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FluentU
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FluentU brings language learning to life with real-world videos!
FluentU brings language learning to life with real-world videos!

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7 Sharp Lesson Plan Templates to Streamline Your Foreign Language Classes

Quick question: How many lesson plan templates are there in the whole wide world?

Quick answer: As many as there are teachers.

Everybody’s online these days, posting and swapping ideas faster than ever before— it’s like one huge teacher meeting, where thousands of the world’s foreign language teachers have united to brainstorm, collaborate and share.

In this post, I’m gonna give you just seven. They’re incredibly effective templates that will turn any language class into learning central, and they’ll give you a great idea of what to expect from all the templates you’ll come across online.

But first, let me share with you four P’s that make for effective lesson plans.

#teachlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/foreign-language-lesson-plan-template/
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7 Strategies to Make Reading in a Foreign Language the Easiest Thing You Ever Learn

If you’re reading this, congratulations!

English is one of the most difficult languages to learn to read. From word to word, the same sounds in English are often spelled differently, or the same spellings are pronounced differently. Research has shown that English-speaking children take more than twice as long to learn to read as children who speak most other European languages.

But you’re not reading this article because you want to bask in the glory of being able to read English; you want to learn to read a whole other language!

The good news is that reading in whatever foreign language you’re interested in is probably easier than reading in English. The even better news is that reading in a foreign language can actually be the easiest thing you ever learn. With the right strategies, it’ll come much more naturally than getting down all that vocabulary or sharpening up your listening comprehension skills.

With the right techniques, language learning can usually be fun, but this is even more true of learning to read in a foreign language: basically all you have to do is read whatever you want, and you’ll get better at reading.

Of course, there are a few tricks you want to use along the way to make your “reading whatever you want” as efficient, effective and painless as possible. Here they are.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/reading-in-foreign-language/
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13 Brilliant Blogs for Learners and Lovers of Languages

Ever feel like you’re all alone out there in the big scary world of learning a new language?

Like, you’ve got all the “how-to” walkthroughs and “expert” advice you could ever hope for, but you’re just missing that human touch, someone who really gets what you’re going through.

As language learners, we’re people first, and there’s nothing like a human perspective to motivate us and remind us that we’re not alone in our endeavors.

We feel frustrated by our own awkwardness in a second language, when we just can’t figure out how to pronounce that one awful sound or when we hit a pothole on the road to fluency.

It’s easy to get discouraged when your language learning isn’t progressing along perfectly according to plan, but don’t give up—there are plenty of bloggers out there who are living the struggle with you, and they’re writing about it as they go!

The Internet is crawling with blogs ranging from general linguistic geekery to learning a specific language in a particular country. Sorting through all that digital noise and trying to figure out which blogs to add to your reading list can be absolutely overwhelming, which is why we’ve put together a solid reading list for you. We’ve mentioned some of these blogs on FluentU before (because we think they’re that awesome!), but most of them are fresh faces that we’re adding to our own content feeds.

Here are 13 of the best blogs on the Internet for powering up your language learning game and reminding you that you’re not alone in your linguistic struggles.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/language-learning-blogs/
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Mind to Mouth: How to Speak a New Language Fluently Faster

You’re doing it wrong!

Well, only if you’re not focusing the brunt of your attention on speaking your new language.

Are you building your language learning process upon grammar rules and written exercises?

Focused on those little details of the language?

Writing out tons of vocabulary lists?

Of course those aspects are super important too, especially when it comes to mastering reading, writing and listening. However, you won’t get far if you’re missing the crucial element of fluency: speech.

There’s a common problem for many learners who focus on rules and proper writing, but who don’t practice their speech: They cannot understand native speakers and they choke during real conversations. We don’t want that to happen to you.

We want you to act completely natural when you start speaking to a native, so you’ll make new friends and so everyone will be impressed. That’s why we’ve nailed down the 10 best learning tactics that will help you speak fluently. The best part is that they’re applicable to any language you decide to learn.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/how-to-speak-a-language-fluently/
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5 Keys to a Creative Language Classroom

Want to know a secret?

Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. Lack of creativity did.

The world has woken up to the fact that creativity is not just a fluffy term assigned to kindergarten art projects.

It is essential to human development, happiness and last but not least, learning!

Chances are that you already invoke creativity in your language lessons, but teachers can never have too many tricks up their sleeves.

Let’s start with some reminders on why creativity is a tool that’s worth the extra effort.

#teachlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/creative-language-classroom/
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Your Complete Guide to Foreign Language Podcasts

Serial.

What does that word make you think of?

For millions of people, their first thought won’t be a serial number, serial code or serial killer, but rather a podcast.

“Serial” has completely captivated its audience, holding the record for the fastest podcast ever to break 5 million downloads on iTunes (when season one premiered in 2014).

Lucky for us language learners, podcasts aren’t just made in English.

That means the sources you use to improve your listening skills could be addicting podcasts like “Serial.”

Sure, there are lots of podcasts out there specifically made for language learners, but that’s not what this is about. I’m talking about podcasts made by native speakers for other native speakers.

Not only will your listening skills bloom, but you’ll improve your vocabulary, gain cultural insights and, if you choose wisely, even learn about something else that interests you.

Podcasts are also an easy way to incorporate language learning into “net time,” time when you’re doing something else which doesn’t require much concentration, like washing dishes or commuting.

To help you benefit from this valuable resource, I’ll show you where to find such podcasts, how to pick the best one for you, plus strategies for using them the most effectively.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/foreign-language-podcasts/
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5 Quotes About Language Learning from 2 Beloved Polyglots

Learning a new language can be a lot of fun—you discover new cultures, new people, new movies and new books!

It broadens your horizons and keeps your brain healthy.

But sometimes you need a little push to keep on studying and learning, and what better way to do that than with inspiring quotes?

There are plenty of quotes about language floating around the Internet. However, these quotes never talk about the down and dirty parts of language learning. Language learners don’t seem to generate these quotes. The quotes try to lift your spirits, but they rarely come with practical advice!

That’s why I now present you with five quotes by two famous polyglot language learners. These will inspire you to keep going when you feel like you aren’t making progress, and they’ll give you some new ideas to try out, too!

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/quotes-about-language-learning/
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8 Practical Ways to Learn All the Foreign Language Vocabulary Needed for Conversational Fluency

Did you know that 1,000 words can get you a long, long way in a foreign language?

It might not seem that easy when you’re looking at the raw numbers. The Oxford English Dictionary includes more than 170,000 English word entries.

The “Hanyu Da Cidian” dictionary includes 370,000 Mandarin Chinese words, and the “Explanatory Dictionary of the Living Great Russian Language” includes 200,000 Russian words. Most languages have similar numbers of words circling around.

As a language learner, these numbers can seem downright crazy! How are you ever going to memorize that many vocabulary words?

Luckily, you don’t need to learn anywhere near that many words to communicate proficiently. In fact, most native speakers know only a small portion of these totals. The website TestYourVocab.com put together statistics that show that the average English-speaking adult knows only 20,000-35,000 words. What’s more, it’s estimated that the top 1,000 lexemes (words or word groupings) account for 80% of all English texts!

So simply learning 1,000 words can get you far in your ability to understand texts and communicate with people. The same is true for nearly all languages.

With a little strategy and the right tools, you can learn much faster and easier than you might have imagined. Follow these steps to get started and boost your foreign language vocabulary learning.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/learning-foreign-language-vocabulary/
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

This is a line from a framed poster hanging on the wall of a secondhand bookstore that I frequent.

Every time I pass by and glance at it, I can’t help but think, “How true.”

Then all the famous quotes about teachers and teaching come flooding back:

Be proud you’re a teacher. The future depends on you.

To the world you may be just a teacher, but to your students… you’re a hero.

Without teachers, life would have no class.

As language teachers, you’re mentors; it’s a tautology as old as chalk.

And an important subset of that mentorship involves motivating yours students.

So to help you breath life into your students’ excitement towards their foreign language, I’ve put together five powerful techniques that’ll boost motivation in any language classroom.

#teachlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/educator/blog/motivation-in-language-learning/
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5 Language Lab Apps That Harness the Power of Modern Science and Technology

Did you know that your smartphone has more computing power than the computers NASA is going to use to put men on Mars?

Now, I’m not saying that you should get some rocket fuel and land a command module on Mars or something.

I’m suggesting that we ask the question, “What else could your phone do?”

I mean, besides capturing cool Snapchat videos and stuff.

It doesn’t just outshine NASA computers, it has totally replaced and outdated the old school language laboratory. In a way, your phone can offer you a complete language lab.

What used to be a whole room in the ’60s and ’70s, and one only found in top schools and universities at that, you now have in your hands. Yep, with your phone you can download language lab applications that will teach you French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Chinese and more.

You can do this for the low, low price of $0, or at a price so low they might as well give it all away. But such are our times, and the temptation from all sides can be too great. In fact, who hasn’t experienced episodes of app gluttony, downloading every free app in sight? Yeah, you know what I mean.

So, before I give you five amazing apps to download, I’m going to give you some bonus tips for getting started with using them.

#learnlanguages

Read more at:
http://www.fluentu.com/blog/language-lab-app/
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