inlingua Blog

12 Games and Apps for Language Learning - inlingua Washington DC
12 Games and Apps to Supplement Language Learning

Congratulations on making the wise decision to learn another language! This decision will help you throughout the rest of your life. As you begin this exciting journey, you may be tempted to just take classes online, play language games, or use language learning apps.

However, you should know upfront that the best way to learn another language is to study at a language school. Full immersion is recommended and will help you learn the language more efficiently than an online program. For example, if you want to learn English, the best choice you can make is to study English in Washington DC.

Holiday Traditions in the US - inlingua Washington DC
Holiday Traditions in the US

Each culture has its own holiday traditions, but for students studying English, it is a wonderful idea to learn about English holiday traditions. While some English holidays are celebrated in countries around the world, there are unique traditions for American holidays. If you are one of the lucky students who are taking English courses in Washington DC, you are in for a treat.

The Best Languages to Study in 2018 - inlingua Washington DC
The Best Languages to Study in 2018

Let 2018 be the year you decide to open the lines of communication by studying a foreign language. If you have hesitated to learn how to speak another language, this is the year you need to change it. As it becomes easier to travel abroad, communicate globally, and do business around the world, it is time for you to learn how to speak a foreign language.

8 Reasons You Need to Learn English in Washington DC
8 Reasons You Need to Learn English in Washington DC

If you are considering studying a foreign language, the wisest decision you can make is to study English. Learning to speak English will change your life! You will have more doors open to you when you speak the most widely used language in the world.

Learning English is not only a great investment in your future, it is also fun! For example, students who chose to study English in Washington DC learn far more than how to speak English fluently – they also learn about the culture of this metropolitan city and America. Furthermore, they become friends with people from around the world and develop a global network that will help them throughout their lives.

If you are still looking at the computer and wondering whether you should study English or not, here are 8 more reasons why you need to learn English:

1. Communicating Globally

Multiple studies confirm that English is the most universal language. For example, the Washington Post explains that while many countries claim English as their official language, their citizens may actually be bilingual and have learned to speak English as a second language. For instance, English is the most common foreign language studied in the world with 1.5 billion learners. With its widespread usage, it is easy to understand why English is an excellent language to study to communicate with others across the globe. Students who learn English in the USA will find that they use it even to communicate with people from non-English speaking countries.

2. Advancing Your Career

With more companies going global, the job candidates who speak more than one language stand out. However, those who speak English are highly sought after. Why is this the case? Simply because English is the most widely spoken language in many industries. For instance, English is the primary language for the sciences, as Slate explains, “more than three-quarters of scientific papers today are published in English.” Therefore, if you want a career in science, it is necessary to study English. The same could be said of law, international development, political science, technology, and more.

Plus, if you can communicate in English, you will be able to travel for business easier and use English to speak with people in foreign countries. Employers want to hire individuals who are well-educated and well-spoken. If you can speak English and your native language proficiently, you will be an asset to your workforce, which will lead to more job opportunities, raises, and promotions.

3. Furthering Your Education

Choosing to study English will also present more educational opportunities. You will be able to study at English speaking universities. While many of these schools do require you to pass required language tests, inlingua has an English test center on its campus and partnerships with universities including a pathway program for those students who take English courses in Washington DC. It is a great option for those considering language schools in Washington DC, as inlingua offers ESL classes and test prep courses.

Once you learn English, then even more educational opportunities will come your way. As I mentioned earlier, English is the language of science. Reading science reports will be easier, as well as reading some of the greatest works of literature by famous authors like Shakespeare and Dickens.

4. Traveling Abroad

If you plan to travel abroad and plan to only learn one language, you must learn English. While English is not the most spoken language in the world, it is the language that is spoken in the most countries – 101 countries according to Washington Post. Therefore, there is a big possibility that you will travel to a country where English is spoken one day. And, speaking the language makes traveling easier, safer, and more fun.

5. Appreciating Media and Entertainment

English is also the language of the media and pop culture. Where other countries certainly have their own news outlets and pop stars, most media outlets primarily use English to communicate. For example, the most popular films and television shows around the world are recorded in English. Imagine being able to watch a show or a film in its original language rather than a dubbed over version. Plus, you will be able to read and understand various news sources from around the world.

6. Reading the Internet

If you are tired of having Google translate internet pages, then you should learn English. English is most used language in terms of internet content. As of November 2017, 51.2% of websites were in English. Imagine all the new websites you can explore once you are fluent in English! Not only will you be able to read and understand these new websites, you will feel comfortable communicating in online forums and discussion boards, which typically use English.

7. Exercising Your Brain

Studying another language is an excellent way to exercise your brain and stay mentally sharp. Studies have shown that, no matter your age, studying a language helps to improve your cognitive abilities. Additionally, there have been studies that show senior citizens who are bilingual show fewer cases of dementia. If you plan to study a foreign language to keep your brain working, go ahead and study the language that will provide the biggest return on investment – English.

8. Expanding Your Horizons

Finally, studying English is a fantastic way to expand your horizons. When you study any foreign language, you learn about the people, the culture, and the traditions. Studying a foreign language takes you outside of your familiar world and brings you right into a new one. You will grow more understanding of others and more appreciative of cultural differences. And, when you allow yourself to see the world this way, you become receptive to new kinds of friendships and adventures.

For instance, students who attend a language institute in Washington DC, such as inlingua, will find themselves surrounded by people from all over the world, as the city is a cultural melting pot. Using English as a way to communicate, students are able to develop relationships with people in their classes, their dorms, and around the city that they may not have been able to speak with before. And, once ESL classes are over, they can use English as a way to make friends with others around the globe.

Stop hesitating and contact inlingua Washington DC today to learn more!

10 Tips for Passing English Language Exams in Washington DC
10 Tips for Passing English Language Exams in Washington DC

Individuals needing to show mastery of the English language take proficiency tests. For example, the IELTS and TOEFL iBT exams are often necessary for educational or career pursuits. While it is normal to feel some test anxiety, these English language exams can feel even more daunting. This is because much rests on you passing the exam. Therefore, it is imperative to prepare ahead of time to pass the exam. To help you find success on test day, here are ten tips:

1. Study a little every day

Whenever you practice listening or speaking English, this is a form of studying. In other words, you need to practice English every day. Many students try to learn English online only, but you may find it is more beneficial to study English in Washington DC where you will get a true immersion experience. At the Washington language school, inlingua, students “study” every day by speaking English most of the time in the classroom and by communicating as they travel the city.

In addition, you can “study” for your English exams by having fun. For instance, listening to English music, watching English television and films, or visiting English museums are great opportunities to practice English. Remember, every moment you spend speaking, listening to, writing, or speaking your native language is a lost opportunity to learn English. Again, language schools in DC offer students these opportunities and more.

2. Attend test prep courses

Of course, you should enjoy learning English, but you should also prepare for the rigorous exam. On top of studying by practicing English daily, you should also attend test prep courses. Test prep courses are excellent ways to learn how to pass the exam. Inlingua’s English test center is an official testing site for both the TOEFL iBT and IELTS exams. It is actually the largest IELTS test center in the US. Not only is this DC language school a testing center, they also offer several test preparation courses taught by trained teachers to help you get ready for the exam. If you don’t have time for group classes or you only a need a small amount of last-minute help, they also have private tutoring available.

3. Know how the test works

The TOEFL iBT and IELTS exams are different language exams. Both have different sections. The TOEFL iBT test is traditionally taken by ESL students who want to study in the USA but prefer a computer-based exam, whereas the IELTS is generally taken by those who want to study in English-speaking universities or immigrate to English-speaking countries but prefer a live speaking interview. Once you decide which exam you will take, you will need to understand how the test works.

Both the TOEFL iBT and the IELTS are divided into four sections: Reading, Listening, Speaking and Writing. However, the duration of each section and the types of exam questions vary by test. You will need to familiarize yourself with the different sections and the time lengths. Likewise, typing versus handwriting or using a headset versus participating in a live interview all make a difference in your testing experience, so you should be prepared.

4. Take practice tests

If you do attend a test prep course at an English language institute, you will have opportunities to take practice tests. However, even if you choose not to attend these classes, you still need to take practice tests. It is a wise decision to purchase official test preparation materials. These materials will contain practice questions. Since time is a major component of the test, you should practice the test under the standard time constraints. For instance, set a timer for each test section.

5. Read and write in English

The English language exams all consist of a reading and writing section. Therefore, it is important to read and write in English regularly. The more you read and write in English prior to the exam, the more comfortable you will be on test day. Try to have fun with it. For example, choose books that you want to read, such as comic books or children’s books. Keep an English only journal where you write about your day. Practice reading slightly longer or slightly harder passages each day and practice summarizing the main point or listing the important details.

6. Learn techniques for the different exam sections

In test prep courses, the instructors take time to provide techniques that are helpful for each section of the exam. For example, before you put pen to paper in the writing section, you should try to plan what you will write first and double check that you have fully prepared to answer all parts of the question. You should also try to leave enough time to review your work after. A great technique is to focus on the more critical writing errors first and then move on to minor errors as you have time.

7. Practice time management

Since the various sections of the exams have different time allotments, you need to practice time management. For instance, take practice exams using timers. Many students also find it helpful to practice time management with the clock on exam day. This means paying attention to the number of questions and the amount of time you have left. This is helpful when you find yourself staying on a question for too long. If you are aware of the clock and what number you are on, you will know when it is best to skip the question that is holding you back.

8. Get a good night’s rest

The night before the exam should not be an evening spent cramming. Instead, do the exact opposite. Try to have a relaxing evening and get a good night’s rest. On the day of your test, get up early, eat a healthy meal, and give yourself plenty of time to make it to the English test center on time.

9. Follow directions

During the exam, make sure you read all the directions clearly. Pay attention to what each section requires and how to answer each question. This is another time when the test prep courses are helpful. Test prep courses teach students about each section and the types of questions on the exam. However, even if you have taken test preparation courses, you should not begin answering questions before you have fully read the instructions.

10. Read the questions first

Given the time constraints and the nature of language learning and comprehension, you may find it helpful to read the questions prior to reading (or listening) to the English text you are being asked about in the section. Try to quickly skim the questions and then read the text looking for the answers in the text. This will save you time overall.

Think you are ready for your English language exam? Test your English today!

6 Fun Ways to Learn English in Washington DC
6 Fun Ways to Learn English in Washington DC

The decision to learn English is one of the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime. Why? English is recognized as the “most influential language” in the world, as well as the number one most connected language in the world. Therefore, learning to speak English will not only help you connect with others globally, but it will also further your educational and career pursuits.

However, learning English should not be seen as necessary drudgery. Rather, it should be seen as an exciting learning opportunity! Don’t fall into the trap of believing learning a language just consists of memorizing vocabulary words and drilling grammar. How do you make the switch from boring language learning lessons to stimulating language learning? Well, you look for ways to make learning English fun.

Studies have shown that when learning and having fun are combined, students performed better. Judy Willis, MD explains, “Your brain releases extra dopamine when an experience is enjoyable. As positive emotions cause dopamine to travel to more parts of your brain, additional neurons are activated. Thus, a boost in dopamine not only increases your own sense of pleasure, but also increases other neurotransmitters, such as acetylcholine, that enhance alertness, memory, and executive functions in the prefrontal cortex.” All of which are necessary when mastering a new language.

Now that you understand why you need to learn English and have fun while you are learning it, let’s look at six creative ways to make it happen.

1. Study Abroad in English Speaking Countries

While it is certainly tempting to save money by learning English online, you should not plan to learn English online only. First, it is simply not as much fun as other forms of education. Next, it is not as effective. Instead, you should enroll in a study abroad program in an English-speaking country. Let’s face it – when you are in an English-speaking country, you are going to need (and want) to learn the language quickly to communicate. This is why studying abroad is so effective.

Students who study English in Washington DC, for example, will be fully immersed in the culture of this metropolitan city. Thereby, having English learning opportunities at every corner. The premiere language schools in Washington DC, inlingua, prides itself on being a dedicated language school. In addition to having a proven English program that helps students become fluent in English faster than other programs, they also strive to provide students with a true cultural experience by encouraging tourism, social activities, and relationships.

And, those vocabulary and grammar drills? That is not the focus at this Washington language institute; instead, the emphasis is placed on learning through speaking English. Learning through speaking is much more fun than memorizing information in a textbook. More importantly, learning through speaking is more effective because it gives the student immediate practice and constant error correction.

2. Read and Discuss Books in English

Another fun way to learn English is to read books in English. Don’t let this idea scare you! Start where you are able. For example, there is nothing wrong with beginning with children’s books in English and moving your way up. You have complete freedom in the book genres. For instance, many English language learners like to read graphic novels or comic books because these are both enjoyable and easy to read.

As you advance, you may also enjoy joining an English-speaking book club. Book clubs meet to discuss a book they have read, which will give you practice reading and communicating ideas in English. Plus, book clubs typically feature food and drinks.

3. Play Games in English

There are tons of language learning apps you can download to your mobile devices that are designed to make learning fun. While these do not take the place of an actual English class in DC, they can help you practice English before or after your ESL classes. Plus, there are games that you can play online against friends.

Once you feel comfortable, you should also try playing English board games. Have a game night with your friends and you will learn English while playing and having fun. Game nights take individual game playing and turn it into a fun, social activity. Some great games for English language learners are Scrabble, Scattegories, Apples to Apples, Taboo, and Boggle. In fact, even serious language institutes use games like these in their language classes because they are so effective in language training.

4. Watch Movies and TV in English

Learning English is the perfect time to not feel guilty for watching too much television! Think of it as a learning activity when you watch television and movies in English. If possible, turn on the captions, so you can also see and read the English words on the screen. Television is a great way to learn how words are actually used in conversation and how body language influences meaning. Plus, if you choose to take English courses in Washington DC, you will also have plenty of options for seeing free or cheap movies.

If you enjoy YouTube, follow some of your favorite English speaking YouTube stars. As you watch them regularly in English, you will begin to understand more of what they are saying. The same thing applies to podcasts.

5. Listen to Music in English

Embrace the music! Find singers, bands, and performers who sing in English, and listen to their music regularly. Try to learn the English lyrics and sing along. If you are feeling brave and enjoy the nightlife scene, try your hand at singing karaoke in English. Not only is it fun to learn through music, it is also effective. Musical activities require you to use the same parts of your brain responsible for language.

6. Cook and Eat in English

If you enjoy cooking or baking, try following recipes in English. Use an English cookbook and try to whip up some culinary delights in your own kitchen. Take it step further and prepare a traditional English meal and host a dinner party with your friends. At the dinner party, speak in English. While not everyone likes to cook, everyone likes to eat! When you go out to eat, make a point to try to order your meals in English at restaurants. See? Even a night out with friends can be a fun English language learning opportunity.

Excited to get started? Contact us for more details about inlingua’s intensive English program.

Friendships Help When Learning English Abroad in Washington DC
Friendships Help When Learning English Abroad in Washington DC

Choosing to study English abroad is an excellent choice – especially if you have chosen to study the language in a metropolitan city like Washington DC. When you live and study at English language schools in DC, you will be surrounded by people from all over the world giving you a full global experience.

But, studying abroad isn’t just about learning the language or the culture, it is about getting to know people through a new form of communication. As you learn to speak English, you will develop new friendships. And, you will quickly learn these friendships not only help you master a new language in your intensive English program, they also enrich your life.

Friendships Help When You Feel Homesick

Did you know that people with friends tend to be healthier and live longer than their isolated peers? It’s been proven in several different research studies. This is another reason why you should prioritize developing friendships while you are abroad. It is normal to feel a little lonely and homesick in the beginning of your adventures abroad.

Rather than isolating yourself in your room, it is much better to get involved with others in your community, including other students at your language institute. It is the healthier choice. Spending time with friends will help you get past those moments of homesickness and loneliness. While your new friends will not replace your friends back home, these friendships will be just as valuable to your study abroad experience and your life. Fortunately, schools, like inlingua in Washington DC, offer students multiple chances to develop relationships with their peers, as well as social activities in the city after ESL classes.

Your Classmates Are Going Through the Same Thing

When you attend an exemplary Washington language school, like inlingua, you will be surrounded by peers who have also traveled from their home country to learn English abroad. They are in the same situation as you – away from their homes and their families. They are also probably hungry for friendships in this new place.

When you begin to interact with your classmates, you will discover that many of them are going through the same thing. They may also be dealing with loneliness or homesickness. Or, they may simply be looking to make new friends. Being in community with others makes it easy to foster a new relationship. You will find spending time with peers easier as you have a shared experience in the classroom.

You Will Learn About Other Cultures

Another great reason to develop friendships when studying English abroad is to learn about other cultures authentically. While you will be immersed in the culture of the town where you study, you will also be spending significant amounts of time with fellow students who come from all over the world. For example, inlingua students who study English in Washington DC represent over 60 different nationalities. A language institute is a great place to interact with dozens of cultures.

One of the best things you can do when you are abroad is to build friendships with those who are different than you. You will not only learn how to communicate with one another, you will also learn about what makes your peer’s cultures special and unique. This is a more meaningful way to learn about a culture than from just reading a textbook.

Your Friends Will Make You Feel More Comfortable Listening and Speaking

Anyone studying another language will tell you that the best way to become comfortable listening and speaking the language is to practice. Friends give you the opportunity to practice speaking and listening to English. Whether you are conversing with native English speakers or fellow language learners in your ESL class, you are getting vital chances to practice.

Additionally, true friendships are based on mutual trust and common interests. With true friends, you will feel comfortable trying to speak English versus trying to communicate in English with a stranger. This feeling of trust makes it a safe place to grow and learn.

They Will Help You Learn How to Speak English

Along these same lines, friends help you learn how to speak English through practice and gentle correction. The more opportunities you have to speak English, the more effective your intensive English program will be. As you become more comfortable with English and in your friendships, you will also begin to learn how to speak English like the locals. For example, you will begin to understand the differences between casual English conversation amongst friends and more professional English. You will learn slang terms and how to tell jokes in English (a clear sign you have learned the language).

The friends you make in your classes will be willing to practice and learn English alongside you. Plus, these friends can offer gentle correction when you misuse or mispronounce a word. You are more likely to appreciate correction from a friend than from someone you do not know or do not trust.

You Will Develop a Global Network

When you take English courses in Washington DC, you will be surrounded by people from all over the world. Language schools intentionally focus on helping students build relationships to form a global network. The people you meet while you study English in DC will represent a world far beyond your home country and DC. You should expect to study with people who look differently than you, speak differently than you, and live differently than you. And, if you allow yourself, you can learn a lot from these differences.

Having friends the world over is a beautiful gift. Imagine being able to contact a friend from your time abroad when you are traveling. You will have someone you know and trust to help you make your travel plans and maybe even a place to sleep! Moreover, if you relocate for a job, you can call upon your global network to help make the transition smoother.

When you chose to study English at inlingua, you will leave with more than English knowledge and competency. You will leave with an understanding of the world around you and a network of friends around the globe.

Ready to embrace a new language and develop friendships? Contact us for more information!

6 Ways to Prepare for Your IELTS Exam
6 Ways to Prepare for Your IELTS Exam

If you are hoping to study at an English-based academic institution, work in an English-speaking environment, or immigrate, then you need to take the International English Language Testing System exam (referred to as the IELTS exam). This exam is designed to measure one’s grasp of the English language and his/her ability to communicate in English effectively.

By passing the IELTS exam, many more doors will open for you. This explains why over 3 million people took the IELTS exam last year alone. If you are one of those hoping to take the exam and use your scores to further your education or career, here are six ways to prepare for success:

Why Learning Multiple Languages is Important
Why Learning Multiple Languages Is Important

It has long been established that learning a second language is beneficial. So beneficial, in fact, that many schools are incorporating bilingual education. This is because multiple studies suggest that bilingual education has cognitive, social, and health benefits. However, learning multiple languages does not simply benefit students in the classroom. As you will see, studying a second (or third) language is an investment in your future, no matter your age.

Free or Cheap Things to Do in Washington DC as a Student
Free or Cheap Things to Do in Washington DC as a Student

Choosing to study English in Washington DC is one the best decisions you will ever make! DC is the perfect place to learn a new language because it is a global city filled with diversity. You will get to interact with others using the language you are studying in a natural environment.

The Washington language school, inlingua, makes it easy to master a new language while engaging in student activities around the city. Another bonus – there are so many free or cheap things to do in Washington DC as a student!

9 Non-Academic Reasons to Study English in Washington DC
9 Non-Academic Reasons to Study English in Washington DC

If you are making the wise decision to study English or looking for language schools in DC, now you need to see why you should learn English in Washington DC. DC is home to multiple academic institutions, as well as the premiere Washington language school, inlingua.

Washington DC is a global city that will offer you the full tourism experience plus exciting learning opportunities. In DC, you will be surrounded by opportunities to learn English and expand your knowledge. However, there are so many other non-academic reasons to enroll in long-term English courses in Washington DC.

Senior Citizens Should Study Foreign Languages to Stay Mentally Sharp
Senior Citizens Should Study Foreign Languages to Stay Mentally Sharp

While an unfortunate part of aging is a gradual decline in mental functioning, studying a foreign language can slow this decline. Why would you hesitate to learn something new if you know it has the ability to turn back time? Learning a foreign language is not reserved for the young; it is an attainable goal for senior citizens and incredibly beneficial.

Learning a new language is both fun and well worth your time as a senior citizen. Anytime you learn something new, you exercise your brain. But, when you learn a foreign language, you also learn about the world around you. Language schools in Washington DC, such as inlingua, offer foreign languages courses for students of all ages and backgrounds. After reading this article, you will see why senior citizens are signing up for foreign language courses to help them stay mentally sharp and add some adventure to their lives.