Speaking a foreign language.

One of the major obstacles for many beginning and intermediate language learners is conversing. Basically, there is only so much conversation that one can muster around the very basic vocabulary and questionable grammar that a beginner has to work with. In addition, the foreign speaker in most cases, while impressed…

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Paul Noble and plagiarisation.

Paul Noble, a British-based language teacher, recently contracted with Collins, the UK publisher, to author a series of CD courses to teach various languages according to a method which he claims he developed on his own. After I was alerted to the uncanny resemblance of his approach to that of…

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Why is Rosetta Stone so successful when their courses are so bad?

As some of you may know, I am considered an expert on foreign language instruction based on my experience in the field and my authorship of a very successful series to teach Chinese to English-speakers. Yesterday someone asked what I thought of Rosetta Stone. I told him that I have…

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Yiddish week or bust.

I have deliberately waited for some time to elapse before writing my impressions regarding a week in the Catskills among Yiddish-speakers. The name of the program ,which just celebrated its 25th anniversary, is Yiddish Vokh or Yiddish Week. It is sponsored by an organization called Yugntruf or Youth for Yiddish…

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A novel approach to learning languages.

In 2001 the NY Times published a lengthy article in the Travel section by the former Moscow bureau correspondent, Francis X. Clines. I like people who have X as a middle initial. I assume the X stands for Xavier, which is a really neat name. How many people call their…

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The end of insomnia

About five years ago I descended into major insomnia. I would go to bed and have a panic attack within seconds of drifting off. This led to intense sleep deprivation which, in turn, led to total hell. I lost my medical practice. I lost my life. I feared at times…

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E mail hrpharold (at) gmail (dot) com Phone 301.565.2494

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Michel Thomas Mandarin Chinese Vocabulary Course

The Michel Thomas Mandarin Chinese Vocabulary course has been recorded, edited and is scheduled for release in the UK in August, 2009. It will not be sold in the North America. Those outside of the UK may order it via Amazon.co.uk, download it from Audible.com or get it directly from…

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Wonderful news

Today I received news that I have been accepted as a student in the International Chinese Language Program at National Taiwan University in Taipei. This is one of the most prestigious and rigorous such programs in the world. It is a tremendous honor for me to to be in this…

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This actually happened.

Last night I watched John on the telephone attempting to place anorder. He got some automated program where you speak to a computer andit processes your order. He read out the order number, the address,etc. etc. At some point he became exasperated because the computervoice kept saying, ‘ We are…

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