- System-Oriented learning
- How to speak at day one
- Find an environment
- Practice makes you the best
You can read part 1 here: http://bit.ly/2lGSmgd
At part 1, we already looked at most of my experiences that lead me learning English without any hassles. In many cases, if you are only focusing on learning as a goal, you might face a lot of difficulties. Especially your passion will die out quickly as possible. Rather, you need to build a right system to make it work for your personalised levels. How does system-oriented learning work in the language?
If you are asking people how to learn something or where you could study, most of them thinking about going to ‘school’ or ‘institutions’ that you have to spend loads of times inside the building. You have to follow the instructors with textbooks and their curriculums. Then, you will eventually learn many skills and knowledge that require for your future career or further academic careers. Yes, these so-called Traditional Style of learning worked really well in the 20th century. But what about nowadays?
The centralised public school system became inefficient for itself. Their curriculums and bureaucratical teachers cannot provide a good education for everyone. Rather, their expenses go extremely high. Loads of students and parents started to be suspicious about the current traditional system. It happens in most of the academic areas from University, high school, primary school… And even language institutions! Of course, most of the current education system has been focused on ‘goals’. The goals to achieve (or selling) degrees that make you guarantee for getting a job. Or their hidden goals must be taking a lot of profits from government, parents, students. Who knows?
However, We were already heading into the information era. If you have a laptop, internet, you could learn everything you want from the websites. The online education system made it possible to learning it cheaper. Rather than stuck in the school and experiencing inefficient, bureaucratic school systems for many years, at least you can build your own personalised system on language learning.
Yes, at least for language learning, there are many websites you could look at for free or pay for a subscription. If you are truly willing to learning a language with hard-working, you could probably make good results in a short run. Rather than being stressed about going to language schools or their expensive tuition fees, you have to dedicate yourself to build up the system on your daily routine.
Even if you have zero experiences on learning languages if you know the websites where you could practice your target languages, why don’t you start to invest your time on this for an hour? Yes, learning 1 ~ 2 hours for each day could be enough for continuing your language journey. Of course, you might think that practising only one hour wouldn’t make you perfect on language. That’s right. If you approach this as a goal(being perfect), 99.9% of people won’t achieve that goal.
Also, a lot of people wouldn’t have enough energy, time to go study abroad or going back to university. Most of the readers here probably have jobs, and they can’t afford to take fancy French language courses in Paris. Only a few of international students might have an opportunity to study abroad for few semesters. Yes, reality can be harsh. But In the era of technology, we don’t have to worry about expenses, locations anymore.
Regardless of your purpose of learning languages, or how well do you speak in certain languages, everyone knows that language learning requires everyday hardworking with a good system of your daily life. Instead of watching Netflix movies after work, you could probably switch that habit onto practising Chinese alphabet for a while. Or, if you are only playing video games on every weekend, you could rather watch German comedy shows and practice their accent with German subtitles. Just think about many potentials that lead you to practice languages.
How to speak at day one?
But what about speaking? Even if you practice really hard on a daily basis, what’s the point if you are not practising enough to speaking your target languages? Or what if you feel overwhelmed to speak simple sentences? Everyone had that moment on language learning. You would feel frustrated, anxious if you made some mistakes or cannot even make good sentences. But how do we overcame this situation?
If you are still stuck in traditional learning mindset, you would probably believe that before you speak to locals, you have to study at least 3 ~ 4 years to practice their languages. It used to be considered as true, and loads of learners were on panic on speaking. But My experiences tells otherwise. If you decided to learn by yourself, why don’t you start to speaking it at day one?
Unless if you are trying to practice your target language in the office, you can secretly practice by yourself in your home, car, private hotel room or everywhere you can hide. Without embarrassing yourself, you can speak or write or read whenever you want with your devices. Just think about it, for first few weeks of your journey, you really don’t want to embarrass yourself by making mistakes for speaking foreign languages. But what if you just sit comfortably in your room and watching youtube video collections for able to speak alphabet loudly?
Most of your excuses for avoiding learning languages becoming irrelevant. A language is a tool. For using a tool, you need to discipline how to use it properly. The more you practice on your Chinese accents or listening advanced Italian sentences, your language muscle is becoming stronger. Your foreign accent is going to change close to their native accent if you keep an eye on their accents.
You have to forget about the myth and irrational fear on learning new languages. I knew that not everyone would able to read english newspapers only with few practices. I knew that it takes for few years to make a public speech on foreign languages.
However, it’s all possible with your hardworking processes. Just imagine what kind of advantages you could take on your language skills. Who knows? You could be famous youtube star on teaching with a Japanese accent. You could move to a new job in Sweden for international business. Or whatever it comes, It all related to your future investment.
Find an Environment
But how could you make an environment to speak in a real situation? Isn’t it too far away to move somewhere to practice your target languages? Or should I just have to look on screen and practice on my own whole time? Our human languages are made by communicating with each other. But if you can’t simply move to abroad or backpacking for 3 months, does it possible for finding a language practice environment?
There are two ways to think about for this. If you live close to the big cities, you have a huge advantage to making an environment. Every major big city has a foreign community from many different countries. That means you could find a language exchange events or small language cafes where you can make good friends and practice your target languages. Of course, if there are some Russian restaurants in your city, you could be friends with Russian chefs and talk about Russian cuisines. Or go to Chinatown often and ask shop owners about the discount in Chinese. If you have an enough confidence to speak with people, you could probably take advantage a bit on this exercises.
It’s not a huge mission to visiting language exchange and say ‘Bonjour’ to French speakers. It would be exciting to visit French restaurant and order French dinner cuisines with your foreign accent. Just imagine if you rather stay in the classroom and prepare for taking a French C2 language exam soon. You don’t have to be burned out to practice in a real situation.
What if you are living in rural areas? What if you only surrounded by people who speaks your native language and no visitors in your small town? Should they give up to make a language practising environment? Probably not. Although they might take few more steps to make foreign friends who could speak their target languages. But if you have a Skype and ‘internals’ account, you could definitely have a conversation with someone the other side of the world.
I met a couple of people who already speak Korean fluently even before they moved to Korea. The only materials they were using was the internet, books and online friends. If you read a Benny Lewis book called ‘Fluent in 3 months’, you probably remember that he practice many other languages during travelling in South America.
Or, you can look at my situation in part 1. I failed too many foreign language exams in school. I was extremely introverted to socialise with friends back in the high school. But I constantly made an environment to make online friends, using all kinds of materials on the internet. It turns out… It made me extremely helpful to be socialised, confident to make friends all over the world. I wasn’t just sitting alone and crying out how unfair the universe was. Instead of being a loser, I decided to change my fate and to work hard whatever it possible.
Whether you are living in city or rural areas, if you are really trying to be dedicated to learning languages and use many online materials to make an environment, it will make you keep the focus on practice your language skills. There are huge potentials to make foreign friends online / offline. Take this as an advantage. You will absolutely love it.
Practice makes you the best
Eventually, it’s all about the non-stop practice. It’s all about your huge dedications leads you success and happier life. Whether your purpose is moving to France or making a Korean boyfriend or just be fluent in many languages as possible, it always requires your hardworking behaviour.
But you have to keep maintaining strong systems in your daily life. The strong systems make you practice a slice of sentences and new vocabularies on a daily basis. Forget about your irrational fear and laziness somewhere inside on your mind. None of your concerns and excuses does make you improve on language skills. Rather, never give up on your language journey. Keep personalise your learning methods and choose the best way to practice on your own.
Even if we have over thousands of new language practice books, there are a lot of people who are not really interested in learning languages. It is true that a lot of travellers in France have no clue how to speak basic French in many situations. Yes, humans tend to be super lazy and unproductive. But if your courage and irrational dream keep trying to practice your target languages every day, just imagine what the good things could happen!
Of course, every language has some difficulties to understand according to your logics. I still have no idea why many Koreans struggled to speak English in 2017. And I still wondering what the secrets of some of world famous polyglot’s hiding so far. It sounds almost impossible to me to speak 15 languages one day. But at least I could try to learn basic French for this week again.
Don’t worry about making mistakes. Not everyone can be perfect in foreign languages. One of the things I really like about human is that we always make some mistakes. And those mistakes make our life much better. Who knows? Those mistakes will make you the best version of yourself. So It’s time to stop believe your irrational fear inside. Just do it and enjoy your new learning adventure!
On the next part, I’m going to write about the importance of understanding cultures on language learning.
- Traditionally, academic-oriented learning was an extraordinary popular model for learning languages. But it didn’t work for everyone. It was nearly impossible to personalise their language learning experiences. However, thanks to the internet revolution, we can practice any languages by yourself.
- It’s always good to start with the basics. Even if you haven’t learned any foreign languages before, just invest 1 ~ 2 hours for practice new languages. You need to build a system of your life which makes you automatically practice a step by step.
- Build an environment to make you practice your target languages. Whether you are living in a city or rural areas, always keep it real to practice as much as possible. For example, you could find a language exchange events or immigrant communities easily if you are living in a big city, etc…
- Don’t be afraid to speak at day one. No one will try to help you to break the ice. Only you could keep practice and break the ice with your foreign friends. It’s about the constant process of improving your language skills. Have a confident and make some mistakes. Don’t worry, I made tonnes of mistakes in my life so far.
- Remember, Practice makes you the best. There is no such thing as ‘language genes’. Only you can make your fortune in language learning. Whether it takes 6 months or 10 years, never give up on your journey. Rather, enjoy the process and be happy about it!
- Don’t travel to learn a language! Why it’s your ATTITUDE, not your longitude and latitude, that counts – https://www.fluentin3months.com/latitude-vs-attitude/
- Why language classes Don’t work: how to cut classes and double your learning rate – http://tim.blog/2008/09/22/why-language-classes-dont-work-how-to-cut-classes-and-double-your-learning-rate-plus-madrid-update/
- 10 secrets language schools don’t want you to know – http://l2mastery.com/blog/linguistics-and-education/methods/10-things-your-language-school-doesn%E2%80%99t-want-you-to-know/
- Goals Systems – http://blog.dilbert.com/post/102964992706/goals-vs-systems
- 10 ways language learners mess up on Skype – https://www.fluentin3months.com/skype-mistakes/