Learning a new foreign language is always a good idea, no matter which one you decide to take classes for. Some people say that even when you know some dialect of the official language, it’s more worthy than knowing non of it. Since we were kids, our parents and teachers always tried to make us like the idea to speak more than the mother tongue. For example, people from non-English countries are learning English, so they can easily adapt to trends and technologies. But, very often, it’s nice to choose another one, and learn it from the beginning.
The most accepted idea for learning it is based on the four basic common language skills, which are: listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Even the native tongue is based on these skills, and when it comes to learning the grammar and vocabulary of the new one, you can start taking the course step by step. Here is how you can do that:
This skill is crucial so you can adapt your ears, and thoughts to the new words you will learn, then the diction, and the rhythm of the language. The more you listen to it, the more natural it becomes to you. That’s why most of the teachers say that you can’t really know some language until you’re able to listen and understand it, just like you do with your native one.
This one comes naturally after a few weeks of active learning new words and sentences. As you speak, you are getting more ideas on how to properly form the sentences, and choose the right words, their synonyms, or even phrases, while you respect the grammar rules. In this case, watching movies, and listening to songs is very useful. Once you have the confidence to speak it, it will be even easier for you to put more effort, and learn it as fast as you can.
The third step in this process is reading. First, you will try to read shorter texts and see if you can understand what you read. Try to do that loud, so you can hear yourself at the same time. You can’t even think about becoming an expert in some new language if you don’t practice your reading skills regularly. The good thing is that today you can easily find websites, books, and blogs written in the language you want to learn, and you can practice your reading skills every time you want to do that.
This is the ultimate level that comes with the courses. You can’t say that you completely understand it, and you are able to communicate, it until you try to write a couple of simple sentences or even a short essay. All of these skills are important, but once you learn how to write in a foreign language, by just thinking about the theme, without having to translate it from your native tongue you already speak, you can say that you are ready to adapt it to your regular communication.
How do we learn new languages?
Some people have a natural talent to learn new languages, and they are even able to visit at least two courses at the same time. If you are one of them, you are blessed with this precious talent you must work on it. Today, it’s even easier because you can find Language Trainers online, sign up for a course in an open or closed group, or even pay and arrange a private course, just for you and the teacher. This year showed us that everything can be done online, and courses are not an exception. You will probably have to sign in to some meeting platform and wait for the teacher to send the needed books and learning materials.
Most of the time, we visit regular courses, but due to the COVID-19 situation, they were moved online. Thanks to technology, we are able to have web-courses, which are more flexible than regular ones, because you can listen to the recorded material even more than once, and repeat the important things.
There is an old saying – one person worth is equal to the number of languages he/she speaks. And that’s absolutely right. Every language is based on those four skills we mentioned above. Of course, talents, and enthusiasm are also important, but once you are able to listen, speak, read, and write, you can say that you know it, and you are ready to use it.
The fifth skill
Also, there is a fifth important skill, that is not that linguistic as these four. It’s more meaningful for the people who are speaking it, and it’s named cultural awareness. That means, as you speak, you are ready to understand the differences between the people who speak the same language but come from different countries or cultures. Not every spoken tongue is authentic for one particular country or geographic area. Some of them are spoken in more than one country, and some countries also have more than one official language. Once you understand all of that, you are ready to embrace the fifth skill, which completes you as a new speaker.
What is the most important skill?
This question doesn’t have one and only answer, since different professions, or situations, require a different level of language proficiency. For example, foreign students need to know how to read, and understand the contents at the same time, and then, to be able to write down what they learned. Listening and speaking are also important for them, so they can stay at the classes, or answer oral exams.
On the other hand, workers who don’t have to communicate in a spoken way should improve their reading and writing skills. It all depends on the nature of the work, so no one can say which one skill is the most important. But, we can say, and we know that the combinations of all of them are a guarantee that you will learn the language, and be more proficient as time goes by.
At the very end of this article, we will recommend you to start using the learning apps available in the smartphone stores, so you can get some basic idea of how the language sounds, and how the sentences are formed. After that, you are ready to take a course and become an expert in it.