Top 4 Reasons Why You Should Learn Spanish if you live in Knoxville

Learn Spanish Fast Tacos

Spanish makes life in Knoxville even better.

There are several great reasons to learn Spanish, ranging from mental benefits to employment opportunities. But you might be tempted to think that Spanish is great for someone living in California or Miami, but not for someone living in Knoxville, TN. After all, how useful can Spanish possibly be in East Tennessee?

Since Confidence Learning Services is based in Knoxville, TN, we can give you a few reasons why Spanish is actually very useful for local residents.

#4. Learn Spanish in Knoxville for the food.

Do you like steak? Sub sandwiches? Ice-cold mango drink?

Learn Spanish Fast Tacos

If you enjoy delicious food, and you would prefer to keep lunch under $10, then your next stop ought to be a local taqueria. Knoxville has dozens of taquerias, and if you’re worried about the discomfort and bloating that comes from the ground meat and cheese-product served at many East TN “Mexican” restaurants, worry no more. Taquerias offer traditional food that’s usually made with real ingredients, like teak, roasted chicken, or pork, and vegetables like nopales (cactus), mild poblano peppers and avocado. In these establishments, Spanish is the dominant language, and most food isn’t spicy, unless you want it to be. Unlike some of the overly processed Mexican food you may be used to, you’re sure to feel a lot better after eating a roasted chicken taco on fresh soft tortillas, sprinkled with cilantro, diced onion and lime.

Check out this list of local taquerias and plan your next meal.

#3. Learn Spanish to get to know the community in Knoxville.

Knoxville East Tennessee TN

East Tennessee is a great place to live, work and raise a family, and part of what makes it great is our community. But did you know that there is a thriving Hispanic community right here in Knoxville? The center of that community is Centro Hispano, a local community organization that does things like offer GED, ESL and Spanish literacy classes help members of the community get connected to local resources, and sponsor events like the Knoxville Latino Awards. Stop by to see what’s going on and get to know your neighbors.

#2. In Knoxville, Spanish = Fiesta.

Knoxville Spanish

Once a year, Knoxville turns out to celebrate all things Latin at the annual Hola! Festival. Here you can view artifacts and learn about the history of various Latin American countries, sample foods from different Spanish speaking cultures, and enjoy music, dancing and more. Everything is much more fun when you can speak Spanish.

#1. Boost your business and career.

Knoxville, TN is home to over 17,000 Spanish speakers and a thriving Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Many businesses are just now beginning to recognize the economic implications of a strong Spanish-speaking community right here in East Tennessee, and are starting to look for bilingual job candidates or seek out professional Spanish-language training. Although there are some top-notch translation agencies in Knoxville, being able to communicate with clients directly allows you to establish a personal connection.

There’s no doubt that Spanish is a useful language to understand anywhere in the U.S., and it’s especially beneficial right here in Tennessee.

Are you ready to take advantage of the opportunities that are open to Spanish-speakers? Start your journey towards becoming a Spanish speaker today. Contact Confidence Learning Services at 1-865-226-9477 for your free Spanish language consultation session via Skype.

How to learn Spanish with Confidence Learning Services

how to learn spanish

How to learn Spanish successfully with a fluent speaker

Between CDs, DVDs, textbooks, and the ever-popular Rosetta Stone and similar computer programs, your options when it comes to how to learn Spanish can be overwhelming! At Confidence Learning Services, we freely admit that the best way to learn Spanish is to spend time in a Spanish-speaking country. So if you can, go ahead and schedule your trip to the Dominican Republic or Mexico. But, if you’re like many of us, you may not have the freedom to pack up and head to a Spanish speaking country. That’s where Confidence Learning Services comes in as the next best thing – learning Spanish with one-on-one interaction with a fluent speaker, either in-person or via Skype. But how exactly is that going to work?

How to learn Spanish – Understand your purpose and set your goals

Every Spanish course we offer starts with a discussion of your personal goals. If you want to know how to learn Spanish, we have to start by asking why you want to learn Spanish. To communicate with extended family or an adopted child? To grow your business or boost your resume or college application? Then we will talk about what you want to accomplish by the end of a 6 or 12 week course. Do you want to perfect your interview skills, or just be able to order food in a restaurant? Setting realistic goals helps you to focus on your language learning and better understand your achievements.

How to learn Spanish – Identify your learning style and resources

Because all Confidence Learning Services are personalized, we prioritize your learning style. You don’t just want to know how to learn Spanish – you want to know how to learn Spanish in the best possible way for you. If you’re an avid reader, we may do a book study. A movie buff? It’s time to check out some Almodovar films. If you’re religious, we can find some Spanish language services in your area. Everyone is unique, and your Spanish learning experience should be too.

How to learn Spanish – Dive in

After we identify your purpose, goals, and learning style and assess your current language level, we will recommend several resources you can begin using right away. The key here is to dive in. Switch as many possible weekly activities into Spanish – watch TV, Movies, and YouTube videos in Spanish. Listen to Spanish radio in the car. Read recipes in Spanish, switch your GPS to Spanish, do your shopping and eating out at Spanish language establishments. You’ll also need to practice with websites, books, and hopefully, some conversation partners.

How to learn Spanish – Have fun

As you continue to learn Spanish, the key is to find out what activities you enjoy and learn from the most. This is how to learn Spanish successfully – don’t force yourself to watch a TV show that you hate, find something that you love doing and keep doing it. As you do, your Confidence Spanish Language coach will guide you into new language-learning experiences and opportunities, give you the keys to unlocking the grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation you need and help clarify any confusion or misunderstandings you have as you continue in the language learning process.

So now you have a better idea of how to learn Spanish with Confidence Learning Services.

Don’t wait, schedule your free Spanish consultation today. You’ll get 45 minutes one-on-one time with a live, fluent instructor who will give you 3 personalized recommendations for your language learning – with no obligation or payment information required. Contact us today at 1-865-226-9477 to sign up!

Language Games – Knoxville Asian Festival

Knoxville Asian Festival

Shall we play a game?

Knoxville

Confidence Learning Services is excited to be a sponsor at the Knox Asian Festival. Knoxville’s first Asian festival will take place at Krutch Park in downtown Knoxville tomorrow, Saturday September 20th. Confidence Learning Services will be hosting two games at the Asian Festival.

Knoxville Asian Festival Game #1: Guess The Language

Can you identify these Asian languages just by listening to them? It’s harder than you think. Click below to listen to 5 different Asian languages and guess which languages are being spoken.

Need some help? Choose from the following language options,

  • Japanese
  • Mandarin
  • Vietnamese
  • Korean
  • Lao
  • Thai
  • Burmese
  • Cantonese 
  • Nepali
  • Malay
  • Tagalog
  • Khmer

and post your guesses in the comments. If you come out to Knoxville’s First Asian Festival tomorrow and guess all 5 languages correctly, you’ll win a prize! Even if you don’t get them all, we’ll give you a prize just for playing.

Knoxville Asian Festival Game #2: Test your English Knowledge!

If you’ve ever visited the website “Free Rice“, then you will have an idea of how this game works. We’ll be giving you a tough English word, and you choose the correct definition. For example:

Peregrination:
  1. Journey
  2. Challenge
  3. Story
  4. Experiment

Give it a try, post your guess in the comments! If you come by tomorrow and get 10 vocabulary words correct, you’ll get a prize. And even if you don’t get each one correct, we’ll give you a prize just for playing. So come on out and give our games a try! Confidence Learning Services will also be sharing information about our English and Accent Reduction courses, but there will be lots more to do at the festival.

Knoxville Asian Festival

Thai Dance

Vietnamese, Thai, Chinese and Japanese food will be available. Plus, there will be an origami folding station, several martial arts groups will be present, and dance and music performances representing various countries will be featured on stage. Don’t miss it!

Festivals in Knoxville

Knoxville Asian Fest

Today I want to let you know about three special upcoming festivals in Knoxville.

First Annual Knox Asian Festival

Knoxville Asian Fest

http://knoxasianfestival.com/

Where: Krutch Park, Downtown Knoxville TN

When: Saturday, September 20, 10 a.m – 6 p.m.

Knoxville’s very first Asian festival will feature various performers, including music, Lion Dancing, and Martial Arts. There will be activities including Samurai practice and origami folding. Several vendors will be there, including some great Knoxville Asian food vendors – we’re looking forward to egg rolls! And there will be Door Prizes, with chances to win a $50 gift card, Free Sushi Making class, and more.

Confidence Learning Services will have a language booth at the Knox Asian Festival. We’ll be playing “Guess the Language”, with chances to win prizes for identifying different Asian languages, as well as playing an English language vocabulary game and giving away door prizes. Plus you can sign up in person for our English Pronunciation and Accent Reduction lessons. Stop by and say hi to us!

 

Knoxville Greek Fest

Knoxville Greek Fest

http://greekfesttn.wordpress.com/

Where: Saint George Greek Orthodox Church on Kingston Pike in Bearden

When: September 26th and 27th – 11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., and September 28th 12:00-6:00.

The 35th annual Greek Festival will feature authentic Greek food (Baklava?Dolmeh? Yes please!), as well as cooking demonstrations. There will be authentic Greek wares such as clothing, ceramics, jewelry, books and icons for sale. Face painting and games will be available for the kids, and there will also be church tours available and dancing.

Don’t miss this opportunity to learn more about the Greek Orthodox religion, Greek Culture, and Greek food, and participate in an iconic Knoxville event that has been taking place for decades.

 

HoLa Festival (Hora Latina)

)Knoxville HoLa Festival

http://holafestival.org/events/

Where:  Market Square in Downtown Knoxville

When: Saturday, September 27th – 7p.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, September 28th – 11:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The HoLa festival always takes place during Hispanic Heritage Month, usually near the 15th and 16th of September which are the Independence days for Mexico as well as many Central and South American countries. Musical performances by the Asheville Tango Orchestra, Reverbnation, and Orquesta de Jaime Bonilla, among others, will be featured.

There will be special dance and drama performances, as well as craft activities for the kids and special family activities.

The food at the HoLa festival in Knoxville is so much more than tacos! Cuban Sandwiches and plantains, alteñas, empanadas, cuñape, tres leches, gorditas, and more will be available. Brush up on your Spanish and come hungry!

 

These festivals remind us that the city of Knoxville is so much more than Bluegrass music and the Great Smoky Mountains. We have diverse populations that make various cultural contributions to our city, and remind us of how global East Tennessee is becoming. There are more than 17,000 Spanish Speakers in Knoxville, many of whom are represented at the HoLa festival, and many non-native English speakers represented at all three festivals. Take the time to get out and get to know your community a little more, and we hope you stop by and say hello to Confidence Learning Services at the Knox Asian Festival.

Tennessee: Here’s 6 Things you didn’t know about Accent Reduction Classes

accent reduction in knoxville

I get a lot of questions about the most interesting and least understood service that I provide with Confidence Learning Services, “Accent Reduction.” Here are some basic facts that will hopefully help you to understand this service just a bit better.

 

1. Accent Reduction is not really reducing your accent, but simply learning a new accent.


A lot of people considering Accent Reduction Courses are scared or intimidated by the possibility of “losing” a part of themselves, or they wonder what it would be like to speak “without” an accent. But the truth is, we all speak with an accent. An Accent Reduction Class just teaches you how to speak with a standard American accent, instead of the regional or foreign accent that has been causing you difficulty.

 

2. Accent Reduction Software is limited.


Anytime you purchase something that is pre-packaged, like Accent Reduction Software or DVDs, you are giving up personalized attention for a generic product. Your accent is as unique as you are, and each person has different accent issues in English that need to be addressed, including your native language, your hometown or country, age, gender, level of education, career specialty, level of exposure to English, etc. When you purchase an “Accent Reduction Software”, it may be helpful, but the same content will be available whether you are a Native Chinese speaking Engineer, or a Native Finnish speaking financial executive. Choosing a class or trainer with one-on-one learning opportunities increases the effectiveness of any program.

 

3. Accent Reduction does work.

“But my uncle has lived in the U.S. for 20 years and he still speaks with an accent!”

Accent Reduction is possible, but only if you are willing to invest the time and energy required. Students who enroll in a 12-week Accent Reduction Course, and practice for one hour each day during the length of that course, demonstrate an average of 50-80% improvement on an objective evaluation. However, if you don’t enroll in an accent reduction or pronunciation training class, or put some sort of effort into improving your pronunciation, chances are, you won’t see much improvement. It’s a lot like having a membership with a gym – you may have had a membership for the past 5 years, but if you haven’t put the time and effort in each day to work out, you will still be out of shape.

 

4. Accent Reduction is easier for some people than others.


Life isn’t fair, and this is one of those areas that just seems unjust. Learning correct English pronunciation is much easier for people who come from similar language backgrounds – especially other Germanic languages like German or Dutch. It is hardest for people who come from languages with very different sets of sounds, like Mandarin or Cantonese. However, students who find accent reduction the hardest are precisely the people who can benefit most from an individualized Accent Reduction course. Students who come from language backgrounds that are very different from English tend to struggle the most with day to day activities – communicating at work, ordering food, talking with service personnel on the phone – because of their accent. These are the students who will see the biggest difference in their quality of life after taking an accent reduction course.

 

5. Accent Reduction isn’t just for non-native English speakers.


Regional accent reduction can also benefit your career. If you are traveling throughout the U.S. for business and find people consistently asking you where you are from, that may be a sign that your accent is affecting the impression you give to others. It’s no problem to say “y’all” instead of you, or “far” instead of “fire” if you are living in Tennessee, and saying “Hoe-ah-ya?” instead of “How are you?” in New York probably won’t garner any negative attention. However, when you leave your local region and try to conduct business in other areas of the country, these pronunciation habits will likely place the spotlight on your accent, instead of what you are trying to say.

 

6. An accent is just a habit


Just like brushing your teeth, getting dressed, or looking both ways at a stop sign, an accent is a habit, a way of speaking that your brain has been programmed to do since about age 4. Because an accent is a habit, it can be changed with practice. However, it is very different from learning new information, which simply requires memorization. An accent requires regular practice to master the new skill you are trying to implement, and it changes gradually, just like any habit you are setting out to change.

Want to learn more about accent reduction? Give us a call and we’ll set you up with a free evaluation to identify the specific areas of English pronunciation you need to improve most.