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Monday, February 27, 2006

Learning Language Enhances (Or Motivates) Trip Abroad

Below is an article from Los Angeles Times. After reading it, you will agree with me that MSL Learning Center students did a far better job in learning Mandarin, quicker and therefore better. If you take lessoons twice a week, and 2 hours each lesson, 30 weeks is what you need to achieve a modest level of proficiency.

"Prior knowledge does seem to help activate the brain," said Renee Jourdenais, an assistant professor in the Graduate School of Language & Educational Linguistics at the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

Of course, some languages are more difficult than others for native English-speakers to learn, because their writing and sounds differ so widely, Jourdenais said.

At the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in Monterey, Calif., which is dedicated to getting U.S. diplomatic personnel up to speed before a foreign posting, basic French and Spanish courses designed to give students a modest level of proficiency last 25 weeks. Czech and Russian programs run for 47 weeks; beginner Mandarin Chinese and Arabic courses take 63 weeks.

Read the whole articel here.