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When Learning a Foreign Language

Read

Read words, sentences, children’s books, newspaper articles. Read as far and near as you can, whether out loud to an audience or quietly to yourself. 

Seeing the language in print helps you understand word structures. It also anchors the new sounds, and helps them get imprinted in your mind.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

When Learning a Foreign Language

When Learning a Foreign Language

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/between-cultures/201708/when-learning-foreign-language

psychologytoday.com

4

Key Ideas

Listen

The more you expose yourself to the new language, the sooner you will become familiar with its sounds and structures. Familiarity, in turn, will speed understanding.

Copy

Repeating the sounds (out loud or in your head) will give you a feel for the language. Memorize not just words, but sentences and even songs to get the rhythm and intonation of the language. 

Read

Read words, sentences, children’s books, newspaper articles. Read as far and near as you can, whether out loud to an audience or quietly to yourself. 

Seeing the language in print helps you understand word structures. It also anchors the new sounds, and helps them get imprinted in your mind.

Talk

Create the need to talk in your new language. Regularly, seek opportunities for conversations, brief and long, with old neighbors and new friends. 

Start with short sentences. Be prepared to make mistakes. Welcome when someone corrects you.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

First words to learn

In English, just 300 words make up 65% of all written material. We use those words a lot, and that’s the case in every other language as well.

Use flash cards of the mo...

Learn cognates

Cognates are “true friends” of words you recognize from your native language that mean the same thing in another language.

For instance:

  •  Words like Action, nation, precipitation, solution, frustration, and thousands of other -tion words are spelled exactly the same in French, and you can quickly get used to the different pronunciation. Change that -tion to a -ción and you have the same words in Spanish. Italian is -zione and Portuguese is -ção.
  • Many languages also have words that share a common (Greek/Latin or other) root.
  • Even languages as different as Japanese can have heaps of very familiar vocabulary. 
Interact in your language daily
  • To hear the language consistently spoken, you can check out TuneIn.com for a vast selection of live-streamed radio from your country of choice. 
  • To watch the language consistently, see what’s trending on Youtube in that country right now. 
  • To read the language consistently, you can find cool blogs and other popular sites on Alexa’s ranking of top sites per country.

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Make realistic, specific goals

Language learning is best when broken down into manageable goals that are achievable over a few months.” -- Donavan Whyte

Aiming to be fluent is not necessarily the best idea. “...

Remind yourself why you are learning

“Motivation is usually the first thing to go, especially among students who are teaching themselves.” To keep the momentum going he suggests writing down 10 reasons you are learning a language and sticking it to the front of the file you are using.

Focus on substance

When signing up to a particular method or approach, think about the substance behind the style or technology. “Ultimately,” Aaron Ralby says, “the learning takes place inside you rather that outside, regardless of whether it’s a computer or book or a teacher in front of you.

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The Best Strategy
  • Go to a country that speaks the language.
  • Get a phrasebook and learn a few basic expressions.
  • Commit to only speaking in that language from Day One.
  • Use a ...
  • If You Can’t Travel to Learn

    Pick a friend who also wants to learn the language. Agree to talk in the target language at least once per day or whenever you do talk.

    The friend does not have to be a native speaker. Whenever you are stuck, use a dictionary or Google translate. But, 10% of your time should be speaking with an advanced or native speaker.

    You Can’t Find a Partner

    If you cannot find someone willing to commit to only speaking that language, hire a tutor.

    You can also opt for language exchange with people who want to learn your language.

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    Learning A New Language Fast

    Though it may not seem plausible, basic communication of a new foreign language can be mastered in weeks. Learning a non-native language can be sped up by compiling a script for responding to quer...

    Learning Full Speed

    A will to start and self-confidence is necessary as is having the courage to speak, and not being afraid of making mistakes. The key is to immerse yourself and put your whole being to the task.

    Total immersion necessitates activities like listening to the radio station of the language you are learning, reading and speaking to people.

    Total Immersion

    It is a good idea to master the basic skills first and focus on the grammar later, while asking for feedback and correcting yourself, learning on-the-fly.

    Invest not only your head but your heart in the learning process. Practice makes perfect.

    Learning a foreign language faster
    • Intensity of study trumps length of study;
    • Start with the 100 most common words;
    • Keep practicing in your head. You don't need a teacher or even a conversation partner to practi...
    Deliberate practice

    ...  is by far the most effective method for rapidly improving your abilities at any skill.

    It requires focused attention and is conducted with the specific goal of improving performa...

    The Deliberate Practice Roadmap
    1. Find a teacher or a 'substitute.
    2. Assess your limits.
    3. Set SMART goals.
    4. Practice with focus.
    5. Get feedback.
    6. Repeat, while maintaining motivation.
    Art / Design
    • Look at an app’s UI, logo, color scheme, etc., hide it, then try to redesign it on your own from memory. Compare your design to the original.
    • Copy a work you like by drawing over it, then try to recreate it on your own. Compare your recreation to your copy, where were you weakest?
    • Use YouTube tutorials by skipping to the end, trying to reproduce it on your own, then watching the tutorial to help improve where your attempt was weaker.

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    Writing is intimidating. There’s this expectation of artful precision, mercurial grammatical rules, and the weird angst that comes with writing for other people. You start with a tidy nu...
    Writing is Deliberate
    Choosing the words to describe your work means you’re doing it on purpose. 

    You’re going on the record as someone who thinks about why they do what they do, and understands how each decision affects the results. And developing this knack for critical thinking will also make you better at what you do.

    Know your motivation

    If you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run.

    Once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit.

    Find a partner

    Finding some kind of partner on your language adventure will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it.

    It’s a really great way of actually going about it. You have someone with whom you can speak, and that’s the idea behind learning a new language.

    Talk to yourself

    When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language.

    This can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind. It also helps build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.

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    Becoming Reasonably Good
    There is a difference between becoming an expert vs becoming reasonably good at something:  An expert means reaching the lop level in one's field. Being reasonably ...
    Deconstruct the Skill
    • Break the skill into various small parts, remembering that every big skill is a collection of many sub-skills.
    • Identify the essential sub-skills needed to give you the maximum advantage.
    • Practice the most important part that you have discovered, using the 80:20 principle in your learning.
    80/20: Pareto's principle

    The Pareto principle states that 20% of your activities (even lesser) deliver 80% results (even more) in almost every area of your life.

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    Learning how to learn

    Learning how to learn is a meta-skill. It is a critical skill for everyone who needs to pick up and master new concepts frequently.

    Understanding what is learning and how our memory works wil...

    Learning skills

    Learning how to learn is critical for everyone. Most of us have to deal with a changing world and to learn how to manage tons of new information.

    However, most of our learning methods are outdated and far from optimal. It may even be giving us an illusion of learning, like re-reading and highlighting that don't provide proper feedback to show what you haven't learned.

    Focused and Diffuse Mode

    Focused and diffuse modes provide two models for how we develop, elaborate, deepen and broaden connections. Both methods are important.

    • The focused mode of learning is about bringing related concepts together into a unit, called a chunk. 
    • The diffuse mode operates through a wider net of connecting general ideas across different fields. We use this diffuse mode while we sleep, exercise or daydream.

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