39 awesome free resources for learning French language & culture!

Have you ever been preparing for something so carefully and thoroughly that you ended up having no time to actually take action? I have! I love planning very much because you see – I love chaos, but only in art. My desk, lists, plans need to be organised, and before I do something, I like to have a plan. This is why I haven’t got down to French yet, but I have made quite a long lists of resources useful for learning. If learning French is a battle, then… well, I have my army now!

If you want to learn French, but haven’t had time to find resources or you are just looking for new material to spice things up with your studying… this may be a post for you!

The post will be divided into 5 main categories for better navigation. 3,2,1… Ladies and gentlemen, I have a pleasure to show you my ultimate list of 37 resources for learning French language and culture!

*Note: some of the resources I listed aren’t strictly language related, but rather cultural, showing you France and French culture, what I think could be a great motivation in any language studies!

39resourcesforlearningfrench

Websites & Apps

There are plenty of websites and apps for learning French, but I’ve chosen to list only these I can vouch for in 100% because I have used them for a long time. The list will be probably updated every now and then,  so it’s likely to get longer!

Duolingo

Good for: building your vocabulary, learning grammar and pronunciation. It’s available both as a website and as an app. Fun, and easy way to get started with foreign languages!

Memrise 

Good for: building up your vocabulary, learning grammar, revising words you’ve already learnt. There are plenty free vocabulary boards to choose from, my first choice was: “Learn French for Polyglots” and so far I’ve liked it a lot. Available both as a website and as an app.

Anki

Good for: building up your vocabulary and revising words you’ve learnt. Its formula is very minimalistic, but this is what makes it effective for many people. Boards I’ve downloaded and liked: 5000 Most Common French Words and French 10000 sentences (easiest to hardest). Available as a program and an app.

Lang-8

Good for: practising your writing skills. The formula is easy: you write a post and get it checked by a native speaker or somebody who’s good at your target language. In return, you check works of people learning your native language. Full cooperation and a nice way to improve your writing skills!

Lyrictranslate.com

Good for: anyone who loves music! You can access the translations of your favorite French songs. Helpful in improving your listening skills and  learning new words, plus the music is said to be effective in teaching you new words, too.

Lyricsgap.com

Good for: music fans! The website’s all about typing words of the songs you’re listening to so it definitely helps to improve your listening skills + pronunciation, too.

Lyricstraining.com

Good for: anyone who loves music! You type the words to songs you hear, so you definitely exercise your listening skills.

Yokee Karaoke (App)

Good for: anyone who loves singing! Of course, it’s also a killer tool for improving your pronunciation in a fun way! I’m trying to learn “Andalouse” by Kendji Girac, and though I’m not the best singer, I enjoy it very much. 🙂 

 

Youtube

I’ve always loved Youtube and I always will. Since I’ve stumbled upon its educational side thanks to John Green, I’ve been using it to become smarter, and honestly… this is probably one of my favorite ways of learning. I decided to give it a try with languages too, and it works very well for me. Below there’s a list of 6 channels for French learners that you might like:

Comme une Française

Good for: everyone who is interested in French culture. You can find out how not to behave in France or what kind of candy French people like to buy, to name a few topics discussed on the channel. With new videos every week,  it’s a nice addition to a learning routine, plus the host is pretty amazing, too.

Alexa Polidoro

Good for: learning grammar. Alexa’s channel is full of many useful videos, including vocabulary ones, but grammar videos probably make her stand out the most. She has published tons of them, so her channel’s definitely helpful when it comes to grammar learning. She has also made a great playlist for learning French pronunciation. Definitely worth subscribing!

French from beginners to advanced

Good for: everything and for every French learner. This channel is just so full of learning material that it’s good for everything. Grammar, vocabulary – everything you could wish for… you’ll find there! Honestly speaking it’s probably one of the best language channels on Youtube if it not the best one. The amount of free material is just outstanding. A+ isn’t enough to rate it.

Francais Authentique

Good for: improving your listening skills and getting used to “authentic” French. It’s not exactly suitable for beginners since it’s only in French, but advanced and intermediate speakers could make use of it, so this is why I decided to include it here. Beginners… we can save it for later – when we master French a little bit more!

Learn French with French Pod101.com

Good for: improving your listening skills and building up your vocabulary. With shorts videos published every week this Youtube channel can be a nice addition to a regular learning routine.

Francais avec Pierre

Good for: building up your vocabulary and comprehension skills. One of the nicest and most fun language channels out there.

Learn French with Pierre

Good for:  grammar practice, building up your vocabulary, enhancing your listening skills. 

Podcasts

As you might know, I strongly believe that podcasts are excellent resources for becoming smarter and learning in general. I subscribe to many podcasts and listen to them only daily basis. Since they also work for learning languages I thought I would share some of them with you! Note: I listen to them on my phone using PodcastAddict app, but you can also listen to podcasts online via links I provided in this post.

Language  orientated podcasts: vocabulary, grammar, listening, pronunciation 

Coffee Break French

Real life French: French for beginners

Learn French by Podcast

Learn French with daily podcasts

 

Language + Culture

French etc >> French songs

Talk in French podcast

Instagram

Instagram has been gaining popularity for some time now, and it is definitely here to stay. Aside from being an excellent resource for fashion, beauty, and fitness lovers… it’s also quite a nice platform for learning! Instagrams posts added to your timeline don’t take much time, but it’s always that one word you’ve seen or that one sentence you’ve stumbled upon and you’re ahead of yourself. You can also explore French culture on Instagram, and for me, it’s a great motivational tool!

Language: tips, vocabulary, grammar

French journal

It’s all about the French

French everyday

Lyra French

Talk in French

Frencheezee

Frenchlessons_Paris

All french grammar

French_by_Agathe

Culture & France in photos

French moments

Visit la France

Top France photo

 

Facebook

Facebook is probably the most powerful social network of today’s world, so its presence on my list doesn’t need any explanation. Of course, it’s a dangerous friend of procrastination, but if you don’t let it befriend you too much – it’s all good!

Language & Language tips

FluentU French

Learn French with French Today

Francisation

Culture

My French Neighbour

The Good Life France

Feels Like Home in Paris

 

That would be my full list of free French resources! I hope it will come handy to you. Let me know in comments what you think about the list and what would you add there – your feedback is always helpful! 🙂

What are your favourite ways to learn languages? What languages are you learning right now? I would love to hear your stories!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

 

 

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Smarter every day: podcast your way up easily!

Hello, guys! As you might have already discovered my main purpose of life is self-improvement. Aside from fangirling over things and reading too much or not enough, of course! I like feeling smart and every way to indulge some kind of smartnesses into my little stubborn brain makes me go “YESSSSSSSSSSSS!”.  Since I also like listening – to people, music and anything listenable actually – I’ve downloaded Podcast Addict a long time ago. (You can find my post about 10 apps I can’t live without, including Podcast Addict here. 🙂 ) I’ve used it from time to time, but I wasn’t really serious about it. Things have changed now. I subscribe to 28 podcasts – half of them are language podcasts. I think they deserve their own post, so French and Spanish learners – stay tuned! Anyway – podcasts I like are all about making you smarter academically or emotionally and sometimes both. Ladies and gentlemen…  May I present you my list of 6 podcasts to podcast your way up easily and boost your self-improvement statistics. 😉

Blog title - podcast your way up easily!

 

1. BBC discovery

I think that anyone interested in discoveries and wide-defined science would like this one. The 27 -minute podcasts are long enough to get you informed on the subject, but still perfect length for the busy ones. Plus – you won’t get bored. Recently I listened to their “Benefits of Bilingualism” podcast and I loved it. They covered the subject by consulting experts and exploring interesting research. Not to give too much away – bilingualism can really boost your ability to focus and multitask! Awesome, isn’t it? ❤

2. The College Info Geek Podcast: Study tips & Advice for students

As I mentioned in my blog post called “Productivity heroes: Thomas Frank” I really find his work helpful. As soon as I found out about his podcast I hit the subscribe button. He covers a variety of subjects: from these strictly college-related to those career-related.  Every week he invites somebody knowledgeable of the episode’s theme and they chat about the subject for about an hour.  The one called “How exercise improves your brain”made me more motivated to workout more. As they say… you have to suffer to be smart. 😉 Oops, this went another way! Shhhh…

3. BBC: The documentary

Probably my favorite podcast channel. 27-minute documentaries about people, places, and problems that need to be talked about.  They talk about the entire world, so there is no omitting of non-English speaking countries. “Poems from Syria”, “Paraguay’s Schoolgirl Mothers”, “The drug mules of the Andes” and “The forgotten girls of Dhaka” have probably made the biggest emotional impact on my mind, but each and every documentary holds a unique, often painful story of people all around the world. A+ isn’t enough to rate it! 

4. The Portfolio Life with Jeff Goins

Jeff is a writer and online influencer who helps other writers make their dreams come true and make some money along the way, too. I find his tips very useful, so if you want to publish a book or just improve your writing skills and boost your business’s status – Jeff is a good person to start with! 

5. This I believe: Podcast

Each episode of “This I believe” is an essay written by ordinary people. They share their thoughts and experiences in these short, under 7 minutes podcasts. Their words are touching and beautiful and honestly… they teach empathy. “Remembering all the boys” is the episode narrated by a girl, who lost her 16-year-old brother because of gang fights and believes everyone deserves to be remembered. Her essay is truly touching, so give it a listen if you look for something amazing.

6. Witness

BBC describes it as “the story of our times told by the people who were there“. Indeed, that’s an extremely accurate description. Each episode is around 9 minutes so it’s busy-people-friendly, yet still very informative. “Ernest Hemingway in Cuba” gives us the portrait of this famous writer made by his cook. “Virginia Woolf” is full of words of the author’s friends, and her niece too. These are just two of many other wonderful podcasts in the series! To say I’m a fan… wouldn’t be strong enough. 10/10!

That would be all for today. May Force be with you and podcasts too! 

“The purpose of a good education is to show you that there are three sides to a two-sided story.”

― Stanley Fish

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

6 awesome Youtube channels for learning Spanish!

Learning a foreign language is a long journey, both exciting and tiring at times. It’s easy to fall into a routine and lose all joy of a learning process.   Who can save the day if  we do? Variety, since it makes things fun and interesting again! Myself, I love adding video materials into my learning plans. My video Wonderland’s Youtube – you could find anything you want there and it’s all free! That’s why I would love to present to you my ultimate list of 6 awesome Youtube channels for learning Spanish! 

  1. Butterfly Spanish

Butterfly Spanish is probably my favourite Youtube channel for learning Spanish! Her bubbly personality and “i-will-explain-you-everything-step-by-step-without-making-you-feel-stupid” attitude is everything I need to love the language even more. She covers material both for beginners and more advanced learners. Grammar, phrases, vocabulary – Butterfly Spanish gives you everything you need! 🙂

         2. French & Spanish with LanguageComics

Short comics in Spanish (and French too!) every week are a great way to learn new words in an interesting way. Most of them are either funny or sarcastic, sometimes both. I would definitely recommend you to subscribe to it, especially if you’re learning French, too! Two birds with one stone. 😉

        3. Senor Jordan

Songs to make you memorise words, muppet videos, catchy phrases to get stuck in your  head… Senor Jordan has it all! Domingo, Lunes, Martes… Catchy, isn’t it? 🙂

        4. Spanish lessons Paco

This channel’s all about comics, but they also make you repeat phrases at the end of the video, which I find really helpful. Sometimes a direct request from somebody works better than our self-discipline, right? At least it works better for me! I believe it’s a great way to indulge more Spanish into our daily lives. 4 minutes may not be much, but it’s still better than nothing!

        5.  Learn Spanish with SpanishPod101.com

I really love this channel – particularly because it’s full of great listening exercises. As much as it’s relatively easy to find channels full of vocabulary finding listenings is harder. When I started learning English I was afraid of listenings because I couldn’t understand much, but I know I’ve learnt to understand language more thanks to them.  Anyway, weekly vocabulary videos with Rosa are also something to look forward to!

       6. Telemundo

Telemundo is an American broadcast television network, who produces TV shows and telenovelas in Spanish.  On their official Youtube channel, there are lots of Spanish TV shows to get used to the language more! They have subtitles in English, so you could understand the plot before you are fluent in Spanish. 🙂 I watch “Bajo el Mismo Cielo”  and I really like it, but there are plenty other shows to choose from too, so explore and explore because there’s always more.. 😉

These are all  Youtube recommendations I have for you now. When it comes to indulging in the culture of the Spanish-speaking world I would definitely recommend you to visit My heart of Mexico by Fabiola. She’s a Mexican blogger, and thanks to her I definitely know more about Mexico than I did before!

 

If you want to follow my journey in learning languages, reading books and becoming a bit smarter every day then I would be more than happy if you subscribed to my blog! More Spanish, French and other languages too… this is what I have in store for you! Thanks for reading and supporting me. You’re awesome!

For everyone who would like to save the list for later here’s a little infographic. It’s my first one, so I hope I will get better with time. Enjoy! 🙂

Adiós mis amigos,

Jessie

 

10 top apps I can’t live without!

Hello, my dear readers! How are you doing? Myself, I’ve been quite fine. As I’m quite into  websites and apps way too much – as you might have already noticed – I decided to share with you the list of my top 10 apps! Some of them are obvious choices, some of them are still quite unknown, so I hope I’ll help you find something great you haven’t known about before! 3…2…1… Let the game begin!

  1. Endomondo

   This app is  a total must-have for everyone wanting to track their fitness achievements! I use it to measure how many kilometres I run/walk, but it can be used for a variety of other sports, cycling and swimming included. A price: free. My verdict: I’m loving it, and you might too!

  2.  Instagram

    Okay, this app is probably the most famous app right now, but I couldn’t omit it. It seems to be all about selfies, but it’s so much more. In fact, it’s a great  place to connect with people.  I frequently look for photos under hashtags I like and come across like-minded people, whose pictures and descriptions I just adore.   Hashtag “book” says hi – so many photos of books to look at!   A price: free. My verdict: Useful in more ways  than it seems!     

3. Podcast Addict

 Who doesn’t love podcasts? They are internet audio and video publications – mostly audio – and they are perfect for everyone who spends much time in buses in a way to work/school/university/insert anything else here. They are thousands of them, and you can either download them or stream them. My favourite ones are BBC documentaries – they are a perfect mix of educational content and an interesting subject. A price: free. My verdict: A great option for everyone, especially those who learn faster by listening, since you can learn languages too!

4.  AnkiDroid

It’s an app for learning with flashcards. It’s designed to optimise your learning as much as it is possible. You can create your own flashcards or download flashcards of other users. My friend recommended it to me a long time ago, and I must admit it’s definitely an app to remember about! Especially if you’re learning new words in your target language. A price: free. My verdict: I found a superhero in this app, and you might too. It’s a learning Batman of the year!

5. Clearfocus

        Something for those wanting to improve their productivity. Clearfocus is based on the interval method. 25 minutes of workflow with no interruptions and 5-minute break. You can change both of these numbers, but they’re said to be the most effective according to science. Of course, trying everything out is always the best option, since everyone’s different. For me, 25/5 works the best.  A price: free. My verdict: it could be the one!

6. Daily curiosity 

     New interesting facts delivered to you every day – that’s daily curiosity! It helps me to learn something new even during a busy day, and it has never let me down. A price: free. My verdict: Irreplaceable as Beyonce would sing! 

7.  Evernote

  It’s probably the best noting app I have ever downloaded, and I’ve tried a few of them out. You can save there anything – music, text notes, handwritten notes, photos. If you save too many photos you may need more space and, therefore, a premium account, but text notes don’t take much place, and the basic version is enough. I have most of my blog and writing ideas on Evernote and thanks to that amazing app I still remember about ideas I would easily forget about! A price: free. My verdict: Everything you want Evernote will give you. Magic!

 

8. 1 second everyday

   It’s an app for recording short videos every single day. In a process, you are documenting your life. As days pass so quickly it’s a great way to make some moments immortal, before everything’s said and done. I use it to talk to my future self and remind myself that no matter how bad I feel… I will make it through. A price: free. My verdict: A+!

9. Duolingo

 Learning languages in a fun way! Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, Polish, Dutch, Turkish, Swedish – whatever you like! I have been using it for quite a long time, and I made my brother use it, too. It is an excellent learning tool and its app can make your learning possible anywhere… where you have your phone with you. 😉 A price: Free. My verdict: the best I ever had!

10. Memrise

   It’s another amazing flashcards app! Languages, history, geography, physics, chemistry – whatever you need to learn Memrise will probably help you with it! A price: free. My verdict: one of the greatest and nicest tools for free education. 

Summing up: each and every of these apps is free. They are all, however, very useful and I believe they could possibly help you, too!  Everything in moderation, of course, but apps can make life a lot easier.  Thanks for reading, it means a lot to me.  Ending with a quote would be my style, so here we go… 🙂 

“Kindle the candle of intellect in your heart and hasten with it to the world of brightness.
Nasir-i Khusraw

Yours truly,

Jessie

 

The ultimate FREE website to make your language learning easier!

Salut friends! How are you doing? You might be wondering why I’m so overdramatic with titles now, but there’s one simple explanation: the website is truly cool. Also, being overdramatic is kind of my thing, and if this is my scarlet letter, I might as well make it my little paper trademark and ignore the existence of millions other drama queens. Duh, at least, this kingdom’s mine. Until the power goes off. I hope they won’t cut me off. Anyway, let’s get back to the subject: language learning!

No matter what kind of language you are learning you might know the struggle of not knowing if you wrote your text just right. If you are still in school, then maybe your teachers will check it. If you have your own tutor or study buddy more advanced than you are, well, you’re a lucky fellow. What happens if you don’t? You have to make it work, too, and you can. For free and from your cozy room. That’s completely true.  Let me introduce you to… Lang-8! Here are 5 things to know:

 

  • It teaches to write like a pro in your target language! That’s the entire idea behind Lang-8. You write your text, and  native speaker checks it for you, often offering useful insight into errors you made and how to avoid them. In return, you check works of people learning your native language. Win-win since two sides are happy, kindness multiplies, and money’s safe in your wallet. Plus, your writing gradually improves.
  •  It is completely free! Of course, there’s a premium version, as in almost every other website/app out there, but the basic one can be more than enough for effective language learning. If you want to learn more than two languages at the same time then you need to buy the premium version. As two foreign languages are already quite much, I guess the basic version should be a good option for many of us.  I’ve been using it for quite some time, and I believe it can fulfill the most important learning desires well enough. Here’s to that extra cash to spend on coffee and books… or something else out of this world!
  • It creates a sense of community! By correcting mistakes of other people, and being corrected yourself, you support others in their journey and you are supported, too. It makes the whole experience a lot more meaningful because it bonds people. In result, it can make the learning process more exciting and inspiring.  Plus, you can meet some pretty awesome people. Never enough of those, right?
  • It gives you lots of options! Unlike like many other websites, Lang-8’s learning offer is truly the definition of variety.  You can learn one of 90 languages available on the website. Pretty impressive, isn’t it? Finally, those of us, who are learning  unpopular languages have a chance to take advantage of everything internet can give in 100%.  
  • If you take, you give. Maybe it seems like a little thing but I believe that the fact that you have to help somebody else to be helped is a brilliant idea. Too often we take everything for granted and want it all… not giving anything to the world itself. A small attitude lesson along with language learning will never go out of style!

That would be everything I want to tell you today. Thanks for reading, and remember that…

Forever and always! May Force be with you!

Yours truly,

Jessie

The Arabic Wonderland!

Imagine peaceful music filled with nostalgia reminding you of beautiful moments, which are in the past now. A sweet voice sings about lost love, and it’s incredibly sad but you’ve never heard anything so beautiful before. It doesn’t matter you understand only a word or two if anything at all. This is how I entered The Arabic Wonderland. It has been interesting, terrifying, beautiful, challenging and everything between, and I feel like Alice –  lost in Wonderland, longing for home, yet not wanting the adventure to end. I would like to invite you to a journey through Hills of the Unknown – Arabic! You might be surprised with what you can find if you look a bit closer… Will you trust me? Let’s go! And… hello!

                      Source/copyrights: pinimg.com

The kingdom of Arabic alphabet has 28 letter citizens. Each letter can have up to four alternate versions, depending on its position in a word. There’s an independent version, an initial version,  a medial  version and a final version. You can think of it like that: there are 4 sides of the Arabic letter you can get to know, and if you do, no more surprises for you! At least not when it comes to the alphabet!

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These are independent versions of all letters. You can see all of their 4 versions below: 

  Source/copyrights: pinimg.com

It takes some time to get used to writing like this but honestly speaking after a few weeks you’ll write it like there’s no tomorrow since it is not the hardest part of the Arabic. At least, after you take it up, because the alphabet can, indeed, look scary!

There are three long vowels in Arabic: ي, ا, و.  (Waaw, Alif, Yaa’) Nevertheless, Arabic also uses short vowels, perhaps even more often than long ones.

They are called Fatha, Casra and Damma.

 

They look basically like this. Damma is a short “u” sound, Kasra a “i” sound  and Fatha a “a” sound. 

The word above means  “He wrote”. It consists of letters: Kaaf, Taa, Baa. Since these sounds exist in English you could read it as “Kataba”. See, no vowels in the word, but fathas are there to save the day and make it easier to pronounce!

Most of the Arabic words don’t have  so-called “vocalization”, aside from The Koran and the Bible, but after some time you start to know what the word means and how you should read it. When two words look the same but have different meanings, vocalization’s used to differentiate between them.

That would be all for today, I hope I didn’t sound too boring since Arabic really does deserve to be given a right treatment. You can read my previous posts about Arabic: “Arabic: Easier than you think!” and Sing me your Disney song… in Arabic! here.

I hope you’re doing fine, and ’till the next time!

Yes, I couldn’t end it any other way. Youtube’s just too awesome to be forgotten! I’m going to dedicate Maha an entire blog post soon, but for now…  Thank you for your support, you’re simply the best!

Source: dubaidoodles.com

 

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

Productivity heroes: Thomas Frank!

Hello, guys! I haven’t written in almost to weeks, and it  does feel extremely weird since the blog has become my sacred space, but I believe I can be forgiven – exams are coming!  As a freshman, I’m pretty scared of them, and suddenly my life seems to be becoming dangerously stressful just like “Game of Thrones”!

Source/copyrights: cisdragonslair

Sorry guys, I couldn’t just shake it off, because obviously both exams and winter are coming! Even Jon Snow knows it! Maybe. This one time! Ok, I’m done with TV show/book references, and coming straight to the point (finally!) – procrastination is  an enemy of progress, unlike productivity which is BFF of all types of success. Yet, we don’t need to be taught how to procrastinate, but sometimes we need a little course on being productive. Here’s where…

Productivity heroes save the day!

The person who inspires me to keep trying to be productive is Thomas Frank, more known as College Info Geek.  He’s a blogger, youtuber and productivity guru. I mainly follow him by watching his Youtube videos, but he has way more to offer than just that: podcasts, articles and his awesome beard, of course!

Weekly tips and motivation

Thomas publishes, at least, one video a week, and they are really informative. His channel is mainly aimed at college students, but will be useful to anyone willing to become more productive. Every week he discusses ways to learn smarter, deal with stress, land a great job and generally make the best out of everything. Aside from nice editing, Thomas’s videos are really quite well-researched, and most of the times backed up by scientific data. Plus, he’s a great source of recommendation when it comes to various cool apps and websites you have never probably heard about, but should! To conclude: yeah, this guy totally rocks!

My favorite CollegeGeekInfo videos

I believe many of us fall victim to wanting everything to be perfect to the point where we actually… don’t do anything. Thomas has an answer for it!

 

An ability to speak in front of public is one of the important skills to pick up. Sadly, I’m yet to be more than absolutely hopeless at it, but I’m not giving up. Ideas become more powerful, when they’re spread, so videos on public speaking are always in fashion, aren’t they? For me: totally!

This is a very short video, but I love the message of it. Maybe you will too if you give it a try!

One more thing I have to thank Thomas for aside from motivating me from, you know, becoming a total wreck with no ambitions, is introducing me to Coffitivity. This is a simple website used for imitating that unique cafe’s atmosphere, which many of us fancy and find extremely useful during the process of learning and/or writing. Cafe noises mixed with my Spotify playlist make me much more inspired to work. I would totally recommend you to check Coffitivity out!

I also would like to let you know that I’m definitely going to post more about the Arabic language, and there will be a post about Polish Christmas traditions as well, so stay tuned! Thank you for sticking with me, and reading my little thoughts. It means the world to me. Wherever you are I’m sending you a smile right now. Thank you for your support!  🙂 

Do you have your productivity heroes? What are your tips for staying productive? Do you also have problems with procrastination like me? Please let me know in comments below!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

Smarter everyday: Let’s design your learning plan!

Hello, my dear readers! How have you been doing? Myself, I’m fighting hard to stay on the right learning track. That’s truly a difficult project. Why did I call it a project? Well, it requires daily effort, and more than one task to be completed, therefore it is a project, and should be treated like one, too. For the project to be managed effectively, we need to split it into smaller, manageable tasks. I am aware of that, and yet I failed on a big scale. Why? I haven’t created my learning plan yet! As a result, my learning time’s not fixed, and I’m more likely to skip it. That’s why today, as I’m coming up with my own learning plan, I’ll share with you some tips on how to design it!

Source/copyrights: vetdynamics.co.uk

Let the game begin. Shall procrastination not be our sin. 

  1. Determine what requires daily effort, and what can be done, when you have more free time – for example during a weekend. 

Wanting to do everything at once can be a problem. We start, but the work seems to pile up and up and up. There’s a difference between priority and urgency – the latter one can’t be done later. Let’s think about what can be done when we have more free time. Myself, I can read my favorite books, watch TED talks and write blog posts during a weekend, and focus on learning during a workweek. By doing this, I’ll be prepared for classes, yet still able to do what I love. Not everything has to be done immediately, so let’s plan accordingly.

          2. Set a fixed study time

This one is particularly important. Choose the particular time of the day for studying, and stick to it. Of course, anything could happen, but try to avoid skipping the learning dates you’ve set. Consistency is a key to success. As Aristotle  said:

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.

   3. Write it down

It’s easier to keep promises if we remember about them! By writing  your learning plan down, you are more likely to stick to it. If you add it to your calendar, along with your regular schedule, it will become a part of your daily plan. That’s exactly what we want. Give a word more power by writing it down. In your head, it gets lost among many other thoughts, and outside your little mind it stands a chance not to be forgotten, so what are you waiting for?  Make it happen!

4. Find and write down ways to reward yourself

They say no pain, no gain. It is, without a doubt, a true statement, nevertheless, our mind needs more tempting promises not to crack. Reward yourself. Make yourself interested in what’s in store if you stick to the plan. I came up with a simple idea: if I learn Arabic every day, and do at least 80% of my weekly plan, I can buy myself an amazing coffee in my favorite cafe. Might seem like a little thing, but it still makes me happy and motivates me to learn. No Arabic practice, no coffee! Define what you love, and work for it. Extra coffee, going to a party, watching Netflix – whatever makes you feel good, can be a reward for your daily hard work.

That would be it for today. Thanks for sticking with me! May the force be with you! 

Do you plan, when to learn? Are you organized? What are your tips to stay on the right learning track? Let me know in comments!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

Arabic: Easier than you think!

Marhaban! Hello! How are you doing guys? Myself, I’m enjoying the last week of my vacations. How fast time flies! It’s already autumn, leaves are falling, and I’m about to discover a whole new world: the world of the Arabic language. I assume that some of you might be possibly interested in the Arabic language, but are afraid of its form – especially the alphabet. It’s possible to learn Arabic in a fun way, no matter how difficult it seems.

Source: Deviantart

I believe that to learn languages better we should start to like them first. If you like something, you’re bound to do it more willingly, and that’s exactly what we aim for.

When it comes to Arabic, you have to remember that so many people speak Arabic, that there are many varieties of the language: we call them dialects. Main dialects include:

  • Egyptian Arabic
  • Levantine Arabic (Jordan, Syria, Palestine and Syria)
  • Iraqi Arabic
  • North African Arabic (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia and Libya)
  • Gulf Arabic (Bahrain, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait)
  • Najdi Arabic (Central Saudi Arabia)

These are only the main ones. Sometimes differences between dialects are rather small, sometimes quite big.  My Moroccan friend says it’s quite hard for other Arabic speaking people to understand their dialect, and it says a lot about how complex Arabic actually is. Don’t get too stressed out: there’s something called Modern Standard Arabic. It’s widely used in TV and newspapers across the Arab world, so it’s understood. It makes it the perfect base for learning dialects. Once you are very familiar with MSA, dialects will become easy to you. You might ask: why would I learn dialect if they can understand me? Well, imagine you started talking like Shakespeare’s characters do. Maybe I’m  exaggerating now, but… Even though people will understand you, it will sound funny to them. To communicate, they use their dialects, not MSA. MSA is a perfect start, though!

Source: masjidansar.com

First thing: get used to the language. Listen to songs, watch some movies. Who cares that you don’t understand a thing? It may be fun to speculate what they’re talking about! Plus, create a learning plan. You want to stay consistent. Let’s say: you choose to study twice a week for one hour. Write it in your calendar, and make it work! Every language in the world shows you something else in everything you have ever known, so give it a chance. You can do it!

Anyway, the next posts will be all about the alphabet and my favorite learning channels, so stay tuned!  The least, but not last: The song in Arabic for you to enjoy!

Thanks for sticking with me, you’re great!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie

Smarter every day: videos of the week!

Hello guys! How are you doing? Myself, I’ve started preparing for college classes, which start in October. This is my first semester ever, so you can see that I’m very excited! As a passionate learner, I decided to start the next series, called “Smarter every day”, so I could share with you my learning hacks, favorite educational videos, and so on. I know that college life can make me like learning a bit less, so I have to arm myself against this threat, and keep learning fun. I hope to do it with you! Here we go – smarter every day: videos of the week!

  1. Minute physics – Why it’s impossible to tune piano?

I love music, but I have never been very interested in the way music instruments work. Then… this video appeared and I see how much I missed out! One of the best 4 minutes spent online this week! The video is well-done and truly interesting, so I highly recommend you to watch it, and maybe even subscribe to  this channel!

           2. Crash course – Neutron Stars: Crash Course Astronomy

You know how much I love Crashcourse – I manifested my love for this channel in the post about my favorite learning channels. Their astronomy series seems to be my favorite one! It’s incredibly fascinating! Don’t hesitate to find out more about neutron stars, because you’ll feel smarter, I guarantee! At least I do!

          3. My Trip To Haiti | Karlie Kloss

This is not a typical learning video, but you can indeed learn from it! Karlie Kloss, who is a model, decided to visit Haiti and help the organisation called “Every Mother Counts”. In this video, we can see all shades of the world, and be reminded once again that we’re all people, and we should support each other, no matter what our skin color, race, and religion is.

           4.  Braincraft: Do Dogs Dream?

My little dog is barking outside, and I can’t help, but think how much dogs rule. How much I know about them, though? How much do we all know about them? New video by Braincraft answers a simple question: do dogs dream? Must-watch!

         5. Unearthing the Old Village | INDIE ALASKA

Discover Alaska’s new shades! The video is a gripping narrative of Alaska’s past, and present. I loved it. Maybe you will too!

These are my favorite educational videos this week! What are yours? Last, but not least: I would like to share with you my three favorite channels about learning.

  1. Study with Jess

I absolutely adore this channel, as it’s full of fun videos about studying! Study tips, awesome “Do it yourself” videos, ways to get organised – you can find everything you need there, especially if you are still a student!

          2.  Thomas Frank

I always look forward to Thomas Frank’s videos! They’re very useful, yet entertaining and they can make an organised person out of you. Or at least… a little bit more organised person! Thomas Frank all the way!

         3. How to adult

How to adult teaches us how to be adults! It covers variety of subjects: from getting organised to paying taxes, doing your laundry and all these things, which adults should be able to do! It’s perfect for young adults, but its entertaining formula makes it a good watch for everyone. I definitely recommend you to give it a try!

That’s all for today – Explore, dream, discover and make a new week count! Plus, thanks for visiting my blog, you’re truly amazing!

Have a lovely day,

Jessie