Friday, April 08, 2005

iPod Shuffle for Language Learning

The only way to learn a new language to so speak it to yourself, constantly, continuously, and out loud (when possible). Just as we talk to ourselves in our own language, we need to begin the internalization in the new language.

But how to you make this work? How can you hear the language constantly? Enter the iPod Shuffle. Check it out here.

This thing is the size of a stick of gum. I bought one for Ruth and one for myself. They don't need batteries, you just plug them in to your computer and they recharge in an hour and run for twelve. In order to load the language programs (we use Pimsleur's language CDs) you just drag them over to the program that comes with the iPod, namely iTunes.

We bought the least expensive iPods with 512 meg of memory. We can fit about twenty language programs (about 30 minutes each) into the device. That's plenty. We even have a few Chinese songs loaded too.

I know I look strange in my roadster, top down, with the iPod in my shifter hand, pausing the iPod to repeat out loud what I've just heard. (Can you imagine what the other drivers are thinking?) But when I get home Ruth is cooking with it strung around her neck, talking to herself too. Then we say to each other, in unison: "Nihao ma?"

If you can speak three languages you're trilingual.  If you can speak two languages you're bilingual.  If you can speak only one language you're an American.  ~Author Unknown