2 November 2018
Study Techniques In Foreign Language
Learning a different language can be very difficult. Hundreds of thousands of people all over the world that are trying to learn a new language, can use many different study techniques. It all depends on how that person learns. Some study skills to help enhance a person's learning experience can include the basics like using flashcards for vocabulary or studying a dictionary. Some other study skills include; learning what to listen for in that language and the pronunciation of words, practice speaking, reading, and writing (“How to Study”.) It all depends on how a person learns, but every person should take their time when trying to learn a new language.
In all spoken languages, sound is key for communication. According to
Mark Manson, no matter what language a person has decided to learn, it is imperative to learn what to listen for when the language is being spoken. It is also important for the student to learn how to correctly pronounce the words in the destined language. Learning what to listen for when the language is spoken, especially by a native speaker, is key to learning how to correctly pronounce words in the language. A common mistake made by new learners, when trying to acquire a new language, is trying to talk at a fast pace rather than correctly pronouncing words. Proper pronunciation requires hours of practice, and it also requires patience. When the learner is speaking, it is key for them to slow down so they can learn how to make lip and tongue movements correctly (“How to Study”.) Stated in Manson’s article, one of the best ways for a person to improve their ability to listen and pronounce their words correctly is to listen to native speakers, of the intended language, in real-life contexts.
Another technique that is commonly used is practice in speaking. New language learners have a tendency to try to speak the language for speed rather than accuracy. Doing so, this puts the learner into a habit of mispronunciation. Those who have just enough understanding of the language to speak somewhat conversationally, tend to be the ones who have the most trouble breaking this habit (“How to Study”.) To stay away from this habit, the learner should slow down when speaking and to pay attention to what is being said. As stated before, practice is a major part when learning a new language. Listening and speaking the language will constantly lead to fluency. If the learner wants to speak like the natives, then the best advice for them is to speak with natives. There are many ways they can achieve this. In modern society, technology is used for hundreds of different things. Technology can be used for anything from home entertainment to education and even communication (Stojanov.) The learner should take advantage of this and go to a website that connects the learner with the native speaker. A common website people use, specifically for this reason, is called WeSpeke. Practicing a language with a native speaker will help the student learn correct pronunciation and enhance their vocabulary.
Furthermore, another common and important skill when studying a foreign language is reading. The core of any spoken language is grammar. A person that understands the rules of grammar in their native language will go a long way when they try to learn a new language. For this reason, it is often easier for language learners to acquire a third language having already learned the rules of grammar associated with the second language (“How to Study.) An important part of reading a foreign language is to read for meaning.
When learning a new language, most people are tempted to search unknown words as they read. While a person does need to know basic vocabulary to read, it is imperative to avoid constantly referring to a dictionary for unknown words. The learner should try to define the unknown word with surrounding context. If the learner does not understand the reading the first time they read it, it is very helpful to go back and re-read it until it is understandable. According to “How to Study”, a common method used by many who are learning a foreign language is to read the passage three times. The first time the learner should read without attempting to translate it. At this stage, the reader should simply get a feel for the language used and the sentence structure. The second time reading, the reader should try translating it in their mind or as they read out loud. The final time reading, the reader should pay closer attention to the meaning behind individual sentences and phrases. When reading, the student should annotate the passage to help them fully comprehend what they are reading.
Learning a new language can be very difficult. As the learner starts to progress in the target language, it will be very important to for them to increase their vocabulary. According to “10 Foreign Language Study Tips”, There are many strategies for improving vocabulary, one strategy is to study grammar. To memorize vocabulary is important, but without proper context and usage it is difficult to really “learn” vocabulary. For the student to put the vocabulary they memorized into a usable context allows them to recognize, recall,and use what they are learning. When the student understands the rules of grammar in the language, it will greatly improve their ability to learn vocabulary. Another way to improve on vocabulary is to study with flashcards (10 Foreign Language Study Tips.)
Furthermore, people learn very differently. Many people like to learn visually. Visual aids, including flash cards, are a great way to learn additional vocabulary. The student can find new vocabulary anywhere and everywhere. For instance, the student can go through their daily activities and write down words they are curious about. At the end of the day, they can look up any words they do not already know and learn the definitions. A great way to learning vocabulary and fully understanding the definitions is to dedicate time to pronouncing, spelling, and writing vocabulary. Doing this, the learner can see and hear the words.
Overall, learning a language and becoming fluent, can be achieved. Although a language cannot be fully “learned”, if a person dedicates time in every single day to using that language, they will improve and constantly get better. Regardless of a person's lifestyle, learning a new language has multiple benefits. If there is an opportunity for a new language to be learned, a person should take advantage of it to enhance their education.
“10 Foreign Language Study Tips.” University of Wollongong Australia, 9
March 2016, https://lha.uow.edu.au/hsi/UOW018798.html
“How To Study a Foreign Language.” Education Corner, 2018,
Mark Manson. “22 Tips For Learning A Foreign Language.” Mark Manson, 19
October 2018, markmanson.net/foreign-language.
Stojanov, Zlatko. “The 6 Main Ways Technology Impacts Your Daily Life.”
Tech.Co, 23 February 2017, https://tech.co/6-main-ways-technology- impacts- daily-life-2017-02