Archive for November, 2007
[mage lang="" source="flickr"]intensive english course malta[/mage]
Barbares Ante Portas! Explaining the European Union’s Eastern Enlargement
If we can no longer talk of communism we should no longer talk of Eastern Europe, at least not with a capital ‘E’ for Eastern. Instead, we shall have central Europe again, east central Europe, south-eastern Europe, eastern Europe with a small ‘e’ and, above all, individual peoples, nations and states. Timothy Garton Ash
The period between 1989 and 1993 was a real roller-coaster ride in the history of Europe. First the wave of peaceful democratic revolutions in Central-Eastern Europe (CEE), somewhat less peaceful ones in Romania and Bulgaria. Then the domino-like secessions of the Soviet Republics – the Baltic states, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova and Russia. Finally – the division of Yugoslavia and the outbreak of a bloody ethnic war, the velvet divorce of Czechs and Slovaks and lastly – reunification of the German Republics. Maximum diversity, minimum time – we could say, paraphrasing Milan Kundera’s famous description of Central Europe. History had suddenly accelerated and refused to step on the break ever since. In 1999, three of the newly democratized states joined the NATO, followed by seven others in 2004. Only 15 years after history jumped onto the roller-coaster 10 new members joined the European Union (EU) – 8 of them were post-communist states. They were followed by two more in 2007. For some this is a real Cinderella kind of story. From impoverished, underdeveloped post-totalitarian countries to full members of probably the most exclusive club of states in the world – in 15 years. A well deserved transition – from the perspective of the neophytes.
But what does this process and its culmination in 2004 and 2007 look like from the perspective of the older members? Was the decision to let all these people from “far away countries of whom we know little” in the interest of the European 15? What was the rationale behind the decision? Why did accession take so long – or maybe why was it so abrupt? Why were the underdeveloped Eastern neighbours not invited into a quarantine-like form of associate membership rather than being let into the exclusive club directly? Why did Western Europe bother at all? These questions seem to be very lively in the old member states, especially ones that did not have a chance for a grand public debate on the “Idea of Europe”.
I am not able to analyse the problem deeply enough to answer all these questions. My intent is to understand – why the 15 members of the EU decided to allow full-membership of the 10 former communist countries (1) of Central East and South East Europe? This question is followed by two counterfactual possibilities – why was full membership chosen instead of associate-membership or the denial of membership altogether.
To look at this question I will use two leading approaches to European integration: liberal intergovernmentalism and social constructivism. I will show how the two are able to explain different aspects of the “Eastern Enlargement”, and compliment each other. I will also show why Eastern Enlargement was, a good idea (contrary to some voices in the Old 15 states), both rationally and normatively speaking.
I will first introduce the two theoretical approaches, before I move on to the insights they give into the process of Eastern Enlargement.
Liberal Intergovernmentalism: the Added Value
The liberal, more scientifically rigorous version of intergovernmentalism was designed by Andrew Moravcsik to analyse the “major steps towards European integration” (quoted in: Schimmelfennig 2005: 75). The approach is based on the presupposed instrumental rationality of the actors (states, governmental delegations in negotiations), who act according to their preferences (exogenous to the negotiation process, established in the domestic political struggle), and try to pursue their goals, yet are constrained by the actions of other rational state-actors (2).
The accession of 12 new members certainly is a “major step”, one would therefore expect LI to be well fit to explain it. This case however is said to be quite problematic – “LI provides only a partial explanation of the Eastern enlargement of the EU”, as Frank Schimmelfennig claims (Ibidem: 75, 86-92). He then gives a fair account of the ways LI is able to explain how the events unfolded. His main argument is that LI fails to give a plausible enough answer to the question why full membership, rather than some form of association was offered to the post-communist states as early as 1993 (Ibidem: 90). Schimmelfennig’s answer to this problem is the role of values in shaping actors’ preferences, and, what’s far more important, in strengthening or weakening their bargaining power (I shall get back to that in the next section).
There are two arguments in favour of LI, and against Schimmelfennig’s point. First – the thinking behind “association rather than membership” is based on the more or less explicit assumption that the enlargement was of little short-term benefit for the Old 15. It is even pictured as an act of good will or charity on behalf of the wealthy Western Europe. I want to prove that this is not true – at least not for all the older EU members. By proving the instrumental rationality behind the decision to allow Eastern neighbours to fully partake in the European Project, we leave the process of enlargement within LI’s domain of application, or “home turf” (Caporaso, Checkel and Jupille 2003). Second argument is that, if we treat the ideational sphere as a factor in actors’ interest formation we can use the interests thus created in a purely liberal intergovernmentalist analysis (which is also Moravcsik’s point of critique of the supposed value added of constructivism. Compare: Checkel and Moravcsik 2001).
I will show that there are two ways in which the Old 15 benefited directly from the accession of the CEE states.
Social Constructivism: the Needed Values
The constructivist approach (3), an example of which is Schimmelfennig’s afore cited work, in its moderate forms that will be presented here, stresses the role of social interactions in the process of Europeanization (Checkel 1999; Checkel and Moravcsik 2001: 220). In various processes of arguing and negotiation, the actors are said to engage in deeper and thicker exchange of ideas, which in turn is supposed to lead them to reformulating their preferences and rethinking their interests. The process of socialization taking place within the supranational institutions and on the intergovernmental European for a changes the ways actors define themselves (identity), the goals they seek and the means to achieve them.
To make it more concrete, in the case of Eastern Enlargement the key problem that needs to be dealt with is the post-communist states’ “extra-economic” quality of bargaining power. The 10 countries seemed to have little to offer in exchange for membership (which would be of great benefit for them). I want to challenge this way of thinking altogether, but anyhow, the problem is clear. Schimmelfennig’s answer is the formation of a community, adhering to certain values, which the post-communist states used to gain power in negotiations (2001). I would like to discuss the plausibility of constructivist explanations and confront them with the intergovernmentalist one.
A Closer Look at the Case
From the LI point of view, the Enlargement should be a rational decision of the Old 15 governments (and societies to some extent – at the domestic level of preference formation). Explaining the interests the candidates had in joining is easy, at least that’s what the literature seems to suggest. It is the short-term interests of the then-members that is puzzling. In fact, I believe, neither is fully true. As mentioned, the interests of the Old 15 were two-fold.
In terms of security the short-term benefits are most obvious (in fact Schimmelfennig mentions them, as “geopolitical interests” [2005: 89] ). The states bordering with emerging Central European democracies (e.g. Germany) were most interested in their accession – seen both as a means of quick disciplining and long-term stabilization of the region. Adrian Hyde-Price (2006) goes as far as calling the EU an instrument of “collective hegemony”, used to increase the security of members by collective direct and indirect pressures on stabilization. That can very well explain the Old 15’s preference in rapid association of the newborn democracies and giving them a clear signal of the possibility of accession. A signal followed by first vague, and then more and more strict criteria.
In economic terms, short-term gains are far less obvious. It is true that through the EU’s structural funding, huge sums of money have been transferred eastwards. On the other hand, the rising markets of CEE had no considerable importance, at least at the time of the Copenhagen Criteria. After the accession we could however observe much short-term benefits for the older member-states. The unexpected result (4) of Eastern Enlargement and the liberalization of labour market, was the enormous migration, from the New 12 to those member-states brave enough to open their markets right away. United Kingdom and Ireland were flooded by immigrant workforce, but even Greece, Portugal and Spain felt the wave reaching them. And the consequences were (are) – stunningly positive. Ireland’s economic boom was hungry for cheap labour. The mythical figure of the “Polish plumber” taking the jobs and benefits of the Western societies proved to be a complete misunderstanding. As the British and Irish authorities observe (Travis 2007; Seaver 2007), CEE immigrants turned out to be not only hard-workers, but also consumers, boosting the domestic markets. What’s more, and this is an intersection of security and economic matters, there is a strong emphasis on the socio-cultural aspects of the CEE migration. The new economic immigrants are temporary, work-oriented and culturally compatible with the Western societies. That is to say: the most of the immigrants do not intend to settle in the host countries (for their and the host society’s benefit), prefer income from work, often intensive, over unemployment benefits and have far less problems assimilating. That last factor is especially important now that many Western societies have trouble assimilating their Muslim immigrant communities, which are a nest for Islamic fundamentalism (5).
To sum up – this suggests that there is a plausible explanation of Eastern Enlargement LI can provide. The Old 15 states had some strong economic and security interests in allowing the accession of the post-communist states – both short and long-term interests. In my opinion full-membership is more a symbolic matter, but even in more concrete terms – the bargain could not have taken place if the CEE countries were offered a mere associate membership. The economic costs (structural funds) of helping the CEE states would remain the same. Not including them in he decision making process would make it hard for any broad societal consensus to be reached. What’s more – the vision of accession on the horizon was a great motivation for reform in the region (Judt 1998: 102). If this goal was not clear, however far off in time it was, the stability of economies and polities could develop according to more Yugoslav or Belarusian scenarios.
It seems that LI has no real problems explaining the fact of Enlargement, but I still believe other theories can help us understand its form and rapidity. Even if the Old 15 had some important interests in the East, these were only some among many of its interests. Why they became more important, who supplied the Western elites and societies with such interpretations of facts that made the Eastern Enlargement seem a necessity, and why were economically weak CEE states able to gain such strong positions in negotiations (leading from Copenhagen to Nice)? Constructivist analyses have something to say about that.
In short, the European Union is a community sharing certain values – liberal and democratic. It has been explicitly constructed on the federalist ideas of a united Europe, on the European cultural, moral and ideational heritage. According to Schimmelfennig (2001: 63), the members of a community should be expected to pursue goals that are in accordance with the community ethos, are legitimized and empowered by the shared values. In his conventional constructivist account, the values are simply out there, used by the Old 15 “drivers” of the process to shame the “brakemen” into accepting full-membership of the post-communist states. Iver B. Neumann’s (1999) interpretive analysis has a different starting point – it suggests that the Central European elites developed their own community discourse, aimed at showing: them as an inherent part of the West (Judt 1998:42), the European heritage to which they adhere and a Central European identity, which allows the countries of the region to cooperate in a peaceful and “civilised” way. In some way the Central European intellectuals were trying to teach Western European what it means to be European (Kundera 1984, 2001), and how much in common the CE states have with their wealthier EC neighbours. All that bore a hint of resentment – some CE circles reminded the general public that the Western Europe was partly responsible for the historical misfortunes of Central Europe. The words “Munich Treason”, “September 1939”, “Yalta” and “Marshall Plan” were used often (Pók 2006).
When the “Central European Discourse” of the Visegrad states proved to be successful vis à vis the EC/EU, others, less obviously “Central European” in geographic terms, started using it, thus stretching the imagined region literally “from Trieste on the Adriatic” to, this time, Tallinn on the Baltic shore, and even to Sofia on the Black Sea (Neumann 1999).
This proves the important role that referring to the “European Identity” played in the accession negotiations. I believe mere association (as a goal, not as a phase before accession) was simply not an option, neither was the refusal of integration. Apart from the obvious material interests the Old 15 had in Enlargement, there could simply be no legitimate explanation of leaving the CEE states out. The Copenhagen Criteria, a declaration of explicit benchmarks for the candidates, were forced upon the UE by such legendary individuals as Lech Walesa and Vaclav Havel. Had the EU refused to allow new states in – it would lose its legitimacy and the image of a benign community of liberal democracies. In turn, it would prove itself to be morally an exclusive, self-interested club of Marshall Plan beneficiaries who forgot what they owe the rest of the continent and the US for that matter.
Conclusion: the Strongpoints and Shortcomings of the Theories
My aim was to use liberal intergovernmentalism and social constructivism to explain the way Eastern Enlargement of the EU was conducted, and why it developed in the way it did. I believe LI can have more to say about the process than we think. It is not only able to fully explain the negotiations from the candidate’s side (Moravcsik and Vachudova 2002), but as I tried to show, it can give a plausible account of Old 15 preferences and choices.
LI can explain why full-membership was chosen over some form of association. Constructivism, on the other hand, can show why full-membership was the only imaginable option available to the then-members of the EU. I believe the way CEE states used references to the “European Identity” and how this discourse was picked up by the “drivers” of integration among the Old 15, is a very useful insight.
All in all – constructivism, though interesting, seems to have a smaller added value in the explanation of this case than its advocates believe. It turns out that much more can be explained in the rationalist framework, while constructivism adds a hint of Weberian Verstehen to the reationalist Erklärung.
Caporaso, James, Jeffrey Checkel and Joseph Jupille (2003) ‘Integrating Institutions: Rationalism, Constructivism and the Study of the European Union- Introduction’, Comparative Political Studies 36 (February-March): 7-40.
Checkel, Jeffrey T. (1999) ‘Social construction and integration’, Journal of European Public Policy 6(4): 545-60.
Checkel, Jeffrey and Andrew Moravcsik (2001) ‘A Constructivist Research Program in EU Studies?’, European Union Politics 2 (2): 219- 249.
Hyde-Price, Adrian (2006) ‘Normative power Europe: a realist critique’, Journal of European Public Policy 13(2): 217-34.
Judt, Tony (1998) Wielkie Z?udzenie? Esej o Europie [original title: ‘A Grand Illusion? An Essay on Europe’], Warszawa-Kraków: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN.
Kundera, Milan (1984) ‘Zachód Porwany albo Tragedia Europy ?rodkowej’ [originally published in English under the title: ‘A Kidnapped West or the Tragedy of Central Europe’], Zeszyty Literackie 5.
Kundera, Milan (2001) ‘Niekochane dziecko rodziny’. In: J.Baluch, Hrabal, Kundera, Havel… antologia czeskiego eseju, Kraków: Universitas.
Moravcsik, Andrew (1998) The Choice for Europe: Social Purpose and State Power from Messina to Maastricht, Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
Moravcsik, Andrew and Milada A. Vachudova (2002) ‘Bargaining Among Unequals: Enlargement and the Future of European Integration’, EUSA Review 15(4): 1,3-4.
Neumann, Iver B. (1999) Uses of the other. ”The East” in European identity formation, Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Pók, Attila (2006) Remapping the Mind: East and West in Post-Communist Eastern and Central Europe, Reinventing Central Europe. At: http://www.talaljuk- ki.hu/index.php/article/articleview/734/1/18/ (2.11.2007).
Schimmelfennig, Frank (2001) ‘The Community Trap: Liberal Norms, Rhetorical Action, and the Eastern Enlargement of the European Union’, International Organization, 55 (1): 47-80.
Schimmelfennig, Frank (2005) ‘Liberal Intergovernmentalism’. In: Anthe Wiener and Thomas Diez (eds.) European Integration Theory, Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press: 75-94.
Seaver, Michael (2007) ‘Ireland Steps Up as Immigration Leader’, Christian Science Monitor, September 5.
Travis, Alan (2007) ‘UK better off with immigration, official report shows’, Guardian Unlimited , Tuesday October 16.
1. That is: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia. The “10” refers to all the post-communist newbies, not the 10 states that joined the EU on May 1. 2004. Cyprus and Malta are excluded from the analysis.
2. This of course is merely a superficial sketching of Moravcsik’s theory, but should suffice for the purpose of my paper. For a detailed presentation of LI see: Moravcsik 1998.
3. As in the section abort liberal intergovernmentalism, I choose not to go deeply into the meta-theoretical details of social constructivism, as the scope of this paper is not large enough and it is not very relevant to the argument.
4. Schimmelfennig (2001, 2005) speaks only of trade and investment, when he mentions economic interest. This leads him to the conclusion that CEE’s neighbouring member states should be more interested in the Enlargement than more remote countries. This is why he is not able to explain the case of the UK (the argument about conservative “europhobia” [Schimmelfennig 2001: 53] is rather weak) – not a neighbour and far from preaching the European Idea. If we include the liberalization of labour market into account, Britain’s standpoint is very easy to deal with.
5. Unlike most scholars writing on the subject I would rather suggest the negative impact on the New 12 (emigration). This is due to the very strong brain-drain, the flight of well educated and mobile workers to countries, where they acquire positions they are often overqualified for. This in turn reduces the visible unemployment in the CEE states, by reducing the workforce and stopping students from ever joining the workforce in their home country. Falling unemployment rates result in stopping any long-term actions against the structural causes of unemployment – a socio-economic time bomb. The sociological and psychological negative effects of vast emigration are also hard to overlook.
About the Author
Researcher in international relations and sociology at the University of Konstanz. Formerly a student at the VU University in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and the Warsaw University, Poland. Previously studied political science and psychology at the University of Oslo, Norway, and the Warsaw School of Social Psychology. Areas of interest include dissidentism, democratic revolutions, politics nad history of central Europe, theories of IR, sociology of social science and football.
our lil gurl is stuck on spanish..what should we do?
I’m Venezuelan and my boyfriend is Cuban…We’re both from Miami and down here it’s nothing but spanish of course. But our lil gurl is like attached to the language. We’ve always tried to teach her spanish AND english but she’s becoming more fluent in spanish and is starting to struggle with her english. She’s 5 and we don’t want her to start school like this. what should we do?
Be very glad that she has become fluent in Spanish. Continue to speak it at home with her, that way she will grow up bilingual. As for the English, she will pick that up at school with no problem whatsoever. The five-year-old mind is incredibly flexible and able to learn languages quickly and well. Most people have the opposite problem, that their kids prefer English and want to forget their Spanish. Congratulations on your good parenting!
Study Abroad Programs For Learning Arabic
While there are many languages that utilize the old Roman alphabet, such as English, the Arabic language is relatively harder to study given it makes use of a different type of script. Fortunately there are many resources in this modern age which could aid in the study of the language. A large amount of your time may be spend in the study of the language so make an effort to refer to a study abroad blog and immerse yourself in the culture and language. Frequenting the Middle Eastern communities locally is one of the most efficient ways of starting out. Find individuals to teach you valuable phrases and get started on the road to self study by befriending them. You can also start making Middle Eastern friends via the web if you don’t have any real personal connections.
In comparison to what many of us are familiar with, the format that Arabic script is written in is extremely different. You will have to grow familiar with reading the alphabet itself as it is read from left to right if you are to have any chance at mastering it. Attempt to identify the vowels from terms and sentences to be able to have a feel for them. Also get a feel for the most typical phrases that are spoken in Arabic, learning to both read and say them, memorizing those that will get the most use in a day to day setting. An Arabic-English dictionary is a very valuable resource when beginning. Whether they are based locally or abroad, you can also enroll in dedicated schools. You may even find studying arabic in Egypt a viable option if you happen to be interested in dedicating yourself to the language. It would also be a great opportunity to immerse yourself in the culture and language.
Be sure you completely immerse yourself in it whenever learning any kind of language, not just Arabic. Do not just be satisfied with restricting your learning to a classroom environment. Continue to learn even after classes are over. That is what is so wonderful about Arabic language learning when studying overseas. Your are able to immediately focus on the classroom studies and then be able to practice what you have learned wherever you go. There are numerous free online resources to be able to continue to progress at your very own pace. To ensure that you have a complete and well-rounded approach to learning, practice reading and writing words, phrases, and full sentences too.
The article writer is an experienced writer and an authority in Study Abroad programs and study abroad blog.Those who find themselves considering learning more about it, youmay choose to look at a number of studying abroad advice from websites like http://www.amerispan.net to help familiarize themselves with the common options and the established good quality programs.
About the Author
Patrocinio Genato has been a blogger for more than six years and has expertise in a range of subjects.
[mage lang="" source="flickr"]english course di jakarta[/mage]
Problems With Learning English Commonly Experienced by Indonesian Students
After a great deal of time spent teaching in Indonesia and talking to other teachers, it is clear that it is possible to identify a number of challenges specific to Indonesian language learners. While this brief article is clearly generalising about a huge, diverse nation, there do seem to be common difficulties, mostly resulting from interference from their first language and from the education system which they have been through. This article will highlight some of these challenges in the hope that awareness among both teachers and students benefit students studying English in the future.
First, the Indonesian education system (or at least the system which today’s teenage and adult language learners passed through) tends to produce students with preconceived notions of ways to be taught. Often this means passive learners expecting to absorb information from the teacher, who is the center of a class, an authority figure, and someone who must not be questioned. Language learning is most effective in an environment where active students feel free to participate, get involved and ask questions; an environment where students know that making mistakes is the best way to learn, and where making a mistake does not result in loss of face.
While this article is not intended to criticise the education system in Indonesia, it does seem that the content of a great deal of Indonesian schools’ English language curriculum is based on the teaching of theoretical knowledge as opposed to developing functional, communicative language skills. Often this means that the Indonesian ESL student is able to produce complex grammatic forms, but has little awareness of the actual meaning of the language they are producing. Upon prompting, A student would be able to write a correct sentence using, for instance, the present perfect continuous tense, but when questioned as to the real usage and the meaning of the grammatical form, many high school graduates are stumped.
Then there are the problems resulting from L1 (first language) interference. In terms of pronunciation, many Indonesians have trouble pronouncing consonant clusters (3 or more consonants together is a word), as these clusters do not occur in Bahasa Indonesia. The rolling of the letter ‘r’ is another common issue, but not one which causes any kind of strain for the listener. In general, pronunciation is not a huge problem for Indonesians, especially when compared to learners from Asian countries with tonal languages such as China and Vietnam.
Bahasa Indonesia does not have tenses as such, and a simplified method of talking about different points in time is often attempted in English (for example, ‘yesterday I go’). The concept of tenses, especially the more complex perfect tenses, is often difficult to grasp for Indonesian students. Similarly, Indonesian English students often have trouble creating sentences with correct word order, again caused by the word order patterns in their first language (for example, ‘the tree big’). Finally, most Indonesian words are spelled phonetically, creating problems with learning the inconsistent, almost random way in which many English words are spelled.
While the few problems mentioned above do create barriers for Indonesians, they are relatively easy to overcome. Good teachers with an awareness of these difficulties can adjust the way they teach and the materials they use to suit Indonesians. Courses can be created which have Indonesian students in mind, rather than generic courses designed for European learners. Again generalising, it can also be said that, given the right environment and encouragement, Indonesians soon become active, communicative students. Indonesians are hard working, dedicated, enthusiastic and, in general, a pleasure to teach.
One school which recognises the importance of tailoring language education to suit Indonesians is ‘Aim for English’ www.aimjakarta.com, a pioneering Jakarta-based language centre. Their incredible facilities, custom-designed courses and experienced teachers all combine to provide the very best language education for Indonesians.
About the Author
Learning The Arabic Language – How To Select Your Learning Program
If you have decided to embark on a journey to learn Arabic language, your next important task will be to select a suitable courses or program. The selection will be one of the most important factors that determine your success.
The following are the factors to be considered in selecting the program:
1. Purpose of Learning: Why do you want to learn Arabic? Is it because you are going for a holiday and want to be able to speak to the local Arabs? Or do you want to be able to understood Quran or other classical text? Probably you are more interested to learn to write some simple Arabic sentences. The purpose of learning the language will indirectly affect the selection of the learning methods. If the expected value of from the program is high; the learner will be more willing to invest his time and money into the program.
2. Your preferred learning style: Each of us is capable to utilize different learning styles. However the learning effectiveness will be better with the preferred style, as you will be more comfortable and will be able to learn and retain better.
3. Available time: How much time do you have to learn? Is the time flexible? If you are on the wheel most of the time, then you can choose to learn by using CDs. Listen and follow the given modules. If you have a fix routine, then you have the choice to attend a class.
4. Other considerations: The financial issue is another consideration. Some will be more costly than the others. Certain type of packages can be shared with immediate families and this indirectly will reduce the cost per student.
Choices of Different Methods of Learning.
These are various delivery methods available for you to choose from:
1. Face to face class: This is the traditional mode of learning. This mode has the main advantage as it provides the opportunities for the students to practice what they have learned with their fellow colleagues. It also offers the social support and the motivation for the students learn. Its main disadvantage is that, it is not flexible as the students are bound by the course program and the schedule.
2. Blended learning: This is the combination of the face to face delivery and e-learning. There are many variations to this mode of learning.
3. E-learning or CDs: This is the currently popular mode of distant learning based on the demands made by the learners. However it will require strong discipline and self control by the learners.
4. Combination of learning methods: The learning can be made more effective and the learning time can be drastically reduced by using combination of the above methods.
Learning the Arabic language can be a worthwhile investment. It is one of the largest languages widely spoken in the Middle East and North Africa. It has a rich history and cultural heritage. Reading the original text will bring about a totally different feeling and a deeper sense of meaning compared to its translation.
About the Author
The author had spent more than 10 years working with an International Airlines in fields of Training and Development. Responsible for Training Needs Analysis and subsequent training solutions, including e-learning implementation. Currently maintain a learning blog: Learn Arabic Language at: http://easy-arabic-language.blogspot.com/
how to learn german language online?
It should be certified also.
I know a website named www.livemocha.com .It is easy to read in that website for free but couldnt get certificate for that..