This text is dedicated to all of you, ambitious and motivated people, who are here for one reason, and that is learning a foreign language.
Whatever language you learn, know that the decision itself is one big step.
You’ve probably heard that some people learn languages more easily and some harder, some people are ‘talented’ at languages, while others aren’t. Well, this doesn’t always have to be true. If you are determined to learn a language and if you make an effort to do so, anything is possible!
What is very important to know is that learning a language is a process that takes some time. It is perfectly normal that you cannot learn everything at once, and there is no need to feel frustrated. Take your time and enjoy the process! Make your language learning adventure interesting and positive.
Since I am a linguist and philologist, I will start by telling you from a scientific point of view.
Use the Best Method of Learning a Language
There are several methods of learning and each person should use the one that suits them best. For example, the so-called ‘direct’ method suits me best, which involves learning a foreign language, according to the principle of learning the mother tongue. Therefore, only foreign language is used in learning, with explanations through various facial expressions and gestures. Also with my students, the so-called ‘traditional’ method, which involves classical language learning with the help of translation into the mother tongue, proved to be good.
In order to master the language as well as possible, it is of course necessary to develop all four competencies, which are: oral and written comprehension and oral and written expression. As a professor, I demand from my students regular practice of all these competencies, which turned out to be excellent!
What many students do not know is that in addition to the classes they have with the professor, they also have to learn a lot on their own. The professor is there to guide you on the right path, but it is up to you to complete and apply the acquired knowledge.
How Best to Learn a Language on Your Own?
In addition to my mother tongue, I speak two foreign languages and I will tell you about my experience and the whole learning process.
What has proven to be a very good method for me is watching movies with subtitles in my mother tongue. Listening to the language regularly is very important! After a while, I started watching French movies with French subtitles, so I watched all those words spelled and had a clearer picture of the language. Then I started listening to French music, watching French shows, reading magazines and books in French, picking out unfamiliar words. And little by little, I enriched my vocabulary and was able to understand 90% of everything I heard. But I was still not able to speak. Why is it so? Well, because if we just listen to a foreign language, and don’t try to speak and think in that language, we will encounter a blockade. Communication is the key to learning any language! That is why what I said earlier is important, and that is that during language learning, all four competencies must be developed. With this rule, which many linguists testify about, success is certain!
Use Textbooks and Apps
It is also important to use adequate textbooks and grammar, through which you will learn to apply the language correctly.
Advanced technology today gives you many advantages. There are many online applications that can help you learn, but also online dictionaries, where you can quickly find unfamiliar words.
Also, another interesting way, which I used during my studies, is to compare the translation of a book in the original, that is, in the foreign language I am learning, and the translation of that same book into my mother tongue. In my case, this proved to be a great method!
As you can see, learning a language can be a very interesting and exciting process, you just need to have patience, motivation and know where to start!