Sunday, April 26, 2009

3 Facts You Need to Know About Learning a New Language

It’s a pretty challenging task when you think of it, but with time and effort, nothing is impossible. Learning a new language can be a rewarding experience, especially when you earn those appreciative glances and admiring compliments on your newly-acquired skill. We don’t think much of learning to talk when we’re young – it’s a natural ability, and this is why kids pick up any number of languages with an élan that’s hard to come by for adults. But there are reasons to learn a new language, no matter how old you are. Sure, the older you get, the harder it becomes, but that’s no reason to turn down a challenge.

So if you’re ready, here are a few facts you need to know about learning a new tongue:

You either use it or lose it: If you want to become fluent in a new language, you need to keep using it. You need to listen to people talk it and you need to converse in it yourself, on a continued basis. If you don’t, you’re likely to end up forgetting it. Learning a new language is just like any other skill – it requires continuous honing through regular use. I took a course in Japanese a couple of years ago, but it pains me to admit today that I only remember how to ask the question “What’s your name?” and respond to it. Once the course was over I had no incentive to keep speaking the tongue; of course, the fact that there was nobody to talk to didn’t help much either. So if you learn a new language and want to remember it, continue to find avenues where you can use it.

A language is a way to keep mental disorders away: It’s been proven and is now official – learning a new language stimulates your brain and makes your mental processes more active. You’re boosting the blood flow to your brain and this helps keep your neurons and blood vessels in great shape. When you push your brain and attempt to learn a new language, you postpone and even prevent the onset of debilitating mental disorders like Alzheimer’s disease that can impair your memory and make you lose your power of cognitive reasoning.

It’s easy when you can’t be choosy: Try moving to a country where no one speaks any language other than the local vernacular. You’d be surprised at the speed with which you pick it up. Sure, it’s going to be difficult at first and you may have to resort to sign language and face a ton of misunderstandings and funny situations, but in the end, it’s all going to be worth it because you’re going to be speaking like a native in a matter of weeks. When there’s no other language to choose to converse it, you’re forced to learn the local lingo, and this makes you pick it up faster.

This post was contributed by Katie Wilson, who writes about the online universities. She welcomes your feedback at After graduating from college she took time off to pursue a writing career. Katie writes for online education sites offering tips, advice, and general information regarding education, learning, and studying.

Prof. Larry M. Lynch is an EFL Teacher Trainer, Intellectual Development Specialist, author and speaker. He has written ESP, foreign language learning, English language teaching texts and hundreds of articles used in more than 100 countries. Get your FREE E-book, “If you Want to Teach English Abroad, Here's What You Need to Know" by requesting the title at: Need a blogger or copywriter to promote your school, institution, service or business or an experienced writer and vibrant SEO content for your website, blog or newsletter? Then E-mail me for further information.

No comments: