New Trends in Language Learning

Language learning has evolved a long way from the pedantic method used some time in our own generation. That was the time when we had to be careful about the ending of verbs or nouns in learning a foreign language like Spanish or Latin. It was a boring experience for most of us.

We Need to Learn Other Peoples' Language

Today as we live in this global village, a single community where everyone is at easy reach through technology, language learning is almost an urgency. We can no longer live in a world where we only know our own language, and not care about how the other peoples in the world communicate with one another in speech and writing.

Many of us have already the experience of opening a website whose language is different from ours. I have opened websites in French, Spanish, and Russian without my knowing ahead of time that those were the languages in those websites. I thought they were all in English.

If we have to do profitable business with our neighbor nations we have to understand their language. For example, Mandarin being the language used by most number of people today, we would do well to know this language to do business with people speaking this language. And of course those speaking Mandarin would do well to learn English, the second most used language in the world today.

With the increase in leisure time and money some go around the world in search of new sights and sounds. These are the tourists. They too want to learn the basics of the language of the people they are going to visit, even just saying the customary greetings and the language of the market.

But it is not only for business and tourism that we need to learn another language. Language learning is necessary for universal understanding and peace. When we learn a language of a people we necessarily learn its culture. Here we discover similarities and diversities with other nations. We learn that love is a universal value. We learn that in other countries there are human males who love more than one female, while in other cultures there are human females who love more than one male. There are diverse practices of marriage, but all built on the same value of love.

Reasons Why Old Ways of Learning a Language Are Slowly Disappearing

There are still vestiges of the old way of language learning, especially in our schools. This was the way I learned Spanish, by memorizing the sounds and forms of the Spanish words. In my high school I had three years of learning Spanish as a subject. In college I spent more than 400 hours of studying Spanish in the classroom. Today I can only read and speak simple Spanish. I cannot use it to carry a conversation. The reason for that is because I learned Spanish by memorizing the forms of the Spanish words, but did not really learn to speak it as fluently as English.

The way of language learning by memorizing forms of verbs, nouns, adjectives, pronouns and grammatical rules is still being used today in formal classes in colleges. But there are signs that this is not going to stay for long because of the recent new trends in language learning.

For one, there are now many courses on language learning in the Internet, some of them are free, at least for the fundamentals. This was not true 20 years ago. Of course these free courses have ads inserted here and there with options to upgrade for a cost. But if one is really interested and has the time and the Internet connection, language learning is no longer a big problem, unlike before where we have to pay tuition and miscellaneous fees to learn a language in school.

Secondly, there are now video and audio lessons on language learning that can be accessed through the Internet. Before we only had the textbooks and the dictionaries. We were never sure if our teacher pronounced the foreign words correctly since he or she was also not a native of that foreign language.

Thirdly, we have now translations with the click of our computer mouse. This was unthinkable before. We have talking dictionaries. We type a word in English, choose the language we want a translation of this word in, and hit the return key and we hear the word in the other language. For now we have this kind of dictionary for French, German, English, Italian, Latin, and Spanish.

We also now have the Virtual Personal Interpreters (VPI). These are software translators that can translate phrases and sentences. You can also hear how the words, phrases or sentences are pronounced by native speakers. At present there are VPI for English users in Spanish, German, Italian, and French. You can take a look at these talking dictionaries and VPI at

We can now learn languages through cell phones, mp3 players and other gadgets. We can have live online tutors with the use of Skype.

Language learners can now also practice to speak other languages online with partners using other languages. You help somebody practice her English, and your partner on the other side of planet earth helps you practice your Spanish. You can do this on your PC, laptop or cell phone.

Through the Web we can now listen to the radio stations broadcasting in languages foreign to us, such as Spanish. We can also look at TVs using foreign languages. This way we get the proper accent and intonation in learning another language.

Language learning indeed has gone a long way from the pedantic classroom style of instruction.

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New Conflicting Trends in Education

There was a time when the basic needs of human beings were only food, clothing and shelter. With the rise of the industrial age, education was added as one of their basic needs. And now education is one of the major industries of the world, producing graduates to manage and run the economy, politics, and the transmission of culture. But with the information age gaining more and more ground in our society, we are seeing conflicting trends in the educational system.

Increasing Cost, Decreasing Cost

The first conflicting trend is in the area of cost. While the cost of formal education in colleges and universities is rising, the cost of education through the Internet is getting lower and lower. In many countries the observation of educational managers is that educational cost is rising higher than the inflation rate of a country. And yet getting information which is the raw data of education is becoming cheaper and cheaper through the Internet. Students can connect cheaply to the Internet through Internet cafes and access information that before would cost them much. They can now download ebooks, many of which are free.

In the Website Personal Money Store an article is written about Academic Earth found in It says that
while Academic Earth is not an organization that can provide a learner with college credit, it can give him or her nearly all the same material he or she could receive in a traditional college classroom, at a time when he or she wants it, without the hassle of transportation and dress expenses. There is an advertisement in this Website of “Great College Lectures, for FREE”

Education as Burdensome, Education as Fun

The second conflicting trend I see is in the area of methodology. With more information to digest and more books to read students are getting more and more burdened with reading, memorizing and comprehending the content of the books and lectures of professors. And yet on the other hand there are so many individuals and groups trying to make learning fun and enjoyable, not a burdensome experience.

In the Website DNA Read the World there is an article entitled "New trends in teaching that make learning fun" (found at In this article we we read, “To make students enjoy and understand at the same time is the key principle on which education institutions should work on.” There are also online experiments with mnemonics to make memorization fun.

Education for Unemployment and Underemployment

The third conflicting trend is in the area of results. Almost everywhere in countries with Western kind of education the complaint has been that the educational system produces unemployed or underemployed graduates. There is no assurance that upon graduation employment is there. And yet jobs are being generated through the Internet. Some get jobs by writing reviews of books, of programs, by creating websites, by programming, etc., not to mention the many scams online.

The Website Engines for Education at is trying “to raise
consciousness about the changes needed in our educational system.” Hopefully these changes will also solve the problem of unemployment or underemployment of our college graduates.

What do these conflicting trends tell us? It seems that the following trends are possible.

Possible Scenarios

As the cost of formal education goes higher and higher and the cost of non-formal education through the Web goes lower and lower, only the wealthy will be able to access formal education while the not so wealthy will be content with non-formal education through the Web.

As the process of education becomes more and more burdensome to students more and more educational games will be put on the web where the students will be spending more and more of their time. There are already indications that students cut their classes in order to spend their time playing games in Internet cafes.

As more and more unemployed and underemployed are produced by our formal system of education, more and more jobs will be created through the Web.

The precise changes in the educational area are not so clear at the present time but it seems clear that there are indications of substantial changes in the near future.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you: for your spiritual growth for knowing more about spirituality or spiritual realities for your health for earning some income from the Internet

Here is your link to a FREE ebook on true greatness, THE SCIENCE OF BEING GREAT by Wallace D. Wattles, This book will surely guide you to attain something outstanding in your life. The author says, “There is a genius in every man and woman, waiting to be brought forth.” Discover what this genius in you is by reading this book.

Ubiquitous Access A Growing Trend In Cell Phones

Cell phones truly have become an ubiquitous object. They are almost everywhere. (Ubiquitous comes from the Latin ubique which means everywhere.) Even small children now have cell phones, which they use to call and send messages to, and receive messages from, their parents, brothers, sisters and friends. Cell phones are in cities, they are also in farms. They are with riders of bikes, motor bikes, cars, buses, ships and planes.

What many do not fully realize is that cell phones have also provided increasing ubiquitous access to data whether for information or entertainment. It has contributed to the first of the Three Mega Technology Trends in the 2010s—Ubiquitous Access—as predicted by Gartner, Inc., an information technology research and advisory firm headquartered in Stamford, Connecticut. The other two Mega Technology Trends are Smart Objects and Ambient Intelligence, and Semantic Connectivity.

From Stationary Studios to Cameras Everywhere

To get a clearer impact of the ubiquitous access provided to us by cell phones, consider the imaging technology. Before, in the 1950s when we wanted to get a picture of ourselves, we had to go to a photographer’s studio. Then in the following years the portable camera became a favorite. At first the ones who used this had to know how to adjust the amount and speed of light coming into the negative of the camera. Then came the automatic cameras, where you just aim and shoot and which anybody who had good eyesight and steady hands could use. But now with cell phones that have cameras, this has changed. Cameras are almost everywhere through these cell phones.

Movies and Music Anytime, Anywhere

A more recent and more advanced example is in the movie industry. Before, even up to the 1980s when we wanted to see a movie we had to go to a movie theater, where the movies where scheduled ahead of time. If we wanted to see the movie from the beginning we had to wait for the time of the movie to begin as posted in its schedule. Then through the tapes, then VCDs and DVDs we brought the movies to our homes. But now with the accessibility of movies through our cell phones we can virtually have a movie anywhere and anytime we want, as long as there are the proper frequencies supplying the data to our cell phones. With the iPhone we can now see movies and videos in iPhone playable format, movies that are optimized, made for iPhone.

The examples can go on and on.

The factors that made the cell phone ubiquitous are its size, weight, price, and capability.

Size and Weight

From the cumbersome 9 x 5 x 1.75 inches of the Motorola Dyna-Tac of Martin Cooper in 1973 the cell phone has downsized to 4 x 1.5 x .5 inches or smaller than this. We can carry it anywhere now and no one seems to notice it. Its weight has gone from 2.5 pounds (1.1 kilograms) to less than 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Even a one-year old child can handle it.

Price and Capability

Its price has plummeted from 3,995 dollars to 10 dollars. From the two basic capabilities of using it for talking and listening the cell phone has now a multitude of capabilities: we can also use it to write, send and receive messages, do mathematical calculations, organize our schedule with its calendar and time, play games, take pictures and videos, connect to the Internet, send and receive email, send and receive fax, write in its notepad, listen to its radio and music, view videos, television programs and movies, access money through it, get health information, help to enforce laws, find one’s direction, buy and sell articles and even real estates, record names and addresses, download ebooks, listen to audio books, do school work, etc. It seems there is no end.

According to the website Trends in Cell Phones (, “we have barely seen the tip of the iceberg as indicated by the steady stream of increasingly sophisticated multimedia handsets, services, content and accessories.”

Cell phones have gone everywhere, and data through cell phones can be accessed everywhere. It has become indeed an object of Ubiquitous Access, the first of the three Mega Technology Trends in the 2010s.

Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you: for your spiritual growth for knowing more about spirituality or spiritual realities for your health for earning some income from the Internet

Here is your link to a FREE ebook on true greatness, THE SCIENCE OF BEING GREAT by Wallace D. Wattles, This book will surely guide you to attain something outstanding in your life. The author says, “There is a genius in every man and woman, waiting to be brought forth.” Discover what this genius in you is by reading this book.