Welcome !


Welcome to this site!

My name is Victoria.

I started this blog because I have always enjoyed learning and teaching languages. I do not claim to be perfect in all language aspects, nevertheless, I think that sharing some of my experience and practical advice can help many people. Meanwhile, the feedback from the readers is another opportunity for me to enlarge my knowledge in the language field.

I believe that our childhood is a very important period of our life where we get to know the world and ourselves in it. I also think that in our young age we are naturally inclined towards certain activities and choose them over the others. There are different reasons why it happens, but we definitely know what we like and what we do not. But, even so, we all have great potential to do everything we put our mind to, efforts be made. And we can work on developing this potential at any age.

As a schoolgirl, I was more into languages and literature rather than into math. Looking back, I can say that I was a very diligent student who would always try to do her best in all the subjects. Unfortunately, I did not manage to become best friends with sciences and getting B instead of C in math felt like the greatest accomplishment in that field. However, in the 7th grade I knew for sure that I would connect my life with languages. And I did. I graduated from the department of foreign languages and became an ESL (English as a second language) teacher. Besides English I speak 4 other languages and I hope to increase this number.

The goal of this site is to help people who learn foreign languages. There are many languages, but they all share the same language components. This site is aimed at helping people improve their language skills and master their vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, spelling, listening, reading, speaking and writing. A good grasp of all these aspects serves as a foundation that can encourage the development of one’s language potential.

Choosing a book for leisure reading

img_7673-1When people say that they do not like reading, it is probably due to the books they had read that made them think so. It is typically the case with reading in general and reading in a foreign language in particular.
Leisure reading is called so for a reason, since it should be an activity you enjoy and like to devote your free time to. That is why your reading materials should be connected with your interests.

When it comes to reading in a different language, you should take into consideration your current command of language and your proficiency level. You may be tempted to read the originals of your famous books, but you should start with the adopted versions first. It is advisable to do so, because when the vocabulary is too difficult, the enthusiasm starts to fade away. Consequently, readers start to cling to every unfamiliar word, thus missing the point of leisure reading being extensive reading, as opposed to intensive reading. In extensive reading you are reading for general understanding and you do not need to understand every single word of the text for that. Leisure reading is aimed at pleasure, not 100% vocabulary knowledge.

We all prefer some genres over the others. Some people like fiction, others like non-fiction, and our preferences should guide us in the book selection process. It is good to keep a vocabulary handy while reading. However, it is not advisable to consult dictionaries every five minutes, unless there are unfamiliar words you keep running into throughout the text.

When do you learn best?

clockWhen do you learn best? You may have heard people calling themselves “larks” and “owls”. You might have identified yourself with one of those. You may not notice it, but there is time when you are most likely to learn and memorize information better.

Larks are typically productive in the mornings. They naturally wake up early and get things going right away. Their mind is open to learning new things while the day hasn’t been filled with routine activities. By the end of the day larks feel worn out and evening hours are not the best ones to foster leaning. However, they can take adabantage of evenings in a certain way. Revising new vocabulary and practicing listening skills can still be done at late hours.

Owls, on the contrary, are more active in the evenings. Knowing themselves, owls should plan their most time consuming and memorization involving activities for late hours. In the mornings owls tend to be less active and work at a slower pace. Owls can adopt to the mornings by working on the skills they feel more confident about and leave the ones that need more improvement till evenings. Believe it or not, there are even libraries that are open at night.

Being an owl or a lark does not presuppose being more or less intelligent or creative. It means that your learning process should be tailored according to your needs and part of the day that is most fit for you. In every day life it is crucial to be a friend to yourself, not an enemy. There is no point in fighting your body’s needs and when it is time to sleep you should sleep in order to be productive when you wake up.

Which language skill to focus on? 

Which language skill to focus on? 

The answer to this question is “all of them” ( ideally). However, prioritizing one skill over the others depends on your reason for learning a foreign language. 

For instance, if you want to be accepted to a college abroad, you need to be proficient in most of the skills, if not all. Besides doing well on enrollment tests it will help you during school years. Think about all the lectures, essays, reading and writing assignments. They require you to know the language well enough to absorb and reproduce information both in speaking and writing. 

On the other hand, a grandmother, who is learning a language to be able to talk to her grandchildren living abroad, should focus on her speaking skills without going deep into exquisite grammatical constructions. It does not mean that grammar should be neglected. It means there is a certain amount of vital grammar rules needed for communication. 

If a potential tourist is learning a foreign language, the target in the learning process should be vocabulary. Usually, there is not too much time devoted to master a language just for the purpose of traveling. Even though some people do a thorough preparation beforehand, it is rather rare than common. As a tourist, one should imagine himself or herself in all the possible situations abroad: self-introduction, shopping, asking questions at the airport, making orders in a restaurant, addressing passers by, etc. 

When people find a job abroad, there is a great need in knowing written and spoken language. Consequently, the bar is raised very high to keep up with the qualification requirements and language standards. In terms of vocabulary, all the most important operative words in the field should be learnt at the very beginning. And then the vocabulary and grammar get naturally woven together and result in good written and spoken speech. As they say, practice makes perfection and it is probably better to start learning a language prior to applying to a job abroad. This way one can learn at the most comfortable pace. 

It takes time, persistence and commitment to develop all of the language skills. It is important to have a laser sharp focus on your future, since it can be the best motivation on the way to your target. Ask yourself ” What will I be doing most?” Answering this question will help you identify the key skills you need to work on most. 

Why learn a foreign language? 

When it comes to learning a foreign language, everyone has his or her own reasons. These reasons should be the best guides in the learning process. Just like anywhere else, motivation plays a huge role in achieving great results in language acquisition.  It is impossible to name all of these reasons, however, there are some common ones: career opportunities, family related circumstances and going on vacation.  

People who have a natural inclination towards languages may decide on their teaching career very early and follow the teaching path for the rest of their lives. Usually, it does not look like a big deal to them to learn another language, since they know what it takes. With time, genuine interest and commitment, they will soon get a grasp of other languages.

On the other hand, some people’s proficiency can be any other subject. At some point they could be promoted to a new position or even get offered a job abroad. Besides the knowledge they have in that particular field, they need to learn another language to get to a new level in their career ladder. This becomes their motivation and pushing fortrh, and,  in most cases, slowly but steadily, their efforts pay back. Usually, these learners graduate from universities abroad and pass qualification tests. 

It rarely happens so that all of our close and distant family members live within the same continent, country, state, city, etc. International marriages are and will be becoming more common. As a result, children should be able to talk to both their parents and grandparents. Imagine how it must feel when you have a language barrier between you and your grandchildren and can not communicate clearly. As a result, language learning should be done at least at one side, if not on both (ideally). 

Vacation time stimulates some people to learn the language of the country they are going to visit. To really get to know the culture of the country, one needs to be able to keep a conversation with native speakers. It also gives independence when exploring the cities on one’s own. 

Knowing these reasons is very important, because it sets the tone to the learning process. The range of the skills one needs to practice more and pay more attention to depends on the ultimate goal. Even though all the skills should be equally developed, some of them should be prioritized depending on why you want to learn a language. 

How do you learn best?


Whenever we learn something for a long period of time, we tend to notice some patterns when there is the most and the least information remembered. What it means is that there are different types of learners and each of them needs a certain learning technique. The four main types of learners are : auditory, visual, kinesthetic and reading/writing.
Auditory learners perceive information best when they hear it. Consequently, the most optimal activities for them would be listening to different audio materials (lectures, songs, tapes, dialogues, etc).
Visual learners memorize information best when they have some visual aids. That is why it is crucial for them to have a visual association with things they are learning. It is necessary to introduce colorful pictures, symbols and flashcards to their learning process.
Kinesthetic learners absorb information best when they have an opportunity to do physical activities. Since they are hands-on learners, it is important for them to be able to use their sense of touch, move their bodies and hands. Such learners usually can not sit still for a long period of time and need little breaks in between their studies. When thinking, they usually fiddle with little objects, such as pens, buttons, rings, strands of hair, etc.
Reading/writing learners need to read or write the information themselves for the better memorization of material. These people learn best by rereading and rewriting notes, articles, paragraphs, etc. Since they like things to be written clearly on paper, you will notice them making lists and notes on a daily basis.
Identifying what kind of a learner you are will prompt the efficiency and progress of your learning process. Teachers take into consideration these learning styles to address students’ needs and help them do their best.