The Top Misconceptions of Learning a New Language

There are many misconceptions about learning a new language. I myself fell into a lot of the stereotypes about learning a new language. However, now having learned a new language I know the truths about it and want to help you realize the truth as well. Here are some of the most common misconceptions:

It is really hard to learn how to speak a new language.

TRUTH: Not at all! This statement could be true if you are trying use some free translator off the Internet to teach you, or low quality software. However, if you find software that is exceptional, then no it is a breeze and actually enjoyable to learn a new language!

It takes a really long time to learn to speak a new language.

TRUTH: Absolutely not! With the software I purchased, it only took me 8 weeks to learn how to speak German! I took 2 years of college courses that taught me less; probably so they made sure I had to come back for more semesters paying them more money! Plus you get to work when you want, were you want, for however long you want. You do not have to learn a new language in 8 weeks, but you could if you wanted to!

Learning a new language is boring, just memorizing grammar and words.

TRUTH: You need to learn the languages grammar and words, but who said it had to be boring? I used Rocket Languages software, which included 2 different games for learning the language. Not to mention the audio, 24/7 help forum, and other fun and easy applications!

Language software is extremely expensive, I could not afford it.

TRUTH: Rocket Languages software came with 2 interactive language games, 32 hours of audio, members only forum, grammar lessons, culture lessons and much more for only $99. Rosetta Stone and other language software on the market cost over $300, and sometimes only getting one of multiple lessons! Not to mention being bilingual can get you a raise at your job, it would pay for itself in one paycheck, and then the rest of your life earn profit!

No practical or daily uses to make it worthwhile.

TRUTH: You can get a raise at your job, or even land a job over others. Especially if the field that you are going into has a lot of communication, trading or affiliation with a country or company that speaks the language you know. You can start making more money just for knowing another language! Or if you like to travel, family speaks the language, your heritage, there are many reasons learning a language is worth your time!

There are many misconceptions about learning a new language. I have only covered the most common of them. There is no reason you cannot join me and the hundreds of thousands of others that have taken a step in the right direction by learning a new language. Not to mention my wallet is fatter because of it.

What is the Easiest Language to Learn?

Did you ever wonder what the easiest language to learn is? Maybe you are looking to learn another language and haven’t decided on which one. You don’t want to get bogged down in something too difficult and you’d like a (relatively) easy time of it.

There are a lot of factors that make a language easy or hard to learn. The factor with the greatest impact is what your native language is – the language you grew up speaking. This will always effect how you learn languages. Other factors are – whether you have to learn a new alphabet or writing system, new grammar rules and strange new sounds to make.

It’s really a combination of the actual characteristics of the language you want to learn and your own personal experience and learning skills. But if the majority of people agree that one language is easiest to learn, then it probably is. I have a survey on my website and most people seem to choose the easiest language based on what their native language is.

The majority of language learners whose native language is English choose Spanish as the easiest language to learn. Why? For one reason, Spanish is a very regular language. Once you know the rules of pronunciation, you can read almost any Spanish word and pronounce it correctly. And aside for a few new letters (that aren’t very difficult), the alphabet is the same.

There are also many cognates between English and Spanish. Much of the vocabulary is familiar, either borrowed from one language to the other, or borrowed from the same source, like Latin.

Another key factor in why people feel that Spanish is easy to learn is the availability of resources to learn with. The market is flush with products to buy, books and movies are readily available, and the internet has lots of free resources to use. Combined with the fact that Spanish is one of the most commonly spoken languages in the world, it seems that Spanish is everywhere and is somehow easier to pick up.

There are other candidates for the Easiest Language to Learn such as French, Italian, Dutch and German. Esperanto is a popualar write-in candidate for the easiest language to learn, but Esperanto has an unfair advantage. It is a constructed language, it was designed to be easier to learn. In fact studies have shown that it is four to ten times easier to learn than other languages!

How to Read Your Way to Foreign Language Fluency in 30 Days Or Less

The Four Basic English Language Skills

As any well-versed English or other foreign language teacher knows there are four basic skills to most foreign languages. These are reading, writing, listening and speaking. You might note that I just said “most foreign languages”. Why? Because, believe it or not, there are some languages which do not have a well-defined written form, or NO written form at all. There are in fact, a number of languages which have a purely “oral or spoken” tradition. In such cases, there is no literature to speak of. There may well be a strong tradition of story-telling however, frequently accomplished through skilled historians / story-tellers called “Griots”.

Literacy in English and Other Foreign Languages

Most foreign languages by far, do contain an alphabet or characters which allow the foreign language to be written. The written character forms may be unique and highly different from the Roman alphabet used in the English language, therefore initially incomprehensible to foreign language learners at first, but that will be acquired over time with intensive study and not a modicum of patience on the part of the foreign language learner. Consider Asian, Middle Eastern and African or Eastern European languages, for examples of other alphabet and character sets.

Reading is Fundamental

Since reading is a fundamental English or foreign language basic skill, you can, should and will certainly use it to tackle most foreign languages. Actually, if you want to ramp up your English or other foreign language vocabulary, pronunciation, reading comprehension and foreign language fluency in record time – we’ll say substantial improvement in one month, 30 days or even less – then you could literally read your way to increased foreign language skills easily in that amount of time. I’ll almost guarantee it if you’re truly persistent.

Use Reading to Improve Foreign Language Skills Fast

Since I live and teach English as a foreign language in Colombia, we’ll use Spanish as our initial example. Most other foreign languages can be improved using the same or similar techniques, as long as they have a well-defined written form and available literature online which you can access freely and easily. If you do need any help, you might try contracting a tutor for a couple of weeks or so to guide you through pronunciation, word formation, some basic grammar aspects and connected speech elements in your target foreign language. Use a portable tape or digital recorder to capture the sounds and pronunciation modeling from your tutor for later and on-going use. One seemingly small, but significant key point I’d like to insert here is this:

A Key Foreign Language Speech Pattern Modeling Point

If you’re a man, try to get a male tutor for your pronunciation and speech practice. If you’re a woman however, then try to get a female foreign language tutor of speech model. Men and women have some very distinctive and noticeable differences in the native language speech patterns, usage and connected speech elements. It has been my experience that ultimately it will make a difference in the way you sound and in the way you use the foreign language. No, I’m not a male chauvinist you-know-what by any means, I’m a university foreign languages professor – just trust me on this, it matters. As an example of what I’m referring to, just turn on a newscast or two and listen to both a male and a female newscaster. Then compare what you hear and you should immediately see what I mean.

In part two we get into the precise details of what you’ll need to do in order to effectively read your way to foreign language fluency in 30 days or less. See you then.

Learn the Different Stimulating Factors of Language Learning and Their Importance

At the beginning of the 21st century where computer and other high-tech media reign supreme, it is always advantageous to be able to speak English. A native English speaker, without putting any effort, has a definite lead among non-English speaking people. Those who have learned English as a second language are also blessed with opportunities that non-English speakers are not presented with.

English is the main language that is used for international media, cinema, music, politics, science and technology. Any civilized country should have at least a little knowledge of the so-called Universal Language.

Factors that Drive Language Learners to Strive

For those who are learning the English language, the obvious reason for studying the language is to take part in the opportunities that this great language can offer. A little English is good enough to be able to connect to the world. Yet another advantage is the intellectual edge that any person has when he learns a major language.

There are many reasons for those who are striving to learn a language other than English. Some of the learners look upon a new language as tackling a great obstacle or challenge. Others want to learn out of intellectual curiosity. Those who are curious with other languages are given pleasure when they finally learn how to understand and eventually speak a certain language. Learning a new language also paves the way appreciation of cultural concepts and ideas that are not found in a person’s native tongue.

Diversity can be a great divider but it can also become a stimulus when a person looks at it as a chance to learn the major differences and revel in it. Learning the language of a foreign country could make a learner realize the beauty in variety.

Geography can also be a stimulating factor to learning new languages. Countries or areas that speak a single language such as Brazil, China, Japan, USA, and majority of Latin America often do not find any necessity for learning a second language. But for countries in Asia and Europe, language learning becomes more of an urgent requirement. Non-English speaking countries need to learn English because of its major use in trade and other relations.

Sometimes, necessity would dictate that a person should learn a new language. Someone who has been hired by a company and has to go to a country that speaks differently should exert an effort in learning the new language. Some people who work in contact centers also have a need for learning a new tongue. Majority of contact centers now turn to Asian countries for their manpower (due to lower cost of labor). These companies see the necessity to train their new foreign employees with the English language. The language training would give them the tools to talk to native speakers.

Frequent travelers and tourists need to learn at least the language basics of the country that they are going to visit. For instance, a frequent traveler to Europe would do well to learn a little of German, French, and British English slang. This is also true for businessmen who need to transact with foreigners.

What Are the Aspects That Would Make Language Learning Much Easier?

Learning foreign languages can be easy especially for toddlers who have recently moved to a different country. For adults, this task could require double or triple the effort that children put into learning a new language.

The key to successfully learning any foreign language is to set goals and to write them down. Learning to speak a second language is no different from dieting or running a marathon. It requires goal-setting, time and much effort. Whatever his purpose is, each learner must be ready to give these elements of learning so that he can successfully overcome obstacles that would surely come his way.

Learning by Listening

One of the most essential parts of learning is to listen. A person who listens well would most likely achieve more than people who just hear things. Listening to how words are pronounced would effectively help anyone in eventually speaking the language. There are many ways to listen to a new language:

o By listening to a native who is speaking the language.
o By purchasing cassette tapes or audio CDs that aim to teach a different language.
o By listening to foreign songs-for example, a person who wants to learn Italian should concentrate on Italian songs.
o Listening to radio stations that play foreign languages.

Foreign Language Programs and Classes

There are now numerous foreign language centers throughout the world. These schools teach the basics of language. There are also advance classes for those who would want to dig deeper into the language that they are learning. The most common enrollees of these schools are frequent travelers like businessmen and tourists.

Those who have married a foreigner also frequent these schools. Agencies like the CIA and the FBI rely upon language training centers for their agents to learn many new languages.

Classes can be held in training rooms inside the schools but there are more schools now that also offer distance learning.

Online Language Learning

There are hundreds of web sites that currently offer courses on different languages. There downloadable e-books that teach the principles and rules of any language and also the general course curriculum. There are also online audio tools that can be accessed by those who learn better through listening. In addition to these methods, there are also sets of software that can aid anyone to learn a new language. Some of these are free of charge while some can be purchased at a meager fee.

Most of these web sites that offer to teach foreign language are interactive and user-friendly so there should not be any problems for anyone who is not into technical stuff.