Learning a New Language: Why Bother?
Learning a new language is like unlocking a treasure chest of the world. It opens up opportunities to connect with new people, understand different cultures, and expand your horizons.
For those of you that may have started a new language at the start of the school/homeschooling year that is great! Let’s make sure you are still motivated. If you are just thinking about introducing a new target language into your routine, let’s look at how we can ensure the right start.
Setting Clear Language Learning Goals
When embarking on a language learning journey, it’s crucial to set clear and achievable goals. Think about why you want to learn the language and what you hope to achieve. Do you want to travel to a new country and be able to communicate with the locals? Maybe some members of your family have a different mother tongue to you and you wish to be able to Chat with them better at home or over Skype or whilst visiting. Setting specific goals will give your learning purpose and direction.
Take a look at this Video that I made for a homeschooling summit last year. It goes through the steps that you should take in order to introduce a foreign language into your home or homeschooling routine.
Embracing Language Learning
Learning a new language can be frightening at times. Mostly for the parents who feel like their knowledge of the language is not good enough to support their child on this journey.
Let’s just stop right there. Forget about perfect vocab, perfect grammar and perfect pronunciation and think about having fun learning languages and try not to get too caught up on everything being perfect.
When you know what, where, why and how you have already set yourselves up for success. Now you just need to put the pieces of the jigsaw together add some patience, persistence and proper language learning time together and you will have a breakthrough
The Ups and Downs of the Language Learning Progress
Language learning is also characterised by its ups.and downs, where progress isn’t always linear. Some days you may feel like you’re making huge strides, while other days may seem stagnant or just that some words and simple sentences or phrases are not sticking in your or your child’s mind. Don’t panic, this is completely normal, take a break and try and look how you could make these words or phrases easier to learn, maybe through games?
Contextual Learning: Applying Language Skills in Real-Life Situations
Language learning shouldn’t just be about memorising vocabulary and grammar rules. It’s about applying your skills in real-life contexts. This is definitely where Charlotte Mason,and her approach really comes into play.
Whether it’s ordering food in a restaurant, asking for directions, or engaging in small talk, real-life applications help solidify language skills and make learning more meaningful. Plus using sequences also really helps here for example.
He took the book.
He opened the book
He started reading the book.
Consistency and Patience
Consistency and patience are the cornerstones of language learning. It’s the daily practice and gradual progress that lead to fluency. Just like watering a plant, consistent effort and patience are essential for your language skills to grow and flourish.
As the New Year approaches, consider setting ambitious yet achievable language learning goals. Ensure that you are all on the same page and brought into this language learning journey together as this makes everything easier.
With the right mindset and clear goals, you can make significant strides in your language learning journey in the coming year.
For more langauge learning ideas and advice check out other blog posts from myslef related to this topic here.