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Learn That Language Now -- Learn a New Language 3 Times Faster
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Home > Guide > Basic Guide > How not to learn

Maybe seeing how not to learn a language it can help us to see more clearly. Here are 3 common heresies about language learning :

  • The hair shirt way of language learning : Monks of some orders use hair shirt, a shirt with something inside that itches their skin. They wear it all day long, don't ask me why. Some people seem to think that language learning, like a hair shirt, must be painful to work. That's not true. You'll learn a language much more efficiently with a Peruvian girl friend than with several years of grammar at school.
  • The phonebook approach to vocabulary learning : Vocabulary, beyond the first 100 words, is best learned in context. Ask what the word means. Look it up in the dictionary when reading. Try to guess its meaning. But some people will tell you to learn huge word lists. That would be nice to learn all the necessary words like this, wouldn't it ? Yes, but it doesn't work. You won't be able to use words you learned in lists, they will never come to your mind quickly enough. All you can do with them is to get good marks.
  • The physicist way to grammar : Ask a six year old to explain you verb conjugation and he will stare at you like if you were Freddy Kruger. But the same boy will tell you he eats and never he eat. Grammar is best learned by seeing examples and imitating (infering the rule) until your ear recognize what sounds right and what does not. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to learn the grammar book by heart, then learn a few pages from the phonebook-vocabulary lists, and here you are, you have all you need ! It just doesn't work that way.

You can now go to the next page to see the best way to learn your language.

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