Wednesday, 31 October 2007

Episode II: Learning a foreign language with RosettaStone SharedTalk

It's probable that many people already know Rosetta stone line-products for self-teaching a new language aided by PC.
In this item, however, I want to speak about a new tool provided by Rosetta Stone to learn a foreign language not being alone, but with the help of a community.
Differently from the other RosettaStone products, Shared Talk does not need any installations
but you can make use of it without an installer and free of charge (at least at the time I'm writing!)
Indeed, all you need is an Internet connection and to sign up on the SharedTalk web site.
Since ShardTalk is a community you'll find many people that live in different angles of the world
and want to exchange their native language(s) with the one(s) they want to learn.
Going on look over its main features:

1) Mailbox.
After your registration, you''ll have the right to a private mailbox that you can access only by logging in on the SharedTalk web site.
However they provide a notification service to make you know when a new mail has been sent to you. Simply you'll receive a notification message on your electronic mailbox that you have provided during the registration.
In this way, they avoid spreading your email on the Internet.

2)Partner Search engine.
As I said SharedTalk is a community where people wish to learn a language by exchanging it, in
other words when you fill in your profile form, you have to choose which language(s) you can
teach and which one(s) you wish to learn.
Then with a partner search engine you can find among the community members the best for you.

3)Text Chat
As other Internet communities, SharedTalk is equipped with either a public text chat or a private text chat.
The public chats are categorized by language, for example there is a chat for speaking English, another for Russian and so on.

4)Voice Chat
At last but not least there is the Voice Chat, I think it's an innovative and useful feature and
probably SharedTalk is one of the few learning communities that have this tool.
In order to enter the Voice Chat you don't need any software like Skype but simply a microphone.
The voice chat is well developed because it lets you know which members are speaking and
which aren't, moreover you can know the country where the people are from.
and which language(s) they wish to practice.
These are the major characteristics in my opinion, however we have to take into account that SharedTalk, currently, is a beta release and probably new features will be added or improved.

On the whole I honestly suggest this website and the benefits like the registration which is free of charge, because in the future to join SharedTalk could become charged or conditioned by purchase of a RosettaStone product (This is my prevision I can't ensure you about that!)

Join Rosetta Stone Shared talk

Friday, 26 October 2007

A few minutes a day with English

I think that it's very important to train our English every day even if for only
a few minutes, now I don't want to deepen this concept but simply I'll suggest
you an easy and fun way to refresh our vocabulary and increase it with new words and "slangs".

There are two Italian radios which broadcast programs for English training:
Radio Monte Carlo RMC
Radio 24

RMC with its program "Speak Easy by Clive" help us to build up our English by listening to
famous songs and explaining to you the meaning of the words.
Generally, Clive focus your attention on the same word but show its different meanings and uses with songs.
Speak Easy is on air every day at 13:30, 16:30 and 20: 30.

Radio24 with its "English24 by Marta Cagnola and Giulia Crivelli" differently than RMC
not use only the songs to improve and keep your English alive but also short pieces
of interviews or advertisements.
Marta Cagnola and Giulia Crivelli show you, by example, words and expressions that are currently used.
English 24 is on air every Saturday at 19:15

Both English 24 and Speak Easy take few minutes so they are very useful for everyone needs
to practice English but don't have time to accomplish it.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

The Monthy Phyton: The Meaning of life

Yesterday I watched a movie in English (with subtitles) called "The meaning of life" by Monthy
I discovered them thanks to Grazia's me&Dublin blog, who posted their short scene in her blog so I got curious and I wanted to watch at least one of their movies.
The meaning of life is a funny and sarcastic movie, which tends to explain, as its name suggests,
the meaning of life through short musicals, satirical and comic scenes.
The movie, divided into six parts, tells the life cycle of the man, from his birth to the death, while different characters take part, some of them are funny others encourage you to reflect about the life with sharp gags.

Honestly before I watched them I was afraid to face a movie seasoned with the "English humor" that for us is hard to understand and doesn't make us laugh very much, but scene by scene I was surprised how enjoyable the movie was.

I can't explain what sort of movie it belongs to, because it's a mixture of different genres and I'm not an expert.
I also think it is a useful movie to improve your English skills because the actors don't always speak quickly and sometimes there are short pauses among the gags which allow you to take a
breath and understand the meaning of the gags, a short sample....

Monday, 8 October 2007

I have a dream...

These famous words were preached by one of the most important and greatest men of the man's story. I think, every man, like M.L. King, has his own dream, of course not all of ours are as much worth as King's one.
Some dreams don't involve the hope for a better society or peace in the world, some of them are very minor and symbolize what we would like to do or be in our life.
Since I have been interested in Italian politic, my dream is to see my country rise. In Italy, exists an old (very old!) economic depression mainly in the South.
We have a politician Class involved in dirty businesses and some of them have been sentenced despite of this they keep on taking over and wasting public money. Sometimes I asked to visitor or people living in other countries: What do you know about Italy ? and after they take a little time for thinking, they answer "Pizza, sea, and...mafia".
Let me not discuss the mafia (our plague), but why don't we better our country?
To be known as unreliable people is a beautiful label for us? I don't think so and like me a lot of Italian citizens and people all over love Italy.
Then what can we do? we could come down into square and ask our government to fix this situation for ever; but our voices wouldn't be heard by anyone who is currently in power.
In these recent days, a man well known as Beppe Grillo (comic) is forcing the Italian souls to make a change for the better, hopefully that something will change.
He put forward interesting stuff, but what will really happen ?
I don't know.
It doesn't matter if it is Beppe Grillo or someone else, I hope that my country will get better... this is my dream.

I thank Holly for her corrections

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

When I run down

Every one has its own "weak" moments, we can run down for many reasons:
by attending an intensive course, by working and studying in the same time,
by going out every night of week and so on..
When I fell so weak and mainly while my mind is turning off there is one
thing I love to do is listening to music and in particular there is one song
which make me feel better, it is an old song but ever green, its name is
Ain't no mountain high enough sung by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell

What do you like to do when you run down?
Do you like listening one song ? which one?

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