Photo by: digodugo
Are you studying a new language and you are having trouble getting to the next level? Are you stuck in the same errors and barriers?
It could be that you're approaching learning a language completely backwards.
What do I mean?
Traditionally, school curricula and classrooms have taught language by giving tests on grammar first and primarily. After that, they try to squeeze in "conversation" parts of the class, and then it's kind of up to the student to try to think in the target language. By this time, most students have lost interest or have completely given up and say, "I'm just not a language person."
That's just not true
Don't believe it when you tell yourself you're not a language person... especially if you're reading this. You've already learned a language; the one you normally communicate with. Language is just communication after all. Words don't have meanings, meanings have words. Figure out what it is that you want to communicate, and find a way to get there. How do I do that?
Think first in your target language. Start with simple, basic things and daily tasks. When you want to go to the kitchen, think (and even say) in that language, "I'm going to the kitchen." For example, in Spanish, I would say, "Voy a la cocina." If you drive, say what you're doing in your target language. Listen to your target language on podcasts or the radio.
This is a good way to immerse yourself in that language.
This one kind of goes together with #1, and if you work thinking/speaking together, it will have double the benefit. Again, "I'm going to the kitchen." Saying that out loud, will help it become a part of you.
What if I don't know how to say it right?
No problem. At this stage, you don't need to know how to say it. We're just working on it becoming a part of you. We're trying to get your target language to be in the forefront of your mind. We're refine the grammar in the next step.
After you've started to train yourself to think in your target language for basic tasks, practiced using it to communicate regularly, and started to feel more natural with the language, now it's time to refine the grammar and learn how to say it correctly.
Now it'd be a good idea to get with a teacher or tutor to practice saying these things so they can help you and guide you to the correct way to say it.
Situation: You're going to leave your house to go shopping.
Practice sentence to yourself: "I go to do shop."
Tell the tutor the situation: Options
"I'm about to go shopping." (I'm about to...)
"I'm going shopping." (I'm ____ing)
"I'm going to go shopping." (I'm going to _____)
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need to know a language perfectly to start to use it any more than a baby needs to know the language perfectly to communicate. Like Bill Murray says in What About Bob?, "baby steps to the bus."
LANGUAGE IS COMMUNICATION, not PERFECTION.
If you don't have a tutor and would like to study with me and correct your errors and improve your English, check out my profile here. See you soon!
It could be that... - Another way to say a possibility
Curricula - Plural of curriculum (from the Latin root plural)
Curriculums - Informal American English plural.
Curricula - Academic situations
Target language - The language you're trying to learn
After all - In the end; a summary
To immerse - To completely surround yourself with something
To be a part of you - You own a skill as yours
In the forefront of your mind - The main part of your thinking
Contrary to popular belief - Expression to introduce a new opinion
You don't (verb) A anymore than B - I don't like to do homework any more than I like to go to the dentist.