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How to Improve Your Foreign Language Immediately Paperback – 27 May 2014

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Villa Magna, LLC; 3rd ed. edition (27 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0989387003
  • ISBN-13: 978-0989387002
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.6 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 470,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Boris Shekhtman is Operational Director of the Coalition of Distinguished Language Centers, and President of the Specialized Language Training Center in Rockville, Maryland.


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What a useful book.
The author has some very interesting techniques for improving spoken language.
It really doesn't matter which language is being learned, the techniques are relevant to all.
I think if I had read this before taking my french oral exam in school back in the Middle ages, I would have done so much better.
While it is a very thin book, it is well organised into a chapter for each technique which he calls Tools and there are 7 Tools.
If you are learning a language with the hopes of becoming employed due to your new language aquisition, the methods in this book will help you enormously.
Searching the Authors name on you tube brings up various reviews and Anthony Lauder's was the review that persuaded me to buy it.

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This book is a slim volume of common -sense. It describes in an almost scientific fashion the easiest ways in which a person becomes fluent in another language. All people already use these methods even if they are introverts, like me and would not normally be talkative socially. If you want to learn a language you have to put yourself into situations where you will get out of your depth and lose control of the subject matter. What I like here is the author's labeling of instinctive techniques. I will have students learning Irish, a language where it is virtually impossible to find occasions of use. But if I tell them that learning small sections off by heart and call these 'Islands' as the author here does the process sounds more reasonable and manageable. The author calls his strategies 'communication tools'. I didn't know common sense had another name.
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Very pleased with this book. I have only read two chapters and already am getting a lot from the book. The suggestions are simple but brilliant for improving your foreign language straightaway This is going to make a big difference when I am travelling. Recommended highly.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9ac5dba0) out of 5 stars 6 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9b59048c) out of 5 stars Very Useful for all languages 31 Jan. 2015
By Mr. Dan - Published on Amazon.com
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I got this book after watching a review by a polyglot named fluent Czech that praised the book. Since fluent Czech always has useful tips I gave it a try and was not disappointed. The book took only a day to read but has what appear to be extremely useful tips that can be used in any language. In my opinion, this book is even more useful to people that have a lot of knowledge but have trouble communicating (speaking) at the level of their knowledge. The tips are very useful.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ad42be8) out of 5 stars Enjoyable, Brief Book of Language "Hacks" and Anecdotes 12 July 2014
By Jennifer Aron - Published on Amazon.com
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I came across this title as a recommendation from Anthony Lauder and was very pleased with my purchase. The section on "Islands" (memorized oral texts) is great advice. It's filled with "communicative rules" based on years of expertise. It's definitely a title I expect to read over and over. Watch Anthony's Youtube review for more history on the author and other details.
Short read, so you can IMMEDIATELY get back to your language study!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9aca75b8) out of 5 stars Bypass this Book and save your Time and Money... 18 Jan. 2016
By G. Schwan - Published on Amazon.com
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Boris Boris Boris... I don't know how you say in Russian? But "this book sucks". It's NOT designed to build a relationship between the "foreigner" (the learner) and the native speaker. Relationships are build on Trust and Honesty, not manipulation or being sly as you advise as some of your so called tools suggest. Lets look at your seven so called "Tools"...

1) Show your Stuff
2) Build up your island
3) Shift Gears
4) Simplify, Simplify
5) Break Away
6) Embellish it
7) Say What?

1) Show your Stuff-- which really should be step 2 because you need the Islands in place to do SYS. Talk about subjects you know.

2) Build up your Island-- is memorized pre scripted material you use on subjects you are interested in, Personal and Non Personal matters. He doesn't show you HOW, just what to do. If you want a great language learning system for this method check out FLR Method by Moses McCormick.This is just one of his many programs Flr Running Over German Levels 1&2 (Book+Audio Cds) you can also go to his website for the Updated 2.0 version of all the languages he has and youtube channel.

3) Shift Gears-- getting out of a subject matter in the conversion you can not communicate anything about or understand. His advise, “Provide the smallest possible response to the question... then pose a diversionary question” pg 48... Really? His thinking behind this is that, he doesn't want “the foreigner (learner) to be in the subordinate, secondary, inferior role in the conversion” pg 48 ...WOW... It is like this through out the whole book, not just this chapter.

4) Simplify, Simplify--- again his words...”What should he or she do in this case. What if the Foreigner (learner) must transmit to the listener a valuable thought that must be understood? Should he or she begin to show his or her stuff? To use his or her islands? to shift gears? Not only will none of these help, but the use of any of them will impede his or her intention.” pg 55-56... What your tricks wouldn't work??? when having a REAL conversation and your NOT trying to fake the listener out? WHAT?... he goes on to say “If it is difficult to express attain thought or idea, do not delay the communication; immediately express it as simply as possible.” pg 56.... This is a “NO Duh” chapter.

5) Break Away--- in this chapter he gives you a bunch of “what to do” advise with NO How to do it??? with more Group exercises as if you were in a Class. “The intent of this tool (trick) we call Break Away is to help the foreigner ignore his or her native language while speaking the foreign language.” pg 63-64

6) Embellish It---- At this point in the book it was real hard for me to want to finish this book, but I did just so I could honestly write this review. In a nut shell this chapter is about using all the words you can to describe something or tell a story. Another thought provoking chapter.

7) Say What?--- in a nut shell you have 2 options to learn in this chapter when you are listen to a native communicate with you. 1 fake it and respond with what you thought they said in brief also using one of your other tricks in the book or 2 don't hesitate to stop and ask for clarification in the conversation. “Repeat that, Please... can you speak slower so I may understand.... and so on. Another Duh chapter.

This book is NOT for someone trying to learn a language by ones self. Every chapter refers to a class setting of exercises and/or what the “instructor” needs to do. There is NOTHING in this book that is of value but Boris's ideas of what he does in his classes. Nothing concrete or tangible that you can walk away with that would be worth your time and money here... I guess that is why there is NO preview to the book. If there was I wouldn't be writing this review, because I wouldn't of purchased it.

If you want a valuable book on language learning get Fluent Forever Fluent Forever: How to Learn Any Language Fast and Never Forget It , Language Logic Language Logic: Practical and Effective Techniques to Learn Any Foreign Language , and The Loom of Language The loom of language .

From one Language Learner to another... Live with Passion
HASH(0x9b095c84) out of 5 stars Good for Students or Teachers of Any Language 18 Feb. 2016
By Elizabeth B. - Published on Amazon.com
This book might more appropriately be titled "How to make better use of the foreign language skills you already have". The authors provide several easy suggestions for enhancing your conversations in any language, such as not using "yes" or "no" answers, but instead to use sentences with as much vocabulary as you can manage. So, an answer to "are you an American" turns into "Yes, I am American. I am from Chicago, which is a large town in the middle of the country. I love living near Chicago, which is located near a large lake, Lake Michigan. I live in a small white house with lots of oak and maple trees outside" etc etc. The book includes exercises, useful to both students and teachers. Highly recommended for English-speaking students of any language.
HASH(0x9b58b354) out of 5 stars little book with very useful tips to actively seek conversational fluency 28 Jun. 2016
By Monso - Published on Amazon.com
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Quick, little book with very useful tips to actively seek conversational fluency.
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