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Two Misunderstandings of Foreign Language Learning

bigstockphoto_One_Way_2817099Many people want to learn a foreign language. However, there are two main misunderstandings of foreign language learning.

1) “I have to go to a class to learn a language.”

Languages are mostly learned by practicing and using and so it is more effective to learn a language with individualized applications at one’s own pace.

2) “I have to learn a language through communication with people.”

This is too big an objective to start with. Somehow, non-native speakers would find it frustrating because few native speakers would be patient enough to communicate with them if their oral proficiency is minimum. Therefore, it’s better to start with more listening practice and gradually build up vocabulary and grammar, as well as confidence to speak in a second language.

Jinrong Li

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  • View 4 Comments
    • totally agree. i have a friend who is helping me learn slovak, but i only tlk to her in slovak every now and then because she can then see my improvement, and when i first started, she basiclally said, “dang your slovak sux!” in the nicest way possible, of course.lol

    • Spot on. These are two major themes I try to impart to my readers at Foreign Language Mastery. I also think it is important for people to understand that foreign languages are NOT academic subjects that can be learned through memorization and formal study, but physical, sub-conscious skills that can only be acquired through lots of input and a passion for the language and culture.

    • I agree 100%. In language classes, you spend most of your time listening to the other students speak poorly. How does that help you? Perhaps one-on-one tutoring with a native speaker would be ideal, but that’s expensive. But learning on your own is cheap, efficient, and effective. Plus, you can study vocabulary that interests you as opposed to stuff that bores you to death…


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