A good practice is to find something entertaining, concerned in the topic you want to acquire
In all learning process, a better aproach allow us to have a better internalization to the subject. The more profitable involve the creation of techniques, tricks, methods and philosophies. Although, to get the best experience it’s necesary to put our efforts intelligently, create routines, manage priorities, time available and clear goals. I am going to share what work for me, at the praxis, maybe we will match in the mayor part of the points. By clarify i am centered in the self-taught, i mean not in traditional classrooms, which one i find a very stressful environtment. My goal is make you to acquire the languages personaly, setting up your limitis, critizying sources, choose your preferences and considering personal tastes.
First of all, it is really important be concious about the culture around the target language we are aiming to. Out there is a lot of prople who speak English or Deutsch (for example), and no necessarly they are in the same country or have contact with any native speaker. This is in your interest to aim to an specific accent and a context as a reference, and it don’t determine your improvement.
It firsty make us to ask ourself the follow and predictable question:
Why you want to learn <insert language here>?
If the answer is a superficial interest i recomend you to choose other activity, it do not engaged for itself. The best is not to do something that waste your time. It sound like a cliche but it comply with its function, a filter’s function.
Some tools i found so valuable then and today. Notebook, i am not a fan of old traditions but it work, to schems ideas and for vocabulary storage. Reverso context, the usefulness represented on an android App.
I am going to split this big field called language learning in differents areas to face it. A practic system to see more clearly how it happend, because due to our unconciousness take an important place, several procedures are invisibles to our superficial eyes.
I’m generally away of all the perception that take the reality in a simple binary decision, where all can be clasified/divide in black or white.
- INPUT: listening and reading.
- OUTPUT: writing and speaking.
Naturaly, i faced the INPUT process firstly. The english is around the world, tons of informations are translated at this language, promoting dynamic movements of numerous cultures.
For listening, what i did was look for Youtubers, create an English account on twitter. Highlighting the most frecuent words, searching its meanings and practicing my ears to identify its later. Deeply paying attention in connections, shorts native expressions. You can distinguish differents stages here, firstly hearing occasional words, later isolated phrases and finally understanding context or the message comunicated.
It takes me few months to get a basic vocabulary being able to understand the same Youtubers mentioned also twitter accounts, blogs, news, reddit, quora, stackoverflow, etc.
As a programmer the documentation about an specific technology, was an essential resource. Getting many knowleddges related at software meanwhile new vocabulary comply an inmediate objective. I consider Stackoverflow and Quora complimenting it.
In the other hand, i remember i have watched GOT (Game of thrones) just one time in Spanish. Instead of watching it again, i attempted it, could be more educative to read the book (the first at least). Suprisingly, my brain adopted the adjectives and the literary strategies. The imagination during the reading, one more time, take a protagonist role.
The process in general i followed was basicly the building of schems, taking the similarities between concepts. It was a complete word map, with relations and synonyms, avoiding translations, only merely asociations.
It can be turn in something boring. Besides this content sources, i began hearing songs that i already know to learn subtitles. The US tv shows brings me a new perspective in the actors, directors and anybody famous persons. It was easy in English to find but not in Deutsch. I mean, Switzerland or Deutschland generally speaking do not engaged me, just in certain specific points.
Related with the OUTPUT section, what i did was difficult to became it on a habit. I began to speak to myself, constanly (monts) to turn itself on a habit. But it’s apropiate to include pronunciations, accents or connections. Copying natives speakers. From here, i gradually investigated more songs to sing, film’s scenes to memorize. However the listening field cost me long time in terms of discipline and patience, each video always a new word, without getting the main idea in a phrase.
More difficulties appeared when several accents mixed them all. Initially, the best decision would be to choose one country. Later, with a strong base, the diversity help us to educate our ears.
With the last, i finally was able to think in English. Spending time talking to myself. Some times i didn’t notice my English advance, i was impersively on it.
All the process has its base in the four principles of the learning, which are:
- Inconcious incompetence
- Concious incompetence
- Concious competence
- Inconcious competence
I felt so proud when i realized the process goes turning easily than at the beginning. Today’s generations are accustumed to get rapidly what they want, it gradually hurts our volunteer decision to have initiative in certain fields. It’s a pleasure to have numerous reference who promote the consistence role of habits in our daily day, talking about youtubers or personalities who holds the importance of constant efforts. The truth is, that a language isn’t difficult to learn in terms of intelectual capacities, if you are able to build discipline just time will say you’re ready.
Although, i have to say, that oneself never going to be perfectly developed, when we talk about fields like language, science or technolgy. There’s a constant improvement.
Later with an acceptable vocabulary i wrote twts, even talking with stranges in Tw, Facebook. I create a medium account equal with Reddit, i made some progression but listenings still bring me problems.
Today i can say, the listening is one of more useful things i often use for my personal improving, help me to increase more habilities, honing my skills. Through the reading i knew to write better, laugh with memes and be more critical in what a consume. The writing give me more time to know myself. Finally, the speaking bring me more motoves to make fun of myself and sign outloud. And overall living more experiences and meeting new people.
That’s how i reach an middle level at English and i’m going for it on Deutsch. The last one is different, maybe the principles are the same, i surely have to improve and adapt my techniques at this other process.