There is a process involved in learning a language. And if it is a foreign language, then the learning process brings its own idiosyncrasies and difficult territories to tread with it. Wish we had some kind of language equipment that could help us learn a language. This would hide a great deal of gear-churning and behind-the-scenes fussing. The other down-side is that we cannot learn a language in the fourth gear. Technology has intruded our lives while offering untold comforts to us. It has still not invented a language learn equipment. Till it invents something for us we got to go through a definite mechanism to explore, master and finally perfect a language.
Learning a language consumes an immense amount of discipline, commitment, and effort though it all starts with the toddler-like steps you take with words, phrases, and sentence structures. You fumble through words initially but you get up and put them together in some coherent way. Learning a language seems an uphill and daunting walk to the hill but it is always fascinating with that thrill when those little sentences start oozing out meanings. It is exactly like an adventure that must be lived to the full.
Let us stroll up the street of language learning and explore some of the beautiful parks, which are important keys in learning a language.
Before you start your trip to a country of learning language you can make a winning early statement by holding on to a wall of patience. You may get bog down by thinking about a vast expanse of vocabulary, grammar rules, syntax and semantics involved in learning a language. Don’t let your brain to freeze. All you need unflagging patience because at the end you are going to enjoy and cherish the fruits of your labor with a feeling of pride.
You need to light up the desire of sticking with the resources. However, the resources got to be right ones. A grammar book for new learners must be the first entry on the bookshelf. Do not get a number of grammar books. Just keep it one. For example, getting 5 grammar books would add confusion and you may land up in the world of procrastination. Let dictionary be a second entrant on the bookshelf. Better to opt for a dictionary that has meanings for the words in the language you know already. You got to ensure that such a dictionary caters to the needs of common readers and new learners. And flash cards. Make use of them. They are a handy tool in learning. Now-a-days memorization apps or intelligent flash cards which are easily available online. Supplement the bookshelf with a few short story books. It will just add a flavor to the learning process.
Just try it. Embark upon the journey of learning a language while being the keenest student of the language. It will garnish your thirst for words, phrases, rules and semantics. Such a thirst would help you to breathe words, smell words and wallow in words.
Nothing including technology can replace reading. Get that firmly rooted into your cerebrum. There is no shortcut to literacy. It is an established fact. Read books on grammar, dictionary, text-books, story books, etc properly. Invest your time in learning the rules of the grammar, vocabulary, phrases and sentence structures. Read and apprehend the story books accurately and avoid skimming through their summaries on the internet. The knowledge and skills that come from reading cannot be gained without effort. Remember that universal phrase, “hard work does not go waste. It pays off”.
Have you purchased notebooks, pens, and pencils? If not, do it now. Form your own learning toolkit with these things. Grip your pen or pencil and write out sentences you have learnt. Relax. These sentences may not make any meaning. Just keep writing out sentences with your hand. Remember these sentences are in fact thoughts, though in an imperfect way. Don’t apply brakes and keep your fingers busy forming different sentence structures. Are the knuckles of your fingers tired? Wander off for a cup of tea for refreshment.
Get hold of the pen or pencil back into your hand and start writing different sentences and phrases. Apply corrections where you have gone wrong. Your non-productive sentences will start becoming productive by becoming meaningful. That will offer you a sense of elation of an accomplishment.
New words, grammar rules, semantics, etc. keep unfolding for you. It unveils you to a plethora of new things. How would you ensure what you learn is retained in your conscious? That is what ‘practice’ does. You got to pre-commit to practice for at least 2 hours daily. You got to encourage yourself not to put hiatus to your practice sessions. This little practice session will generate big returns on your invested efforts in learning a language. It is one of the cornerstones of the finished product you will be after learning a language.
It is not by coincidence that learning a language in all its forms continues to hold our attention. And we have just finished sailing through some of the key areas that we need to pay attention to while diving into learning a language.
My mother says, “To learn a language is an art”. This simple statement of her has made me ponder over myriad times about it. When something is an art it attracts different people in different capacities. Some explore an art. Some master it whereas others perfect it. People who love art do not see it as a series of events but a journey that must be lived to the full.