What’s the best way to learn a language?
From a book? No
From a CD? No
An App? No
Phrase book? No, NO
Foreign TV? Absolutely not
Classroom whiteboards? Still no.
Another human being.
Yes speaking with other humans is the best way to learn how to speak with other human beings. No technology beats it. Ever.
Does the other human need to be fluent or a teacher? No. Just someone willing to learn too. With the right tools, two (or more humans) will learn a language very fast.
Is this opinion or proven?
Proven. In countless studies. Over and over. (See Linguistic Prof. Kendall King, Ph.D. and Linguistic Prof. Alison Mackey, Ph.D, The Bilingual Edge)
So to really power boost your language learning – find a language buddy.
The next tricky bit to learning a language is to find the right tools. With the wrong tools your language learning will stall. With the rights ones it will fly.
Now you are learning with another human, what features do the best language tools have?
This is what I have learned:
- CONTEXT is crucial. By putting words into context you give your new vocabulary meaning. Meaningfulness is a central plank for getting words into your LONG TERM MEMORY. The best technique for learning words is to seek the meaning of a word (because you need to know it) and then use it in a sentence. Using it straight away helps to lock it in.
- The best way to learn is through DISCOVERY LEARNING. That is the natural way we learned our first language. Hardly any products use this. Discovery Learning involves discovering what you want to know, when you want to know it. Some scientists call this the “Aha! Moment” or “Eureka Moment”. It’s when you “get it”. This is how our brains are hot-wired to learn a language.
- GENERATIVE means learning how words fit together to make a sentence rather than as unconnected words (as in vocabulary lists). If you learn how to use words in sentences you rapidly build up the number of ways you can express yourself.
- FUN is a hugely important factor but often overlooked. Many people give up learning a language because it becomes a chore. However if you enjoy it, you do it more.
A game to consider
We have created a multi-award winning game that ticks all of those boxes. It’s called KLOO and there are games in French, Spanish and Italian! A customer of KLOO recently said this on Amazon:
Played one deck of French with a friend who can speak French and has done for quite a few years. After three turns I found I was speaking sentences in French (think I did once before at school but can’t really remember and certainly did not understand how to make the sentences). A couple more turns and I could understand how they put the sentences together. Suddenly there is light at the end of the tunnel I stand a much greater chance of being able to help my daughter. My French had improved at least 10 fold by the end of the game. There were even words in the game my friend had not come across which she was getting the French dictionary out to check on, (all were correct). She enjoyed it so much she is planning on buying the game for her relatives. Christine
Watch this video below and see how easy it is to make a sentence. You’ll learn words fast too. You can read these MFL Resources Case Studies too
KLOO Language Games start at just £12.99….compare that with software offerings, DVDs, audio CDs etc etc. Have fun!
- Talkin’ Baby Talk – Language Development Activities (everydayfamily.com)
- Learning French like a Parrot can seriously slow you down (languagepie.wordpress.com)
- Q. What is a second language for? (languagepie.wordpress.com)
- Chomsky on Language (robertlindsay.wordpress.com)
- The Language Exchange (thesavvysenorita.wordpress.com)
- Wellington College Presentation, Eliminating Failure in Language Learning, February, 2013 (johnbald.typepad.com)
- Bilingual People Are Smart (collincomptwo.wordpress.com)