The point of this article is to provide you – dear readers – with my concept of language learning that I’ve practiced for quite a while now. There’s no point wasting your precious time on non-effective,- school methods of acquiring languages. I invite you, then, to familiarize yourself with this useful item. The following text has been written in the form of a quasi- guide. Writing this article I wanted to point out – in my view- the most important elements of effective language learning.
- Motivation – the most important phase of “ a language journey.” Without enough motivation you’re not going to start learning, or you’ll give up the project after a few days when your motivation level reaches zero. It is, then, of paramount importance to ask oneself the following questions : Why do I want to learn the language?, What benefits will I have from speaking it? It is essential to mention here that people who speak several languages ( I mean an actual knowledge of the language, not adding several languages on your Facebook account because you had them at school) are more valuable to potential employers on the market, where language skills are highly appreciated. The learning and use of foreign languages has a substantial, positive effect on our cognitive skills. What’s more, it helps us to comprehend the world around us more clearly, and our mother tongue as well. In order to build up proper motivation you ought to write down the benefits that come along with language skills, and review them regularly so as not to lose the initial enthusiasm for language learning.
- Methods of learning – once you’ve built enough motivation it is high time you chose the right techniques of learning that will allow you to gradually assimilate the language. We all remember all those tedious classes at school, where we were told to cram tons of foreign words into our heads, only to forget them after a couple of days. What was the point of it? My method of learning languages is similar to the way in which languages are learned by children. That is, to listen to materials in a foreign language and imitate the foreign voices. To all people starting learning a new language I’d suggest that you acquire some basics of the language, like for example, some basics words and grammar structures. In this respect, the books in the “Assimil” language series are incredibly helpful. It offers a wide range of funny dialogues, along with recordings. The gist of it is this, listen to the recordings and simultaneously imitate what you are listening to. It is substantial to understand what you are reading and listening to. Transcripts of the recordings should make the whole process even easier. Learning a foreign language is all habit forming. It plays a huge role in the whole process. It is enough to study for just 15 minutes every day, which will give us in the long run a huge number of hours spent with the language. The above mentioned book consists of 100 dialogues, that provides enough material for a 100 days of studying. Once you’ve finished the book, you will have a solid basis in the language and will be ready to start listening to more sophisticated recordings ( podcasts preferably) . I’d like to once again stress the fact that you can learn languages in the same way children do – listen and imitate. Nothing easier ! For more advanced learners I recommend listening to various podcasts ( preferably the ones that interest you!) We’ve got to avail ourselves of the chances that the modern world offers us. By that I mean mostly the Internet. Thanks to this marvelous invention we can find unlimited amounts of language content. Another point is that the time spent with the language determines our future improvements. Let’s take a closer look at Sweden, the country where 86 % of the population speaks flawless English. It stems from the fact that most TV shows are in the English language. It follows that we should surround ourselves with the language we’re learning. Think for a second how many people in Poland watch American movies or serials. Why not watch them with English subtitles? It’s called “language immersion.” It’s obvious that studying the language won’t make us good speakers of the foreign language. It is something that takes practice – that’s why we have to practice them. On the Internet we can find an awful lot of websites offering language exchanges. Many of them are free of charge. Sitting in front of a computer we can come in contact with people from all over the world. The best websites that you can use ( in my opinion) are: vebling.com, sharedtalk.com, italki.com. I should also mention the most useful tool for language learning called Skype. Thanks to this facility I can communicate with my friends from other continents. It is such wonderful software. Let’s make the most of the cutting-edge technology. Our parents and grandparents did not have these possibilities.
- Time – it is not a secret that language learning takes a lot of time. The time we can allot to language learning will determine our future results. Some of you may just don’t have time for going over studying materials. There is, however, an alternative that is based on making the most of our “dead time.” This notion refers to the times when we do unproductive things, like for example : cleaning, shopping or commuting to work or school etc. It’s the perfect time for language learning. The only thing we have to do is to produce an energy-sapping act of putting our headsets on and we’re ready to devour materials which are for us, understandable and appealing. We might even imitate those voices, which in turn will help us to acquire a satisfactory pronunciation. I’ve been doing this for two years now, and I must admit that the results are incredible.
Thanks to the Internet we can learn just about every language without necessarily going abroad. The period in which we live offers us amazing opportunities. We only have to reach for them..
Source : http://speakingadventure.com/what-makes-a-polyglot-and-what-do-polyglots-think-about-language-learning-part-1