100% GOOD (4 votes)Pregunta ResueltaCuestión Lingüística
What is your own personal method for learning English or any language?

The goal is not to copy exactly the method of others, because I think that everyone must find their own method, but the experience of others is a good source of inspiration. laugh

  • 4 respuestas
Tace profile picture Tace   
So, it was kind of suggested that I state my method of learning publicly instead of privately, so I will go into more detail here.

I use 3 programs: Memrise.com; WavePad, and Verbix.

First, I learn Norwegian on Memrise.com. They present words that feed into phrases using the vocabulary you just learned. Each course has many lessons. Each lesson covers several words. I pull the audio from each lesson. I then use WavePad to open each audio file. I take each audio file and create a single file so I can listen to each word in the file with my eyes closed. I use the "loop" feature to loop the recording 20 times. I will also create files from phrases. I repeat a phrase three times, then I repeat a second phrase three times, then a third and fourth phrase, then I loop that 10 times.

I also list each word and phrase I learn in an Excel spread sheet. I am expecting I will use the Translate function to translate each word and phrase into several languages. Some of the work has already been done in Spanish, Russian, and Norwegian.

Phase 2: Verbs

Norwegian does not have conjugation, so I have a document that lists the English tenses, and offers example sentences for each. I have kept the sentences very much the same so there is little to learn as the sentences change. The focus of each sentence is the verb. The verb is the same in each tense. This allows the learner to see how that verb changes in each tense.

Norwegian does not use two forms of each tense, but they still manage to express the same idea, so I had to address that under the label of that tense in English. I use Verbix for verb conjugation.

to address verbs in Russian is a trick, because I need help from someone who understands my "method" or my table of verbs so they can provide this information in Russian. Russian uses cases that I don't understand, and they change their nouns and adjectives as I recall. I need help creating my sentence template for Russian.

I've been listening to my Norwegian recordings as I type this. I can't focus on it, but I hear it anyway. I listen to the recordings when I play my game or go to sleep. I can pull it down to my phone and listen while I'm in the car. I don't have to be tethered to the computer. I love it.

I also take songs that I know in my native tongue and translate them. This is beneficial because you don't have to learn someone elses story. You know what the song says. Learning those words in another language is much easier when you know what to expect. I line the lyrics up so I can look over to the right and see the same line in the other language.

Finally, note phrases you use on a daily basis. Learn the language you repeat in your job. When I was younger, I would change jobs a lot. I learned the language of furniture, weed control, and whatever job I found myself in.

I do something from this list every day out of love.
    El mes pasado100% GOOD (4 votes)
  • vincent profile picture vincent   
    Many thanks for your very complete answer ! I think it will help a lot the members...
      El mes pasado
Doval profile picture Doval   
One of the fundamental truths of language learning is that what works for one person won't necessarily work for everyone. Recently, I have read many wonderful articles here on how to acquire a foreign language. I strongly urge anyone who is serious about language acquisition (perhaps a better term than language learning, since it invokes the acquisition of a fundamental comprehension of how to communicate in a new language) to read through these articles and consider giving some of the methods a try. For myself, however, I know that many of these great suggestions simply will not work.

I have developed an unusual set of language-learning techniques that often contradict conventional wisdom, but that are based on profound self-knowledge. I know what I like and what I don't, what I'm good at and what I'm not. My methods are meant to highlight my strengths and avoid my weaknesses. I can't go into details in this space about all my methods. That may be the subject of an article of my own, when I can spare some time. But I'll describe generally a few of my principles and the idea behind them.

First thing, I hate studying. I'm an ADDer (someone with attention and hyperactivity issues). Rote learning causes me to lose interest almost instantly. Also, I believe language acquisition occurs fastest when we're thrust into situations where we have no choice but to use the language. My former business partner immigrated to the US as a child. He took ESL classes, but he learned English on the playground.

Aside from reviewing occasional rules when I need some clarity, and maybe early in the acquisition process when I know very little, I do not study grammar formally. I also lose interest when relying on traditional language-learning exercises. Furthermore, anything that feels like homework (with the exception, maybe, of creating lists of words I want to learn) causes me to lose interest. So how, then, do I do it? I utilize the biggest brain on the planet: the internet. (If you don't have regular internet access, you should acquire the best bilingual dictionary you can afford.)

I keep a slew of (preferably offline) dictionaries on my smartphone. For early stages of language acquisition, I find that material intended for learners of a language as a second language, or for children who are native speakers of the language, are highly effective. No English means I must really pay attention. I seek out native persons who have some limited knowledge of a language I already know so that we can supplement each other's knowledge. The more advanced my knowledge of a language becomes, the more I seek to communicate with people who know little or nothing of any of the languages I already speak.

I learn grammar and vocabulary on the fly, utilizing dictionaries extensively to check my knowledge, and using online conjugators and some other online search techniques I've developed for figuring out the proper grammatical construction for the context. And I utilize knowledge I already have about my native language (and those other languages I speak) to help me make educated guesses about my target language.

There's a lot more to my methods than what I've outlined here. An article will be forthcoming.
    El mes pasado100% GOOD (2 votes)
  • vincent profile picture vincent   
    Doval, Many thanks for sharing! Thanks for bringing a lot of value
      El mes pasado