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Learning Methodology

 Language Learning Forum : Learning Techniques, Methods & Strategies Post Reply
12 messages over 2 pages: 1 2  Next >>
Trilingual Tetraglot
Joined 4408 days ago

1 posts - 1 votes
Speaks: English*, German*, Polish*, Russian
Studies: Ukrainian, French, Serbian

 Message 1 of 12
02 February 2008 at 9:25pm | IP Logged 

I happened to stumble upon this forum. Fascinating place you guys have here. I thought I was always alone in speaking lots of languages-- I speak Polish, German and English completely fluently. I actually lived in each country as a child, and went for a few years to each one, so I have the ability to speak each language without any accent and with complete fluency. One disappointing thing I've noticed over the years is a lot of people "claim" to be fluent in various languages, but can maybe write a few basic sentences, or, when they speak it is as if you rather wish they had not.

Anyways my question is how do you guys learn a language? I myself learn a language by first learning the alphabet, and then studying a few basic sentences. Then I learn the basic verbs and keywords, and I practise making basic sentences. I then proceed to speak with native speakers who correct my grammar (verbally) and my enounciation. So far I've been studying Russian for 6 months and I can speak it without an accent (thanks to Polish). This is just my method... my written/read isn't that great however but I care only about speaking it in person (I wish to get into Import/Export).

Nice meeting you all!!
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
United States
Joined 4818 days ago

2365 posts - 3803 votes 
Speaks: English*
Studies: Tagalog

 Message 2 of 12
03 February 2008 at 1:26am | IP Logged 
Welcome! Three native languages; very nice. I'm sure you'll get some good answers to your question here, but might I also suggest reading through many of the old posts? This is really a gold mine of language learning - the digging is profitable.
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
New Zealand
Joined 4584 days ago

851 posts - 1074 votes 
2 sounds
Speaks: English*, German, French

 Message 3 of 12
03 February 2008 at 2:35am | IP Logged 
A welcome from me as well! I do envy native bi-and-triglots. ;)

One of (if not the) most valuable sources of information on this forum is that provided by Professor Arguelles. Below you can find a link to all his posts; they're certainly worth investing some time in and cover all manner of areas related to learning and studying languages (often with an emphasis on becoming a polyglot):

Here you go

You might also be interested in Steve Kaufmann (Zhuangzi)'s posts as well. Both have sometimes similar and often vary different approaches to learning languages.

Here are his posts

Edited by Fränzi on 03 February 2008 at 2:37am

1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Joined 4474 days ago

181 posts - 195 votes 
Speaks: Apache*

 Message 4 of 12
03 February 2008 at 2:43am | IP Logged 
Welcome to the machine!

Which letter of the alphabet do you learn first?
I always start at the end.

What will you export? Know-how? Or know-what?
1 person has voted this message useful

Senior Member
Russian Federation
Joined 4865 days ago

9753 posts - 15776 votes 
4 sounds
Speaks: Russian*, English, FinnishC1, Latin, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese
Studies: Danish, Romanian, Polish, Belarusian, Ukrainian, Croatian, Slovenian, Catalan, Czech, Galician, Dutch, Swedish

 Message 5 of 12
03 February 2008 at 2:56am | IP Logged 
Some other experienced members here are Iversen, Linguamor, Vlad and Fanatic.

Here you can also find the list of the forum members that speak 5+ languages.

You might also find the "Steps" section in language profiles interesting: basically people write there about what they've done to learn their target languages.
1 person has voted this message useful

Forum Admin
Joined 5644 days ago

3094 posts - 2983 votes 
12 sounds
Speaks: French*, EnglishC2, German, Italian, Spanish, Russian
Personal Language Map

 Message 6 of 12
03 February 2008 at 11:42am | IP Logged 
Welcome to our forum Polishglot!
1 person has voted this message useful

Super Polyglot
Joined 4971 days ago

9078 posts - 16471 votes 
Speaks: Danish*, French, English, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedish, Esperanto, Romanian, Catalan
Studies: Afrikaans, Greek, Norwegian, Russian, Serbian, Icelandic, Latin, Irish, Lowland Scots, Indonesian, Polish, Croatian
Personal Language Map

 Message 7 of 12
03 February 2008 at 2:07pm | IP Logged 
First I would like to point out that there are many other very experienced members than those mentioned in Fränzi's and Serpent's posts, and that several very experienced members have fewer languages than for instance me because they have specialized in an assortment of exotic languages, where I have chosen to learn a lot of close relatives. Besides some members have chosen to hide not only their personal identity, but even the number of languages they know - even though their comments show that they are more versatile than most people here.

But back to your question: do you guys learn a language?

This forum is full of hints and receipts and complete study programs, so I am only going to make a few observations.

First you have the absolute beginner, who can't read or understand anything yet. One extreme solution for these people is to put them in a context with a lot of extremely simple texts and then let them sort out the details of the language more or less in their subconscious mind. Few people would deny that accessing 'comprehensible' texts is extremely useful, but the problem is that some of us are convinced that the whole process runs better in combination with a more formal study, which may include word lists (or flash cards), grammar books et cetera. I have written much about word lists elsewhere, but some people don't like them. OK, then find an alternative.

If you can't find sufficiently easy texts then you can do things the hard way by looking up all unknown words, checking all endings and trying to understand every construction in as simple a text as you can find, - this is called intensive or active reading (I don't see how this can be done on the fly with spoken language). An interesting third possibility is to listen to spoken texts while you read either a transcript in the original language or a translation (preferably in a bilingual setup so that you can easily compare the two text versions). This is the core of the listening-reading-method, which has been formulated as a complete study program by Siometteikiru (aka Atamagaii).

The intermediate learner should not have problems finding relatively accessible texts or audio sources even though it may take some hard work to really understand everything in them. This has the consequence that learning your stuff entirely 'the natural way' becomes somewhat more plausible, - but my personal experience is that at this level the formal methods are both more amusing and more effective than they are for the total novice, and it would be foolish to drop them. On this stage you should focus on training your fluency by thinking, writing and speaking in the target language whenever you have a free moment, - in contrast a beginner can't really do anything but repeating set phrases or laboriously construct simple phrases word by word.

Finally the advanced student should do most of his/her learning by plowing through as much genuine material as possible and speaking/writing as much as possible. This bulldozer method will also be relevant for the intermediate student (=extensive reading), but the advanced student is much better equipped to learn from genuine language specimens than even a good intermediate is. And also to weed out persistent errors of any kind.

So learning methods can't be the same all the way through your study. And they can't be the same for everyone.

Edited by Iversen on 03 February 2008 at 3:19pm

3 persons have voted this message useful

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