Learning Foreign Languages – 5 Fundamentals You Should Begin With
According to the certification bodies, an average of 1,200 hours is needed for learning a foreign language in order to achieve the so-called ‘language independence’ – that is, to communicate without barriers. Let’s count it up – 1,200 hours is an hour a day for more than three years, or more than 3 hours a day for a year. That’s very long. Fear of making mistakes, learning vocabulary by heart and unnecessarily analysing the grammatical structures, blocks many people from communicating in the language which they spent 50 whole days learning!
5 fundamentals to learn a foreign language quickly and effectively
Do not be a perfectionist
When a person with a linguistic block goes abroad, he does not open his mouth, he wonders which tense he should use to create a correct structure. We like to create far-reaching psychological problems with such things for ourselves. But the most important thing in communication is not correctness and efficiency.
You cannot plan that you will only start to speak when you learn the language. With this approach you would never learn to walk! Do not be afraid of making mistakes, with practice they disappear! As long as you are understandable, the accent does not matter. Learn the grammar while speaking, it will come by itself.
Combine the pieces together
We tend to focus on what we do not know – these are the effects of an educational system which teaches us to look for errors. Speak as much as possible; even what you say is not grammatically correct. You have to listen, absorb and talk. You start with what you have. If you do not start, you never learn. You lack the words? Say them in your language – it might be a lucky guess. Support yourself with gesticulation and emotions. The mind has an ability to complement the missing items. That was the genius of Steve Jobs – connecting pieces together. You do not have to know everything. Sometimes you have a lot of information and do not know the most important thing. That’s the difference between quantitative and qualitative understanding. Understanding anything above 70 percent does not make sense! But the blocked person waits until words appear such as “squall”, “greenhouse”, “scurvy” to be able to say: “I knew that I do not know”. Listen to and watch the person you’re speaking with – the context will give you more information than words.
Matrixes are ready patterns that systematically can make a habit. The point is that in situations when you need to say something, write an email, or understand what someone is saying to you on the telephone, then the communication occurs automatically and without the need for wondering. This can cause anxiety and embarrassment.
Learn the most popular vocabulary
Unfortunately, schools maintain the illusion of a tower, and strengthen it. At the first English lesson, the teachers usually say that there are 16 tenses to master. Many people don’t believe that it can be much easier. Accustomed to toil – they’re looking for a catch.
Focus only on the most important words: in English there are over half a million words, but we only use 800 80% of the time. Only learn the vocabulary that is genuinely useful to you. Learn optimally, because you need a little to communicate a lot.
Stay in the game
It is very important to create an environment in which the language will “learn itself”: Change your mobile phone and computer settings, listen to a selected radio station in the language you want to learn for a few hours a day. You can also find a list of the most common words in the language and get to know them. Read news. Don’t worry about grammar, especially exceptions. First, the similarities, then differences – it helps you to feel strong. First speak and then improve. And remember: every language is a little different than your native language.