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To Learn other languages among local people who don't speak that foreign languages is quite hard. That is what happens to us. It is great to meet you again. Today I would like to share 10 tips to learn other languages among local people based on my own experience as a non native English speaker.
More and more people learn other languages as a result of unavoidable globalism. The people in the big globe are unified by many languages. The more languages we master, the more possibility we have to unify people and it means we have more chance to get more in many different fields.
Before I share bout the tips, I would like my readers to know more about my language background so that you know how I can get the tips. I can say that English is our foreign language normally. There isn't anyone speak English in our house and neighborhood. I was introduced into English when I was 10 years old. My mom enrolled me to a tutorial group in my neighborhood. I didn't have any motivation or desire to learn English seriously before I was faced to a time when I have to choose which major I need to take in the university. The main purpose taking English as my major in the university was not because I like it either, but because I love reading and I had a great motivation to pass the university very quickly so that I could work very soon. You might think that I develop my English well in the university, but you are wrong. Although my GPA was almost 4, my English communication was very terrible. I was too shy to speak and I think I got low verbal IQ so that it takes a lot of time for me to produce languages in other areas than Grammar. However, for the purpose of learning, I now love learning English more and more. I would also love to learn other languages as well. I am interested in learning Korean and Mandarin actually.
Here are some things I have done to build up my English among the Indonesian people:
Learn from native speakers as much as we can
Having English lessons with the native speakers frequently in Indonesia is considerably very expensive. There are some English and Mandarin speakers here, but they are not native. It is different learning speaking with the native speaker, especially with whom who has certified language teaching. Native speakers have different accent and speech that are usually not owned by non-natives. Learning speaking English with the non natives is still acceptable, but learning Chinese that has various significant speech will demand learners to get native speakers. That's why I don't learn Mandarin from non-native tutors.
Have balance practice
The balance learning of language in reading writing, listening, and speaking is very important for learners. Chinese is another popular foreign language learnt in Indonesia. There are a lot of older Chinese speakers around us, but most of them cannot read and write well. Their accent and pitch are not understood by the native. If you don't understand the right or the proper Chinese, you might be trapped in to get lessons from them.
Read a lot of books in the targeted language loudly
As it is difficult to get the native speakers here and even it is difficult to get someone to talk with me in English around, I practice my pronunciation and dialect by reading books loudly. I did it every day on the roof of my house when I was in the university. Right now, I still do it once in a week before I go to sleep. By doing this I feel that I open the lock in my mouth. having a special quiet place to listen to our voice will
Watch movies without subtitles
This is one way to grow my vocabulary. By watching movies, we can see the expression, the use, the sound, and the meaning of the words in context. The movies might be quite difficult to follow at the first time, but it gets easier as the time goes on.
It is not only limited to the English, but it also happens with other languages. I love watching Korean and Mandarin too. Incidentally, I have a little knowledge for that languages as I hear similar expressions from time to time.
What happen when I don't understand the the actors say in the movies? Just simply turn on the subtitle to continue enjoying the movie. If I have the DVD, next time I replay the movie without the subtitle, I will have better understanding of it.
Listen to the language frequently
If you learn the languages in a course, there is less problem with listening materials usually, but if you learn the language by yourself, radio will be the best resource for this activity. There is also iTunes U with the podcasts that might help you in getting used to listening the language.
Listening without viewing the lips of the speakers needs harder effort if you learn new languages. Listening to the radio is more difficult than watching movies. I can say that this is the more advance step after watching the movie.
Learn from songs
Songs with lyrics have a great power to boost your new language vocabulary and comprehension as well. You might not understand the first time you listen to the song, but your next chance will make yo better. If you teach others languages, you should know that there are a lot of activity variations you can have using a piece of composition with words.
Browsing the internet for the lyrics will also help you to understand the meaning of the song so that you can appreciate it as well. Singing and memorizing the song will improve you pronunciation.
Subscribe to an online course
For me, rather than having lesson of foreign language speaking from the local people, I prefer to subscribe to an online language course. Here are some reasons for that:
- Online language lessons usually have native speakers that speak with standard dialect. At least you have to check for this.
- There are some ready to use curriculum to get learners sequential topics.
- There is usually a forum or any facility to communicate with the tutor anytime and anywhere.
- Some online programs provide assessment
- We can learn anytime and anywhere, even everyday in balance areas.
Make friends with the native speakers
Having native speakers as friends will not only let me to communicate with the language, but it also give me chance to learn their culture. Languages are parts of the cultures so that once we learn the language, we need to learn the culture as well. The Indonesian culture is really different from most English speaking cultures. I have learn and I still need to learn more about the English culture.
There are many ways to make friends with the native speakers as the virtual world has opened the door to numerous possibility to make friends around the world using the social media.
The more I read books in English, the more vocabulary I would be introduced to. I have never ever had any word list to memorize. Reading books is where all the vocabulary comes from. That might be different with the pictorial words like Chinese. Anyway, Korean still have syllables. The more I read, the more I am getting familiar with the reading and the vocabulary.
Get Familiar with the Main Sentence Structure
The main problem for me in writing and speaking English was: “what is the next words I am going to say?”. Thinking about the questions had made my speaking and writing very slowly.
- After some thought, I find that having a framework in my mind about the main structure of English sentence: “Subject – Verb” save my life a lot. Therefore, anytime I talk and write, the idea of subject and verb always sticks in my mind.
- The adjustment with tenses is also another problem for me to do spontaneously.
Those are just some example of grammatical problems that I faced most of the time. Some languages have different main sentence structures. Korean and Japanese have “Subject – Object – Verb” structure. I just could recognize it when I watch the movies.