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3 Effective Ways To Learn A Foreign Language Faster

Submitted by on September 4, 2012 – 7:32 pm2 Comments | 9,063 views

egyptian hieroglyphsThere are more than 5,000 languages spoken on this planet. Most languages have never been heard of by most people, and are spoken in small regions only. Other languages are known world-wide, and spoken by millions, if not billions of people around the globe.

With all technology available which makes modern travel, and to communicate with people from different cultures, so easy, speaking  at least one foreign language has become close to a necessity. Speaking multiple languages stimulates understanding between people, and it lets people and corporations from all over the world communicate and close deals.

The main problems start, when many adults attempt to learn a foreign language. It seems as if we forget how to learn a language as we grow older. Children learn languages much easier than adults, and it makes many adults envious, or have doubt about their own capabilities.

Yet there is much we can learn from children. In fact, various research has demonstrated, that the brain of an adult person is much better capable at learning a language than that of a non-adult. So why are having difficulties in learning languages, and what is it that children do, that makes them so successful in learning a language?

Repetition

Children, especially very young ones, love the sound of their own voice. When they start learning a language for the first time, they will babble sounds, and non-existent words. As soon as they hear a new word, or when they think they hear one, they will repeat it, over and over again. As if the are talking to themselves, they are experimenting and trying to repeat what has just been said.

As adults, we tend to indulge in learning vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation. Perhaps we do a few repetitions, but far not enough than necessary. Languages are mainly learnt by repeating words and sentences over and over again. The knowledge is based on grammar and vocabulary, but the actually ability to speak, understand, and become fluent in any language is based on repeating single words, combinations of words, or entire sentences.

When you are learning a new language, you may want to realize that the learning process continues, 24/7. By using this time, you can repeat and play around with what you have learned during the day. Repeating words and sentences does not need to be limited to the actual time your are sitting at the desk and studying; you can repeat what you learned when you are cooking, on the train or bus, or when you are watching television. It might seem awkward in the beginning, having conversations with yourself, but as you try more combinations, and more sentences, they start to stick in your memory, ready to be used at any time.

Listen

If you are still not comfortable speaking, listening to the language might be of help. If you are learning a language’s vocabulary and grammar, you might want to search for online radio and television stations, and search for a broadcasting in the language you are learning. By actively listening, perhaps you can already identify some words you already know, and understand a little bit. If you hear a word you do not know, you can grab a dictionary and see what it means. Then repeat it, and see if you hear it coming by again.

If you are already a bit more advanced, active listening also allows you to understand unknown words from the context of a sentence or conversation. Chances are, that if you hear a word coming by in different sentence structures and in different contexts, you will be able to extend your vocabulary even without having to grab a dictionary.

Courage to try

One thing many children naturally do not possess, is self-awareness and self-effacement. This we usually learn as we are growing older; we are taught to keep one’s countenance, not to make a fool of ourselves, to pose intelligent questions and make intelligent comments, and to be good at what we do. As a results, many adults are extremely self-aware when it comes to making statements, or their behavior. Adults wait until they master something before they put it to use. We have lost our courage to try out things we do not master.

Children are very different. They have the courage to try out things, without thinking about the outcome too much. Children will start a conversation with strangers without any second thought, until their parents tell them not to talk to strangers. Also, children will try to make conversation in a language they do not master. But in the eyes of a child, the communication with another person is much more important, and fulfilling, that getting things right.

Therefore, it should be your task to get out there, and start speaking the language with other people. Chances are there are some international communities in your area, where you can practice the language. Or, you may want to actually visit the country for a few weeks, and try your way around. Another benefit of speaking with others is, that they might correct you when you say something wrong. This is not a critic to your abilities as a person, but it is very helpful in eradicating mistakes. As you proceed, you will increasingly to speak the language, and you are likely to become more fluent.

Conclusion

In addition to spending a regular amount of time learning pronunciation, vocabulary and grammar, languages need to be put into practice. There are many reasons why we do not practice outside the time we dedicate to ourselves for the purpose of learning a language. Some of these reasons include the fear of being silly or the need to master something before we want to put it use. If we realize, that we can put our ability to learn a language to use at virtually any place and at any time, chances are the language learning process goes faster, and you will be on your way to learn a language faster.

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