Foreign Language Learning: Do’s and Don’ts
Learning a new language is always an exciting moment for anyone. Today, Faculti Media discussing some pretty important dos and don’ts when it comes to learning or teaching a foreign language. It is not everyday that you or your students get to embark on a journey toward learning a different language. It can be difficult at times but it is completely possible.
As an educator, it would be important to establish a positive learning environment. This will help facilitate better learning and absorption of the lessons. As a learner, there are some things that you need to keep in mind about the whole process. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts when it comes to learning a new language:
Do: Pick the Language Beforehand
There is a lot of issue with learners who know they want to learn a new language but have not narrowed it down. There are a lot of languages out there with their own rules and syntax. In order to make the experience positive, it would be prudent to select a language of a country that you have an organic interest in.
Let your curiosity and love for a particular country drive your motivation when it comes to learning the language. Suitably identifying the language you want to study will help your mind become attuned to the little nuances of that particular language or dialect.
Don’t: Be Unrealistic About Your Progress
Learning a new language can take quite a bit of time and effort. There are a lot of learners out there that set out to be masters of a new language within a few months. This is completely unrealistic and can end up being detrimental to your progress as a student.
Instead of stressing over your progress, it would be good to just go with the flow of the lecture. While having a goal is good, it would be counterproductive for you to set an unrealistic goal. Give it a few sessions before you determine how long it would take for you to be proficient in the language that you are studying.
Do: Keep Track of Your Weaknesses
If there are certain things in the dialect that you find difficulty with, it would be important to keep track of it. That way, you will be able to provide specific attention to addressing a particular chink in your verbal armor—so to speak.
Keeping track of your weaknesses is not meant to dissuade you in any way. In fact, having a clear understanding of the areas that you need to improve upon can help your educator as well. If you approach your educator with a clear list of things you need help with, they will be able to direct their attention to those areas.
In so doing, you set yourself up for success rather than failure.
Don’t: Let Fear Overrule You
Learning a new language can be pretty intimidating—that much is true. However, you should not let fear permeate throughout the whole experience of learning the language. When you let fear in and take over, you will rob yourself of a pretty good opportunity and insight into another culture.
Yes, it can be difficult and wholly frustrating at times but do not let your fear of making a mistake or not succeeding take this opportunity away from you. Instead, take small breaks. Refresh your mind and start again.
Do: Have Fun and Practice
The nice thing about learning a new language is that you will need to apply it in order to sink in. It is not something that you can only learn in theory. It is something that will need to be used in order to truly understand the nuances and different expressions.
Practicing is part of the fun. Pair up with other members in your class. Make it a point to run a dialogue of the language that you are learning together. Be constructive in your criticism and ask for the same. The sooner you become comfortable with using the language, the sooner you can master it.
Don’t: Ignore Media as a Source of Learning
If you attend an actual language class, you will learn early on that multimedia will be your friend. There will be tapes and even podcasts that are fully dedicated to teaching languages. Movies will be your best friend.
Movies have a way of teaching the little nuances of the conversational dynamics of different languages. Learners get to see how certain words are given life and taken beyond context. It is one thing to read about how a word is used and an entirely different thing when it is actually used in a conversation and in a social setting. You can learn the little cues that go into speaking a particular language.
Do: Prepare for a Lifetime of Learning
The beauty about language is that no matter how long you have been trying to learn it, you will still end up learning something new. New words, new idioms, new ways to say old things—you name it, language will have it.
The wonderful thing about language is that it is in a constant state of evolution. You can be proficient at a particular language and find that there are new words that you will add to your vocabulary. The same is true for any secondary language that you try to learn. Learning a language is a never ending process and that’s a great thing for anyone who always wants to continually better themselves.
As you can see, it does not take much to establish a positive learning environment for a new language. Learning a new language is always a great endeavor which comes with massive benefits. Not only do you arm yourself with comprehension when you finally visit the country origin of the language you are studying but you also get a clear look into the culture of origin country.
With this, it is time to review your own classroom or learning environment. What ways can you further improve upon to reflect a wholly positive learning experience?