Posted by: gapolyglot | September 17, 2018

Top 5 Terrific Tech-Based Tools for the Foreign Language Classroom

Top 5 Terrific Tech-Based Tools for the Foreign Language Classroom

Finding ways for students to learn meaningful spoken language in the classroom can be a challenge but technology-based tools for the foreign language classroom make it extremely easy for students to learn at their own pace. Incorporating new technologies in the foreign language classroom is an integral part of the learning process that enables learners to foster the 4c’s namely communication, critical thinking, creativity and collaboration. Technology should therefore not make teachers insecure or threatened for fear of losing their jobs. The truth is that not even the most advanced technology can replace a teacher. In this article, we take a look at the top 5 tech-based tools for the foreign language classroom.

  1. Films for language fluency

One of the most simple and incredibly effective ways of learning a language is to immerse yourself in the culture. If you cannot move to the country, you could do worse than watching TV or film in your language of choice. Films can improve comprehension, teach you about another country’s culture and also provide an opportunity for hearing native speakers speak their language. Whether it’s French DVDs for learning French, or exploring Russian cinema for speaking better Russian, World of Reading has you covered.


  1. Language Nut

This tool was created for teachers by former teachers and is designed to be utilized by either a group or an individual. It helps learners with the four basic language skills namely reading, writing, speaking and listening. Students engage in the target language in various ways such as stories, songs and games. The user-friendly interface allows students to pair certain words with their corresponding images through a tic-tac-toe game. This tool also enables teachers to track their students’ activity.


  1. FluentU

This tech-based tool offers some of the most effective online videos for language learning. Students have an opportunity to interact with real-world videos like vlogs, music videos and movie trailers. Learners can get the most out of every video clip since they can get the meaning of words, their translation, pronunciation and much more. FluentU can be used for all kinds of classroom activities such as demonstrations, discussions and exercises.

  1. iTranslate Converse

This instant translator app allows learners to speak in one language say English and can be able to hear its translation in their preferred target language. The student simply speaks into their phone’s mic and the translated version of the audio input comes out within seconds. This app is specifically useful in a foreign language classroom because it is fun and it also increases the learners’ anticipation and engagement when they speak into the app.

  1. SMART Board

This is a whiteboard that incorporates touch detection technology that is similar to a big iPad allowing everyone in the class to see. It comes with several special features that the students can use to manipulate or interact with the technology. For instance, using its magic pen students can digitally write on the board and can also drag and move images and pair them with their proper texts. If you have a Smart Board, you will be able to use a variety of software in the classroom in order to engage your students. Luckily, companies such as World of Reading have a range of software to meet your needs and the needs of your learners as well as many textbooks with digital editions to maximize use of a whiteboard.

Annabelle Fee is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Annabelle enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.

Posted by: gapolyglot | January 3, 2016

L’Imagerie Books from Fleurus Editions

I have been bad, and have severely neglected my blog, working on a completely revamped version of our website. Please take a look at and let me know what you think!

Today I want to tell you about a series of delightful French books I found from a pulisher in France – Fleurus.  The Imagerie series is a collection of beautiful hardback books with detailed and riveting illustrations or photographs (depending on the title). The covers are “squishy” as opposed to unyielding, more young child friendly.

We have 9 of the titles of the regular Imagerie in stock and will add more if there is interest (there are 46). For younger children, there is the series of Imagerie des bébés and then the Imagerie des tout-petits. We have one title from the latter – L’AlphabetThis book is perfect for parents teaching French to their children – each page has not only an object or animal for each letter, but questions to ask your child about other words with that letter to get them to speak more in French.

The rest of the titles we decided to have in stock are from the regular Imagerie collection for older kids. Maybe you have a child who speaks English and is learning French or a French-speaking child who is learning English – you need the L’Imagerie Français Anglais.  It not only provides the French words with articles, but also has questions on each page to expand their vocabulary. For children who love firefighters – L’Imagerie des pompiers.  It actually starts with the history of fire, how it was discovered and used – up to all the services that firefighters perform or maybe your child is into animals – L’Imagerie des animaux familiers.

Then for teachers and parents with older children, check out L’Imagerie de la France to learn all about France or L’Imagerie des Arts to introduce children to the Arts – la Peinture, la Sculpture, L’Architecture, etc.

We have some sample pages of each book on our website and would be glad to provide additional information if needed. In the future, we will try to highlight different publishers you may  not know, and that have interesting products.

Posted by: gapolyglot | June 14, 2015

Incorrect Subtitles – one of my pet peeves

My husband and I watched a hilarious movie on Netflix yesterday, 2013 “The Big Wedding”. I could not believe I had never heard of this film when I saw who was in it. Robert de Niro and Diane Keaton are a divorced couple. Robert de Niro is now with his ex-wife’s former best friend, Susan Sarandon. They have three adult children, played by Katherine Heigl, Topher Grace and Ben Barnes, engaged to Amanda Seyfried. The Catholic priest is played by Robin Williams, in one of his last films. Ben Barnes is Alejandro, whom they adopted from Colombia, his mother giving him up so he could have a better life. She comes from Colombia for the wedding, along with Alejandro’s sister. Because his mother speaks no English, I was delighted and surprised to hear Spanish for some of the movie. However, at the rehearsal dinner, Alejandro’s birth mother tells her daughter not to take off her shawl, that her V-necked dress is too revealing. She replies “Mira los melones en la cara plástico, referring to Christine Ebersole, who plays Amanda Seyfried, and who seems to love Botox. However, when I glanced at the translation, instead of saying “Look at the melons on plastic face” it read “Look at the papayas on hurricane face”.  Hurricane face? That does not even make sense. So, if you don’t know the language, you miss a lot of the humor having to rely on subtitles that don’t always translate well.

If you are proficient enough to be able to read the subtitles in Spanish – choose that option!!! Click here – Films in Spanish with Spanish or English subtitles for our list of dvds with Spanish subtitles as well as English subtitles!

This is a 2013 Mexican comedy directed by and starring Eugenio Derbez, though the young Loreto Peralta, perfectly bilingual, really steals the show. Like the French “Trois Hommes et un Couffin” – a wild batchelor gets stuck with a baby from an old flame. He ends up in the U.S., trying to find the mother, and literally falls into a career as a stuntman. There are twists and unexpected turns which surprise you at the end. The acting is well done and there are hilarious moments and touching moments. In terms of whether or not it is school appropriate, it is rated PG-13 for sexual content, thematic elements and language – there is a lot of kissing between Valentin and a variety of women in the beginning, all clothed, though usually in a skimpy bikini. There is a little bad language (the “f” word once) and after one stunt, you see Valentin’s rear burned through his pants. The serious subject of divorce, parenting, etc. are brought up. Americans speak Spanish as well as native Mexicans and you can choose English or Spanish subtitles. Be sure and don’t miss this film – “Instructions Not Included

Posted by: gapolyglot | October 27, 2014

Proverbs in different languages

I saw this on the omniglot website and had to share. Some of these sayings are really thought-provoking. If you want to understand them in the original language, please check out our language learning products at


قوّة الإنسان فى عقله و لسانه
(qūwatu l-ʾinsāni fi ʿaqlihi wa lisānihi)
The stength of a person is in his intelligence and his tongue.


Limba dultsi multu adutsi
sweet language brings much


Hep brezhoneg, breizh ebet
Without Breton there is no Brittany

Ma yezh eo ma bro
My language is my country
– Pêr-Jakez Helias


Човекът е толкова пъти човек, колкото езика знае
(Čovekãt e tolkova pãti čovek, kolkoto ezika znae)
the more languages you know, the more you are a person

Chinese (Classical)

書不盡言 言不盡意
(Shū bù jìn yán yán bù jìn yì)
Writing cannot express all words, words cannot encompass all ideas.
– Confucius

學而時習之 不亦說乎
(xué ér shí xí zhī, bù yì yuè hū)
Is it not enjoyable to learn and practice what you learn?
– Confucius

Chinese (Mandarin)

(Tiān bù pà, dì bù pà, zhǐ pà Guǎngdōng rén shuō Pŭtōnghuà)
I fear neither heaven nor earth, I only fear Cantonese speakers trying to speak Mandarin.

(xué yì mén yǔyán, jiù shì duō yí ge guānchá shìjiè de chuānghu.)
To learn a language is to have one more window from which to look at the world.

Chinese (Cantonese)

(Tìn m̀h gìng, deih m̀h gìng, jí gìng bākfòng yàhn góng Gwóngdùngwá m̀hjeng)
I fear neither heaven nor earth, I only fear Mandarin speakers speaking Cantonese badly.


Kolik jazyků znáš, tolikrát jsi člověkem.
The more languages you know, the more you are human.
or lit. “As many languages you know, as many times you are a human being”

– refers not just to the ability to communicate in different languages, but also the ability to share in various spiritual spheres of different cultures.
– Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk


Translators are like ninjas. If you notice them, they’re no good.
– Etgar Keret (אֶתְגָּר קֶרֶת)

It’s no coincidence that in no known language does the phrase “As pretty as an airport” appear.
– Douglas Adams

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
– Joseph Addison

Language is the means of getting an idea from my brain into yours without surgery.
– Mark Amidon

By words the mind is winged.
– Aristophanes

As a hawk flieth not high with one wing, even so a man reacheth not to excellence with one tongue.
– Roger Ascham

He that travelleth into a country before he hath some entrance into the language, goeth to school, and not to travel.
– Francis Bacon

Belladonna, n.: In Italian a beautiful lady; in English a deadly poison. A striking example of the essential identity of the two tongues.
– Ambrose Bierce

There is no such thing as an ugly language. Today I hear every language as if it were the only one, and when I hear of one that is dying, it overwhelms me as though it were the death of the Earth.
– Elias Canetti

When I use a word […] it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.
– Humpty Dumpty, Through The Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll

I speak Spanish to God, Italian to women, French to men, and German to my dog.
– Emperor Charles V

England and America are two countries divided by a common language.
– George Bernard Shaw

Words are the leaves of the tree of language, of which, if some fall away, a new succession takes their place.
– John French

Language is the blood of the soul into which thoughts run and out of which they grow.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

Every language is a temple, in which the soul of those who speak it is enshrined.
– Oliver Wendell Holmes

When you go to a country, you must learn how to say two things: how to ask for food, and to tell a woman that you love her. Of these the second is more important, for if you tell a woman you love her she will certainly feed you.
– Louis L’Amour

Not only does the English Language borrow words from other languages, it sometimes chases them down dark alleys, hits them over the head, and goes through their pockets.
– Eddy Peters

Any time you think some other language is strange, remember that yours is just as strange, you’re just used to it.
– Linguistic Mystic

Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
– Abraham Lincoln

Perhaps of all the creations of man language is the most astonishing.
– Giles Lytton Strachey

Language is an anonymous, collective and unconscious art; the result of the creativity of thousands of generations.
– Edward Sapir

Own only what you can carry with you; know language, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.
– Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.
– Mark Twain

They spell it Vinci and pronounce it ‘Vinchy’: foreigners always spell better than they pronounce.
– Mark Twain

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.
– Nelson Mandela

He that has many languages to express his thoughts, but no thoughts worth expressing, is like one that can write all hands, but never the better sense, or can cast up any sum of money, but has none.
– Samuel Bulter (1612-1680)

Absolutely nothing is so important for a nation’s culture as its language.
– Wilhelm von Humboldt

Language is the spiritual exhalation of the nation.
– Wilhelm von Humboldt

Has a nation anything more precious than the language of its fathers?
– Johann Herder

a sensible conclusion is that languages are ‘difficult’ in inverse proportion to the strength of motivation for learning them
– Reg Hindley

The loss of languages is tragic precisely because they are not interchangeable, precisely because they represent the distillation of the thoughts and communication of people over their entire history.
– Marianne Mithun

We infer the spirit of the nation in great measure from the language, which is a sort of monument to which each forcible individual in a course if many hundred years has contributed a stone.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

No man should travel until he has learned the language of the country he visits. Otherwise he voluntarily makes himself a great baby, – so helpless and so ridiculous.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generation.
– Edward Sapir

I am sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations.
– Dr Johnson

The world is a mosaic of visions. With each language that disappears, a piece of that mosaic is lost.
– François Grosjean

Language embodies the intellectual wealth of the people who use it.
– Kenneth Hale

Language exerts hidden power, like a moon on the tides.
– Rita Mae Brown, Starting From Scratch, 1988

Language is the armory of the human mind, and at once contains the trophies of its past and the weapons of its future conquests.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Language is wine upon the lips.
– Virginia Woolf

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.
– Dave Barry

Men imagine that their minds have the command of language, but it often happens that language bears rule over their minds.
– Francis Bacon

Two languages in one head – no one can live at that speed! Good lord man. You’re asking the impossible!
– Eddie Izzard

Broadly speaking, short words are best, and the old words, when short, are best of all.
– Winston Churchill

I personally believe we developed language because of our deep inner need to complain.
– Jane Wagner

Don’t use words too big for the subject. Don’t say infinitely when you mean very; otherwise you’ll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite.
– C. S. Lewis


Ĉian ofendadon de homo pro tio, ke li apartenas al alia gento, lingvo, religio aŭ socia klaso mi rigardas kiel barbarecon.
I consider as barbaric any offence to a human being because he belongs to a different people, language, religion or social class.
– Ludoviko Zamenhof


Il faut tourner sa langue sept fois dans sa bouche avant de parler.
One must turn the tongue seven times in the mouth before speaking = Think before you speak.

Le langage est une peau : je frotte mon langage contre l’autre. C’est comme si j’avais des mots en guise de doigts, ou des doigts au bout de mes mots. Mon langage tremble de désir.
Language is a skin : I rub my language against the other. It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words. My language trembles with desire.
– Roland Barthes

Un homme qui parle trois langues est trilingue.
Un homme qui parle deux langues est bilingue.
Un homme qui ne parle qu’une langue est anglais.

A man who speaks three language is trilingual.
A man who speaks two languages is bilingual.
A man who speaks only one language is English.

– Claude Gagnière

La parole a été donnée à l’homme pour déguiser sa pensée.
Language was given to man to disguise his thoughts.
– Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord

Quand on voyage sans connaître l’anglais, on a l’impression d’être sourd-muet et idiot de naissance.
When you travel without knowing English, you have an idea of what it’s like to be deaf, dumb and stupid.
– Philippe Bouvard


Wer fremde Sprachen nicht kennt, weiß nichts von seiner eigenen.
Those who know no foreign language knows nothing of their mother tongue.
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Die Grenzen meiner Sprache bedeuten die Grenzen meiner Welt.
The limits of my language are the limits of my universe.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

Sie verkaufen und ich kaufe, sprechen wir deutsch. Aber Sie kaufen und ich verkaufe, dann sprechen wir Ihre Sprache.
When you’re selling and I’m buying, we speak German. But when you’re buying and I’m selling, then we speak your language.
– attributed to Willi Brandt

Die Sprache verkleidet den Gedanken.
Language clothes thought.
– Ludwig Wittgenstein

Der Mensch gebärdet sich, als sei er Bildner und Meister der Sprache, während doch sie die Herrin der Menschen bleibt.
Man acts as though he were the shaper and master of language, while in fact language remains the master of man.
– Martin Heidegger


Ἡ γλώσσα δὲν ἔχει κόκκαλα καὶ κόκκαλα τσακίζει
(I glóssa den éhi kókala ke kókala tsakízi)
Language/Tongue has no bones but it breaks bones.


I ka ‘ōlelo no ke ola; i ka ‘ōlelo no ka make
In the language there is life; in the language there is death


הֵחַיִּים והַמָווֶת בְּיָד הַלָשׁוֹן
Life and death are in the hands of the tongue
= mind what you say, for it might have great consequence


एक भाषा की बोली दूसरी की गाली | (ek bhaashaa kii boli doosrii kii gaalii)
A normal word in one language is an abusive word in other language


Nyelvében él a nemzet.
The nation lives through its language.
– Gróf Széchenyi István


Ti táo nga mannaríta, awán ti ania nga magapuánanna.
A man that talks too much accomplishes little.


Bahasa menunjukkan bangsa.
Language represents the nation.

Bahasa jiwa bangsa.
Language is the soul of a nation.

Irish (Gaelic)

Tír gan teanga, tír gan anam.
A country without a language is a country without a soul.

Is fearr Gaeilge bhriste, ná Béarla cliste.
Broken Irish is better than clever English.


Un vocabolario può contenere solo una piccola parte del patrimonio di una lingua.
A dictionary can embrace only a small part of the vast tapestry of a language.
– Giacomo Leopardi

Lingua toscana in bocca romana.
Tuscan language in a Roman mouth.
– a popular saying concerning the origins of the Italian language, meaning that its grammar sprang from the dialect spoken in Tuscany, while Roman people have the best pronunciation.


말이 씨가 된다.
A word becomes a seed = what you say is what you get


Consuetudo certissima est loquendi magistra.
Usage is the best language teacher.
– Marcus Fabius Quintilianus

Lingua mortua sola lingua bona est.
The only good language is a dead language.

Cave quid dicis, quando, et cui.
Beware what you say, when, and to whom.

Bene legere saecla vincere.
To read well is to master the ages.
– Professor Isaac Flagg

Qui habet aures audiendi audiat
He who has ears for hearing, let him listen
– from Regula Sancti Benedicti, Prologus (Prologue to the Rule of Saint Benedict)

Notitia linguarum est prima porta sapientiae.
Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom.
– Roger Bacon


Bahasa jiwa bangsa.
Language is the soul of a race.


Çheer gyn çhengey, çheer gyn ennym.
A country without language is a country without an name/identity.

Gyn çhengey, gyn çheer
No language, no country

Tra haink ny skibbyltee boghtey stiagh hie yn Ghaelg magh.
When the tourists came in, the Manx language went out.

Ta çhengey ny host ny share na olk y ghra.
A silent tongue is preferable to speaking evil.

Ta dooiney creeney smooinaght ooilley ny te gra, agh t’an ommidan gra ooilley ny te smooinaght.
A wise man thinks all he says, but a fool says all he thinks.

Yn beeal tutler poagey scrieu yn jouyl.
A gossip’s mouth is the devil’s postbag.


Toku reo toku ohōho.
My Language, my awakening.


Det er viktig hvilke ord du bruker, men viktigere hvilket språk du bruker.
Du kan bytte ut ordene og si nesten det samme, men bytter du ut språket, hjelper det ikke om ordene er like.

Your choice of words is important, but more important is your choice of language.
You can replace the words, saying roughly the same, but if you replace the language, it won’t help you that the words are the same.

– Joachim Aremk


Mówienie jest srebrem, a milczenie złotem.
Talking is silver, while staying silent is golden.

Chodzi mi o to, aby język giętki
Powiedział wszystko, co pomyśli głowa;
A czasem był jak piorun jasny prędki,
A czasem smutny jak pieśń stepowa,
A czasem jako skarga Nimfy miętki,
A czasem piękny jak Aniołów mowa

I wish that a dexterous tongue
Could say everything that the head could think

– Juliusz Słowacki, from the poem Beniowski


Minha pátria é a língua portuguesa.
My homeland is the Portuguese language.
– Fernando Pessoa


भाषा प्रशस्ता सुमनो लतेव
केषाम्न चेतांस्यावर्जयति।
(bhāṣā praśastā sumano lateva
keṣām na cetāṃsy āvarjayati)
Language, auspicious, charming, like a creeper, whose minds does it not win over?
– sūkta – traditional maxim

Scottish Gaelic

Am fear a chailleas a chanain caillidh e a shaoghal.
He who loses his language loses his world.

Sluagh gun chanain, sluagh gun anam
A people without a language is a people without a soul

Chan fhiach cuirm gun a còmhradh.
A feast is no use without good talk.


Una lengua natural es el archivo adonde han ido a parar las experiencias, saberes y creencias de una comunidad.
A natural language is the archive where the experiences, knowledge and beliefs of a community are stored.
– Fernando Lázaro Carreter

La lengua es la piel del alma
Language is the skin of the soul.
– Fernando Lázaro Carreter

La pluma es la lengua de la mente
The pen is the tongue of the mind.
– Miguel de Cervantes

Con cada lengua que se extingue se borra una imagen del hombre.
For every language that becomes extinct, an image of man disappears.
– Octavio Paz

Para ser lexicógrafo hay que tener una veta de locura idealista, porque la foto del lenguaje es imposible hacerla.
You need to have a streak of idealistic lunacy in you to be a lexicographer, as it is impossible to take a photo of language.
– Manuel Seco

Yo nunca me he quedado sin patria. Mi patria es el idioma.
I’ve never been without a country. My language is my country.
– María Zambrano


Ang hindi magmahal sa sariling wika ay higit pa sa hayop at malansang isda.
Those who know not how to love their own language are worse than an animal and a smelly fish.
Jose Rizal, Filipino national hero


Söz gümüşse sukut altındır.
If talking is silver, silence is golden.

Tatlı dil yılanı deliğinden çıkarır.
Sweet language brings even a snake from its hole.

Dilin kemiği yoktur ama kemikleri büker.
The tongue has no bone but it twists the bones. meaning: words may have disastrous effects.

Bir dil bir insan, iki dil iki insan.
One who speaks only one language is one person, but one who speaks two languages is two people.


Скільки мов ти знаєш – стільки разів ти людина
(Skilʼky mov ty znaješ – stilʼky raziv ty ljudyna)
How many languages you know – that many times you are a person.
– Павло Тичина (Pavlo Tychyna)


Cenedl heb iaith, cenedl heb galon.
A nation without a language is a nation without a heart.


אַ שפּראַך איז אַ דיאַלעקט מיט אַן אַרמיי און פֿלאָט
(A shprakh iz a dyalekt mit an armey un flot)
A language is a dialect with an army and navy.
– Max Weinreich

Posted by: gapolyglot | December 7, 2013

Top 50 Foreign Films

Okay, how many of these have you seen? This list is from the Timeout New York website.
#50 – The Killer (Hong Kong 1989)
#49 – The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Romania 2005)
#48 – The Power of Kangwon Province (Hong Kong 1989)
#47 – Flowers of Shanghai (Taiwan 1998)
#46 – The Decalogue (Poland 1988)
#45 – Russian Ark (Russia 2002)
#44 – When a Woman Ascends the Stairs (Japan 1960)
#43 – Spirit of the Beehive (Spain 1973)
#42 – Yi Yi (A One and a Two…) (Taiwan 2000)
#41 – Wild Strawberries (Sweden 1957)
#40 – Shoah (France 1985)
#39 – A Touch of Zen (Hong Kong 1969)
#38 – My Night at Maud’s (France 1969)
#37 – Close-Up (Iran 1990)
#36 – Yojimbo (Japan 1961)
#35 – La Jetée (France 1962)
#34 – The Seventh Seal (Sweden 1957)
#33 – The 400 Blows (France 1959)
#32 – Pather Panchali (India 1955)
#31 – Pierrot le Fou (France 1965)
#30 – Day of Wrath (Denmark 1943)
#29 – Viridiana (Spain 1961)
#28 – Andrei Rublev (Russia 1966)
#27 – The Seven Samurai (Japan 1954)
#26 – Hiroshima Mon Amour (France 1959)
#25 – In the Mood for Love (Hong Kong 2000)
#24 – The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (Germany 1972)
#23 – The Battle of Algiers (France 1966)
#22 – Grand Illusion (France 1937)
#21 – Open City (Italy 1945)
#20 – The Earrings of Madame de… (France 1953)
#19 – The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France 1964)
#18 – Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (Belgium 1975)
#17 – The Conformist (Italy 1970)
#16 – Aguirre: The Wrath of God (Germany – 1972)
#15 – Playtime (France 1967)
#14 – Céline and Julie Go Boating (France 1974)
#13 – Tokyo Story (Japan 1953)
#12 – The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (France 1972)
#11 – Rashomon (Japan 1950)
#10 – Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (Germany 1974)
# 9 – La Dolce Vita (Italy 1960)
# 8 – Persona (Sweden 1966)
# 7 – Au Hasard Balthazar (France 1966)
# 6 – 8 (Italy 1963)
# 5 – Breathless (France 1960)
# 4 – Sansho the Bailiff (Japan 1954)
# 3 – L’Avventura (Italy 1960)
# 2 – The Rules of the Game (France 1939)
# 1 – M (Germany 1931)

Posted by: gapolyglot | July 14, 2012

Why Study Mandarin Chinese?

Top twelve reasons (copied from the website of the Waddell Elementary School):

Top Twelve Reasons To Learn Chinese

1. China has surpassed Japan as the second largest economy in the world. Goldman Sachs chief economist, Jim O’Neill, notes that the 1.3 billion people in China will overtake the U.S.’s $14 trillion economy by 2027. [Dated October, 2010]

2. China is one of America’s largest trading partners.

3. China is the most populous country in the world with over 1.4 billion people. One out of five people in the world is Chinese.

4. Mandarin is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

5. Chinese is quickly becoming the most demanded second language in the world, and knowledge of Chinese become nearly indispensable for business professionals in the next twenty years. 

6. Mandarin is spoken by MORE THAN one billion people. It is the #1 spoken language in the world.  

7. Knowing Chinese will allow students to compete effectively in the global economy of the future.

8. Learning Chinese in an immersion setting at early age improves your brainpower in math and logical reasoning.

9. Students develop an appreciation for Chinese culture and history (and at Smith other cultures, too) by studying Chinese.

10. When the student knows 1000 commonly used Chinese characters, he/she will recognize and understand 90% of the characters in Chinese newspapers.

11. At the US-China Educational Summit on April 2010, after a presentation by Principal Ynez Olzhausen, North Carolina’s State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson commented,  “What Smith is doing (in Chinese Immersion) is a pot of excellencies in the state of North Carolina.”  (Please note that Waddell Language Academy was formerly Smith Academy of International Languages.)

12. Chinese is an extremely colorful and expressive language. Speaking it can seem almost as much as an art as it is ability. The tonal aspect as well as the daunting writing system can seem insurmountable, which is why you come to Waddell Language, as it provides the powerful immersion opportunity for kids learn Chinese in a natural and most effective way.

Why am I interested in Mandarin Chinese. We have just started importing a fantastic series of Mandarin Readers from New Zealand – The Magic Story Box. There are over 160 readers in over 7 levels of difficulty – available in Simplified or Traditional Chinese. The interactive books online read the book aloud. You can record and play back your own voice, comparing it to the native speakers. We are offering a limited number of FREE licenses to schools who qualify – email me at to find out how!

To accompany the readers, there are reproducible activity books, big books and flashcards.


Posted by: gapolyglot | February 5, 2011

Vincent Cassel

After a wonderful performance in “Black Swan”, people have asked me what other French dvds we have with this French actor. So here you go – in order from oldest to most recent, these are all in stock:
“Irreversible” 2002 French film – When a woman is raped by a stranger, her friend and ex-husband decide to take justice into their own hands.
“Sur mes lèvres – Read my Lips” – 2001 film – He will teach her bad habits, but she will teach him good ones!
“Le Pacte des Loups – Brotherhood of the Wolf”– 2001 film – In this exciting historical thriller, in 18th century France, the Chevalier de Fronsac and his native American friend Mani are sent by the King to the Gevaudan province to investigate the killings of hundreds by a mysterious beast.
“Les Riviéres Pourpres – Crimson Rivers” – 200 film – Two French policemen (Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel), one investigating a grisly murder at a remote mountain college, the other working on the desecration of a young girl’s grave by skinheads, are brought together by the clues from their respective cases.
La Haine” – 1995 film – Abdel, a local hoodlum, is hospitalized after a riot, where a policeman lost his gun. His friend Vinz finds it and claims he will kill a cop if Abdel dies.
“Métisse – Café au Lait” – 1993 film – Lola is pregnant. But she does not know who the father is: Jamal, the black Muslim, son of diplomats, or Felix, the pennyless Jewish messenger.

Posted by: gapolyglot | January 8, 2011

Benefits of bilingualism

This is a great video – I watched through my subscription to the Wall Street Journal. Once again, it talks about the benefits of young children growing up bilingual, and shows a preschool immersion program in New York, but that even if you are an adult – you can help fight off Alzheimer’s by learning (or re-learning) another language. So parents should be learning WITH their children.

Time after time, these studies show the same thing, yet public school boards across the U.S. do not understand the benefits of starting foreign language instruction in elementary school and requiring it through high school. I wish every school board member in this country could watch this little video. I know if you are reading this, I am probably preaching to the choir, but pass this video on – I will!!! Then you can come to our website, and find the products to help achieve bilingualism outside of a class!

Posted by: gapolyglot | December 17, 2010

Foreign Language Gifts for High Schoolers to Adults

Ok, I will first echo what I said about books for middle schoolers – books depend on their reading ability in English and the target language as well as the type of book they are interested in!
Audio cds – for French or Spanish – anything by Etienne. He writes rock, rap, hip hop etc., songs for learning French or Spanish and kids love his music and they work! For the French products and Spanish products.
DVDs – all the ones for middle school, plus if we can add some PG-13 films:
French – Tintin and Asterix of course, Le Petit Nicolas, Oscar et la Dame Rose, LOL, Hop, are a few of the newest we have added.
Spanish – Cinco Amigas, The Pope’s Toilet, The Wind Journeys, Viva Cuba, to name a few.

Software – I have 2 favorites, depending on whether or not you want grammar and whether you have a PC or Mac.
Instant Immersion 1,2,3 for PC OR Mac comes in Chinese, English (ESL) French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. 9 cd-roms for $50.00 – it is a great bundle for the entire family. It includes:
Vocabulary Builder – Beginning program to teach about 300 words (for young children).
Talk Now – Beginning program to teach about 500 words and 30 phrases – all ages.
Talk More – Put that beginning vocabulary into sentences and short dialogues.
World Talk – Low intermediate program with games for oral and written comprehension.
Talk the Talk – Learn slang and many informal expressions
Talk Business – Learn vocabulary needed in business situations.
Interactive Language Learning DVD – Interactive DVD – 9 topic areas with easy and hard games.

For PC only, my favorite is Learn to Speak Deluxe 10 – equivalent to 3-4 years of high school instruction, in your choice of French, German, English or Spanish – only $34.95 each

The most effective and affordable interactive Spanish software program just launched a new version. Designed by university language experts, this is an interactive learning system that’s proven to teach you Mexican Spanish quickly and easily. With progressive learning lessons, speech recognition technology, and immersion learning, you’ll have everything you need to become fluent in Spanish. Build your vocabulary, practice real-world conversations, and perfect your pronunciation!
Award-Winning Lessons – Pronunciation, Speaking & Listening, Reading & Writing, Simulated Conversations, Vocabulary & Grammar Captivating & Enjoyable! – Interactive Games, Speech Analysis, Voice Recording & Playback, Talking Dictionary, Cultural Movies
Personalized Learning – Pre-Assessment Testing, Adjustable Study Plans, Subject-Specific Courses, Track Your Progress

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