Grade/score standardized language examinations.

Many universities and testing centers outsource their grading for tests like the AP Spanish Exam. You can search for these jobs on the ETS website and HigherEdJobs.

4. Do some freelance writing.

If you’re a strong writer, why not combine that with your love for languages? Consider creating your own language-learning blog (you can then monetize it with ads or affiliate links once you’ve established an audience), or get paid on a per-article basis through Upwork or Zerys. (Tip: If you’re already a TakeLessons tutor, you can also get paid to write blog articles for us!)

5. Create language videos on YouTube.

If you’re a natural on camera, creating a YouTube channel might be right up your alley! Similar to monetizing a personal blog, once you’ve built your audience you can make money through ads that play before each video. This is a really flexible side job, since you can create videos in bulk and then release them whenever you want.

See Also: 10 Ways Savvy Language Learners Make Money on the Side

6. Sell your (original) content.

Many schools and companies will pay tutors to create quizzes, worksheets, posters, and other course materials. Check out sites like Teachers Pay Teachers and TeacherLingo. See also: 15 Platforms to Publish and Sell Online Courses via Learning Revolution.

7. Create a language app or game.

Are you tech-savvy? Creating a language app or game can end up being one of the most lucrative side jobs for language lovers — if you have a great idea, that is. Make sure to do your research, since your app will need to be better than the competitors (and there’s a lot of them!). See also: How Much Money Can You Earn With an App? via Fueled.

8. Teach at a museum, library, or community college.

Museums and libraries are sometimes open to hosting events, talks, and even mini-courses, if you know how to market yourself well. Or if you’re willing to commit more time, consider looking into community colleges in your area — some hire instructors for language courses based on expertise, not credentials.

9. Lead a trip to a foreign country.

Did you study abroad in high school or college? Most people look back on their experience fondly; immersion truly is one of the best ways to learn a language! Many study abroad programs hire trip leaders and coordinators, if you have the time to spare. Look for programs that fit your availability, whether that’s leading a short-term excursion or a longer trip.

10. Teach English abroad (great for a gap year!)

Teaching English abroad is another very popular option, if you’ve got the time! Programs include a range of locations, contract lengths, and pay. Check out sites like TeachAway and GoAbroad for opportunities. See also: Teaching English Abroad: Are You Qualified? via GoOverseas.

For other jobs abroad check out Career Trotter.

Additional Resources – Do Bilingual Workers Earn More?

If a side hustle isn’t your thing, consider using your language skills within your 9-to-5. Although it’s yet to be determined whether bilingualism increases income on its own, there are tons of benefits that come from learning a second (or third) language. Here are some additional resources:

Readers, how else have you made money using your language skills? What other side jobs for language lovers do you recommend? Leave a comment below and let us know!

JasonNPost Contributor: Jason N. offers online tutoring for English and Spanish. He majored in Spanish at UC Davis, lived in Mexico for 3 years where he completed a Master’s degree in Counseling, and studied Spanish Literature and Psychology at the University of Costa Rica. Learn more about Jason here! 

Photo by teflheaven

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8 Must-Have Acoustic Guitars for Fall 2016

8 Must-Have Acoustic Guitars for Fall 2016 (For All Budgets)

8 Must-Have Acoustic Guitars for Fall 2016

In the market for a new guitar? Check out these recommendations for the best acoustic guitars released this year, courtesy of Colleen from Coustii.com…

 

Buying a new acoustic guitar is a really exciting experience. But to make the process hassle-free, you’ll want to spend some time considering a few important questions. Are you just starting out, or are you an experienced guitarist? Will you be playing solo, or with a band? What is your budget? Once you have the answers to these, it’s time to pick your guitar. Here is my list of the eight coolest acoustic guitars released in 2016.

Ibanez Artwood Vintage

Guitar Brand: Ibanez
Name: Artwood Vintage AVD6
Price: $499.99
Ideal for practicing, as well as playing small, intimate gigs.

Ibanez’s creation is a perfect mix of technological design and acoustic tradition. It has a dreadnought body with a solid sitka spruce top. The back, neck, and sides are made out of mahogany, and the bridge and fretboard are made out of rosewood.

The Artwood Vintage is ideal for carrying around as it does not take too much space. It also boasts a nice, rich sound.

Dean AXS Dreadnought

Guitar Brand: Dean
Name: AXS Dreadnought – Gloss Natural
Price: $179.00
Ideal for beginning guitarists on a budget.

This is the most affordable acoustic guitar on this list. It has a fantastic-looking spruce top, which is reinforced with a 2-ply binding. It’s a full-scale guitar with a rosewood fingerboard and solid die-cast tuners. These allow the ax to remain tuned at all times.

This guitar is great for practicing, recording, and live jamming. It’s fun to play, even for experienced players, and has an overall good feel to it.

Gibson Songwriter Koa

Guitar Brand: Gibson
Name: Songwriter Koa
Price: $3,649.00
Ideal for guitarists who like nice things and aren’t afraid to admit it.

The Gibson Songwriter Koa has set the bar for a great acoustic guitar. Its soothing, musical sound originates from the koa wood from which it is made. Gibson even added a new compound radius fingerboard to give you the feel of an electric guitar.

Perhaps no guitar is perfect, but I’ve yet to find a flaw in this one. If you can only buy one guitar in your life, this is the one you should choose!

Gibson Hummingbird Red Spruce

Guitar Brand: Gibson
Name: Hummingbird Red Spruce
Price: $3,649.00
Ideal for advanced guitarists who plan to perform.

This electric-acoustic guitar offers a comfortable rounded mahogany neck and a solid rosewood fingerboard. Keeping a firm grasp on the guitar is easy and your fingers just slide down the polished fingerboard. Its design is bright and eye-catching, and you can see the almost 60 years of experience that Gibson put into making the Hummingbird.

This is probably why megastars like Jimmy Page, John McLaughlin, Keith Richards, and Sheryl Crow count the Hummingbird as one of their favorites!

Dean Craig Wayne Boyd – Gloss Natural

Guitar Brand: Dean
Name: Craig Wayne Boyd A/E – Gloss Natural
Price: $449.00
Ideal for an intermediate guitarist who enjoys a good-looking ax.

This name might sound familiar: Craig Wayne Boyd rose to fame after winning Season 7 of the NBC reality singing show “The Voice”. Now, he’s released the guitar that helped him achieve this fame. This model even features his initials at the top.

Its body is made of mahogany, and the quilt ash top makes this guitar great for the eyes and the ears. Its C-shaped neck makes it a very comfortable guitar to use. What better way to follow in Boyd’s footsteps than by choosing this guitar?

Yamaha FG180-50TH

Guitar Brand: Yamaha
Name: FG180-50th
Price: $1,300
Ideal for an experienced guitarist who prefers to play folk music.

Yamaha released this guitar to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the FG180. It’s a limited edition model that holds much of the folk tradition that helped make the FG180 great in the first place.

This is an ideal guitar for practically anything, from practicing to recording. It sounds great in small venues and even in big mega concerts.

Martin X Series Custom 2016 X1-DE

Guitar Brand: Martin
Name: X Series 2016 X1-DE
Price: $599.99
Ideal for environmentally friendly guitarists.

This guitar is easy to play and easy on the environment, as it’s made with HPL (High Pressure Laminate). It also has a strong Stratabond neck and robust Richlite fingerboard.

The X Series offers an unexpected deep tone that sounds great, plugged in or not.

Orleans Stage Acoustic

Guitar Brand: Schecter
Name: Orleans Stage Acoustic
Price: Coming this Fall!
Ideal for performing artists who like to stand out.

Unlike most traditional acoustic guitars, the Orleans Stage comes in a vibrant Vampyre Red Burst Satin color. It’s expected to be released in the fall of 2016. The Stage acoustic has a 25-1/2″ scale, 20-fret fingerboards, and black chrome hardware. Its base material, body and neck, are all made out of maple.

Readers, what are the best acoustic guitars you’ve tried out this year? Leave a comment below and let us know!

Further Reading:

Colleen has a passion for guitars and ukuleles. She enjoys jamming, teaching, and getting others involved in music. Her website, Coustii, focuses specifically on guitars and ukes.

Photo by Kyle McCluer

 

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5 Lessons Adults Can Learn About Playing Music… From Kids

what adults can learn from kids how to play an instrument

Learning how to play an instrument as an adult can be daunting, from finding the right teacher to finding time to practice, and even maintaining your confidence. But fear not — just bring out your inner kid! Find out how in this guest post by John Gotsis from Vibe Music Academy…

 

I’ve always had a hard time being taught by teachers who are younger than I am. Call it pride, call it skepticism, whatever. It’s just tough for me.

I’m guessing most people can relate to the feeling; when we think of teacher-student relationships, we usually assume that the teacher is older than the student. And why wouldn’t we? People who are older have more life experience, and more life experience is better than less, right?

Well… not in every way.

I’ve been teaching music for about five years, and the majority of my students have been children. And though I wouldn’t have guessed it going into it, after all this time spent with these young music students, I’ve found myself learning from them even as they learn from me.

I consider myself a lifelong student of music, and many of my younger students have taught me valuable lessons about how to be the best student that I can be — regardless of my age. Today, I want to share five of those lessons that I’ve learned from those kids.

1. Learn from someone who’s better than you.

What’s with adults always thinking that we can conquer the world on our own? How does that “go-it-alone” mentality turn out in other areas of life? Music is no different. Kids tend to quickly recognize the need for guidance, and adults should too!

There’s tremendous growth that can happen when you learn from someone better than you, and there’s plenty of ways to do it. Private lessons, online classes, masterclass clinics, and simply seeking advice from musician friends can dramatically improve your progress as you learn how to play an instrument as an adult.

2. Bring it back to the basics.

I spend a lot of time going over the fundamentals with every young music student that I have. There are only so many ways to make a major scale interesting, but fundamentals are important for everything we play! This is an important takeaway for adult music students to remember: Even when we feel like the ground-level stuff is beneath us, a strong foundation actually helps us grow faster.

3. Find opportunities to play with real people.

Kids get involved in school music programs, group lessons, summer camps, garage bands, and so on. And adults… play along with YouTube videos.

Slight difference, eh?

Music is meant to be played with others, performed for audiences, and learned from and alongside fellow music lovers. Sure, there’s a ton that we can and should learn on our own, but that’s only skimming the surface of what music has to offer! Consider getting involved in an amateur performance workshop, finding a local jam session, or getting together with friends to play music.

4. Be teachable.

This goes along with point #1, but being teachable goes beyond simply finding a teacher. In fact, this life lesson even goes beyond the scope of music itself. Aldous Huxley (author of the book Brave New World) once said, “Experience teaches only the teachable.” How true is that! 

Kids learn by being taught. We can take after them by always remaining teachable.

5. Don’t believe the lie that “you’re too old.”

I’ve always had a tremendous amount of respect for those who learn how to play an instrument as an adult. They know it’s never too late to learn, making a mockery of the “old dog can’t learn new tricks” cliché.

There’s a great article in the New York Times about a woman in her sixties who decided to pick up the cello after having never played before. Eleven years later, she was performing with orchestras and string quartets and loving every minute of it.

If you’re like me — an adult music learner — then there are plenty of takeaways that we can grab simply by observing the way the best learners in the world (children) learn music. If we stay humble, enjoy ourselves, and don’t buy into to the accusation of being too old, then we will attain the satisfaction that comes from being able to call ourselves “musicians.”

John Gotsis, M.M., Owner and Music Instructor at Vibe Music Academy in Fishers, Indiana, is a full-time teacher and performer. He has worked with the likes of Rodney Whitaker, the Director of Jazz Studies at Michigan State University,  and Blue Note Records guitarist Peter Bernstein.

 

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learning a language as an introvert

How to Survive (and Thrive) as an Introvert Learning a Language

learning a language as an introvert

Are extroverts better at learning languages? Au contraire! Learn how to survive (and thrive) as an introvert with these tips from Alexandria, VA tutor Elisha O...

There’s been a lot of hype lately about introverts and extroverts. And no matter which side you identify with (or if you’re a little of both!) there are definitely advantages and strengths on both sides of the spectrum.

As an introvert myself, my most productive and creative time is the time I spend alone. However, I’ve found that there are also many skills that simply cannot be done alone — and learning a new language is one of them.

Sure, you can stay home and read, study, and watch movies in your target language. But in order to really improve, communicating with others needs to be part of your learning strategy. While some extroverts jump at the opportunity to go out and socialize in a foreign language, the same idea leaves many introverts shaking in their boots.

So, does that mean that extroverts are better at learning languages? Not at all. But introverts may need to try different strategies along the way.

Here is a list of the most common obstacles introverts face when learning a language and how to solve them.

Problem: The thought of a “language meetup group” makes you cringe
Solution: Ease into learning from the comfort of your home

If you’ve never felt like your best self at networking events or mixers, your instinct will probably be to avoid group language meetups. Walking into a building and breaking the ice with one person after another in your first language is scary enough, let alone doing it in your second or third!

Well, there’s good news for us introverts. These days, the internet offers opportunities to connect with others no matter where you are — even from your own home. This makes a lot of students feel more comfortable, since you’re not in an unfamiliar location. Technology provides just the right amount of distance to feel comfortable and secure. 

I recommend easing into a new language with online, private language lessons with a tutor, and then progressing to online group classes to get conversation practice.

Problem: You’re good at reading, writing, and listening, but struggle with speaking
Solution: Practice speaking without people around

While this may affect introverts and extroverts alike, introverts are less likely to seek out speaking opportunities and get out of their comfort zones, which furthers the gap.

Before you delve into a new language (whether for the first time or after a long hiatus), try listening to music in your target language and singing along as best you can. You’ll get a feel for vocabulary as well as how to pronounce the words, which can help you feel a lot more confident the next time you speak out loud.

You can also try talking to yourself throughout the day in your target language. For example, try narrating what you’re doing as you get ready for work or school in the morning. The trick to overcoming your nerves is often just practicing speaking more!

Problem: Breaking the ice is not your forte
Solution: Prep yourself with conversation starters

“You mean I have to… think of stuff to say?”

No! Not necessarily. As introverts, we often prefer for others to set the tone and pace of the conversation, at least at first! If starting conversations isn’t your cup of tea, and talking to strangers makes you queasy, consider requesting more structured classes from your teacher.

My ESL students also enjoy the seasonal book clubs that I coordinate. With this format, students don’t have the pressure of responding to small talk questions or improvising. The book provides a context in which they can frame the conversation, and they can even prepare responses to discussion questions ahead of time.

Problem: You’re afraid of looking “dumb”
Solution: Find a tutor you feel comfortable with

If there’s one thing I hear from students the most, it’s this. Sure, learning would be so much easier if we could travel back in time and return to being children, when our brains are like sponges and our pride could never be hurt! But learning a language as an adult can be a totally different experience. We often fear that we will appear less intelligent and articulate than we really are when we speak another language.

My advice for these students is to find a tutor who has actually learned a second language or lived in a foreign country. These teachers get it. They know first-hand the courage it takes to learn a new language, and will support and encourage you every step of the way!

Introverts, what other tips have you found helpful for learning a new language? Leave a comment below and share it with us!

Photo by uoeducation

ElishaOPost Author: Elisha O.
Elisha teaches English, ESL, Essay Writing, and Grammar in Alexandria, VA, as well as online. She earned her degrees in Psychology and Spanish from Western Washington University. Learn more about Elisha here!

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