El aprendizaje de un idioma
En este artículo del blog hablaremos sobre cómo aprender un idioma, ya sea el inglés o el español. El aprendizaje de una lengua puede ser muy variado: desde participar en una conversación en inglés en un bar hasta apuntarse a cursos y clases de inglés. Vamos a descubrir las experiencias de un inglés para aprender español.
Learning a language
Learning a language can be a difficult thing to do. You need a lot of patience and dedication to succeed and without these you could find it extremely difficult.
One of the things I always try to remember is that it is easiest to learn how to speak a language when you are a baby because your brain is like a sponge that absorbs everything it hears. As you get older it becomes more difficult to take in new information and learn through assimilation. It is because of this that whenever I get frustrated with my level of Spanish, I realize that language learning is a long process and you will not become fluent overnight.
When you are a baby, you absorb what you hear around you, but how long does it take before a young child is competent with speech? The answer depends on each individual child, but generally speaking, it is a couple of years. Therefore, I try to stay calm and focused when I am not getting the overnight results that I would like.
I would say the same to anyone who asks me; that learning a language should be done as a step by step process and you should only make the next step when you are fully capable and ready. You must crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run.
On a personal level, I think it is great to learn a second language and even better if you have the opportunity to live in the country where it is spoken. I am a native English speaker who came to Barcelona with absolutely no Spanish at all. Even without taking any lessons, I was able to learn a lot, just by listening to other people speaking.
My advice is to take lessons if you can, because it is important to have a deep understanding of the grammar. Without lessons, I have found that you can struggle to form sentences correctly. It can be difficult to speak in any tense other than the ‘usual’ present simple.
An important point to remember is that when you are learning a language, you must practise as much as possible and this means that you can´t be afraid of making mistakes. Making some errors is a part of the natural process that is involved in language learning. One of the worst perceptions you can have is to think if you don´t speak you won´t make mistakes and therefore your speech can´t be criticised. This is wrong because if you don´t speak, you will never improve. You can make mistakes when you speak but remember to learn from those mistakes. Every time you learn from a mistake you learn something new.
Always ask others the meaning of a word that you don´t understand. Make short notes of these words and come up with example sentences.
One of the things that I like to do and I find very effective is to watch television in the language that I am learning. This can be a daunting task at first because native speakers in films and television programs seem to speak very quickly. Don´t be disheartened by this because you can´t expect to understand everything immediately. Eventually, this will become easier and you will begin to piece together the storylines.
Remember that learning a language is a long road that should be taken step by step. Don’t try to jump to far ahead too soon.