My favorite children’s books in German

As I commented in my video 233 days of German, I read many children’s books to help my German. The advantage of children’s books is that they have a simpler language and many illustrations that show what’s going on. My favorite books were from the collection “Wieso? Weshalb? Warum?“. That collection explains to children how the world works in simple language. Storybooks are also interesting, but sometimes vocabulary is not as important for an adult, one reason why I don’t read a lot this kind of book. Nevertheless, I decided to put here a mixture of fiction and non-fiction to please those who like both genders.

livros infantis

Nonfiction Books

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Bestsellers in Brazil – January 2016

For the curious, I will show today, the best-selling books in Brazil from earlier this year, excluding books from foreigners. Interestedly, most books are religious/self-help.

  1. Bela Cozinha 2 – Bela Gil

bela cozinha bela gilThis is a book with recipes from Bela Gil program – dishes from the special summer season and from the second and third seasons. Tasty and healthy recipes are created according to Bela Gil view of how our choices about what we eat affects our health, the society and the environment.


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How to enrich your reading with audio

Reading in another language is a great activity to acquire more vocabulary, to learn more expressions, to immerse yourself in the target language, plus, you increase your cultural knowledge. But how to boost this activity?

Igor Barca

Reading with audio is one of the best ways I found to study a language. The only drawback is that you must be prepared to manage two media: your text and you audio file. But I assure you, nothing better than to hear a native reading while you follow the text.

The association word-pronunciation is strengthened and you begin to realize that you were pronouncing words incorrectly or that one word has more than one pronunciation. Reading and listening to a poem at the same time can be a great way to start applying this technique, since,  for the most part, the poem is a short text and contains rhythm and rhymes, elements that facilitate and invite the reader to read aloud. Although a book is (almost) always longer than a poem, you can still follow the reading with a certain ease. Another benefit is that you can retrocede the audio when you want to solve a doubt about pronunciation.

I know it may sound crazy, it looks like you will not be able to concentrate on both at once, but if you try, you will see that is not like that. It’s a matter of habit; adaptation is faster than you think.

This method also works great for when you are unable to focus on a very boring book, required by the university, for example. I can’t tell how many books I’ve read in this way and for that reason: from Shakespeare to Proust, all the books that I considered boring or difficult were read exactly like that. There are some sites that you can use to undertake this task. I’ll show links in five languages: Continue reading

How to improve listening and reading at the same time – Part 2

Finally the second part of the post

Previously, I showed the most common ways to improve reading and listening at the same time. I’d rather hear natural dialogues than dialogues in language courses.
The way that is most effective for me is to extract the audio and dialogues from movies and TV shows.

First Step

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How to improve reading in a foreign language – Part 2: Parallel/Bilingual Texts

Continuing with the subject of last week, let’s talk about how to improve reading.

The graded reader books are great for beginners and people who love literature classics and suspense stories. But, to achieve a high level in any language you need a more diverse vocabulary. To acquire this type of vocabulary while reading, I will present another strategy for someone who hasn’t domain of the language yet. Continue reading

How to improve reading in a foreign language – Part 1: Graded Reader

Before you start reading you should have a minimum vocabulary of 400 words. Which is not something very difficult, with this vocabulary is possible to begin to read simple books. And what you can read with such basic vocabulary?

Graded Readers

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Duolingo Review

Duolingo is a free website/application for language learning. The idea of the creator of the site to make the website free was very creative. While the users are learning, they help doing translations and Duolingo customers pay for the service.

I joined the website in July 2012, when it was not yet as developed as today, and I ended up forgetting the method after a couple of weeks. I only used it again in mid-2013 when I downloaded the app on my phone. Since then, I began studying with some regularity with it until I completed the French “tree”.


How it works?

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Explaining my study routine

As I said in my last post, since Monday (10/07) I’m putting what I’m studying on twitter to anyone curious.

Materials and Methods



For grammar I use a book in the traditional form.  A book with a lot of exercises to fill blanks and verb conjugation.

I am currently using the workbook “Diccionario práctico de gramática “.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.

Some materials I use: FSI French, DVDs in Spanish, Ipod and grammar books.


To improve my level of understanding I do the following activities:

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