Enhance language learning curve

Why do we have difficulty to speak a foreign language?

It’s happened to most of us. When we want to learn another language, in spite of whole preparation, effort and process, we fall down on it and leave learning undone, then we give up.

Contrary to what is believed, learning a language is not very difficult. All you need is a good source and time …

For many years, many linguistic scientist and philosophers have generated various ideas on this issue. Some of them have said that a language is learned through grammar firstly, some have said that the only important thing in learning is vocabulary knowledge and others have written articles on speech-based language learning. Nowadays, ‘’You can learn a language in a month’’ titled learning tactics that we’ve seen on many sites are quite popular. So, what’s the truth of the matter? Even if I am not a exact expert, I have a method which is based on my own language learning experience and which I employ on my students, too.

Let’s begin with ourselves. Our reference is our native language. We are not born with it in an imprinted on ours brains way. We learn it later, too. Okay, but how do we do that? By imitating … The baby starts to hear sounds and timbres in the womb firstly and then engraves in his/her subconscious. After birth, this continues as just hearing. Beginning from semi-annual, the child begins to express himself /herself according to his/her needs and reactions. Cryingly or laughingly … Afterwards, the baby starts to say a few words. These words are what he/she most needs: mama, papa, etc. Then, the child, who is not content with these words, begins to recognize the objects around him/her and takes an example by his/her mother and says the name of things. His/her mother shows to baby the table with her hand and says, ‘’The table’’. In repetitions of this situation, the child knows that that object is called table. In increased ages, these words are combined by child and the grammar are formed. These grammatical sentences that were created early on by child are not correct. The child creates neologism thorough previous experiences that are not in his/her language. For example, the child hears from someone that the preterit sentences were made by adding -ed suffix to verbs, thereafter, tries to apply this rule to all verbs. (I goed there). Ultimately, the native language was learned in this way by the child. By imitating… Remember that bilingual and trilingual children exist. If even they can speak these languages ​​without confusing them, why shouldn’t we speak another language? There are a few advices for you:

  • Start with the words you need the most. What are the sentences that you make most in your native language during the day? Identify these …
  • The grammar should be the last thing you care about. This doesn’t mean that you do not care about it or forget it. Just know which grammatical structures you must combine the words you have learned. Don’t be bogged down in complex grammar rules.
  • Learn by hearth. When a foreigner tells you something or when you hear a sentence in a series, repeat that sentence by yourself. In the same situations, say it as you’ve heard it. Somebody told you “This is absolutely true.” Use it in another approval sentence. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, even if sentences don’t exactly fit the situation. Remember, children are fearless, and they don’t never give up what they want to say, they don’t think that ‘’if I’ll do it wrong’’. Mistakes are corrected as they are experienced.
  • Speaking a language is most important. Most people read in another language, understand it and hear it but can’t speak. It is because we don’t speak that language in daily life. I will not make the classic sentence to you. Soliloquize… When I lived in Germany, it was a very useful tactic for me to learn German. If I had a meeting with the teacher, I would translate all the answers that could be given on my own the night before. Remember that you are the one who speaks, asks and answers in this tactic. All the details and aspects of whole conversation depend on you.
  • Include in your life. Even people who lived abroad…They could speak that language very well back in the days, when they settle permanently in their hometown, they have difficulty in speaking that language after a long time. There is a scientific explanation for this. Linguistic scientist called their mother language as L1 and second foreign language as L2. The more L1 is spoken, the more L2 loses its significance or exact opposite situation. In conclusion, whichever language you prioritize, you can express yourself well in that language. Even while cooking, if you make sentences like ‘’now I cut this onion and I add oil into the pot’’ then your reactions will be automatically in that language in a short time.
  • Read books and watch videos. These two advices are not only for learning languages, but also two very useful factors in your self-improvement. The more books you read in your mother language, the more insight that you can gain about something. When you read books in a foreign language, this will teach you the grammar, rhetoric, vocabulary using way of that language. While watching videos, it gives you familiarity about the sound ear and also gives information about the slang and simple usage of that language.
  • Speak your mother language well and learn its all grammar rules. When I show most of my students about their target language’s grammatical structures, they are oblivious of the function of the adjective and what is the locative or something. It is very difficult to explain the adjective structure and passive structures of another language to a person who does not know them exactly. Each language contains almost the same structure styles. Some less, some more. So, learn by heart the point of your own language. Just like someone who knows English very well can learn German very easily.

Duygu BAYRAM

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