Where to start learning a new language?, a lot of people find this question inscrutable and really hard to answer, and yes they are right, learning a language is not easy as it seems and also requires time and dedication, but if the start is faulty the result will be faulty also, in this following article I will try indicating some very important points about learning a language and how can you achieve fluency in the right order and in the most effective way.
Numerous students complain to me about their inability to communicate and express themselves freely, and this disappointment can honestly lead to giving up and failing to achieve your goal, luckily I always find a way to motivate my pupils by bringing their attention to the fact that they should be proud of their current level, after all they are officially bilingual which makes them part of a very special and small group, so never give up if you can’t speak fluently in one day, because simply mastering a language in one day is impossible and I repeat, ‘IMPOSSIBLE’, learning is a lengthy process requiring daily practice, and trust me through my journey learning English, French, Arabic and German I have struggled but I never gave up because I had a goal and it was achieving the mastery of all those languages and reaping the benefits of being a polyglot . always see the bright side!!
So, where do you start learning a new language?
If you go to websites they will throw at you Grammar, Idioms and Phrasal verbs, but that doesn’t really work cause it’s too strenuous and simply boring, same also in school where they bombard you with tasks and commands and usually that leads to nowhere.
So what do you need first ?
Vocabulary? Well you got it right.
Imagine yourself being in England and you don’t know the word ‘Bathroom’ well certainly you will pee yourself!! You don’t need to know everything to get basic information done and that’s what we should start with.
Basic information for a beginner is really vocabulary and all you need for that is a little bit of time and to have some fun.
Do what you love to do but do it in English, play video games, watch movies, memorize songs’ lyrics and cool Slang, ASAP (As soon as possible), YOLO (You only live once) etc.…
So really the key for basic communication is Vocabulary, learn the daily-used words and when you finish doing so, you can start the language learning adventure …
Now when you are able to make sentences even though they are grammatically incorrect know that you have reached the intermediate level and at that stage Grammar should be introduced, it’s like a skeleton in a body so it holds everything together, so why do we learn Grammar? one obvious reason is that we learn grammar to be understood and also to understand
Function words + Vocabulary = Grammar
Now when you master Grammar and Vocabulary, congratulate yourself and realize that you are now an Advanced learner but still you are not fluent, the remedy here which a lot of people prefer to skip thinking that it is only a waste of time or unnecessary is Reading and Writing, and those are crucial parts in the learning chain. Writing and reading teach you how to think in the language you are learning, they teach you logical thought(Syntax) and how we put words together properly, it also gives you time to think about the language and present it to people in a way they can understand it, Reading and Writing are steps people usually skip because they want to speak but they don’t understand it’s a very important part .
Reading and Writing encompass the three main components of any language:
1- Grammar, you can’t be understood if you neglect writing in a grammatically-correct manner.
2- When you write you need to be concise and factual, you can’t write something that makes no sense.
3- Syntax, here you put things together.
If you can perform these 3 components easily, then boy you have become an English speaker, not like-native yet but you are getting there…
Last step is pronunciation, well this is really a step where the effort all falls on you, correcting your pronunciation depends on how much you speak the language or listen to it, for faster results submerge yourself into the world of the language you are learning by exposing yourself to the culture, the news, the comedy etc.… with that method you will certainly succeed and who knows you might become a SPY 😀 , just kidding !!
Now it’s time for some Basic hints:
- 30 minutes a day goes a long way, if you’re not ready to spare 30 minutes a day learning then you really don’t want to learn, learning as I said is about consistency and practice, you can’t sharpen a dull knife if you grind it once a week, you need successive and repeated action and so do languages.
- Spend five minutes reviewing what you did the day before.
- Expose yourself to the language by using it as much as possible, speak to natives, write stories, do live streams etc.…
- Set goals, motivation needs a goal so when you are learning a language make sure you have an aspiration behind it …
To sum it up, learning is about Practice and Dedication, without those 2 it’s impossible to master anything …