Language Tutoring Services
Basic sentence structure and pronunciation
Grammar: At this level, our expert tutors introduce you to the grammar of the foreign language you want to learn. Learning the grammar of a language will enable you to understand how sentences are constructed so that you can be able to construct your own sentences. The knowledge of grammar enables you to learn individual words and phrases. No two languages have exactly the same structure, so the grammar at each level is different. As long as you can effectively use the grammar of a foreign language, you can effectively speak it. You are also taught how to arrange words correctly. This is always one of the most important aspects to learn after pronunciation and vocabulary.
The basic word order of languages is described using three words: subject (s) verb (v) and object (o). English, for example, has SVO words order, meaning that the subject usually comes first in a sentence, followed by the verb, then the object. About 42% of the world’s languages use this word order. Another aspect of grammar is shape shifting. In many languages nouns, adjectives and other words can change in various ways to indicate their role in a sentence. Verbs can change to indicate who is performing the action (person), how many people are involved (number) and when the action is taking place (tense). Some language make further distinctions, while in others words don’t change at all.
All languages have regular and irregular grammatical patterns and it’s generally easier to learn the grammar of languages with few irregularities, such as Japanese, than those with more irregular grammar, such as English. We focus on teaching you the regular grammatical patterns. Many languages divide nouns into different genders. English has the remnants of a three gender system which determines the choice of pronoun (he, she, it, his, hers etc) and is usually related to the sex. You can learn gender of a noun is to associated nouns with adjectives.
Pronunciation: Some tips on learning how to pronounce foreign languages and on improving your listening comprehension. Learning how to pronounce a foreign language like a native speaker is difficult but not impossible. The better your pronunciation, the better people will understand you and the easier you will find it to understand them. The trick of speaking a foreign language is to spend some time tuning your ears to it sounds and rhythms. You can do this by listening to the language as much as possible via the radio, TV, movies and native speakers in your neighbourhood. If you enjoy singing, trying learning some songs in the language you’re learning. This is a fun way to improve your pronunciation and vocabulary. You could also try learning to recite poems and stories.
Our expert tutors teach you phonetics and phonology to improve your pronunciation. They usually start to teach international Phonetic Alphabet (IPA), which can be used to represent all the phonemes of human speech and is, therefore, a reliable guide to pronunciation. For tonal languages such as Chinese, our tutor experts train you on how to associate each syllabus with the appropriate tone.
Enriching vocabulary and using alternative ways to communication.
Once you have got a grip of the fundamentals of a language (pronunciation, orthography and basic grammar), you can concentrate on learning vocabulary. This is probably the most important and time-consuming part of learning a language.
Associate the familiar with the unfamiliar: Try to find word or phrases in your first language which sound like and if possible have a similar meaning to words in your second language. Build mental images or draw pictures based on the connections. For example, the Spanish for “ice” is hilo(m), which sounds like yellow. To remember this word imagine yellow ice.
Genders: If the foreign has many genders, imagine a large building with many floors, assign a different gender to each floor and place words on the appropriate floor according to their gender.
Avoiding language mix ups: Associating words from each language you learn with places where they are spoken will help you to avoid getting your languages mixed up.
Testing and revision: To ensure the words stick in your memory, test yourself on them at regular intervals. If you learn some new words in the morning, for example, check that you can still remember them later that day, the next day, a week later an da month later. If you find some words hard to recall, try thinking up different associations for them. You may need to try several different associations before you find one that works.
Learn related words and phrases: When learning the word for hand, for example, try to learn related words, such as parts of the hand; actions of the hand; other parts of the body, and things you might wear on your hands. Also try to learn words with the same root and phrases which include the word hand. As you learn more words you will start to spot connections between words. The more words you learn the easier you will find it to guess the meanings of new words.
Learn words in context: Learning long lists of unrelated words is boring, different and doesn’t help much when you come across those words in a different context. If you focus on learning words in the context you’re most likely to find them, you’re more likely to recognise them when you encounter them or need to use them again.
Practice reading as much as possible: A great way to build up your vocabulary is to have a go at reading books, magazines, newspapers or comics written in the foreign language. When reading, try to guess the meaning of any words you don’t know and then check them in dictionary to see if your guesses were correct. You don’t have to look up every unfamiliar word as long as you can get the gist of the next.