Learning Spanish as a beginner

It's amazing how much you can learn in a short space of time if you put the effort into it. My husband and I have had Spanish lessons every day – and while it's easier to learn than some Asian languages, it's still quite of a challenge! In addition to communicating with the people that we will be working with, we also practice our Spanish with a designated tutor every week. The both of us have had a lot of fun learning Spanish and we plan to travel to Spain and South America later this year to put what we have learned to the test.

For a good starter on sites to see in Spain, you can check out Fodor's site for a list of good travel spots and attractions in Spain. Make sure before you go to Spain, that you practice a little Spanish and know a few phrases to make it a bit easier when you finally do arrive in Spain.
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Using Skype for learning a language

Using Skype is a great way to learn a new language. All you need to do to get setup is to download Skype and find a site where there is a language exchange or find a site where you can hire a tutor. The setup of Skype is straight forward and should take you not more than 10 minutes if everything goes smoothly. For more details and to download Skype, try going to the Skype Page here. The tutor can use the screen share option and from there, the student just needs to follow the tutor's instructions.

If your child is learning, you can also sit beside your child and guide him/her during the lesson with the tutor. The best is to also get a webcam so that the tutor can physically see you and help correct your lip movement to best enunciate the language you're learning. Also, Skype accepts a variety of characters so the tutor should have no problem messaging you the characters that are relevant for your lesson.
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Best way to learn Chinese

First of all, Chinese is quite a difficult language if you're a native English speaker. It's difficult because it's tone dependent so if you say a word with a slightly different tone, it can have a totally different meaning. Compare this with English where different countries speak English with different tones but at the end of the day, we all understand all the varieties of English spoken world wide. Thus, Chinese is quite different in that you have to be precise with your tones. I've been currently learning Chinese online with a chinese teacher on Skype. My Chinese teacher is quite good at correcting my tones and I've also been able to also pick up some basic Chinese characters at it.

Now some of you probably use Rosetta Stone when you start learning a new language. While Rosetta Stone is a great way to get introduced to a language and is not too expensive, I would discourage you from using Rosetta Stone if you have longer term goals with Chinese. The problem with Rosetta Stone is that you may be making a lot of mistakes with your tones but Rosetta Stone is incapable of fixing this. This is where a tutor can work with you to fix your tones to ensure you are speaking the correct tones in Chinese. Once you get your tones down right, you will have a much easier time being understood in China and Taiwan.
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