ShowsBefore You GoBulletin BoardContactAboutSearch
Show and Features |
Culture Watch | Question of the Week | Letters of the Week |
Traveler's Aid | Library | Host's View

Travelers' Aid

Learning the Language
January 15, 2000

Visit this page on Wednesday, January 19 to listen with RealAudio.

Okay, here's the deal. You're making a two-month journey to Spain and you don't know a lick of Spanish -- the most you can say is "Como estas," which isn't going to get you very far when you need to ask directions to the hotel. So, what's the best way for an adult to pick up some of a language before a trip? A simple way is language tapes -- there's some rather sophisticated stuff you can buy these days -- one of the latest is called "Tell Me More." It's computer software that not only teaches you how to say "Hello" and "Good Day," but it also grades you on how you pronounce it. All you do is load the software and run the program.

Computer: "Hola, como estas?"

And then I repeat, "Hola, como estas." into the microphone and it gives a grade in the corner of the screen -- which I'd rather not share. Let's just say I need a few more lessons. The "Tell Me More" software is just one learn-out-home language programs available. But, if you'd rather stick with pen and paper, there are some other ways to learn, of course. I called Larry Costa president of Worldwide Language Resources -- an language training center in Andover, Maine.

Now, if you don't have the time to spend in a foreign family's home or in month long tutoring sessions. I called Madeline Pohl, executive director of the language institute at the American Cultural Exchange in Seattle. I asked her what I should do if I only have 72 hours before heading off to France and I want to learn some of the language.

Savvy Resources for language learning:

  • We talked about the Tell Me More voice recognition language software. Find out more about the product by going to the company's Web site.

    Contact the Worldwide Language Resources company to find out about foreign language training.

  • We talked with Madeline Pohl, the executive director of the American Cultural Exchange's World Language Programs. Find out more about the organization and how you may be able to take a language course there by visiting their Web site.

  • If you're interested in other foreign language teaching aids, you may want to try the Boston Language Institute Bookstore. You can order textbooks, audio cassettes, videos and other teaching materials to help you learn a new language.


{ Travelers' Aid Index }

American Public Media
American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen
©2004 American Public Media |
Terms of Use | Privacy Policy