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Read the text for general understanding. Think of the title to the text.





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(A) There are certain things you need to know before beginning to learn a foreign language. Here are some useful and practical tips you can refer to.

So, you think you want to learn a foreign language quickly? Actually it can be compared to a roller-coaster. Learning another language is probably one of the top things that people begin and never finish. Why is that so? One of the main reasons is that most people don't realize what it takes to really learn another language and they are not prepared for the work it takes.

 

(B) So, what are some things you need to know before beginning to learn a new language? First of all, you need to know your true motivation for wanting to know another language. It is a natural fact of life that the more motivated you are to do something, the more likely you are to do it and complete it.

Some reasons people give for this are:

a) "I think it would be interesting or fun",

b) "I enjoy learning about other people, and learning their language is a good way to do that",

c) "Smart people know more than one language",

d) "I am going to be living in another country",

e) "I know people who speak another language and I want to be able to communicate with them", and

f) "my family speaks another language and I want to learn my mother tongue".

Obviously some of these reasons are much more serious than others. If you combine moving to another country with the desire to speak to the people around you, your chances of learning that language are higher than the person who just thinks it would be cool to speak another language. The motivation is higher and the need is much more present.

 

(C ) You also need to know your own personality.

If you do not learn well under pressure, but you know that you are going to be moving to another country, you might want to consider learning that foreign language while it is still just a good idea and not a necessity. Try to keep it fun. Begin with easy phrases that are used in everyday life so that you can see an immediate improvement. This will help give you the confidence you need to keep learning. Remember, you are not going to open your mouth and speak in sentences immediately. Do not add to your pressure by expecting unattainable goals for yourself.

 

(D) You need to know how you best learn:

  1. Are you the type of person who learns by seeing and hearing? Then get out with the people. Find people who speak the language and ask them to use simple phrases with you so that you can pick up the ideas and meanings quickly. Don't worry about repeating everything they say; just listen and have fun. Also do not just pick up a textbook and study for a few days.

 

  1. Are you someone who learns best by practical use? See if you can find someone to live with for a few days. Repeat what they say, paying close attention to pronunciation. Ask your friends to say short phrases and use them in a situation that requires you to use them. The more you use the language in context, no matter how simple the phrase, the faster you will learn. Remember to start simple and slowly add to the complexity of the sentence. For example, start with "I go," then the next day add "I go to the store."

 

  1. Are you someone who just needs to see it in order to understand? Then you are the person who needs to start with a textbook for a few days. Find a good, pocket sized dictionary and carry it with you. Get to where you recognize the words when you see them and see if you can recognize them as people are speaking. Think of it as a verbal word find. Every day sit down with your dictionary or textbook and add about 5 words to your list. Don't skip speaking them though. After you are confident with seeing the words and recognizing their meanings, get someone to go over them verbally with you so you know for sure that you can recognize them when spoken.

 

(E) Most of all - don't expect too much of yourself, but keep going. If you need a break, take it. Have fun with the language. Find people you like to be around who speak that language. Keep in mind how you learned your own language, and that just like a child needs time to develop a good vocabulary, you will too.

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