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Different Ways to Learn a Foreign Language

Different Ways to Learn a Foreign Language
on January, 07 2013

It has been said that to be truly globally competitive, a person must learn several foreign languages, including Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and Italian, as well as American and British English. It sounds very interesting, but for an average person whose life revolves around work and home, this could prove to be very difficult since time should be devoted to learn a foreign language. With already too many demands on a person’s time, how could someone learn a language on his own, and fit it in an already busy daily schedule? There are several tools that could help, but you still need to commit yourself to study the foreign language of your choice, keep to a schedule and persevere.

Learn a Foreign Language: Link words with mnemonics

Dr. Michael Gruneberg wrote the book Linkword Languages. He is an internationally recognized expert on learning and memory methods. His learning system promotes the use of an easy image to link a word in your mother tongue to the word in a foreign language. It is based on the sounds of the words in different languages being similar. One example is the term “cow” in English, which is “karova” in Russian. Using the mnemonic technique, visualize running your car over a cow. Another example is the English word “rice,” which in Thai is “khao.” To remember the Thai word for rice, it is recommended to visualize a cow eating rice. It is said that using this method helps a language student learn a basic vocabulary of about 1,000 words in ten hours.

Learn a Foreign Language: Town Language Mnemonic

This system is a variant of the Roman Room Technique, which is also called as the Method of Loci. It has been employed since the time of the Romans. This also uses mnemonics. With this technique, the learner visualizes a house and all the items that are in it and commit them to memory. For each thing that he wants to remember, he will journey through his whole house, where he would associate an item or part of the house to the thing that he wants to remember. The Town Language Mnemonics work in the same way, although this time, the house is replaced by a very familiar town. The learner then associates objects within the town to words in the foreign language.

Learn a Foreign Language: Learn the most common words

Anthony Peter Buzan is an educational consultant and English author, who is a proponent of mental literacy and mind mapping. In his book, “Using Your Memory” he said that there are only about 100 words that comprise 50% of regular conversation in any language. It is his belief that learning these 100 core words will enable a person to quickly learn how to converse in any language, even if it is only at a basic level. He recommends learning the 100 words that include the basic pronouns (I, me, he, she, it, they, them, us), articles (a, an, the, it), adverbs and. possessive pronouns. Include also, what, where, when, who, which, why, how, yes, no, good, bad, under, up, here, there, this, that, those, thank you and please and find the corresponding foreign words to these so you would be able to construct basic sentences.

Bernadine Racoma

Bernadine is a writer, researcher, professional and multi-awarded blogger and new media consultant. She brings with her a rich set of experience in the corporate world, as well as in the field of research and writing. Having taken early retirement after working as an international civil servant and traveling the world for 22 years, she has aggressively pursued her main interest in writing and research. You can also find Bernadine Racoma at .

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