29 sept-5 oct 2008

5 October 2008 at 2:53 pm Leave a comment

Where did you learn?

  • I learned in my job
  • tv and books
  • Collaborating with enterprises from USA and UK.
  • NOTE: Second Life give me the opportunity to talk with a lot of people all around the world with different English accents, which is really helpful.
  • at the high school
  • reading technical books and italian magazine Speak up that come up with an audio CD.
  • français in the normal school
  • Italian and English at home Spanish living in a spanish-speaking country
  • by traslating text of songs
  • myself whith books, movies, etc
  • english is compulsory course in china almost every school offering english classes
  • at work in tourism
  • Reading, using a dictionary.
  • Learning lyrics to songs
  • A scuola (5 anni: medie e ginnasio)
  • I became bilingual just by listening to people talk in english on TV. This is how I learn languages, by being exposed to them.
  • leggendo libri-fumetti, guardando serial televisivi, andando a caccia di qualsiasi cosa possa capire in quella lingua…

If you learned a foreign language in a language school (in your town, etc)…

What did you like?

  • Grammar
  • To study with more people
  • learning the language
  • i like the reading and writing activity
  • It was long time ago in the town where I was living then. I liked to learn gramar
  • If the teacher is a native speaker of the language he/she is teaching it’s allways a bonus.
  • to have informal chats.
  • conversation( pronounciation)
  • Era facile frequesntare il corso dopo il lavoro. Avevo tanti amici che volevano imparare la lingua italiana e cha amaga l’Italia.
  • There were many students from all over the world, so we had to speak English (English and Activity Courses in Kent and Oxford), all activities were held in English, too (e.g. silly games, sports, cinema, …) The teachers were 23 – 40 years (roughly), and all “mad”, so we as the students got a lot out of our holidays. Class size was small (6 – 12 students) and the teachers took a lot of time to help everybody.
  • The presence of native speacker teachers.
  • contact between teacher and studentsThe learning of grammar structures
  • Tenir un bon professor
  • the presence of a teacher who corrected my mistakes
  • grammar, conversation
  • learning vocabulary although it was form a list
  • native speaker one to one session
  • being with other people learning the smae language
  • Native speakers
  • The class organization and the material given
  • Oppurtunity to practicegroupwork, having someone “follow” you because sometimes I’m a bit lazy, using different materials
  • regular classes the discipline of regular study and homework (I didn’t really like it but I respected it) group feeling
  • I had very good teachers
  • la lingua

What did you not like?

  • translation from the target language into my own
  • It is possible to lose the time
  • non qualified teachers, formal environtment
  • i dont like to speak but prefer to listen
  • We didn’t practice street conversations as I wished.
  • The huge amount of grammar. Strange words with no self explanatory names. You have to learn an extra language in order to learn the new language.
  • to follow strict schemes
  • grammar
  • Non mi bastava solo una lezione (2 ore circa) alla settimana per imparare la lingua.
  • Hmmmm…. too many students from one country at the easter courses. There’s nothing to complain about really…. Having to go back home was what I like least. 😉
  • The time was not enough and the possibility to practise language was very few.
  • homeworks 🙂 and many people in the class
  • The low level of oral practice
  • Haver de desplaçar-me i perdre tems en aparcar i anar i tornar. Seria millor poder treballar cada un des de on vol amb mtjans on-line i trobar-se dos dies al mes.
  • the presence of the other classmates
  • grammar, grammar, grammar and to learn the language without using it in context.
  • bad teacher..lol
  • sometimes it was an artificial environment. Sometimes we did things that had no real value for me
  • Methodology
  • The limited creativity in the process of learning the language
  • Not totally immersive
  • I don’t like activities that take too long, sometimes, we only did one activity in a 2-hour-class
  • wasn’t communicative often uninteresting material and dull methodology
  • It’s difficult to reproduce real situations inside a classroom.
  • era noioso, non esisteva (o non si utilizzava) ancora il metodo comunicativo

If you learned a foreign language in an online school…

What did you like?

  • good if the school in town is too far away or the hours are not compatible with working ours
  • time flexibility
  • to have informal chats
  • Poder tenir un tutor i uns horaris i objectius clars que s’haguessin d’assolir.
  • native speaker i don’t need go outside..lol
  • being able to go to “school” in my pyjamas – well, seriously, the ‘any time, any place” feature of it is attractive

What did you not like?

  • service I was offered by the online school
  • I have no self dicipline
  • to follow strict schemes.
  • problem with connection, lag
  • No ho se.
  • the internet issues.. lol
  • it’s difficult to keep up interest – not very human most of the time

If you learned a foreign language in the street (living in the country, etc.)…

What did you like?

  • it’s best and quickest way
  • to know new people
  • I wished!
  • i like every thing because it will be spontaneous
  • to be close to mothertongue friends that can help me to learn.
  • conversation
  • Era molto utile imparale la lingua viva.
  • I’m in touch with many native speakers and would even say that I speak more English than my mother tongue throughout the year. I like learning about the culture and just chatting/talking to them. I enjoy the many different accents and the regional differences in the use of words. Of course I like the people as they are my friends. I used to go to many events in the UK and Europe because of my hobby. Now I don’t go as often, but am still in touch with some of the people.
  • Tenir una feina per poder viure i aprendre de manera fluida.
  • The full immersion experience, having to apply oneselves to survive.
  • learning in context
  • live language life based
  • more words also Pronunciations
  • it’s a natural place to learn, especially when you are there and have to speak the language to communicate, live, etc.
  • Learning through experience
  • Meeting people Picking up nuances/idioms
  • Being in the middle of the experience highly motivating – I knew exactly why I needed to learn the benefits were obvious – ability to interact with people, order what I wanted, find out about places to go, make friends and more aware that I was picking up a culture as well as a language and that the culture and language was local as much as national the freedom to be able to behave differently (use different gestures, adopt a variation on my own personality)
  • Real context and communication with native speakers
  • il fatto che s’impari il registro linguistico adeguato al contesto, che raramente si usi la propria lingua madre come lingua-ponte per l’apprendimento della L2, e che quindi si relazioni direttamente il nuovo termine al relativo concetto,

What did you not like?

  • one doesn’t learn grammar rules etc and makes it difficult to explain rules. but at the end it’s not that important.
  • some times it is difficult
  • it wont cover all langige skills it may be good for litening and speaking
  • I feared I couldn’t understand slang for a long time.
  • Rispetto agli altri studenti, la mia madre lingua (giapponese) mi impediva di imparare la lingua italiana. Mi sembrava che solo io non fossi allo stesso livello.
  • Luckily, I have some very well-educated friends who correct me. But most of the time, people won’t correct your English when you’re just talking to them. Having someone who corrects your mistakes is the only way to learn, really.
  • No tenir mitjans i que el aprendre la llengua es convertis en un mal de cap.
  • The huge headache at the end of each day for the first few weeks
  • to feel limited of expressing myself for not master the language
  • i don’t like to talking with strangers in rl
  • it cannot be used mostly in works
  • it is not a controlled environment – people lose patience with you, it can be embarrassing, etc. and easy to become demotivated if people say the wrong thing or act unkindly towards you
  • When people spoke English to me.
  • It’s hard and it takes a long time feeling restricted in not being able to express my thoughts and feelings except in a very simple way at first it requires discipline – either a little continual study to clarify what you learn ‘in the street’ or periods of intense learning every so often not being taken seriously by the natives because I didn’t speak well (at first) or had an accent (later)
  • I liked everything !
  • va affiancato un duro lavoro, autonomo, di supporto grammaticale

If you learned a foreign language in a virtual environment (Second Life or others)…

What did you like?

  • again time and place..flexible, no need to leave home
  • english and spanish language in a vistual school
  • every thing i learn without any fear and with more confidenc
  • I like being able to converse with native speakers on a regular basis and in a conversational way.
  • Second Life was and still is a very nice experience about language practicing, becuase I can find people all around the world with different English accents. So I could improve my level quicly.
    I find the enviroment quite relaxed. When I was new and green, still wet behind my ears the teachers were very helpful and kind (they still are).
    The ease of getting to the meeting – just on my computer at home, no having to go out late and drive etc Talking to people from all over the world Native speaking teachers Real life situations
  • you don’t need to waste time in movement
  • to have informal chats.
  • Great teachers and fellow students. An interesting approach to the language. The combination of learning and experiencing (e.g. lesson about travelling) and having fun. Corrected homeworks are great, also the class outlines. In general: Being able to log on from home is great, no need to travel to get to the courses. No cost! (That’s very important for me as I’m struggling to keep alive altogether), but I would pay if I could afford it. 🙂
  • The possibility to practice written skills and to communicate in real time.
  • less people around, meeting with people from different countries
  • Que hi hagues un horari marcat de classe amb un grup que poguessim coneixer-nos, igual que en una escola normal, pero tb amb la possibilitat de que si no pots assistir-hi poguessis recuperar el que s’ha fet. Tenir un bon profesor, de fet m’encantaria poder aprendre angles a SL. Penso queestaria be poder contactar amb gent anglesparlant que vulgues aprendre espanyol i poder estudiar junts intercanviant coneixements, aixo magradaria ja que ara tinc verdaderes dificultat quan amb trobo a algu i no l’entenc.
  • Can learn myself
  • At my own time
  • native speaker i don’t need go outside..lol and there are live language and life based as well
  • in SL .. i think because of the school it was comprehensive about what should learned in English so it was best for formal and informal languages
  • it’s a more human way of learning a language online – you have a sense of space and it’s also easy to meet friends, etc.
  • It’s real communication, so difficult to reproduce in a classroom environment.
  • la possibilità di accedere a dizionari/grammatiche (in rete o cartacei) mentre si pratica la lingua, nella vita reale non mi metterei mai a consultare un dizionario durante una conversazione inoltre la possibilità di un doppio canale orale/scritto si rivela molto utile per i principianti

What did you not like?

  • lack of self dicipline to keep me going
  • i like everything
  • The lack of organization.
  • All is fine. There are places not well recomended but this is like in real life.n We need to explore correct places and meet people who are really interested in share intelligent converations about different things.
  • The sound goes haywire sometimes and makes it difficult to catch the red line in others speech. Real life needs also some attention so too much home work is not allways so pleasing.
  • Lag caused us problems on one night only, there was nothing else I did not like
  • voice chat is not like a rl conversation
  • to follow strict schemes. Sometime I would know more about real persons behind the avatar (i.e. Photos, personality)
  • The broken website. 😉 Having to sign up (and being told off for not doing so) when it doesn’t work for weeks is a pain… In my opinion, a website needs to be user-friendly (e.g.: Where’s the “bug report” button on the website?) As for the classes: I enjoy them all; a bit more grammar wouldn’t hurt though. Also, it would be great to get more written material so that it is easier to recall things. I write down a lot, but sometimes don’t get round to it. Properly named notecards would be great, too. But in general, I’m very happy with the classes. 🙂
  • It was very difficult to interact with strangers.
  • problem with connection, lag
  • No ho se
  • The difficult of find and others users whith the same english level.
  • internet issues. crash^^
  • out side to this school will be like the street
  • reliant on technology that sometimes is not stable – you can waste a lot of time waiting for people to get their microphones sorted out, etc.
  • It’s sometimes difficult to understand slang : (
  • a volte è dispersivo dal punto di vista temporale, è soggeto alle bizze del mezzo (lag, crash, o incompetenza degli utenti)

If you learned a foreign language at the university (you took language courses)…

What did you like?

  • all of it
  • all courses were beneficial and i like them all espacially the literature courses
  • The organized approach. Learning the technicalities of a language.
  • don’t know
  • Niente, era obbligatorio studiare l’inglese.
  • Access to the library. Some courses are interesting and good fun.
  • The atmosphere that a university class can create.
  • the approch used to teach a foreign language
    The learning of translation techinques
    Bons professors.
    The structured approach to learning a language
    the presence of a teacher and of classmates who corrected my and our mistakes
    living with a family, travelling
  • text book intensive traning on listening comprehension
  • mostly it contains most important parts in learning languages
  • english french
  • That you become directly involved in the language practice
  • It was a good course. Totally immersive from day one.
  • I’ve had good teachers who always made the lessons interesting and usefull.
  • reading and translating interesting texts, projects
  • syllabus was more ‘adult’ than in school but .. – literature – girls in the class (I had gone to an all boys school)
  • You ‘suffer’ but you learn language into a different level ( linguistics, literature,… )
  • gli interessi comuni tra gli studenti, scegliere i temi che trattavamo in classe (classe con pochi studenti)
  • i corsi di lingua sono normalmente strapieni di ragazze

What did you not like?

  • having to learn very quickly
  • the linguistic course
  • It lacked practicality and application. I learned lots of pieces, but not how to put it all together into a cohesive language.
  • I don’t know
  • Niente, era obbligatorio studiare l’inglese.
  • Classes consist of too many people (up to 50 students in seminars), there’s hardly a chance for corrections. Students prepare the lessons and hold them (by doing presentations). So it’s hard to foresee the quality of the lessons themselves. The level of English differs a lot which is particularly difficult when the courses are full. Although we study English, we are supposed to write many term papers in our mother tongue, and some courses are even held in our mother tongue. I’m often bored.
  • Too many students to have the possibility to follow and work fully.
  • The low level of practice
  • No ho se
  • The lack of “pressure” you get while on the street
  • the exams at the end of the course
  • old fashioned teaching methods …a long time ago!
  • teacher is really sucks so far i met in rl
  • it is looking straightly for our major studies and just the formal german
  • too many people in class
  • You have to overcome many language obstacles by yourself
  • It was a little bit ‘straight
  • Probably there was a low opportunity to practice the foreign language. too theoretical, not too much monitoring- learning curve very steep (know no Spanish in October, read first short story by Cela in December) – the Language lab! terribly repetitive though effective if you stuck at it – very little communicative teaching and I really couldn’t speak until I went to Spain
  • sarebbe troppo lungo fare un elenco di certo dipende dal professore, ma fare corsi di lingue per tanti studenti è arduo e raramente si rivela produttivo quanto il lavoro autonomo

If you learned a foreign language studying other subjects (i.e. taking a master abroad, etc)…

What did you like?

  • Bons professors i superintensiu per poder-ho fer molt rapid
  • not sure. never been abroad

What did you not like?

  • Aburrir-me
  • not sure. never been abroad

If you learned foreign languages in other ways…

How did you learn?

What did you like?

What did you not like?

I learn every day in my job

It is very easy and my boss pay me fot it

some times is difficult

reading books and watching tv

reading because it can help me and i go over things again and again

i may dont have the change to hear the words and know the right pronounciation

Collaborating with conpanies from USA and UK.

I liked to practice bussines conversations and write letters and e-Mails.

All was fine in these situations, so nothing to say here.

watching films

Reading English books, watching English films, doing a calendar that teaches a bit of English every day, chatting (online), meeting people while travelling in the UK, optional English lessons in elementary school, “English Conversation” with the school founder (an English woman) in secondary school – we played games and talked – this was also optional, a general interest in England/UK, language courses in England. Also, I used to solve English crossword puzzles and always tried to read instructions in English, I only referred back to other instructions when I didn’t understand. As a child, I spoke English to my cuddly toys that I knew were from the US or England since I couldn’t imagine they’d understand when I spoke to them in a different language.

Everything, hehe. It was my choice and I didn’t have to do it. I love learning and have a general interest in languages.

I don’t think there’s anything I don’t like.

schools book, teacher,.

vocabulary, accent, good

La musica es una bona manera ja que la majoria les lletres son en angles.

A mi m’agradaria molt poder-ho fer a SL


by traslating, mostly text of songs

acquiring, day by day, my self confidence in english learning

being alone without anybody to correct my mistakes

Books, movies

The learn time. I can learn any time ocloc’k in my house

Have the teacher for corrections

With friends – study/conversation group

Being in a grouop/sharing

Isolation from Spanish speakers and academia

working in touristic villages

english and french


Just read, read and read. In a second stage, using audiobooks

My own methodology suits me perfectly.

Takes time.

From listening to music and translating lyrics

If it’s a good song it’s very easy to remember

1.listening to the radio in the background 2. reading comic books

1. an easy way to build up comprehension skills 2. excellent for focussing on real spoken language

a scuola

i pochi progressi che facevo nella comprensione

mancava completamente lo stimolo per sviluppare la lingua attivamente

Watching TV I liked that I didn’t even notice I was learning. One day I just started talking the language and I was excellent at it. I didn’t like that I haven’t learned the grammatical rules, etc.
leggo una grammatica cerco materiale scritto bilingue cerco materiale scritto/orale semplice e/o con facili riferimenti iconici cerco persone con cui praticare la lingua la libertà libertà di procedere alla velocità per me più adeguata di volta in volta libertà di selezionare cosa imparare e in che ordine libertà di non dover dimostrare le mie competenze secondo le aspettative di un professore è un ottimo hobby a volte si sente la mancanza di un “esperto”, qualcuno che possa indicarti scorciatoie necessita di impegno e determinazione

What are the main difficulties you had while learning languages?

  • none other than finding native speakers
  • it’s not quick enoughthe pronuciation
  • my own lack of concentration
  • feeling shy to talk. afraid of making mistake
  • I’ve always had difficulty finding opportunities to use what i’ve learned. I struggle with verb tenses.
  • -To understand when other native people are speaking quickly. -To understand easily conversations in movies and TV programs
  • The lack of time is a drawback. But I think that’s quite normal when you are living your life and have many interests. Remembering new words can be a pain if you don’t have a chance to use them. Unused words have a nasty habit to disappear.
  • Finding time to practise working out the pronunciation until I could see the words written
  • Understand people talking remember words
  • the pronunciation, spoken languagenone
  • ascoltare ed esprimere esattamente quello che penso.
  • I grew up bilingually, so to me it was normal that people didn’t always understand one language. I thus didn’t have difficulties at all. To me, it was normal that different languages sounded differently and used different pronunciations. It all came rather naturally though, I think languages are what I’m good at. As a child, I learnt to ask people to rephrase if I didn’t understand and got used to describing things if I couldn’t think of a word. Using your “hand and feet” to speak and make myself understood when I lacked the words is another thing I guess people struggle with (if they’re not familiar with it), but to me it’s natural somehow. The only “difficulty” I can think of is that I don’t get corrected very often and would like to make less mistakes.
  • The main difficulty is approaching the language in the righ way, I mean in a communicative environmet rather than in a merely scholastic method.
  • my are very young and inconsciencious. It’s beautifoul student
  • speaking and grammar
  • comunicative difficulties regarding cultural aspect
  • The comprehension of spoken languages
  • A mi em costa molt el listening.
  • vocabulary, speed of response (first few months only)
  • loooking for the sense of the everything I read
  • 1.- The phonetic speak 2.- Build sentences 3.- Verbs
  • No Spanish speakers available No teachers available
  • Subjunctives
  • Pronunciation: I only had one model to follow, the teacher Learning separated from context Grammmar: It had no meaning at all
  • the fluence
  • bored .and hard to persisted in
  • Pronunciations Grammer
  • remeber grammatical exceptions
  • a lot of learning a language is repeating things over and over again, especially at the beginning – memorising information is important but I find it difficult and dull
  • I’m lazy
  • The different grammatical rules
  • Finding people to talk to Finding time to keep it up
  • My main difficulties were expecially at the beginning of the course. I had some problems to undertand always the teacher.
  • studying at a regular basis. I like going to class, watching movies and talking with people but I don’t like to study it. I like to use it and have fun with it.
  • I’m lazy and not systematic but it I didn’t used to find it hard
  • You are never sure about the language you produce, so it’s difficult to let yourself go.
  • non sopporto fare “teatro”, mettermi artificialmente in una situazione per praticare, per esempio, un determinato ambito lessicale
  • I had no-one to ask questions to.
  • abituare il mio orecchio alla comprensione orale

and your main satisfactions?

  • I can communicate in other languages
  • great benefits from speaking different languages
  • to know new people
  • being able to speak the language
  • i am not so satisfaied i want to be perfect not only good in talking and expreeing myself
  • I love being able to help people with my language skills. For example helping an older Italian gentleman find his son at the airport. I also love that knowing one language helps you recognize words in another. Although I’ve never studied French, I can often interpret the meaning of written sentences.
  • Once we could see people understand me, the world was opened to me. It was great!!. It doesn’t metter if I make mistakes. The most important is to feel everybody can understand me and I can follow conversations. – The key is to loose the rodiculous sensation when we speak in English.
  • Language learning is only a hobby for me so I’m grateful to every improvement I make. I think it’s also a social thing for me, nowadays I’m able to learn about how they are doing in other countries. Learning to understand a foreign culture is a benefit. The greatest advantage is that I don’t need to be afraid of trying to speak in a foreign language anymore.
  • I am not far enough along the line of learnign Spanish to be able to converse, but that will be my aim, then I will be satisfied
  • understand people talking, be able to wacth movies in original language and understand lyrics of songs
  • (refering to English). To be able to read and write quite fluently. To be able to speak/understand people from all over the world.
  • being able to talk with people in their language.
  • Ora lavoro come traduttrice italiano/giapponese.
  • It’s great to be in touch with people from all over the world and being friends. Also, I find it interesting to learn about other countries/cultures. I enjoy being able to read and listen to English books, music, etc. Above all, I’m happy to have met so many amazing people and communicate with them (which wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t speak English). Good luck with the evaluation, Anna! I’m looking forward to reading your article. 🙂
  • The main satisfaction is realizing you can communicate with people and you can understand them.
  • Non practice and no remember
  • understanding people from different countries…. new knowledges about other people and countries
  • when I can help someone who speak a foreign language
  • Translation exercises
  • Entendre cada vegada mes coses i poder-me comunicar amb el mon.
  • interacting with native language speakers, thinking in that language
  • learning by myself
  • 1.- Understand people who speak another language
  • Keeping the mind active Being able to speak with others in a different language
  • being able to read literature, experience life in Spain, make friends
  • Watching a movie and recognizing some of the words learnt
  • talk with wole peopleadd new language 😀
  • my pronounciation and my good level of text comprehension
  • being able to speak to people in another language, to read and understand TV and cinema, etc is great
  • Language learnt
  • In addition to the language you study you also get in touch with the culture of a foreign country
  • Being able to communicate with people who I woul not normally be able to talk to. Understanding music, literature and culture in a different way. The feeling of having a ‘spare’ identity.
  • That at the end of the courses I’va laways passed the exams with good results. And now I’m aware of my knowledge. I can communicate with people from other countries without great difficulties.
  • Being able to maintain a conversation with someone or to understand a movie or a song or a book
  • learning to have linguistic fun in other languages – learning about other cultures from the inside – learning to be a (slightly) different person
  • Understanding each other with people from another nationality it’s the best satisfaction for me.
  • quando vedo che riesco a comunicare in modo abbastanza fluido e senza troppe tensioni
  • Being able to think in a second language with no need of mediation.
  • The fact that it had come to me so easily, I spoke with hardly any accent and my grammar and spelling were perfect.
  • riuscire a pensare cose che il giorno prima non potevo pensare guadagnare nuove sfumature si pensiero e d’espressione saper di poter parlare con sempre più gente ogni giorno che passa

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6th October 6th December

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