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Your Mouth is a Musical Instrument

When we think about other languages, the way they sound is one of the first things that comes to mind. How do you sound when you speak English? How do you sound when you speak a foreign language? What actually controls the way we sound? We'll come to these questions soon. When we start learning a language, we start learning new words. And of course, try to pronounce the words the way we hear native speakers saying them. Or maybe we read the words and follow the pronunciation rules that we know. At the start, we do spend time focusing ...
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Linguistic Keys: Unlocking the Future with German

So far we’ve looked at how German language skills can unlock the past and present. Using our linguistic keyring, we’ve opened all sorts of doors and portals. But now it’s time to turn our attention away from those ancient-looking brass keys, along with the shiny, modern ones, and take out those strange electronic devices that chirp and glow. It’s time to gaze into the future and enter the unknown. You could say that just like the past, the future doesn’t actually exist. It’s all in our minds. But to get a glimpse of what the future might have in store ...
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Linguistic Keys: Unlocking Today’s German World.

Last time we looked at how language skills can help us understand the past by giving us access to German-language philosophers, sports stars and figures from music history. This time, we’ll use our linguistic keyring to open up the German world of today. But before we get going, it is worth looking at one difference between unlocking the past and unlocking the present. Using German to access the past involves engaging with source material of some kind: things like books, videos and music. Ultimately, these are materials that are stored in some kind of archive or library, whether that be ...
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Linguistic Keys: the Special Access That Comes with Language Learning

You are holding a large ring of keys. Some are big and clunky—ancient-looking, or at least antique. Others are rusty or turning green, but clearly a bit more modern. Then there are sparkling new keys, fob passes, and several devices that are extremely futuristic. Perhaps this keyring sounds like a lot to carry. Who wants to be burdened with a heavy chunk of metal these days? Fortunately, it is totally weightless—the old and futuristic keys occupy no space in your pocket, backpack or handbag. This keyring is a set of skills that you carry with you at all times; skills ...
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Back To Our Roots: The East Melbourne Language Centre Time Machine

If you’ve been inside the East Melbourne Language Centre, you’ll know it’s a grand old building with many nooks and crannies. Everyone knows the front room full of language books, the classrooms and the cosy kitchenette. However, there is a special room out the back that no one ever sees. A room with strange and wonderful instruments; part library and part mad scientist’s laboratory. The hidden room that allows the language centre to travel through space and time. Yes, that’s right, the East Melbourne Language Centre is not just a school, it’s also a time machine. Let’s walk down the ...
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