Author Archives: Tomas Hvizdak

mapa jazykov

How many languages can a person learn?

Learning a foreign language is a skill that opens doors to new worlds. It can help us understand cultures, traditions, and ideas that we otherwise might not be able to grasp. But how many foreign languages can a person truly learn? And who are those exceptional individuals who have managed to master a dozen or more languages?

Historical Polyglots

Let’s start with a few examples from history. One of the most famous polyglots was Cardinal Giuseppe Mezzofanti. Born in 1774 in Bologna, Mezzofanti reportedly spoke more than 30 languages. He came from a poor family, but his abilities were so exceptional that the church allowed him to study at university.
Rarely do we encounter talent like that of Emil Krebs, a German diplomat from the early 20th century, who mastered an astonishing 68 languages. Krebs was fascinated by languages from an early age, and his polyglot skills became his life’s passion. He once said that for him, foreign languages are not foreign but are his friends.

Sir Richard Francis Burton was an English adventurer, writer, and translator from the 19th century, who spoke around 40 languages and dialects. He was known for his translations of “One Thousand and One Nights” and the Kama Sutra into English.

Another historical polyglot is Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a German poet and philosopher from the 18th century, who is most famous for his literature. Goethe aimed to learn at least one language every year and is believed to have been able to communicate in 12 different languages.

Jean-François Champollion, a French linguist who deciphered Egyptian hieroglyphs, reportedly mastered around 13 languages. This exceptional polyglot used his language skills to explore the history of Ancient Egypt.

Contemporary Polyglots

Even in today’s age, we have polyglots who command a multitude of languages. For instance, Ziad Fazah, originally from Lebanon, claims to speak up to 59 languages. He was born in 1954 and his talent was discovered when he was only seven years old. Since then, he has devoted himself to studying and teaching languages.
We can’t forget about Alexander Arguelles, an American who became famous for mastering 50 languages. Arguelles is a college professor, and his language teaching method is admired worldwide.

Timothy Doner, an American polyglot, became an internet sensation thanks to his ability to speak in 20 languages. He started with Spanish in high school and then delved into Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, and others.

Another contemporary polyglot is Ioannis Ikonomou, the chief translator of the European Commission, who speaks more than 32 languages. Originally from Greece, Ikonomou learns a new language every summer and uses them in his work translating important documents for the European Union.

Language activist Susanna Zaraysky claims that she speaks 9 languages, including English, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Serbian, Esperanto, and Hungarian. Zaraysky is known for promoting language learning through music and media.

Each of these individuals demonstrates that the possibilities for learning languages are nearly limitless if there is motivation and an interest in culture and communication.

What’s the Limit?

According to research, approximately 600 to 750 hours of instruction are needed to reach an advanced level in a foreign language. With these numbers, we could theoretically calculate how many languages it is possible to learn in a lifetime. However, learning a language is not just about the hours spent studying. It’s also about the context in which we use the language, our motivation, and our cognitive abilities.
In addition, even if someone learns a large number of languages, maintaining them at a good level can be a challenge. Languages that are not often used can “rust,” and regular practice is needed to keep them up.

So how many foreign languages can a person learn? The answer to this question is actually very individual. Some people can learn and maintain a large number of languages, while others might focus on just a few. But one thing is certain: learning a foreign language is a journey that can bring many enriching experiences.

Summer Language Camps for Children: Supporting Kids Development and Skills

Summer language camps for children combine the joyful atmosphere of a holiday with effective education. Through this unique blend of pleasure and utility, these camps can significantly contribute to the comprehensive development of children. But what specific benefits do they bring?

1. Improvement in Language Skills

In language camps, children have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a new language on a full-day basis. Not only do they learn new words and grammar, but they have the opportunity to use the language in everyday communication and practical situations. This greatly enhances their language skills and gives them confidence in using a new language.

2. Development of Social Skills

Camps allow children to meet and interact with other children. Through these interactions, children develop social skills such as cooperation, sharing, and communication. They learn how to resolve conflicts, express their thoughts, and understand the feelings of others.

3. Cultural Exchange and Tolerance

Language camps often welcome children from different cultural and ethnic environments, creating an environment rich in cultural exchanges. Children learn about other cultures and traditions, which can significantly contribute to their understanding and respect for diversity.

4. Independence and Responsibility

Staying away from home as part of a camp gives children the opportunity to develop their independence. They learn how to take care of themselves, such as maintaining personal hygiene, taking care of their belongings, and planning their time.

5. Physical Activity

Many language camps also include sports and outdoor activities. These activities provide children with an opportunity for movement and healthy physical development, which is an important complement to the mental exertion associated with learning a new language.

6. Love for Learning

Perhaps the most important aspect of summer language camps is that they teach children to love learning. The excitement of discovering a new language and culture, coupled with the joyful experiences that camps provide, can lay a strong foundation for a lifelong love of learning.

Language camps, therefore, provide much more than just improving language proficiency. They provide an environment where children can develop and grow in many areas of life. They are a great way to prepare children for future success, not just in the academic sphere, but in life in general.

Intensive Conversation: The Most Effective Model of Foreign Language Learning

If someone challenged you right now to start learning a new language, how would you begin? Perhaps you would choose a textbook, print out dictionaries, or sign up for an online course. But what if I told you that the most effective way to learn a foreign language is not any of these traditional approaches? Instead, it’s something you can do anytime, anywhere, and absolutely for free: intensive conversation.

One of the reasons why conversation is such an effective tool is the density of information it provides. When you engage in a conversation, you are likely to encounter many different words and phrases that you might not find in a textbook. And that’s just the beginning.

Taking into account statistics, a 2020 study conducted by the University of Cambridge showed that students who participated in intensive conversational training achieved 50% better results in text comprehension and pronunciation tests than those who learned using traditional methods. But how is this possible?

Why would conversation have such a significant impact on language learning success?

The answer lies in how our brains process information. When we engage in a conversation, our brain is forced to process language information in real time. This enhances our ability to quickly and effectively process new information, leading to a better understanding and memory of new words and phrases.

In addition, conversation also provides us with natural and authentic contexts in which words and phrases are used. This allows us to better understand and remember how these words and phrases are used in the real world.

Finally, conversation also provides instant feedback. When we make mistakes – and in the process of learning a foreign language we will definitely make them – our conversation partners can immediately tell us what we said wrong and how to correct it. This immediate feedback is extremely valuable and something that traditional learning methods often fail to provide.

Do you still have doubts about the effectiveness of intensive conversation as a method of learning a foreign language? You might be asking: “What if I’m a beginner and can’t speak well enough to carry on a conversation?” That is a understandable fear. But the solution is simple: start slow.

Did you know that according to many studies, even short, simple conversations can have a huge impact on language learning? Study participants who engaged in short, 10-minute conversations every day made significantly more progress over three months than those who only learned using traditional methods.

Are you ready to try intensive conversation as your main way of learning a new language? The benefits are clear: higher information density, faster and more efficient processing, authentic contexts, immediate feedback, and proven scientific research supporting its effectiveness.

Engage in conversation and uncover the power of the most effective foreign language learning model. It will be a journey full of challenges, but the results are worth it. It’s time to discard those textbooks and start talking!

najefektívnejšia metóda výučby

Truly effective English lessons and what do studies say about it?

There are currently many methods and approaches to improve the effectiveness of language teaching. Among these methods, the so-called playful learning method is becoming more and more popular, offering fun and interactive ways to learn a new language. In this article, we will take a look at what the playful learning method is and how it compares to traditional approaches to learning.

The playful learning method is an approach that focuses on making learning a fun and interactive process. This method is often used in language schools and online language learning programs. Playful learning involves the use of games, visual aids, and other tools that facilitate learning a new language.

The playful learning method differs from the traditional approach to learning, which focuses on memorizing vocabulary and grammar. This traditional approach can be boring for many students and not always effective. In fact, research shows that long-term memorization of vocabulary and grammar rules is often not achieved effectively through traditional teaching.

Play is radically more effective than memorizing

On the other hand, the playful learning method offers active and fun learning methods that improve vocabulary and grammar retention. For example, computer games, mobile apps, and interactive videos offer ways to learn a language by actively engaging in the learning process. In addition, the use of multimedia tools such as images, videos, and sounds can help create visual and audio connections between words and their meanings.

The claim is also supported by professional studies

There are many studies that prove that the playful learning method can be more effective than traditional language teaching. For example, research published in the journal Educational Technology Research and Development found that students who used mobile language learning apps had much better results than those who learned using traditional methods. Other research has shown that students who learned through playful learning had higher motivation and interest in learning a language than those who learned using traditional methods.

Furthermore, the playful learning method also offers flexibility, as students can learn anytime and anywhere, which is a big advantage for many people. Traditional teaching often takes place in classrooms or in specific locations where students must physically attend classes.

It is important to realize that the playful learning method is not just for children but also for adults. Currently, there are many courses and online programs that use the playful learning method to learn languages. Some of these programs are specifically designed for adults who want to learn a new language to improve their employability or communicate with family and friends.

In the end, if you want to learn a new language quickly and effectively, the playful learning method may be the right choice for you. Fun and interactive learning methods can help improve your vocabulary and grammar retention and increase your motivation for learning a language. The result is that you will learn faster and more effectively than with traditional methods.

If you want to learn more about the playful learning method or try some online programs, there are many resources and tools that you can use. It’s up to you which learning method you choose, but if you’re looking for a fun and effective way to learn a language, the playful learning method may be the right choice for you.

Key reasons for effectiveness

The playful learning method can be more effective than the traditional approach to learning for several reasons.

Firstly, the interactive elements that are part of the playful learning method help students maintain their interest and motivation for learning a language. If learning is more fun and interesting, students will learn faster and achieve better results.

Secondly, the playful learning method tries to teach students language in context, which means that students learn vocabulary and grammar in real situations. This contributes to memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules in context and makes it easier to use them in real communication.

Finally, the playful learning method offers flexibility, as students can learn anytime and anywhere. This is a great advantage for those who have limited time or need to learn a language after work.

Despite these advantages, there may also be some disadvantages

Despite the advantages of using game-based learning methods, it is important to note that it may not be suitable for everyone. Some students may prefer a more structured approach to learning or may find the game-based approach too distracting. Additionally, some language learning apps and programs may focus on certain aspects of the language and neglect others, leading to incomplete knowledge and skills.

Game-based learning methods offer a fun and effective way to learn a new language. Research suggests that these methods can improve motivation, engagement, and retention of vocabulary and grammar. However, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages and consider personal preferences and learning goals before deciding on an approach to language learning. With a variety of options available, including programs that combine game-based and traditional learning methods, students can find the approach that works best for them and achieve success in their language learning endeavors.

Druhy jazykových kurzov

The choice of form of language education is extremely important

There are many options available for people who want to learn a language these days. From traditional language schools to online courses, there are many different types of language schools that offer a wide range of services for all types of language learning. Here is an overview of some of the most common types of language schools and their advantages and disadvantages:

Traditional method

The traditional method of language learning takes place in a classic or language school where students meet with a teacher and other students. This form of instruction involves interaction with the teacher and other students, which is important for your language growth. Additionally, you can learn in a group, which allows you to discuss and learn from others.

The disadvantage of the traditional method of instruction is that you have to be in a certain place at a certain time, which can be challenging for some.

Hybrid method

The hybrid method of language education combines traditional and online methods of learning. Students meet with a teacher in the classroom, but at the same time can use online learning and interact with other students. This form of education offers the advantages of both methods of education and allows students to customize their learning to their needs.

Online method

The online method of language education allows students to learn from the comfort of their own home using a computer or tablet. This form of education offers greater flexibility and convenience, but interaction with the teacher and other students is limited.

The disadvantage of online education is that students do not have the opportunity to immediately respond to questions or problems they may have, as they do not have direct contact with the teacher. Additionally, without social interaction with other students, it can be difficult to gain confidence and improve language skills.

The advantage of online education is that students can work at their own pace and choose times when they learn. In addition, there are many online resources and applications available to help students in their learning. Online education is also often cheaper than traditional methods of education.

Camps and internships

Children’s language camps are a great way to teach children languages and gain new experiences. This form of education offers many advantages that differ from traditional teaching methods.

The first advantage is an interactive environment. Children are in an environment where the language they are learning is used as the primary means of communication. This means that children learn the language in real situations, naturally and spontaneously. Children are in contact with native speakers of the language and have the opportunity to meet peers from around the world. This type of interaction usually leads to faster improvement in language skills.

The second advantage is that children gain new experiences. Children’s language camps are usually organized in beautiful natural or historic locations. Children learn about new cultures, customs, and traditional cuisine. Such experiences can be very enriching for children and they will remember them for a lifetime.

The third advantage is that children learn independence. In children’s language camps, children are usually separated from their families for a few days or weeks. This forces them to learn to do things themselves, how to take care of themselves, how to maintain order, and how to make decisions in different situations. Such experiences are very important for children and can help them develop their personalities.

Children’s language camps offer many advantages for children who want to learn a new language and gain new experiences. Children learn in an interactive environment, gain new experiences, and develop their independence. This type of education can have a positive impact on the overall development of children and their future.

The decision on which type of language education is best for you depends on your individual needs and requirements. If you enjoy interacting with other people and want to have contact with the teacher, traditional or hybrid education may be the right choice for you. However, if you are looking for greater flexibility and the ability to learn anywhere, anytime, online education may be the right choice for you. It is important to familiarize yourself with all the options and choose the type of education that best suits your needs and requirements. Consider your personal learning style, your schedule, your budget, and your goals when making your decision.

In addition to choosing the type of education that works best for you, it’s also important to find a high-quality language school or program. Look for a school that has experienced teachers, a good reputation, and a curriculum that aligns with your goals. Read reviews and talk to other students who have attended the program to get a better understanding of what to expect.

Learning a language can be a challenging but rewarding experience. Whether you choose a traditional classroom, online education, or a language camp, the key is to stay motivated, practice consistently, and immerse yourself in the language as much as possible. With dedication and hard work, you can achieve your language learning goals and enjoy the many benefits of speaking a new language.

What are the trends in language education for children for 2023?

Pedagogy, like all other sciences, is constantly evolving and bringing new trends in effective learning. Recently, several new approaches to teaching foreign languages have emerged, with many proving to be highly effective.

Technology in learning is a close friend

One of the biggest trends is the use of technology in language education. Tablets and interactive whiteboards have become a regular part of many language schools, allowing children to learn through interactive play and activities. Smartphone apps and online courses are also becoming increasingly popular, as they allow children to learn anytime, anywhere.

Intense communication remains number one

Another trend is the focus on communication. Many language schools prioritize developing children’s conversational skills, rather than just teaching grammar and vocabulary. This allows children to effectively communicate in a foreign language and apply their knowledge in real-world situations. Your kids can meet the described intensity by attending our English summer camp.

The use of an immersive environment is also becoming popular. Language schools aim to create an environment where children feel like they are abroad, through the use of foreign languages in the classroom, guest native speakers and culturally relevant material.

It is important to remember that every child is unique and has their own needs and interests. A language school should create an individual approach for each child to ensure motivation and success. By combining the latest trends with an individual approach, an effective and enjoyable way of learning can be achieved for every child.

The Benefits of Bilingualism

The Benefits of Bilingualism: How Learning a Second Language Can Enhance Cognitive Development in Children

Bilingualism – the ability to speak and understand two languages, is becoming increasingly important in today’s globalized world. But did you know that learning a second language can also have significant cognitive benefits for children?

The benefits of a second language are huge

One of the most well-known benefits of bilingualism is that it can improve executive function, the set of cognitive skills that help us plan, focus attention, and multitask. Studies have shown that bilingual children tend to perform better on tasks that measure executive function, such as switching between tasks or inhibiting distractions. This improved executive function can also have a positive impact on academic performance, as bilingual children tend to have better problem-solving skills and are better able to learn new information.

But that’s not all. Research has also shown that bilingualism can lead to improved memory and attention. Bilingual children tend to have larger working memories, which allows them to keep more information in mind at once. This can be especially beneficial for tasks that require attention to multiple details, such as reading or math. Bilingual children also tend to have better attention control, which means they are better able to filter out distractions and focus on the task at hand.

But, how does bilingualism lead to cognitive development in children? One theory is that constantly switching between languages keeps the brain active and “exercised,” leading to improved cognitive function. Additionally, the process of learning a second language requires children to think about language in a different way, which can help to develop their critical thinking skills.

The list goes on

Another benefit of bilingualism is that it can help children to understand different perspectives and cultures. Children who speak multiple languages are more likely to be exposed to different ways of thinking and communicating, which can help them to be more open-minded and empathetic. This can be especially beneficial in today’s increasingly diverse world, where it’s important to be able to communicate and understand people from different backgrounds. Yes, we hear the need for that quite a lot, don’t we!

So tell me… are you convinced of the benefits of bilingualism yet? Can learning a second language really enhance cognitive development in children? The research overwhelmingly suggests that it can. So, why not consider encouraging your child to learn a second language? Not only will it benefit them cognitively, but it will also open up a world of opportunities for them in the future.