Tuesday, March 25, 2014

DIY: Language Learning Material

I have been living in Hong Kong for over 3 years now.  I had previously bought books on learning Cantonese, but found it really difficult to learn on my own.  This year, I had even checked out some language exchanges on Meetup.com, but my level of Cantonese is almost nil!

The other night, my husband and I were at the mall and came across a kiosk that was selling a language learning set geared towards children.  I actually was attracted to the ultra cute pen at first.  But, after playing around with it, my husband and I thought it might be just the "novelty" to help motivate my Cantonese learning!

So we picked up this Easy-Readbook Talking Pen.

The Talking Pen comes with DIY stickers, a manual (in English), and a cute "pen"

My first learning material that I am currently learning vocabulary, sentence structure, and culture from
This company has a bunch of books and flashcards that you can purchase to help you learn, but the MOST VALUABLE thing, in my opinion, is the DIY stickers.

How do the DIY stickers work?
1.  Turn your pen on
2.  Point to the "red recording" button symbol
3.  Talk into the pen
4.  Then press "ok."
5.  Press the "green play" button symbol to listen

Check out the link to see a demo off of Youtube.

This way, if you have a willing friend, they can record any language (in my case Cantonese) for you.

There are many types of electronic reading pens online and a load of Youtube videos on how they work.  The one that we bought ran us around $700 HKD.

1.  I can make my own material (most of which I can just find online)
2.  It's easy to record material using the DIY stickers
3.  DIY stickers can be recorded, re-recorded, and re-re-recorded
4.  The pen comes with a plug in for ear phones (so you don't disturb people when using it)
5.  The pen also comes with a USB link for your computer
6.  The pen uses a charger
7.  It's really cute!

For me, I think, since I have had it for a few days, it has definitely boosted my motivation for learning Cantonese.  It's also great to hear my husband's voice on the recordings.  And, though it is child-centric, I think it does have its fair share of benefits for the adult who needs a bit of a boost in learning another language!