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Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World
Fluent in 3 Months: How Anyone at Any Age Can Learn to Speak Any Language from Anywhere in the World
by Benny Lewis
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.62
67 used & new from $8.05

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I like the organization and convenience of the book (which I ..., September 25, 2014
I've followed Benny's blog for a while, but just bought the book after seeing him during his current tour. I have found Benny's philosophy AND his practical advice to be incredibly helpful, and while a lot of the books content IS covered in his website, I like the organization and convenience of the book (which I keep on my bedside table with my language dictionaries!)

To those who were disappointed with the book, Benny doesn't provide a 'secret formula' for effortless language learning, but his advice is certainly not common knowledge (at least around here). Many people want to learn a foreign language--and taking advantage of those people is a HUGE industry! Americans in particular are known for being terrible at foreign languages and for having a tendency to try to solve their problems by throwing money at them. Benny's advice to find someone and start speaking BEFORE you feel comfortable at all is very different from taking a course, either in a classroom or a packaged program. It is not how most people tackle language learning, and it is very scary, which is why his skill as a "motivational speaker", if you will, is critical to the his success--unless you are ridiculously confident, finding a foreign language speaking stranger and arranging regular conversations, during which you will feel awkward and stupid most of the time, is terrifying, awkward, and exhausting. AND IT WORKS! The time I have spent Skyping or speaking in person has been much more helpful than hours spent in a classroom.

Of course, one isn't always in a position to schedule daily, or even weekly conversations. That's when *well chosen* apps or programs come in. There is so much technology available, Benny helps you figure out which ones are truly useful, and which might make you feel like you are learning, but not actually get you very far. Things that are often suggested, like watching movies or listening to the radio in your target language are only helpful at a certain level and when used correctly. Otherwise it is just background noise that might make you feel like you are "studying". I struggle with grammar, and was hitting a wall with German, although I am very motivated to learn the language. Realizing I could learn vocabulary and phrases FIRST and fine-tune with grammar later was a revelation to me. Not worrying about getting off on the wrong foot by not memorizing intimidating charts made it possible for me to actually progress.

Another point Benny insists on is that adults can learn just as well as children. I'm not sure how much I believe this (although I desperately want to) but since here in America foreign language isn't taught until middle school (and then it's taught badly) so most people don't have a chance to learn a foreign language as a child. Feeling like you actually have a chance of succeeding really helps motivate.

This book contains information that may seem obvious once it is explained, but his philosophy and advice runs counter to the way that most people in the US study and try to learn foreign languages. Both his basic premise, "Just start talking!" and his more specific advice regarding making the most of your language study with the best tools and techniques are extremely helpful.

Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families
Be Bilingual - Practical Ideas for Multilingual Families
Price: $4.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Fun read, great info!, March 10, 2013
We're a military family hoping to integrate as much as possible while we are stationed overseas, I have been wondering how best to take advantage of our situation and transition our children smoothly. This book addressed our circumstances, and is helping me to prepare for our move!

LEGO Creationary Game (3844)
LEGO Creationary Game (3844)
95 used & new from $25.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisitely simple, fun for everyone, November 25, 2012
This review is from: LEGO Creationary Game (3844) (Toy)
I grew up in a Lego-free home, with three sisters. I NEVER had any interest in Legos as a child. I postponed acquiring Legos for as long as possible, because I didn't want them all over the place. (I know, I'm a terrible mom!) anyway, my husband just bought this game. he desperately longs for family game night, but it has never worked out, because Our kids are 7, 5, and baby, and usually everyone is frustrated and bickering before we can even get the game set up. I was afraid I would hate this game because I don't know how to build with Legos! My daughter was also very skeptical. We opened this game, figured it out and got started lickety-split, even while juggling the baby. We played beyond the suggested 5 points, because we were having such a good time! I won! It's true, there was a little helping here and ther, and a bit of hint-giving, but if you are playing with little kids, this is normal. Seriously: playing Candyland or UNO with this family is a nightmare, but this was really fun. Objectively, probably overpriced, but I don't mind.

by William Steig
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $14.16
79 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Hilarious!, April 10, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Shrek! (Hardcover)
My children (6 and 4) and I cannot stop reading Shrek! Fantastic text and illustrations, great vocabulary, in a small package.

Guardian Gear No-Jump Dog Harness
Guardian Gear No-Jump Dog Harness

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars works, I guess?, July 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This product is so difficult to figure out. If you were trying to assemble and put it on a dog mannequin it would be hard, and we are all actually trying to put this on our wildly thrashing, over-excited dogs. It just doesn't work! I assembled it properly a few times, the other times, just sort of improvised, i.e. putting limbs through loops, pulling cords tight and tying them together until my dog was clearly hindered from moving freely. There has to be a better way to do this. maybe color-coded pieces? Or a little more structure and less one-size-fits-all? At any rate, the first time I turned my back, she gnawed through the nylon straps in like, .5 seconds. I sewed them back with my sewing machine, tried it a couple more times, then my husband stepped in and installed a trolley/cable. The idea of my dog being tethered whenever she is out appalls me, but the harness just wasn't practical.

Chase!: Managing Your Dog's Predatory Instincts (Dogwise Training Manual)
Chase!: Managing Your Dog's Predatory Instincts (Dogwise Training Manual)
by Clarissa von Reinhardt
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.08
28 used & new from $9.13

4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lot of good ideas!, July 24, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I adopted a German pointer last year, and she has escaped multiple times. The last time she ran many miles away and killed several chickens belonging to a very influential woman in my community. I adopted this dog to be a companion for my other more mild-mannered pointer, and I have been really disturbed by the idea that I was going to spend the rest of this dog's life trying to thwart her natural instincts, to chase and kill everything in sight! Basically, the point of this book is to give you exercises that will help you be able to keep your dogs attention, and to convince him or her that you are more interesting than chasing whatever animal is out there. I haven't had the opportunity to put any of these lessons into practice yet, because I have two small children and my husband deployed right after we got this dog, but I am looking forward to trying them out. I am really hopeful that this will help me and my dog to have a more mutually satisfying relationship. This short book was very readable, and I will keep an eye out for any of her other writing.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 4, 2011 8:58 AM PDT

Eating Apes (California Studies in Food and Culture)
Eating Apes (California Studies in Food and Culture)
by Dale Peterson
Edition: Paperback
Price: $24.63
49 used & new from $2.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required Reading for anyone who cares about anything., March 11, 2009
While I am a dedicated animal advocate, I was not particularly interested in non-human primates until I read this book. (Which I literally read start to finish maybe taking one or two breaks to eat). I can't say anything that hasn't already been very eloquently expressed in some other reviews, but I want everyone (Particularly Steve Sikes)to read this book, and understand that the bushmeat crisis, and the impending extinction of all the great apes (in 10 to 15 years) is one of the most under-publicized and serious problems of our time.

What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Get Ready for Kindergarten (Core Knowledge Series)
What Your Preschooler Needs to Know: Get Ready for Kindergarten (Core Knowledge Series)
by E. D. Hirsch
Edition: Paperback
Price: $14.94
114 used & new from $3.24

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great tool for Parents!, April 14, 2008
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My daughter's not in preschool yet (we can't afford it, plus she's not potty trained yet) and I wanted a guide to help her learn while she's home with me (we read a lot, but can get in a rut). The book is nicely divided into sections for songs, poems, science, history, etc. and it's easy to segue into activities from many of the passages. She's learned a lot of songs and rhymes (that I had forgotten about)and it's inspired me to get more poetry and nursery rhymes from the library. A CD might be something to consider for later editions, because if you don't know the tune of the song, nursery rhyme or fingerplay you're kind of stuck. I'll probably buy the curriculum from the Core Knowledge Foundation that you can get to compliment this reader, because I'm also interested in knowing what skills she should be working on. I'm considering homeschooling, and so far, I like what I've seen of this "system".
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 30, 2010 6:59 PM PDT

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