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Not Just Learn A Language! Practice It! - Articles Surfing
I've met several persons who have told me they'd love to learn a foreign language -- particularly English. When I hear them say that, sometimes I ask them to practice with me (having a conversation in that language), and 90% of the times they refuse to do so, replying with "It's embarrassing!".
I understand them, because I have too felt embarrassed many times, but about a couple of years ago, I learned the lesson.
Someday, I was chatting with one of my best friends, Martin, who lives in Canada. Chatting with him (in English) was something usual, but then, he asked me if I had a microphone. Fortunately (or unfortunately), I told him I did have one. He asked me if I wanted to have a voice conversation with him. Again, fortunately (or unfortunately) I replied yes.
Even though our chat conversations were fluent and natural, it seemed it was a whole different story with voice conversations. My responses got reduced to shy laughs, yesses and noes.
After several sessions of voice conversations with my friend, I noticed I was getting better, and not just that, but I was speaking with a wider vocabulary. I'll explain this.
When I chat with someone, I usually try to use a minimal vocabulary, as I don't want to waste my precious finger's energy (he he he). But when I have to use my voice to communicate, it's a different story, as it's far more easier. So, this means if you speak the language instead of writing it, you'll be most likely using a wider vocabulary. And the most interesting part is you'll not just be using it, but getting used to it.
When I began learning German, I liked to learn up to 100 words per day, and I was happy because I was starting to be able to understand somewhat some German articles. But after around a week (that would be 700 words learned), I tried to write some phrases in German and noticed it was really hard for me to do so. I opened my German course book, and there wasn't any problem at remembering the words, I knew their meaning, but just couldn't make any sentences.
Now I understand that when you're starting to learn a foreign language, you need to speak it, not just memorize words and/or understand its grammar. If you learn that "le chat est blanc" means "the cat is white" in French, try to practice that phrase and its components all you can. Don't just leave all that learning floating in your brain!
Also, don't be shy, and if you find an opportunity to practice what you know, practice it! A good recommendation is to find someone who's beginning to learn that language too, this way, both of you won't have a reason to be shy.
I hope this tip can help you a lot. I wish the best of lucks to all the foreign language learners!
Copyright © 1995 - Photius Coutsoukis (All Rights Reserved).
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