I started using Livemocha and I have found it very helpful for working on many parts of my language. This service offers basic language-learning exercises on many languages–and Farsi is one. It also offers significant interactions with a language-learning community. I underestimated the latter.
The site works on a complex point system. For every exercise you complete, you get points. This feature alone makes it difficult for me to move off the site. One-fourth of an exercise consists of free-writing exercises, and one-fourth on reading aloud. You submit these assignments to the community. As soon as you do, you are asked to respond to assignments in your native language. You can respond in writing or by voice-recording. You receive points for these, as well. I’m not sure yet what points are for, though.
After I turned in my first written and reading assignments, I received so many responses (15-20). I felt like the belle of the ball! Then I received responses to my responses to English exercises. Among these responses were friend requests. You can submit assignments directly to friends, if you want. My community of language-learners grew to about 20+ literally overnight.
The comments have helped me. The comments on my writing assignments are keeping me honest. One of the main comments I received on my first writing assignment was to use the Farsi letters. I was lazy and used the Latin alphabet. The community is keeping me honest. Then they give me tips on style. They write to me in Farsi! Yikes! I don’t understand each of the tips, but having a few written rules to follow will be good. The comments on my reading have filled in some of the words that I have a hard time pronouncing. Some responders write me a transcription in Latin letters, and some record themselves reading the passages aloud. Both methods help.
The amount of resources that Livemocha offers astounds me. The system is set up so that it is to everyone’s advantage to help one another out. I have to limit my time on there, because receiving and giving help is so easy. I will for sure alter my calendar to include more Livemocha time. Also, the Seattle Public Library offers free Gold Key (premium) membership. It’s not working at the moment, though. I’m not sure what other content I will get–or where the time will come from to take advantage of it.
Livemocha does not help very much in learning vocabulary. The reading assignments do not necessarily use words that I know. That’s ok–the community makes me learn them. I still love my flash cards and Pimsleur mp3’s.
- Language Learning Communities are Pubs of The Global Village (bigthink.com)
- 5 Websites to Learn a Foreign Language Free (madrasgeek.com)
- My schedule: January-June (lovinglanguage.wordpress.com)