What do you need to do to master any foreign languages? Part II

As I talked about in my first article (What do you need to do to master any foreign languages?) and mentioned 4 principles now I will write the first two of them in detail. So let's get started...

Encuentra tu profesor ideal

Principle 1: Decide what your needs are and find out what works best for you

If you have a clear idea of why you are learning a language, you can better choose what and how to learn it. Most people want to speak a language, but some aim to read in that language.

If you are already studying the language, then test yourself to see how well you know that language.

To get an idea of what and how much you need to learn when learning another language, here are some vocabulary tips from English. Most likely European languages such as French, Spanish, Dutch, and German require similar vocabulary sizes. Other languages are likely to require similar measures of vocabulary, but there is no research on this topic.

You should know about 6,000 different words to become familiar with 98% of words used in an informal conversation or 98% of words used in a movie. To become familiar with 98% of the words used in a novel or newspaper, you need to know about 8000-9000 different words. That means lots of words, and native speakers learn about 1,000 different words a year until they reach a vocabulary of around 20,000 different words.

However, as we shall see, not all words are created equal, and with a vocabulary of 1,000 to 2,000 of the most essential words, we can have adequate conversations and get most things done.

Principle 2: Balance your learning

Balancing learning is perhaps the most important principle, but it requires some skill and effort in practice.

The four-element principle says that if you want to learn languages in a balanced way, you should spend an equal amount of time in the following areas.

  • Learning through meaning-oriented input (listening and reading)
  • Learning through meaning-oriented output (speaking and writing)
  • Language-oriented learning (study of pronunciation, vocabulary, grammar, etc.)
  • Developing fluency (mastering the use of what you know)

¿Cómo aprender inglés? Algunos consejos
Has estado retrasando este momento, pero es algo que llega en la vida de todas las personas que a las que nos ha tocado vivir en...

These four elements are important and require roughly equal amounts of time. We will look at how to balance in the upcoming articles.

If the language you are learning has a very different sound system than your native language, it is worth learning the sound system of the foreign language in a planned manner. This means finding a teacher who can do more than just pronounce the sounds you need to make; the teacher needs to explain to you how sounds are produced in your mouth. An alternative is to do this work yourself. Some people can learn sounds well without help or study, but if you have difficulty with sounds, it's best to have a teacher.

If your goal is only to read in that language, then the time you will spend on the output (2. Aspect) can be changed to more reading input. Likewise, if your goal is to speak the language (especially

If the alphabet of the language you are learning is difficult), you may want all your input elements to be colloquial.

Hope it will help and give you guidance in learning a language. See you in the next writing...

© 2007 - 2022 Tus clases particulares Mapa web: Profesores particulares| Academias y centros