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Secrets of Learning a Language I

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Traditionally, courses to learn languages were focused in the study of the grammar, rules and a series of practices, which are based generally in the repetition of exercises to learn those rules. I think it is still being done that way in the schools today, although I am not sure at all. Maybe someone can comment something about this.

But, does it really work?

I think that it is enough to check the results to realize that… not much. In fact, since forever people who really want to learn a language tend to move to the countries where the desired language is spoken, which has a lot of sense.

But let’s go to the beginning, how is a language really learned?

To know the real process, we only have to take a look to those old times where every one of us learned a language with great success: the childhood. All the children of the world learn to communicate effectively in their mother language. This is already a positive data: the ability in inside all of us.

How do they do it? They simply discover it. Children have an open relationship with their environment; they play, explore and get to know it. They look at the people. In this process, they learn how to identify objects or people; they recognize them and start associating words to them, until they finally understand the meaning. That is, in the moment that they make associations they start understanding, and after understanding comes the execution.

  • That is why it is that important the use of images in the learning languages process. The mind is prepared to associate.

Little by little, they understand every time more words and after that, more and more complex constructions. Because the important thing is the idea, the language is a mere vehicle to express it. Therefore:

  • To understand a language is the first step to speak it.

That means that the first part of the learning is the comprehension. So, from the beginning, it is too important to be in contact with the native language. To start, it would be probably interesting to focus in the vocabulary and in the listening. Without any doubt, it is fundamental to listen to it. Today there are loads of resources to get it, such as podcasts, videos, programs, series, movies, etc. There are suitable materials for all the levels and adapted to all the tastes, and the best thing is that you can choose them according to your personal tastes. Do not forget it:

  • Listening to a language is the most effective method to learn it. Use always materials suitable for your level and if it is possible, about topics that amuse you.

TO BE CONTINUED

Also see: Secrets of Learning a Language IISecrets of Learning a Language III

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A funny recommendation – Una recomendación divertida.

Hello everybody! Let’s start for the moment with something brief but funny to break the ice.

I usually talk to some students to whom I exchange languages. It is a great practice with which you can little by little increase your fluency, although it is not the fastest way to learn a language. To favor this purpose, I would recommend you to get a good teacher for a one-on-one dynamic, because then you will have someone totally thrown into your learning. I offer myself to teach lessons. I have a lot of practice and experience.

But let’s get to the point. The other day I was talking to a friend when he suggested me to watch some funny videos. It is a strange saga called “¿Qué hora es?, that you can find if you write that words on the Youtube seeker, although bellow I uploaded one of them. Take a look at them and enjoy!

If you are studying Spanish, you will understand them well 😉

And this is all for the moment, have fun! And remember that to study languages can be funny.

¡Hola a todos! Vamos a empezar de momento con algo breve pero divertido para romper el hielo.

Habitualmente suelo hablar con varios estudiantes con los que realizo un intercambio de idiomas. Es una práctica fenomenal con la que poco a poco podréis incrementar vuestra fluidez, aunque no es el modo más rápido de aprender un idioma. Para favorecer este propósito, lo más recomendables es conseguir un buen profesor para una dinámica one-on-one, ya que de esta manera tendréis a alguien completamente volcado con vuestro aprendizaje. Yo misma me ofrezco para dar clases. Tengo bastante práctica y experiencia.

Pero vayamos al grano. El otro día estaba hablando con uno de mis amigos cuando me sugirió ver unos vídeos muy divertidos. Se  trata de una extraña saga llamad a “¿Qué hora es?” que podréis encontrar si escribís en Youtube esas mismas palabras, aunque abajo os pongo un ejemplo. ¡Échales un vistazo y diviértete!

Si estás estudiando español, lo vas a entender muy bien. 😉

Y esto es todo por el momento, ¡que lo disfrutéis! Recordad que estudiar idiomas puede ser divertido.