Different Approach towards Learning Languages and Their Relevance
There are different approaches towards learning a language. Therefore, all learners should take into account their mental capacity and individual learning styles in order to implement those particularities in the most efficient way. To identify the distinctions and similarities in learning processes of different individuals, I arranged an interview with a person who learns Italian as a second foreign language. This paper will reveal, compare, and discus the strategies and particularities used by me and my interviewee. In addition, it will define the most effective methods of studying in accordance with person's learning style.
First and foremost, I aimed to identify one's learning style. It can be visual, for a person with a well-developed eye memory; auditive, for those with good auditory memory; or kinesthetic, for people who memorize the notions that are accompanied with actions. I constructed a multiple-choice question "While learning a language, what action do you consider to be the most fruitful?" The response options are: read and try to memorize; listen to and try to memorize; write and try to memorize. This question helps me to define my learning style, which is visual. In contrast, my interviewee claims to have the best developed auditive memory. This difference is crucial when it comes to the process of learning new words or grammar structures. Whereas it is hard for me to memorize the words while listening to someone's speech, the respondent demonstrates better results while perceiving oral speech. It fact, is highly recommendable that an individual who is intended to learn a foreign language distinguish his/her learning style and utilize the means that may bring the best results.
Learning How to Pronounce All the Sounds Correctly
Moreover, it is not surprising that learning a language begins with learning how to pronounce all the sounds correctly. Undoubtedly, mastering this capacity would help to achieve decent results in the reading and speaking comprehension of every language. To identify effective ways of sounds' memorization, the question "In your opinion, what is the best way to practise pronunciation? Why?" was constructed. The respondent answered, "Listening to audio tapes while performing habitual actions such as doing chores or walking is the best way to memorize the sounds." This answer provides two important insights.
- The first is that, when possible, learning styles should be combined in order to achieve the considerable success for a short period of time. For example, in this case, auditive memory is enhanced by kinesthetic one.
- The second notion is that while implementing kinesthetic memory, it is recommended to avoid performing new actions since in this case, the attention may be directed towards those movements. Therefore, it is appropriate to presume that for this purpose, it is better to use repetitive mechanical actions that do not require a great amount of individual's attention.
Answering the second part of this question, an interviewee explains that it is a practical approach towards learning a language not only because it allows combining different styles but also helps to utilize time in the most effective way. Besides, listening to a tape with a foreign speech in a familiar environment eliminate any stressful conditions. As a result, it does not limit one's motivation by different face-threatening situations. My answer to the same question was the following, "I need to write down the rules of pronunciation while learning the rules of reading." Thereafter, every time I am not sure that I can vocalize a word or sentence in a proper way, I refer to the glossary and make notes regarding how it should be pronounced. I acknowledge that most likely, it is impossible to transfer characteristics of the phonetic system of one language to the other. Nevertheless, it remains the most efficient approach for me since I have difficulties with comprehending and memorizing phonetic peculiarities on hearing.
Memorizing Phonetic Peculiarities on Hearing
The next question in my questionnaire is "How do you memorize new words?" The respondent claims that she writers them down on a paper and repeat one by one until they are all learnt. My interviewee sets a limit of 20 words a day and during the day, she removes those that have already been remembered. As for me, I implement exactly the same strategy of learning new words. However, I also involve my kinesthetic memory by means of writing the words as many times as necessary for their fast unmistaken and automatic reproduction. I employ writing because it is easier to learn the words that are both seen and written. Furthermore, I believe that it is the only way to improve spelling that helps to decrease the number of grammar errors.
Ways of Learning Grammar Structures
Speaking in greater detail about the ways of learning grammar structures, one should answer the question "How do you learn the rules of grammar?" The respondent claims that drawing the prompting diagrammatic tables is the best way to rationalize the particularities of foreign grammatical structures. Repeatedly applying such tables, it is possible to memorize those structures quite fast. While I agree that it is rather efficient way to learn grammar, I prefer to concentrate on a practical side performing a variety of exercises that help to master my grammar skills.
Way to Practice Language Skills
The last question in my questionnaire, which is probably the most exciting one, is "What is your favorite way to practice obtained knowledge?" The interviewee states that watching movies is a great and exciting way to practice language skills. As for me, since I can perceive the information better through visual images, I prefer reading books. This activity is an exciting and relaxing pastime that also serves an educational purpose to learn new words and grammatical structures. Besides, it gives the sense of being naturally involved in the implementation of a foreign language that enhances my self-confidence and ruins language barrier.
Summing the results of conducted interview, it is possible to state that learning a foreign language requires conscious involvement into studying process. It is critically important to understand which strategies are advantageous and which are unbeneficial when it comes to learning how to read, write, speak, and perceive one's speech on hearing. The process of learning should not be accompanied by stress, distress, or any other negative emotions. Instead, it should bring the notion of excitement and self-confidence. The acknowledgement of the above-mentioned peculiarities would significantly ease and fasten one's learning.