Welcome
Login:   Pass:     Register - Forgot Password - Resend Activation

Turkish Class Forums / Language

Language

Add reply to this discussion
Good article on Learning a new Language
1.       tunci
7149 posts
 21 Mar 2012 Wed 09:42 am

 

I think this is a good article of Brooks Emerson on learning a new language.

Learning a new language -- How long will you take?

Illustration ; Orhan Nalın

20 March 2012 / BROOKS EMERSON, İSTANBUL
After reading my recent article about learning a language, I had some people probe me further.

“So, if I do everything you wrote about, then how long will it take me to learn English or Turkish?” they asked. Again, my answer is that it depends on how much time and work that person wants to put into the learning process.

Let’s start with focus

In modern society we have many things to distract us. We’ve got cell phones, home phones, televisions, radios, video games, etc., to distract us from focusing on what we want to focus. We also have all the other distractions such as work, chores, books, family and friends.

No matter what distractions exist in your world, if you want to learn a new language, you have to make time to focus on language learning. Attention is the key to getting the brain to learn. Think of things that distract you, like a loud voice or the telephone. If those distractions keep you from learning, then you have to find ways to manage them. Often that requires a shift in your thinking. Start small with what time of day you feel most alert. If you focus better in the afternoon, then that’s when you will want to carve out some study time. If you’re a morning person, then try to integrate 5-15 minutes of studying into your morning routine. Better yet, try to surround yourself with opportunities to be immersed in the language, like listening to the language on tape, on the radio, or while watching your favorite movie.

Creating a study space

To focus best, you need to create a study space. Everyone has a different idea of what makes the perfect study space. Some people like studying in a small, comfy corner of the living room, whereas other people like studying language where it lives, like a busy café in the middle of the city. Personally, I need silence, a hard, straight-backed chair and a desk. You need to create a study space that reflects your personal learning style and one in which you know you will be able to maintain a high level of focus and interest.

Know your purpose

Your purpose for learning the language may also help inform your choice. If you need to learn a large amount of vocabulary for a test, decide whether you need a quiet or noisy place to study. If you want to increase your oral proficiency, then getting out and practicing asking and answering questions with native speakers might be a better choice than sitting quietly at home studying the language on cue cards.

By knowing your purpose, you can choose the methods of studying that will reflect your learning styles and strategies, as well the methods that will meet your goals. Make sure that the materials feed your learning style and interests to keep your brain focused on the learning. With all the books, websites, courses and other media at your disposal, you have a wide array of materials from which to choose. For example, when learning Turkish, some people like the variety of watching their favorite English movie dubbed in Turkish one day, meeting with Turkish-speaking friends at a café on another day and snuggling up in the corner and doing workbook exercises on yet another day -- you have the power to choose and you will choose well if your purpose is clear. Your success depends on how well your plan meets your needs, helps you maintain your focus, and allows you to enjoy the learning process.

Chart your successes

Charting your successes helps keep you accountable and helps to remind you of where you started and where you are going. Consider putting a check mark on the calendar for every day that you spend five to 15 minutes studying or practicing the new language. At the end of the week, you could reward yourself for meeting your goal of studying x times per week or month -- whichever you prefer. Giving yourself a reward is another way of re-focusing your attention on your goal.

Make learning easy

Do you remember ever having been late for an important meeting? Missing a bus? Falling in love for the first time? All of these events have one large component in common: emotion.

The best way to focus your brain is to tie learning to emotions. Yes, learning a language takes hard, repetitive work, but that learning can also be emotionally charged, good fun! Unless you were born with an ear for language or a photographic memory, you will have to slog it out -- but you can try the “whistle-while-you-work approach” to keep your emotions in play. We were given emotions to help us store things in our long-term memory banks -- emotions help us survive. If you were chased by a tiger walking along the tall grass and you survived, you will surely be cautious when walking along the tall grass in the future. That’s the power of emotion. For that reason many corporations pay top dollar for outdoor adventures to help with team-building and leadership training -- the emotions of those experiences and the learning tied to them stick with employees.

Conditioning is one part

Part of learning is unconscious or based on conditioning. If I touch the stove, it will burn me. If I say a certain English interjection on Turkish television, my friends will tease me relentlessly until I learn to replace that interjection with “şey.” Learning could also be positively affected by less-profound emotions, like enjoying listening to native speakers speaking Turkish while you sip Turkish coffee and enjoy a delicious breakfast. Even a little bit of emotional content will help you to learn more efficiently.

Use your eyes and ears

The more you engage your senses, the better the learning will be. Using the mind’s eye and ear, you will do much to enhance your learning. Try to paint a picture in your mind about the words and phrases you hear. Imagine hearing the words played out in different scenarios -- funny and serious. The more you focus your eyes and ears on learning, the better chance that you have to get the information into long-term storage. That’s why repetition is so important: the more you repeat the information in similar and different ways, the better able the brain will be to recognize and process the information.

Practice does make perfect

As I’ve written and said many times, you can own the best instrument in the world and hire the best teacher, but somewhere along the way you will need to pick up the instrument and practice. Because we know that short-term memories quickly fade away from consciousness, we have to practice regularly to get information into long-term memory. The best way to store information for faster retrieval is to organize your learning. For example, instead of trying to learn unrelated vocabulary words, try learning words in the same category. Start with a category of interest, like food. Imagine eating the food that you are trying to remember while reciting the name in your mind. As you are pretending to chew, hear and see the word for the food item. Finally, think in your mind whether you like or dislike that food, saying the entire phrase in the language, if you know it, otherwise saying the phrase in your native language with exception of the word. For example, an English speaker learning Turkish might say, “I love eating patlacan for lunch.”

Everything is created twice

Imagine that you are a fluent speaker of the language you are learning. Your imagination goes into action to create the scenarios that would occur were you to have mastered that language. Literally, you are already creating your language mastery in your mind. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it! In addition, if you imagine that your senses, body, and brain can remember, then the possible memories that can be created are infinite.

Habituation

Once you start creating the memories you want to have to learn the new language, you want to habituate, or “over-learn,” this information. Habituation will help you to stop having to think about every word that comes out of your mouth -- that’s right, you want to over-practice, so that the new language will tumble off your tongue without much thought -- like driving a car. However, you don’t want to be mindlessly blathering or mispronouncing words, so start small and over-practice a few phrases to try out for a week or so until the words become habit. In this way, your ability to be both mindless and mindful will keep you in the language learning zone.

 

Todays zaman

2.       Abla
3647 posts
 21 Mar 2012 Wed 03:13 pm

Nice article, tunci.

I think the emotional part is very interesting. Learning is hard work and you should motivate yourself all the time to keep practicing, even with the help of your imagination.

One important thing was not mentioned, though. It is physical exercise. Taking a walk (or moving in general) is an important thing in the learning process. I have experienced it myself. The best ideas come after exercise, not after sitting in front of the computer for hours. Researchers say this works on a general level also: if you want the schoolchildren to make better results you should start every schoolday with compulsory running.



Edited (3/21/2012) by Abla [I just learned how exercise is spelled.]

foka liked this message
3.       tunci
7149 posts
 21 Mar 2012 Wed 04:50 pm

 

Quoting Abla

Nice article, tunci.

I think the emotional part is very interesting. Learning is hard work and you should motivate yourself all the time to keep practicing, even with the help of your imagination.

One important thing was not mentioned, though. It is physical excercise. Taking a walk (or moving in general) is an important thing in the learning process. I have experienced it myself. The best ideas come after excercise, not after sitting in front of the computer for hours. Researchers say this works on a general level also: if you want the schoolchildren to make better results you should start every schoolday with compulsory running.

 

I totaly agree, Abla. Especially "the best ideas come after physical exercise" part. I too did experience it. After I do physical job I feel much better and i feel more motivated and fresh minded.

Add reply to this discussion




Turkish Dictionary
Turkish Chat
Open mini chat
New in Forums
TLC servers hacked, all user emails & pass...
admin: We removed the user password data from the servers until the issue is ...
E-T: It´s one of the things on my bu...
gokuyum: No. It doesnt make sense. You can say ... yapmak istediğim bi...
T-E
og2009: DÜNYA TOPLUMU VE FELSEFE ... okul ... felsefe ... ....
Holidays in Turkey
: ...
24 HOUR FLASH SALE for learning Turkish e-...
qdemir: ...
Grammar Textbook
qdemir: ...
E-T: I see you have done this before?
harp00n: Bunu ... daha önce de ... Bu konuda iyi olduğun ç...
T-E
og2009: ...
T-E
og2009: ...
coronavirus
og2009: ...
OUR FRIENDS
og2009: ...
Coronavirus
harp00n: ...
Random Pictures of Turkey
Add thumbnails like this to your site
Most liked