learn german
How to speed up your language learning. Find out in our FREE report, “The 7 Language Learning Secrets Your Teachers Can’t Share With You”.
First Name
Primary Email

We will never share your email.


"This way of learning a language made complete sense to me. Working with the SpeakEZ German course, I was able to understand more in 2 weeks than in five years of German in school!"
      -- Asbjørn Finsnes

"The way in which this method is presented provided me with language that will suit me in a foreign country instead of a collection of unusable vocabulary words.

Those who have studied languages realize that looking-up individual words cannot convey a language in the correct manner. Becoming fluent means being able to verbalize ideas ; not learning technical rules and identifying the Past Predicate Indicative.

The audio part of this method has been my favorite portion of the learning process. Not only is the pronunciation slow and clear, but it is presented so that I remember the flow of sentences and concepts.

Thank you for the opportunity to work with this amazing program; it has been a blessing for me."

-- Destiny Yarbro, College Student

Press "Play" Everyday! Get Exposure to a Foreign Language

by Nathalie V. Fairbanks

How hard can it be to press the "Play" button?

Really hard, it turns out!

Like many of the small things we're supposed to do to improve ourselves, this is an easy action that you can do every day that will have a huge impact on your language skills.

"Passive Listening" is just about the least involvement that I can ask of a student. Press the "Play" button and go about your business. Yet I know that many of you who've been studying language for any length of time know this... but don't do it.

As any self-improvement guru will tell you:

"To know and not to do is not yet to know." (Zen proverb)

I'll take care of the "to know" part below and leave the "to do" part up to you.

First - why are you doing this again?

Passive Listening is like spending time in the country where people speak your new language. You hear it all around you, and your subconscious gets to "record" the pronunciation and rhythm of the language without any effort on your part. I can always tell which one of my students does it consistently, as their pronunciation just sounds "right" and they intuitively pick the phrasing of a native speaker.

It may take some organization beforehand, but once your system is in place, it's really all about the "Play" button.

Let's reiterate the parameters for "Passive Listening."

1. Ideally, you pick a lesson text that you've already worked on. You understand everything when you read it.

2. Repetition is the key. You want to listen to the SAME lesson for periods of two hours at a time, until you "get" everything that's said without hesitation.

3. The whole track needs to be in your new language. Don't use audio tracks of a language course that has instructions in English, or any kind of translation back to English. The switching back and forth is counterproductive.

If you are working with CD's that mix the languages, invest the time to delete the instructions on the recording so you only listen to the foreign language, for example, Spanish. Take a couple of hours and do this for all the lessons in one swoop. It's worth the trouble!

4. If you have an MP3 Player (such as an iPod), turn your audio CD into MP3 files so you have them with you on the go. If you don't know how to do this, you can go to the
iTunes website to find out more. I'm not a techie and my husband helped me figure it out!

5. Remember that you are NOT supposed to pay attention to what you're hearing. The exercise is to have the audio run in the background while you're focusing on something else. You can turn down the volume, so you can barely hear it. The idea is that your subconscious picks up the "signal" regardless and it'll do the work for you.

6. Go to your appointment book or PDA and decide on a time when you'll passively listen to these tracks.

Here are a few suggestions. Passively listen:

a. During your morning "get ready" ritual, while you're in the shower, getting dressed, etc. You can even play music or listen to the radio at the same time, it'll be just as effective.

b. During your commute, whether in the car, on a train or walking. This is often a time when you're not "productive" anyway.

c. While you are exercising. If you don't exercise, get started! You'll kill two birds with one stone.

d. While you are preparing meals and cleaning up the kitchen. Again, you can still listen to the radio or have a conversation at the same time. The volume will be so low that it won't interfere.

e. While you are watching TV. If you're into mindless shows, you'll feel less guilty if you know you're perfecting your language skills while you relax in front of the tube!

f. While browsing the internet. This is one of these activities that tends to eat up a lot of time - why not parallel process and get some language exposure?

Yes, you might find a problem (otherwise known as an excuse) with any or all of these times. Either find a time slot that works better for you or pick one of the above. Commit to dramatically improve your language skills and choose the one that's least inconvenient.

I challenge you to take a red pen and write PLAY into your calendar at a specific time each day you'll practice Passive Listening. Do this for the next 90 days.

By then, it'll be a habit and you'll be understanding just about anything anybody says to you. I promise this won't be a waste of time. Actually, you won't even notice it because you'll be busy doing whatever else you're doing. (:

Master your language the smart way and "Press Play Every Day!"

© 2008 Nathalie V. Fairbanks

WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You may, as long as you include this blurb with it: SpeakEZ Languages publishes "Language Learning Express," a free bi-weekly e-zine for language learners who are eager to discover the secrets of efficient language learning, transition seamlessly into a new culture and have fun on the way. Get your FREE subscription and your FREE e-book now at http://www.SpeakEZLanguages.com.

SpeakEZ Languages, LLC
72-12  62nd Street
Glendale, NY 11385
Phone 646-644-2914
E-mail: first.contact@speakezlanguages.com

Home  |  Products  |  Language Coaching  |  FREE Newsletter  |  Articles  |  About Us
Contact Us  |  SpeakEZ Blog  |  Resources
© 2007 - 2009 SpeakEZ Languages.