The bird brain approach to learning a foreign language
Researchers – with far too much time on their hands – recently assessed the pressure that men are under when they go shopping. They wired them up to sensors and were astonished to find that when shopping, many men are under the same stress as a fighter pilot going into battle. This would be hilarious, except I have a strong suspicion that I am one of these panic stricken men. At Christmas time, I can be seen darting around department stores desperately seeking inspiration, with a million options and not a single sensible idea. It seems my faculties of reasoning at this time of year shrink to the size of a particularly small brained chicken. The grotesque gargoyle of an ornament I bought my father last year is testament to that. What was I thinking? Or, indeed, was I thinking at all? The fact is I am often overcome by the sheer volume of things to buy, coupled with no criteria to help me buy the right present.
Language Learning Information Overload
Buying a product to improve your language is just as confusing. There is a lot to be confused about! There are language CDs, talking toys, talking books, text books, audio programs, DVDs, phrasebooks, vocabulary lists, grammar drills, software, magnetic readers and much, much more. The truth is that all of these language resources cannot be equally effective. Most end up on shelves collecting dust. What is truly shocking is that independent research shows us that many famous products hardly work at all.
By sharing with you the Five Proven Principles of Language Learning we will help you to navigate your way through the language minefield, objectively assess what works (and what doesn’t), and provide you with tools that really work!
With the right tools your language ability can take off
The good news is that you can learn a language – no doubt about it. Your success, however, will depend on putting aside some time and then using that time effectively. To avoid frustration, therefore, you need to firstly make sure you use language resources that actually work! Too many people start learning a language with the first language tool that comes to hand – without thought as to its effectiveness. It might be a foreign language CD lying around the house, or perhaps an old phrasebook. This is the worst way to start.
Language is just like any other endeavour – if you have the wrong tools you won’t achieve your objectives. You cannot play tennis with a golf club. Don’t learn a language with the wrong equipment! On the other hand, clever tools that embed important language principles will make your learning much easier and a lot more fun – and let your natural language talent fly.
So here is your third language tool.
Read foreign books with a dictionary to hand. If you have a young child read them their favourite stories in a foreign language. Older children and adults can read foreign books for themselves. Research has shown that this simple past time is actually one of the most effective ways to absorb a language. The beauty of this system is that words are automatically put into context and given “meaningfulness” – an important plank in language learning. I read a bit of Italian every night. It is effective and satisfying. I even found myself dreaming in Italian but that is another story.
See my article on learning a foreign language with Kindle
An award winning language resource proven to work
KLOO is a new language learning game that uses proven language principles to make learning faster, easier and a lot more fun. It is now being used by parents, children and individuals wanting to learn.
You can watch how easy it is to make foreign sentences in French and Spanish below:
- Top Tips for learning a second language (languagepie.wordpress.com)