Posted on November 17th, 2013by
In Language acquisition, Speech, Words | Leave a Comment »
You want to learn a new language but the thought of sitting in a classroom with your nose buried in a textbook or having to do embarrassing role plays is not really inviting you to book your first lesson. What about all of the adverts that promise you can learn a language in a matter of weeks, that anyone can learn and not just the linguistically gifted? Do those statements ever actually come true?
Whilst it used to be considered you either had a knack for languages or you didn’t, that you innately inherited your linguistic skills, and that it was a disability not to be able to learn foreign languages, we now know otherwise. Thanks to a multitude of researchers over the years, it has been proven that, yes, anyone can learn a new language; really. Far from being the stupidity of struggling students, the inability to learn a language is actually due to the learning strategies used. So, now you know you can definitely learn a language, that’s a start. But how long will it take? Those timeframe guarantees look very appealing. Those ever helpful researchers can put your mind at ease again because, yes, you really can learn a new language in that short space of time. Just pick the right language and right learning technique.
Choose the right language: by choosing a language similar in construction to your own, it has been found to speed up the learning process due to its familiarity. For example, English speakers will find it easier to learn Spanish than Mandarin.
Immerse yourself in the language: put the textbooks to one side and just start speaking the language from day one. It doesn’t matter if you don’t understand everything, just become used to the way the language sounds and you’ll soon pick up words and phrases.
Use the ‘shadowing technique’: while you’re listening to the language, simultaneously speak it out loud and read it too. The reason behind this is to slow down your thought process and pay more attention to the details.
You’ve got the know-how, now just kick-start your brain into gear and train it to follow these easy rules. All of those researchers can’t be wrong, so stop doubting yourself and start speaking a new language in no time at all.