When it comes to starting anything new, including learning how to speak a foreign language. So here’s my top 10 tips on how to hack the language learning process using the web:
- Watch free youtube lessons on speaking your preferred language. They’ve got ‘em all.
- Follow native speakers of that language on twitter. Here frequency & brevity is your ally.
- Comment on blogs in that language to practice your written form.
- Makes friends on-line with people from that country who want to learn English.
- Organize skype chats with your on-line friends to practice each others language together.
- Download one of the many free apps to practice in down time or while waiting for people.
- Offer free on-line English lessons to speakers of the language you desire to learn.
- Watch kids shows (cartoons etc) from your home country that have been translated on-line (see youtube)
- Set your browser, mobile and web apps into the language you are learning.
- Bonus Analogue tip – go to local restaurant and practice with waiters…
There’s never been a better time to start something worth starting.
I promise this will be the last year in review video I post. But I do think it is relevant to all entrepreneurs and marketers to be across what people are watching. The one caveat that I’d place on anything which makes a hit list or a top ‘anything’ list for that matter is this:
When anything reaches a certain level of critical mass, the fact that it made it onto the agenda drives a large part of the subsequent popularity.
In the case of Youtube, the videos that make it to the most popular for the day, often make it to the weekly list… and so on. We end up watching, because people are watching. Not because it is actually worth watching. A few excellent pieces make it anyway – like the Old Spice commercial. You can check out the Youtube top 10 for 2010 here: http://www.youtube.com/rewind And the summary video is below. Enjoy.
I teach marketing part time at Melbourne University, and many students come and ask me about what they should do in their post graduate studies. I tell them that post graduate studies are useless unless you want to be an academic or scientist. So here’s a top 10 list of things to do instead of post graduate studies which will make you more learned, more employable and a better entrepreneur:
- Learn a language (Mandarin or Spanish would be my recommendation)
- Start a blog (on the area you want to be an expert in)
- Master the art of public speaking
- Make your home Eco friendly
- Mentor someone
- Read one non fiction book per month on a new topic
- Learn a musical instrument
- Learn to grow food
- Renovate something (car, dinning setting, local park, house, tree house, anhything that can be renovated)
- Do a part time startup business.
The reason suggestions are more valuable than post graduate studies is that they create wide perspective, most post graduate studies narrow perspective. We are entering the age of symphony, where the real value in life and business is created by our ability to make commercial music from seemingly unrelated topics and ideas. Broadening your horizons will make you a better conductor of the symphony, or at very least give you some very interesting stories to share with those you want to do projects with.
Add your better than more ‘formal’ studies idea in the comments.