The language learning classroom
Extensive research has been done to show us the best conditions to learn languages. This research has influenced the way the best language schools teach and the way you learn.
Below are some features of how life in a classroom should be. You will see you are expected to put a lot of effort into your learning but you will also see that learning a language can also be a lot of fun and needn't be the frustrating experience many of us may associate with our schooldays!
- You are an individual! You have strengths and weaknesses and individual needs. Good language schools recognise this and try to provide you with what you want as an individual.
- The classroom should be a stress-free and relaxing environment. You learn most effectively when you feel relaxed.
- Learning a language is fun and hard work! It is important that you participate in your classes. The more you get involved in the classroom the more speaking and communicating in the language you're studying will seem natural to you. Pair and group-work with other students helps to achieve this.
- If your teachers are enthusiastic, friendly and well-organised you will enjoy your lessons more and learn more.
- Good language schools try to help you get involved by relating the classes to your experiences in life and making the class fun with interesting activities.
- Games and laughter are part of the learning process. Communicative games are a very good way of practising spoken language.
- You need to practise structures/vocabulary you have recently learnt.
- It helps to use the language you know in an enjoyable way without worrying about making mistakes.
Remember it is useful and important to speak with the other students in the class not just the teacher! The teacher is also there to guide you; not just to give you a standard model.
Making mistakes is OK, though it does depend on the objective of the activity. If communicating is the main objective, making mistakes is not so important, but mistakes need to be corrected if you want to structure your sentences correctly.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes, You do learn from your mistakes!
Submitted by Saint George International, English School in London
There is nothing impossible in language learning.
by Georgina Heredia
Get ready to know a truth that will change your view towards language learning.
Nothing is impossible
- No sound is too different to be reproduced with your mouth. (after all, you're trying to copy it from other humans with a very similar mouth)
- No phrase structure is too hard to be recreated.
- There's not a limit in the number of languages a human brain can store
- There's not an age in which the language learning abilities stop working.
- No level is too advanced to be reached
- No accent is too foreign to be imitated.
- There's nothing that can be done if you persist enough.
Maybe you will have to try 3, 8 or 20 times, but if you give up when you're at the 2nd, the 7th or the 19th, you'll never enjoy success. Don't see your mistakes as failures. They are opportunities for you to see what's that you're NOT suppossed to do. Keep searching.
No language is too hard to be learned.
If someone is able to speak it, even if it's half-way around the world, then it means you're able to speak it, too.
Why am I so sure?
Because you being able to read this means you've learned English, which means that your brain and the organs required for language and language learning work perfectly.
Just keep trying until you enjoy the fruits of your effort. Otherwise, You would be making something impossible out of language learning. I have shown you that everything is possible. Now go and show it to yourself.
Practice makes perfect / La práctica hace al maestro
About the author
Georgina Heredia is an enthusiastic lingusitics student who writes about making language learning [even more] fun at her spanish-speaking blog, lenguaslenguas.com.