Monday, May 04, 2009

A Matter of Choice in the Matter of Language

There’s more to learning a language than meets the eye, which is why you need to be careful about the one you choose to attempt to master. If circumstances – like moving to a new country or wanting to impress a member of the opposite sex - dictate your necessity to learn, then there’s no question of choice, but if left to your will, how would you go about choosing the language that’s perfect for you?

If you want the learning process to be as easy as possible, choose a language that:

Is similar to your mother tongue: It’s a surprising fact, but one that’s true all the same – most languages have the same grammatical structure. Some put the subject ahead of the verb while others do it vice versa. If you choose a language that follows a sentence structure, phonetics and grammar rules similar to your mother tongue, it’s easier to construct sentences in your new tongue when you know the words. Some languages don’t have certain phonemes, so if such languages are your mother tongue, you’re going to have a tough time mastering the missing phonemes in the new language.

Has adequate learning resources: In the absence of a regular class or a good teacher when learning a new language, you need access to books, lessons, CDs, websites and pamphlets that help you in your effort. You also need to be able to take tests to see how much you’ve learned, so check for online and other resources before you set out on your endeavor.

Is spoken by people who you interact with regularly: You need to keep practicing the spoken form of the language if you want to attain fluency and retain it, so choose a tongue that people around you speak regularly. It helps the learning process when you’re able to put to practice what you’ve learned.

Is simple and straightforward: It may be a thrill and a challenge to try and learn languages like Russian, Arabic and Chinese that are extremely difficult, but if it’s your first attempt at learning a new language, it’s better to stick to something simple like Spanish or French.

Whatever your choice, you need to learn the basics in a month or so and become adequately fluent in six months depending on how much time you’re devoting to the cause. It’s a fun process, so enjoy every inch of this educative experience.

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.

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