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Beliefs about foreign language learning

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Beliefs about language learning The following questions try to ask some important factors related to language learning. - Please, listen carefully. - It is commonly thought that children are the best language learners, and that it is very difficult, if not impossible, for older people to learn a new language. In fact, that is not true. Research shows that there is no decline in the ability to learn as people get older. Except in the case of hearing or vision loss, the age of the adult learner is not a major factor in ability to learn a new language. Negative stereotypes of the older learner as a poor learner, and inappropriate learning and teaching strategies are the greatest obstacles to adult language learning. In some ways, adults are better language learners than children are. Adults have developed learning strategies and have more experience in learning. Children give the appearance of learning languages more easily because they are better at pronouncing them. Adults almost always have a foreign accent when they learn a new language, while children do not. We also expect less of children. When they learn a little, we are pleased. Adults, though, have greater expectations of themselves and others as language learners, and easily become discouraged if they do not learn rapidly. - There is no “one and only” way that works for everybody. Learning a language is a highly individual process and consists of a combination of factors. The most important factor is not the teacher or the course. The most important factor is YOU, the learner, and your contribution to the process of learning. Your motivation, your reason for learning the language, your need to communicate, and your attitude are all very important. Although there is no single ideal way to learn a foreign language, it helps considerably if you try to find opportunities to practice the language, especially speaking and listening. Shyness and fear of using the new language can considerably slow your progress. Try to develop a comfortable and worry-free approach, for example, in your attitude toward mistakes. - One of the biggest problems that language learners must overcome is their hesitancy to make mistakes. You naturally want to express yourself well, but the truth is that there is no way to learn a language without making plenty of mistakes. . You must practice to learn, and when you practice you will make errors. But usually you will be understandable, even with some mistakes. And the more you speak, the better your foreign language becomes. So overcome your shyness and use the language you learn! Do not be afraid to make mistakes. Native speakers generally focus their attention on the content of your message and not on your performance or grammar. Look at errors as part of your learning process and do not let them discourage you from practicing. - Guessing is a very important part of foreign language learning. Even very advanced learners have to rely on guessing. Do not get discouraged or frustrated when your guess is wrong. The more you try the better you will become. After some practice you will find that it is not necessary to get the meaning of every word or phrase in order to understand the message. Learn to treat uncertainty as part of the process of language learning. - Achieving fluency in a foreign language depends on many factors. There are different types of learners. Some want to be perfect, want to rely on familiar rules and structures, and do not want to use the language unless they are confident about how they are going to perform. Others are afraid to appear ridiculous and slow down their learning by denying themselves opportunities to practice. Still others are impatient, want to learn everything at once, and get discouraged by lack of immediate results. Some learners are rule-oriented, while others rely on intuition. Some are shy, while others are sociable. Some have been exposed to foreign languages before, while for others it is the first foreign language experience. You will be safe if you do not expect too much at the beginning stage. Set realistic objectives that you can fulfill and do not let yourself get discouraged. - Success in learning a foreign language depends on many factors. One is the learner’s native ability to learn a foreign language. Another is previous experience learning new languages. Yet another is strong motivation and a positive attitude. Finally, appropriate learning strategies are very helpful for foreign language learning. - Many strategies are helpful in learning a foreign language. Some are most useful for learning speaking skills, while others work best for reading skills. Some are most effective at the beginning stage, while advanced learners prefer others. Some strategies work well with systematic, organized students, while learners who rely on their intuition and use their imagination prefer others.

Video Details

Duration: 7 minutes and 34 seconds
Country: Spain
Language: English
Producer: Manuel Pérez Gutiérrez
Director: Manuel Pérez Gutiérrez
Views: 231
Posted by: mapegu on Oct 15, 2008

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