As the world becomes smaller and more connected, learning other languages has become extremely important. Understanding multiple cultures and speaking multiple languages will open a number of opportunities for someone entering the workforce. Having the ability to work in multiple languages and in different countries can also protect you from economic downturns and downsizing.

So how do we get comfortable with a language? Hard work and continuous study are important, but those alone will not get you there. To really improve at a language you need to get out there and not be afraid to make mistakes. In fact, mistakes will actually help you learn quicker. You have to get out of your comfort zone to gain the confidence that allows you to relax and feel comfortable in the language. During my study at Waseda University in Tokyo, Japan I watched a lot of great students study hard, but not really raise their language ability. They understand the material, but were not willing to put themselves into circumstances that really allowed their abilities to grow.

One great way I have found to learn a language is to find something that you really love to do, where they only speak the language you are trying to learn. When you are enjoying the activity, you don’t think about learning the language, and that’s when you really learn. However, for those of you who are unable to get into those types of situations due to locations, there is a new intuitive program put out by a company called Cerego. Cerego is created my the same people who created the Princeton Review here in Japan. They are now starting a new a new online site, “iknow” that will be somewhat like a mix between a language learning program and a social interaction site like Facebook. The service is currently offered for Japanese speaking people who want to learn English, but they will soon be adding other languages as well.

英語を勉強したい日本人にはCeregoのiknowがあります。iknowは英語を学ぶためのオンラインプログラ� です+mixiみたいなオンラインコミュニティ。

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