Welcome! Välkommen! ようこそ!

Welcome to my travel, teaching jack-of-all-trades blog. What you are going to find are my adventures as a JET ALT in Karatsu City, Japan, reflections and stories from traveling around the world, and my journey to become a teacher.

As of now I am rectifying my abysmal history in blogging. When I tried to blog in the past I wrote too broad and too unfocused (a decent reflection of myself as a college student). I was also struck with the need to make something my own. My third year of college was priceless as it was daunting – and it was mine. It was hard to share my experiences as I was still finding the words and meanings for myself. Only now, a year after graduating and about to embark on my long time dream, have I found the voice and focus to share my experiences – the good, the bad, and the weird.

I would be lying to call this a “travel” blog. There will be a lot of similarities but I am more than travel. I am passionate about education and the BIG dream is to become the best educator I can be. This blog is a long term documentation of my journey. I am not taking a traditional path to become I teacher and that is due in part to my traveling (and my own indecision). Thus, I cannot solely write about travel or education.

Holm is this Way is about adventure, exploration, and encouragement through/with/about education, teaching (they are two separate things), and traveling. But at its core it is about flexibility. The ability to expand, grow, decompress, progress, breakdown, try new things, and add the spice of possibility in the unknown.

I hope you enjoy.

Avery

My Favorite Free Language Learning Program on the Web

May the fourth be with you!

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

Since today is my favorite day I decided to write about one of my favorite things – Language!

Specifically foreign language, as I have a bad habit of starting a new language before I am proficient in the first one.

For example, in high school I studied French but tried to teach myself Japanese. I continued to study French in college and added official Japanese courses but decided to try and learn Russian over spring break.

Currently, I am committed to reach fluency in French and Japanese (no matter how long it takes) and study Swedish for fun and heritage. The point is that I love language, I love learning language, and I am always looking for new, fun, and efficient ways to learn/study. .

1. Duolingo

I love this little green owl. A classmate told me about this wonderful site when I lived in New York City. It is completely free and well designed by native and fluent speakers contributing the programming. You can create goals, set reminders, and learn multiple languages. If you fall off the horse for a month it is easy to hop back on and continue learning. Each session integrates reading, writing, grammar, vocab, listening, and speaking (though the last is optional). You can join discussions and practice your interpretation skills as well as peer review others’ work. The sight is user friendly and you can download their app to practice on your smartphone (great for those long subway rides or short work breaks).

The Downside – Doesn’t have all the languages I want

It is still a new program and they are constantly creating and adding new languages (this is a plus!). It’s a personal downside to me because while I love their French and Swedish programs I wish they would add Japanese. However I do appreciate that any language is welcome – they just started working on Klingon and are almost ready to beta Esperanto.

The Upside – It feels natural

Unlike a classroom and many other language learning programs Duolingo doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the language. It is hard to explain…out of all the classes and courses I have completed this program feels the most natural. It builds

Check them out at http://www.duolingo.com