Personal, Unique, and Distinctive Methods of Studying:
What and how well you learn a language depends on your learning process.
How can I improve my language-learning skills? How you choose to study makes all the difference. Examine the following language-learning strategies. Our thought processes are universal and unaffected by language. However, our identities are distinct. There are as many methods to demonstrate enthusiasm for language study as to express happiness or hate.
People learning a new language and not afraid to make mistakes will make incredible progress. These individuals likely possess a slight hereditary advantage over the rest of us. But we should all try to assemble the parts as we go along. We can record our conversations for later playback if we can’t reach anyone.
Two aspects of early speech training are self-assurance and precise articulation. The most critical factor is developing self-assurance or a thick enough skin to speak your mind, knowing that doing so will pay dividends in the long run. But we shouldn’t focus on our pronunciation until we’ve given up hope of developing a credible accent.
Too many people, for instance, have an excellent command of Spanish grammar after spending years in a Spanish-speaking nation. Still, they speak English with a standard, even stereotypical, American accent. That is entirely unnecessary. The phonetics of Spanish are completely regular. People who talk too quickly should practice their pronunciation.
Those who have studied another language should use the knowledge they’ve gained there. Conjugation is not foreign to them. They are aware that verbs are not the same as nouns. The knowledge they’ve gained from their prior studies will serve as mental anchors as they learn the new language. They would be wasting their time if they focused solely on conversational skills in THE LANGUAGE THEY WERE LEARNING.
They should try to learn at least some of the language’s basics. They should know “old fashioned” grammar and rely significantly on tables to better arrange their ideas. The best way for this learner to acquire a new language is to “invent” it by building upon their existing knowledge of the target language. They will retain some understanding of the grammatical organization of the other tongue. How, for instance, do adverbs and adjectives relate to one another? What’s the most usual way of discussing what happened the day before? They should take note of any similarities between the two languages, especially if both are Western. If the target language is not Western, the contrasts between the two can serve as a jumping-off point for learning the corresponding phrases. Studying “backward” is the best strategy, to put it briefly. Everyone should not attempt this. The student should be aware of their learning STYLE.
SOULS: Their mental processes will be very similar to those of the Non-Virgins. Focusing on language-specific details that pique their interest will help kids learn faster, such as the distinction between the Spanish prepositions “por” and “para” and the verbs “ser” and “estar” and how to use each one. The Italian words “da” and “di” have the same meanings.
Learning even a couple of these defining features of their target language will set the stage for future success. People that know best via analysis can benefit greatly from this method.
Those who enjoy collecting words but rarely use them in conversation may be experts at crossword puzzles (Crucigramas) in Spanish or French. Get out of the rut of word study if you find yourself making no progress. A young man from Spain once came to stay with us to improve his English skills. We’d be speaking Spanish as a family, and he’d repeat every phrase with its English translation. He had an impressive vocabulary but never learned to speak English.
The best method for a student like this to practice utilizing new vocabulary is to develop examples of their sentences. They can use their vocabulary skills with a “divide and conquer” strategy. They shouldn’t just make up made-up phrases to test out the new vocabulary; they should also try out a variety of grammatical constructs.
Anyone with a genuine interest in others and a pressing need to communicate will excel at learning a foreign language. The “motor mouth” method of language learning is popular among extroverted, social persons. Others, lacking the motor mouths’ gifts, can benefit from exposure to the language by acting on their natural inclinations in social situations.
However, these people shouldn’t ignore the requirement for proper grammar and syntax. They have to practice an appropriate language even though they are not enthusiastic about it like the “brains” are. People who learned English years ago but still use phrases like “I am interested in going with you” are something we’ve all encountered.
You don’t want to make the same simple mistake in the language you’re learning for the rest of your life. Get your education straight away. The general public must maintain a sense of linguistic curiosity. People should use the new phrase they just heard in the same context in which they heard it. The same holds for the rest as well. Follow the “Swiss cheese” approach to language learning: gnaw away at what you don’t know until you’ve mastered it completely.
People who learn best by doing: Someone once told me that having sex with a French woman was the only way to become fluent in the language. The goal is to pick up idioms and slang for the pursuits in which we are most interested. Learners who take this approach often recruit the help of native speakers for tasks like meal preparation and vehicle maintenance. When learning new words and phrases, they discover that engaging all of their senses helps them retain the information more effectively. Understanding the word “search” while cutting a board, for instance, is a much more effective way to memorize it than reading it in a list (see the “word collector”) would be.
SEPARATE AND CONQUER: Every language learner needs to figure out how to use the “divide and conquer” method of studying on their terms. They should “brains” focus on one grammatical move of the phrase until they master it, such as conditions contradictory to truth (If my grandfather hadn’t died, he’d be living today!).
Someone who doesn’t speak Spanish but may have learned some nursery rhymes in Spanish may strive to recall those. They need to review their relatives on both sides of the family tree. This will help them shake off their language rust. They should observe how native speakers of “Spanglish” actually communicate to learn the language. The Spanish kids who hear at home and in the barrio likely have English influences, so they may play a game of “spot the English” They will be more aware of the need to alter any undesirable habits due to their sleuthing. But don’t assume that everyone else is worse off than they are. Someone starting from scratch is likely to have better spelling results when learning Spanish than those with intermediate knowledge. I can’t explain it.
A universal solution… No of your learning approach or the language you’re trying to master, you can all benefit significantly from the following two exercises: In order, they are Practices in passive listening and pattern recognition.
1. Not actively listening. Everyone should listen to the foreign language radio station as much as possible. Listen to music or the TV as you work. It needs to be the tidal wave of noise that you plunge into at the outset of your study. You aren’t listening to attempt to understand, so you may relax and let your mind wander. The sound will fade from your ears, but the effects will remain. Even if you don’t fully get it at first, you’ll gradually become attuned to the tempo of the phrase. Some terms will also become more familiar to you. As you practice, you’ll develop an ear for the underlying word that lies “beyond” the pronunciations of others. Having heard a word or phrase clearly, you may look it up and gradually increase your vocabulary.
Pattern-response exercises, 2. It is necessary to try out various combinations of the new expressions you acquire. To illustrate, say you recently picked up the ability to. If you want to avoid the awkwardness of saying “, Pedro is four,” “Pedro tiene cuatro aos” is the correct translation from the English. Now that you’ve learned a new language, you may cement it in your memory by practicing with age and name substitutions. You need to be able to state something like, “Mara tiene cuatro aos confidently.” “Juan is eight years old.” “I’m thirty years old.” “How many years old are you?” We’re in our 40s, as the saying goes. All the various learning types require the practice of this sort.
The author, a Ph.D. in communications and education, has experience working on initiatives throughout Latin America. He has lectured at both state-run and independent schools in Bolivia and Peru. He currently instructs adult immigrants in the English language at a prominent CUNY (City University of New York) campus. Visit http://www.inglesparalatinos.com/SpanishHelp.htm to check out his website. If you’re a parent who is interested in helping your child learn Spanish, check out his website:
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