How to Learn a Foreign Language (By Yourself!)

By: Jackie Thompson

Foreign languages are becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s education system. Most students are roped into some sort of foreign language requirement whether in high school or beyond. Here are a few tips for struggling foreign language students and aspiring polyglot alike:

  • Free language resources galore: There are tons of apps on the market devoted to foreign language learning. Duolingo is a great resource; it offers 17 languages for English learners ranging all the way from Spanish to Welsh. Busuu is a very similar app that offers lessons in languages that Duolingo lacks, such as Japanese, Arabic, and Chinese. Memrise is another great app; its only drawback being that users with the free version can only learn one language at a time. Local libraries offer a variety of reference materials that can be used in conjunction with or instead of these apps. is another great alternative; it hosts free online courses from some of the nation’s best universities in a number of subjects.
  • Be realistic: Create a manageable study schedule. Grandiose plans to complete a semester of French over the summer do no good unless they’re actually followed. A good rule of thumb is to practice 30 minutes each day. If that’s unmanageable with your schedule, feel free to amend it as you see fit!
  • Learn the pronunciation: Speaking is paramount in the study of foreign languages. It’s more important than spelling, grammar, or vocab. If you don’t feel comfortable with pronunciation, then you’ll never feel confident speaking. is great resource for language learners. It features pronunciations by native speakers of most words you can imagine spoken. When studying, speak the words or phrases while looking over them to cement the pronunciations in your mind.
  • Practice, practice, practice!: There are many ways to study; it’s just a matter of finding what works best. Flashcards are a tried-and-true method, whether through a service like Quizlet or writing them by hand. Flashcards are great because they can be used virtually anywhere, so you can study whenever you have a spare second. Another great study method is to simply practice in your head. For example, let’s say you’re working at your summer job, counting down the minutes until your shift ends. Rather than simply stare blankly at the clock, look around you. Try to name the word in your target language for all the things you see. Or alternatively, run through a pretend conversation using the phrases you’ve learned.


  • Study the culture: This is optional, but arguably essential to the learning of a foreign language. You cannot truly master a language without understanding the social and cultural context in which it exists. Without knowledge of the customs, values, and practices associated with the countries who speak your target language, your language skills will always be lacking. Luckily, there are tons of online resources that provide authentic materials for studying culture. Try perusing travel websites, language-learning sites, or blogs of people living in a country that speaks your target language!

5 Upcoming Summer Movies

by Bridget Richard

With the 2016 award season already completed, many people are looking forward for the season of summer blockbusters to begin.

1. Captain America: Civil War: The long-awaited film in the Captain America series is set to be released in North America on May 6. This will be the third installment in the series of Captain America movies, this time featuring the other Avenger characters in order to resolve a tense conflict with the government.

2. Suicide Squad: With a release date August 5, many comic book fans only have some trailers and sneak peeks to hold them over. Many are drawn to the film due to accounts from the cast and crew on Jaret Leto’s method performance of the Joker, staying in character even in-between takes and sending unsettling gifts to the other cast members. CinemaBlend said in an article from June of last year, that one of these gifts was a love letter and live rat to the actress of Harlequin, Margot Robbie.

3.The Nice Guys: This comedy boasts Ryan Goseling and Russel Crowe as the two buddy cops of this movie, set in 1977. Many of the film’s plots are based off of true stories from Jay Joseph, a Marine Corps veteran and private investigator. But be warned, its release on May 20 will come with an R rating.

4. Don’t Breathe: Normally, horror movies are released during October or late autumn and winter months. But this new movie, directed by Fede Alvarez, will be in theaters on August 26. Set in Detroit, it tells the story of three friends and their attempted break-in to a blind man’s home. The villain of the movie is Stephen Lang, known for roles in Avatar and Conan the Barbarian.

5. Ghostbusters: It’s been 30 years since the famous Ghostbusters franchise was born, and this summer on July 15, it will be reborn with a remake directed by Paul Feig. When the cast was first revealed, with a female ghostbusting crew in contrast to the former male, some online community members were outraged. But many, who are fans of the women’s comedic work  on both the large and small screen, anticipate the fresh new take on the classic summer blockbuster.

Movie Review: Zootopia

by Jaimie Franz

“Zootopia” is a fun family movie around the premise of animals acting like humans would but still keeping primitive features to their species. The movie follows around a small, hopeful bunny making her dreams come true in a big world. It is rated PG and lasts 108 minutes.

Released on March 4, Zootopia is still quite popular in theaters, having several showings a day. I was able to see this movie a few days after it came out and I truly enjoyed the creativity, the story line and the family friendliness directed for all audiences. This movie stars quite a few of known and loved names including Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman and even Shakira, who sings a poplar song in the movie. I would highly recommend this movie for all who want to see a joyful, wholesome movie, that you can connect with the struggles the characters go through in trying very hard to prove themselves.

Conor McGregor Retired?

By Kasen Stephensen

Conor McGregor, 27 year old Irish MMA fighter and featherweight champion, released a tweet on April 19 stating, “I have decided to retire young. Thanks for the cheese.  Catch ya’s later.” It was retweeted 165,000 times and sent shock-waves through the MMA community.  His coach shortly after tweeted, “Well was fun while lasted,” adding to the incredulity of fans, athletes, and coaches.

However, McGregor recently posted a 650 word explanation via FaceBook beginning with, “I AM NOT RETIRED.”

In a familiarly egotistical rant, McGregor described the ridiculous pressure from the UFC for promotions.  UFC President Dana White announced that McGregor had been pulled from his rematch against lightweight champion Nate Diaz in July and McGregor attributed this to not participating in publicity events.

“Keep that 10 mill to promote the other bums that need it. My shows are good. I must isolate myself now. I am facing a taller, longer and heavier man. I need to prepare correctly this time,” he wrote.

McGregor’s popularity and fighting skill has brought in an estimated $400 million for the UFC from his last three fights, all within eight months.

Dana White was receptive to McGregor re-entering the fight against Diaz, but claimed the window was “pretty much closed.”

The Perfect Makeup for your Perfect Prom Dress

by Alyssa Rogers

Prom hair

Finding the perfect prom dress is stressful. Once you have that, then you have to decide how to wear your makeup. Choosing colors and types can be extremely overwhelming. Try using this guide if you’re stuck…(and trust me, you’re not the only one stuck).


  • Make sure to wear foundation that does not have any SPF because SPF will reflect white in flash photography and that’s not a good look.
  • SET YOUR FOUNDATION WITH POWDER!!!! You don’t want your makeup sliding all around your face throughout the night. Let’s face it, prom can get a little sweaty, so keep your foundation in place with an SPF-free powder.
  • Blend your makeup down to your neck and chest if your chest is exposed. Pictures will so easily pick up skin tone differences on different parts of your body, so make sure your makeup doesn’t end right at your jaw line. Blend it on down.
  • Bronzer helps us all out, but make sure not to go overboard. I recommend using some sort of bronzer on the outsides of your face (under your jaw line, below the cheekbone and temple areas) but make sure your aren’t applying too much. No one wants an oompa loompa as their date.

Compliment the colors of your dress

Navy, Royal, Emerald Dresses- A bold, berry lip is going to compliment your dress perfectly. Complete the look by using browns and taupes to create a soft, smokey eye.

Yellow, Hot Pink, Magenta, Purple, Red Dresses- Nude lips and a smokey eye will be more on the dramatic side, so using cool or warm colors will be perfect. If your dress has silver beading, try using cool tone eye shadows. If your dress has bronze or gold beading, try warm colors.

Green, Baby Pink, Aqua, Baby Blue Dresses- Consider a light pink nude lip with metallic eyes using shadows that match the beading on your dress on the lid, and a warm matte brown to blend into your crease

Neutral Color Dresses- Using a pop of color either on the lips OR eyes will pull everything together. Keep in mind with a bold lip you might want to keep the eyes simple and vice versa.

New York Primary Results

By: Rachel Stewart

The crucial primary election in New York has finished and the results are in. Donald Trump won for the Republican Party, receiving 89 delegates with John Kasich swooping in for a measly 4 delegates, and Ted Cruz did not take home any. Hillary Clinton won majority for the Democrats. However, just because Clinton won does not mean Sanders went home with as little as the Republican runner-up. Clinton received 139 delegates, and Sanders received 106 delegates, so the race was close.

This was no surprise for Trump, as New York is his home territory. This was also important for Clinton, who hasn’t been doing as well as she hoped in the Midwest and West. Although this primary was important, it technically is still anyone’s game, and we won’t know the candidates for each party for sure until the conventions this summer.