Things To Avoid When Learning a Foreign Language



are you trying to learn a new language in a foreign land you may be better off if you stop looking at that picture of your family and friends hey guys trace here for dnews cultural immersion is unarguably the best way to learn a new language but we can totally prevent ourselves from learning that language just by thinking of home when learning a new language your brain is writing a whole new neural pathway creating new patterns and trying to fix those pathways permanently in your gray matter new research from Columbia University found that prompting someone who is learning a new language with images and reminders of their old culture could temporarily wreck everything that the brain was trying to build when native Chinese students were asked to converse with a Caucasian avatar versus a Chinese avatar their English skills were so different simply exposing students to a Chinese person affected their ability to speak English subjects who talked with the Chinese version felt more comfortable in their speech but they produce 11% fewer words per minute they actually became less fluent speakers to make sure it wasn't that the avatar researchers also showed people random images of China while the participants told a story when pictures of their homeland appeared fluency dropped 16% and volunteers were 85 percent more likely to use a literal translation for example calling pistachios happy nuts because that's literally what the Chinese word for pistachios is the brain is constantly sucking in information and let's be honest it's lazy so the brain can do something it already knows how to do it will in this case the shortcut is reverting to those old patterns and neural pathways culture and communication are a large part of our everyday lives and those are well-worn pathways so they're really difficult to alter this effect doesn't fall solely on language processing either when the students were shown pictures of fish with one swimming ahead of the others their cultural prompt would change how they looked at the photo a Chinese prompt like photos of the Great Wall or Chinese dragons etc saw more students thinking that the fish was being chased whereas an American prompt like pictures of Marilyn Monroe or Superman saw those students believing that it was a leader fish why are our cultural symbols Marilyn Monroe and Superman according to these scientists our brain is so sensitive to culture that even the ethnicity of someone in the same room can affect your language fluency a little glimpse is enough to revert the brain to set patterns rather than trying to force through new ones the bottom line is when attempting to learn a new culture it is far better to surround yourself with that culture then create an island of your old one amidst the new one part of us can be seen in highly multicultural cities with isolated ethnic areas folks in these isolated communities would not only see less exposure to the culture in the language of the surrounding city but they learn fluency far more slowly our brains always digging shortcuts how do you feel about this study who ever tried to break your cerebral pathways and learn a new language tell us about it and thanks a lot for tuning in to dnews everybody see you later

23 thoughts on “Things To Avoid When Learning a Foreign Language”

  1. I usualy call this "jumpstarting", I hardly ever get to speak english (even though it's my mother tongue) so I tend to stutter and forget words when speaking it to other mexicans, so when I'm sure I'm going to need it I kind of watch a movie or listen to music in english trying to jumpstart english in my brain. It works like 90% of the time, but what really works is getting drunk, whenever I get drunk I can jump from spanish to french to english without a stutter.

  2. When on exchange in germany, I spoke better german to my german host mom than my British host Dad. I never knew why omg

  3. I had the worst time learning my first foreign language. I could read and write after two years of it at university fairly well, but when our teacher spoke in it it seemed like garble. Finally, after speaking with Brazilians on Skype, and just beginning to use Anki, and after using Portuguese 3 of Pimsleur, I can say I'm fluent. It really requires speaking to natives. Find people to talk with on Skype! Also I definitely recommend Anki for vocabulary. After starting to learn my second foreign language, Swahili, I finally understood most of some videos in Portuguese. After my first foreign language I realized languages taught in school use all the wrong methods. It's best to focus on your interests in the language, vocabulary similar to what you use in your native language, and finding the most enjoyable way to learn it! For me that's YouTube videos and foreign broadcasts. Experts agree: Your first foreign language, however supposedly "easy," is the hardest for you. Never give up! You might have to ratchet down the level and learn simpler, more enjoyable content. Try to find subjects on YouTube and radio that interest you. It's easy to get frustrated! Also, follow your "fun," not necessarily your next lesson on Pimsleur for example. Dive into authentic speech and books as soon as possible! Make it simpler and simpler for yourself if you get overwhelmed, even if it seems ridiculous. In the end, your first language after your native can become like your native, something you speak and read without thinking about it much! That's the exciting part! Move to a foreign country that speaks it, or vacation there if you can. Already speak a second language? As I can tell you, your third will be much easier! Best wishes! Mark

  4. yeah i can attest to this…im 4 months into my study abroad in Korea and i think of home multiple times a day. and its probably impeding on my ability to progress

  5. learning is one of the core abilities of the human brain, so naturally it does everything it can to avoid it.

  6. This is an interesting application of context dependent learning.
    My take-away is that yes, you might want to practice thinking about home etc, so you can get better at it, not not think about it. In fact, practice many different settings so that your language isn't locked into once place

  7. Few people know about a pragmatic, efficient way to learn a new language. Those who do, advance in learning steadily and according to their schedule. While most people find themselves learning a new language as a necessity, many others do it because it is fun. It feels more sophisticated to know more than one language. It can be highly beneficial in your life over the long run. However, it is not an easy task to learn a new language no matter whether it is for fun or out of necessity. You've probably seen friends or acquaintances talk about wanting to learn a foreign language, then enthusiastically purchasing products, books, and maybe even enrolling into a course or program, only to ultimately see the reality of the fact that they have failed in their pursuit of learning another language. According to The Guardian, the ICM survey, which questioned 1,001 young people aged 14-24 from across the UK in June this year, paints a picture of a generation perhaps surprisingly open to the prospect of language learning, but often deeply lacking in the confidence of their ability to put their language studies into practice. Three in ten who chose not to study a language at GCSE or A-level say language learning is challenging, with almost half of all those questioned regarding grammar as difficult to learn and 40% seeing memorizing vocabulary as hard work. The research had indicated that A-level languages are perceived as being harder than other subjects and their content is demotivating. Sitting down with a language textbook and trying to teach yourself a new language is not only boring, it takes an inordinate amount of time. It can take months to capture the basics of a particular language. Fluency comes far later. Often, we don’t have the luxury of spending months learning a language. For example, those people who are migrating or taking up a job abroad.
    However as an individual learner or with a tutor, the student can cut down the time it takes him/her to master the basics of a new language. There are methods that can be used to reduce the time it takes.
    Main Essentials of Learning a New Language – They distinguish three main essentials associated with learning a new language; namely the vocabulary, basic sentence elements / patterns, and grammar rules. Vocabulary – the most basic step towards learning a new language is to learn its words. Familiarity with the words will lead you to form sentences. Sentence Patterns and Elements – this has to do with how you ask and answer questions. Making coherent sentences is the way to make someone understand what you are saying. The ability will also help you understand what others are saying and how you might respond. Grammar Rules – Each language has certain rules that need to be followed.
    There is a special type of media developed for the first and second component – a bilingual graded book. Bilingual graded books are also called bilingual graded readers. They offer a parallel translation that allows the user to learn a new language in less time. With the translation on the same page, learners can effortlessly learn what any unfamiliar words mean. They can quickly pick up new vocabulary and phrases that are used over and over in texts of bilingual graded books. When they read a graded bilingual reader, they can pick up chunks of language and vocabulary that they can use in conversation and other real-world applications. It also significantly reduces the amount of time it takes to become conversational in a new language. As you read a bilingual reader, your brain begins to remember words and phrases simply because you are exposed to them several times. You don’t even realize, until you have to recall what you’ve learned, that you have already learned the new words and phrases. Listen to the audio tracks that should always accompany a bilingual graded book to learn how words are said and to improve your overall ability to speak the new language. A good idea is to use the free VLC media player to control the playing speed. You can control the playing speed by decreasing or increasing the speed value on the button of the VLC media player's interface.
    Decide what is better for you a paper book or an e-book. Many of the e-readers by Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo have dictionaries pre-loaded on their devices, with options to download additional ones, for free. If you do not have an e-reader, you do not have to buy one, because you can download it as a free app to your phone and use it right away. Writing your own notes, searching or making highlights is ridiculously simple with an e-reader or e-reading app. Anything you do with an e-book is also synced to the cloud, ensuring any change will follow you, no matter what device you are on.
    At first search on Google for "bilingual graded books" or "bilingual graded books for beginners". Choose and buy a book on a suitable topic, for example general, business, medical, culinary, dialogues, students, cooking, family, tourists, detective, short story or whatever you like. Read it for about twenty minutes a day. If you do it every day, you will be surprised how much you can learn in a month's time. Try to use the target language after you have learned for a month. If you don't have an opportunity to talk to native speakers at home or at work/study, use your target language in small talk on Skype or another online chat. Search on Google for "free online clean chat rooms" and pick up the one that suits your interests. Two or three minutes of small talk two or three times a week or more often will give you some motivation and encourage you to learn new questions and answers for new dialogues. Compile a list of questions and answers for your dialogues in a target language or find them on Google with keywords "Bilingual graded books dialogues" and try using them.
    Don't be afraid of making errors. They are your steps to success. You will spot and correct them sooner or later anyway. They will not be for the rest of your life. Better not to talk at all than to talk incorrectly? Wrong! Start talking as much as you can! Your language will improve every time you talk. A learner who knows only a hundred words and isn't shy of talking will progress more quickly than the one who knows a thousand words but remains silent because he or she is afraid of saying something wrong.
    It can usually take you from one to three months to finish a bilingual graded reader at beginner level (A1) and elementary level (A2). The amount of time depends on your previous experience with learning foreign languages and on your personal abilities. At this point you should be able to ask and answer simple questions with the following questioning words: What? Who? Where? When? Which? How many/much? As you improve and become more confident in your ability to use the new language, you can move on to the next reader level and continue your language-learning journey. After using a bilingual graded book for a week or two you are ready to study grammar rules, so buy a good grammar book. A grammar book will satisfy your curiosity about grammar rules awakened by the bilingual graded book. Read the grammar book to find out how you can use your target language more precisely. Follow this order – first read a reading book, then use a grammar book and exercises to make your learning experience uninterrupted.
    Language text with a parallel translation has helped many to uncover their potential for learning multiple languages. Whether you are learning a language as a hobby or for a necessary purpose, you will find such books are supportive. Using them is by far more pragmatic, efficient way to learn a new language than a "learn a language in two weeks" program. However you should frequently use the target language by using bilingual graded books with audio tracks, grammar books, chats, internet pages and even songs to maintain your motivation and progress. Remember – twenty minutes a day does the magic!

  8. Okay, great tips! Now to find somewhere I can be by myself on a regular basis in a family of eight….

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