Monday, May 31, 2010

My Round the World Adventure

My Round the World Adventure


Become Fluent in 3 months

Posted: 31 May 2010 05:51 AM PDT

language guideI've never really been good at languages. In fact, to put it bluntly, I suck at them. Part of it is effort and part of it is the fact it takes me 3 weeks to learn to pronounce “how are you?” correctly. I'm always amazed at people who can learn languages well and I'm even more amazed by Benny from Fluent in 3 months who speaks 7 languages fluently, plus is conversational in a few more!

Benny didn’t learn a second language until he was 21, which makes his accomplishment even more impressive. Now he put his tips into a huge ebook, complete with worksheets and interviews. Everybody has an ebook lately and I try hard to limit the amount I review to those that I think are applicable to travelers. Learning a language is something we all want to do so I was eager to read Benny's book and see what I could learn. This is how Benny describes it:

What did I think?
I thought the book was a great motivational tool to get people to rethink how to learn a language and get them into the proper mindset for doing so. Benny does a good job through his personal stories on giving people a new approach to language learning.

This book isn't about picking up a textbook and doing grammar. It's about getting past that thinking and into immersing yourself in a language through conversation and listening. Having taught English in Asia, I am always disappointed when companies have me focus on grammar and writing. Most Asian students could write a grammatically correct essay that would make a high school teacher proud. But they can't speak the language. They are never taught to focus on talking and communication so they become excellent at grammar rules but awful at expressing themselves.

And that’s not learning a language. After all, what good is it if you can write a sentence in French but can't ask for directions or order food? What I liked about Benny's book was that it focused on getting people to learn how to speak verbally and communicate more so than have people focus on learning from a textbook. When you take a language class, you learn, you repeat, you take a test. You don’t live the language and incorporate it into your life. I never let me students speak Thai in class and I always told them to speak English outside of class. Learning a language doesn’t stop at the door and Benny gives us ways to bring the language into our lives easily.

What didn't I like?
Well, for starters, the layout is pretty bad but I know how much it can cost to design an ebook and I don't fault him for just starting with a self designed PDF until he made some sales. I did the same thing. In terms of content, I wished for a bit more graphics, especially when it came to accent reduction. Maybe a graphic of two showing how people roll their “R” or make a certain sound in German would have helped.

Would I buy this book?
Yes, I would. This summer I will be studying French and Benny's book gave me some good motivation and different ways to think about learning French than just going to class and doing grammar. Even if I didn’t know Benny, if I saw his introduction and read his summary, I would buy the book. If someone who didn't learn any languages until he was 21 can speak 8 languages, then there is hope for us all.

Despite what the title says, Benny doesn’t promise fluency. If he did, I would be skeptical. But he does promise that his book will help you learn a language quickly, give you tips to do so, and get you confident about learning and speaking a new language.

The book has 3 hours of interviews, 7 worksheets, and is 200 pages long, and you get free updates. It costs $39 USD. It's a worthwhile investment if, like me, you really want to learn another language but can never seem to quite get the hang of it. I plan on using it and you should too!

Click here to buy it now!

©Nomadic Matt's Travel Site. Learn to have your blog pay for your travels!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World


Experience the Majestic Himalayas (India)

Posted: 29 May 2010 04:01 PM PDT

guest post by Shakti Himalaya No other mountain range in the world can match the sheer majesty of the Himalayas. It's often called the "Roof of the World," and with good reason. We've all heard of Asia's famous peaks: Everest, Annapurna, K2 and others. They're the stuff of legend and home to the mythical Shangri-La; many cultures throughout history have seen the Himalayas as sacred places, the...

Read the full story at http://www.travel-wonders.com.

Mexicana Airlines – win two tickets to a great Mexican destination: itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Mexicana Airlines – win two tickets to a great Mexican destination: itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Link to itravelnet.com Travel Blog

Mexicana Airlines – win two tickets to a great Mexican destination

Posted: 29 May 2010 04:56 AM PDT

Mexicana Airlines - win two tickets to a great Mexican destination

Mexicana presents The Solstice Challenge sweepstakes, an interactive game and a chance to win two tickets to a great Mexican destination.

Also take advantage of these special fares: Puerto Vallarta from $210, San Jose del Cabo from $280, and Cancun from $298. These offers are available now until June 30.

Find great deals from NY, LA, San Francisco, Orlando and more of the United States’ major hubs. Travel to admire the Mexican solstice with your own eyes.

Mexicana Airlines – win two tickets to a great Mexican destination

Travel Deals: Mexicana Airlines


Friday, May 28, 2010

WebEcoist

WebEcoist


Backwards Vending: Machine Pays For Recyclables

Posted: 28 May 2010 10:00 AM PDT

[ By Delana in Art & Design, Nature & Ecosystems, Technology & Gadgets. ]

Most of us are familiar with the concept of vending machines: after you put money in, the machine gives you something in return. But this new vending machine, called The Dream Machine, works in exactly the opposite way. When you put in a can or bottle to recycle, it gives you points and prizes in return.

(image via: KingDesmond)

The idea behind the Dream Machine is to encourage people to recycle even when they’re away from home. Containers from drinks consumed away from home are typically the least likely to be recycled because of the lack of public recycling facilities. It’s estimated that we throw away, rather than recycle, around 100 billion recyclable cans and bottles every year. Even where there are facilities for recycling away from home, most people lack the motivation to seek them out. This system gives the public a reason to hang onto their cans and bottles until they spot a Dream Machine.

The machines are the work of Pepsi, Waste Management and Keep America Beautiful. Manufactured by GreenOps, the machines provide points which can be redeemed at Greenopolis.com or in the store where the machine is located. Users simply scan the bar code on the can or bottle, then feed it into the machine. Each machine can hold around 300 containers before it needs to be emptied.

While not many of the machines are currently in use out in the world, thousands more will be installed over the summer and throughout the year. Ultimately, the program is expected to bring in approximately 400 million containers annually. The Dream Machines won’t interfere with state bottle recycling programs, which offer a refund of a few cents per bottle recycled, since the machines will only be installed in places where traditional recycling options aren’t available.


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Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World

Latest Post from Travel Wonders of the World


Sea of Ice (Chamonix, France): Part One

Posted: 27 May 2010 09:54 PM PDT

Chamonix is the heart of the French Alps. Sitting below the towering peak of western Europe's highest mountain, Mont Blanc, serrated saw-edged mountains and sweeping glaciers dominate the mind-blowing alpine scenery. Two wonderful half day journeys (both requiring good weather) help experience the wondrous alpine splendour and extraordinary panoramas without having to strap on a ski or snowboard....

Read the full story at http://www.travel-wonders.com.