To learn a second language is an issue whether you are an experienced student or if you haven´t studied or taken any kind of class during the last years.
Even when our mother tongue is not learned in a classroom, we would probably learn the second one inside one.
It doesn´t matter the way you learn, academically or immersed in the language. Any second language learner should keep in mind and practice several abilities such us; discipline, patience, self-esteem, and braveness.
You need to be disciplined to keep going to your classes persistently, to have well organized your materials and do home works.
Patience to reach your goals in the established time according to your personal and specific objectives.
Self-esteem to understand and manage your emotional intelligence to turn it into your needs.
Braveness because sometimes you feel weak and tired. But you should never feel defeated.
Applying Abilities Within Techniques to Learn a Second Language
- Set your goals: It´s very relevant to stop and think about what do you want to learn, why, and how. Establish also specific goals in the short, middle and long term.
Remember to set realistic objectives according to your needs and resources. For example; if you are beginning to go to the gym, you can´t expect to look like The Rock in two weeks… everything requires a certain amount of time.
Here is where the short, middle and long term goals help you to accomplish what you need depending or based on the time you devote to get it.
Talking about learning Spanish we might set the goals like this:
Short Term (two or three weeks): To give my personal information and talk about my family.
Middle Term (Two or three months): To describe people, clothes, and places. Give directions and talk about my daily routine.
Long Term (from six months in advanced): To understand many songs in English, to understand some parts or full movies and TV shows, to talk freely about any desired topic, etc…
- Social Learning: some people prefer to study individually according to their pace and time. Nevertheless; to learn in a group is very positive, you´ll find people who share your goals, expectations and why not fears and doubts.
You don´t feel alone since there´s always someone by your side, a peer or classmate.
Learning a second language is better in a group, to practice conversations, role-plays, speeches and projects is better with more people around. Sometimes the teacher is not enough.
- Implicit Knowledge: it includes all the knowledge you get without the intention of studying or learning.
For example; if you like to listen to music in Spanish or watch Latin-American news or TV shows you are stepping forward of the traditional learner.
It happens because your brain is being trained implicitly or without consciousness.
So it learns certain concepts and speech abilities that you´ll apply as a master, sometimes you don´t understand why but you know how to pronounce a new word, it happens because it is not really a “new” word you have heard it before and you even discover that you are able to write it without seeing it.
Immersion is also an example of this type of knowledge. Thus, if you have the chance of having a grammar explanation is even better because you learn how to structure the language correctly.
- Multiple Intelligences: Recognize the way you better learn according to your type of intelligence. There are different types of intelligence and learning styles some of them include the musical, logical-mathematical, kinesthetic, linguistic, visual and social. They have different characteristics and specific procedures to work on.
For example, if you are kinesthetic, you need to learn by using the movement, dancing or playing an active game is a good option to learn vocabulary.
If you are visual you need, videos, flashcards, and realia.
If you are social you take a lot of advantage from Social Learning and your classmates and teacher.
If you are mathematical, you´ll probably need graphics and charts to understand the content better.
As you can see, a second language learner can take the best advantages of the process. The most important component is to commit with the idea and keep working on it to get the best results and see your dreams coming true.
In Spanish Pura Vida we can help you!