Learning a New Language the Old Fashioned Way
Throughout the history of man, those who’ve learned a foreign language have done so with pretty much the same basic approach. This isn’t to say that it was easy, but that with all the hullabaloo today about special language learning CD’s and interactive tutoring methods, it really all comes down to the same fundamental learning techniques. Without further ado, here are just a few of these.
First, like eating, it’s better to study in small amounts. Your brain (like your stomach) can only process so much information in one sitting, so instead of reading two or three lessons at a time, try reading half of a lesson. Of course, this might take a bit longer to get through the entire lesson, so if you may need to read the other half later in the day.
When you break down the lessons into smaller, more manageable pieces though, your brain can assimilate the information much easier. This is opposed to gorging on a few lessons the night before and inundating your system with facts and nutritious information that it can’t possibly use all at once.
Second, don’t learn only words. Words in and of themselves are often meaningless; only in context do they gain purpose. That’s why it’s especially important when you are just starting to learn a new language to learn whole sentences. With a whole sentence under your belt, you know better what those words mean and how they function together to form meaning (also known as syntax).
Third, don’t become too caught up in grammar. You aren’t writing any tomes in this new language, or life-saving instruction manuals, so don’t concern yourself with if you’ve misplaced a comma or a period. Learn the language first and then worry about sounding educated.
Fourth, find yourself a native speaker and utilize them in two big ways. One, have them check to make sure that you are speaking and writing the language correctly. Having them review and give you feedback is an invaluable way to learn. After all, mistakes are easier to learn from if you are disabused of them immediately after.
Two, you’ll get to hear and see sentences and phrases that aren’t in textbooks, which will give you a broader understanding of the language. Remember, language is often full of idioms and colloquialisms that aren’t in many textbooks.
Finally, the most important strategy to learning a new language is to not give up. Learning a new language is about repetition if nothing else. Keep at it and eventually the words and sentences and meanings won’t seem like a big, convoluted jumble. If you would like to get more info or tips we suggest you check out omniglot.com and postmasculine.com both are packed with great ideas!