Want to learn to speak another language? There’s no secret formula and no shortcuts, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make some excellent progress on your next language without sacrificing all your free time! In this edition of Smarter Smart Phone Use, I am going to recommend another tool that allows you to focus on the road and enrich your life at the same time. So, what is this sorcery? It’s just another podcast!
Coffee Break Language podcasts are a resource that would stir jealousy and maybe even some resentment in language learners of yesteryear. This series provides busy commuters with a smartphone at hand with a strong introduction to already four major languages, free of charge. The German series, which I have used personally, is very practical and easy to follow. Each episode begins with an introduction to the topics to be discussed, and then wastes no time in allowing the listener to hear a brief conversation pertaining to the topic. After the conversation, a learner of the language and a native speaker of the language make a point by point breakdown of what was discussed. This allows the listener to build vocabulary and some understanding of grammar without having to become bogged down in minutiae.
“Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
As a listener, you can follow the learner of the language as they become familiar with how to perform introductions, discuss likes and dislikes, learn about places of interest, and do some shopping. Each topic is presented more than once, and with varying points of emphasis, and often the episodes include some basic commentary on culture specific to the language in focus. Admittedly, the episodes are only an introduction, and serious learners may want to get access to further materials and instruction (which does cost money).
Currently, Coffee Break Language learning is fully available with 40 or more episodes of German, Italian, French, and Spanish. Coffee Break Chinese was introduced earlier this year, and features an introduction to the very basics. If you are interested enough to spend a little time reading this blog about language learning, you certainly have enough motivation to follow the link to Coffee Break Language or visit the home for whatever podcast interests you by searching for Coffee Break German, French, Spanish, Italian, or Chinese on your podcast player. Why not use your phone to do something that can benefit you for a lifetime while you are driving, and keep everyone safer by keeping the phone to the side until you are parked?
Please leave your review of Coffee Break Language learning materials, and other language learning podcasts and applications you have tried. We look forward to hearing from you!