Language learning journal | Language learning is not a gift but a choice

A language learner will go through several phrases – the honey moon phrase at the beginning where you fall hard for this language, you want to spend every second soaking it in; the amateur phrase where you know the language but not sure what to do with it, many people will drop out at this stage and single-sidedly end the journey. Those who carry on will either retain the same language skills level or outgrow the plateau to reach near native level.

Throughout these phrases, there are different decisions we learners can make. After the honeymoon phrase, you can choose whether to continue or not. It is like dating someone who doesn’t appear to be the one but is great at sex, you can choose A. Keep seeing each other but no commitment or B. Find something in her/him that make you smile and hang out somewhere other than the bed. Back to language learning, Plan A means that you can watch your favourite movie, listen to the song, go to shows that are in that language but no serious sit-down study. If you pick Plan B, then pick a subject you are interested in, and learn about that subject in the language. For example, I just finished my first 100 days of learning Japanese. I am interested in manga, so I deliberately bought manga written in Japanese.

As your vocabulary grows, so does your language ability. You will soon find yourself familiar with the language in that register (the one you pick for Plan B). You are on another cross road now. A. If you are happy with what you have then you can retain your ability by reading, listening, writing and speaking the language in that register. But notice these four aspects of language capability varies from person to person. Some are better at reading while others might be better at listening and speaking. So here comes to option B. If you want to improve your language skills, notice which areas are your weakness. Then improve those areas. Obtain help from others, such as tutors, can greatly accelerate the process. Conversation group formed by native speakers is another great option. Try search your language group activities in the. Meetup app.

Further down the road and you can use the language confidently. What’s next? A. Retain your language level if you find it sufficient to achieve your goal. For instance, enough to carry out daily conversation or good enough to be a working language. B. If you really want to learn a language by heart. Learn through writing. Writing sharpens your mind and train your brain to think logically. When you write in another language, your brain will automatically search for the right words, phrases, sentence structures, which triggers the learning mechanism – recalling. This mental work-out will train your brain to turn the language into your long term memory. In other words, you will hardly forget them ever again. Practical tips: 1. Keep a journal describing your daily life, expressing your opinions, reflecting on events using that language. 2. Hire experienced tutors to read your writing. Be open-minded to their feedbacks.

Happy learning everyone. 大家加油!皆んな、頑張りましょう!

3 thoughts on “Language learning journal | Language learning is not a gift but a choice

  1. Very true.
    What languages are you working on, or fluent in, now?
    Me encanta hablar con usted en castellano, si quiere,
    J’aimerais bien vous parler en français, si ça vous plaisiez,
    çok konusmak uzere, Turkçe’de, iserteniz.


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Shira!
      Thank you for your comment. I use English most of the time for work and daily activities since I live in Sydney now.
      但其實我母語係廣東話,又因為我係廣州長大(Cantonese ),
      从小学起学校里面老师用普通话教学,所以广东话和普通话其实几乎同步发展。(mandarin )
      Quant au française, c’est ne pas facile, mais je l’aime aussi.

      I haven’t used french for several years and it got very very rusty if not forgotten at all. I guess that’s why people call language a living thing-you either use it or lose it, but if you are lucky, you got to keep some parts of it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Bon, c’est vrai que le français n’ai pas facile, cert, mais je trouve qu’on écrivant dans mon journal et sûr mon blog en français, j’ai pu le guardé, et avec Netflix aussi, ça aide (même si mon ortographie n’ai pas tout a fait correct !).
        J’espère tu voir dans mon blog, si tu as le temp: les vendredis son le jour de français, et aujourd’hui, el jueves, es el dîa de castellano.



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