Learning a second language Watch

jellygiraffe
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So I don't even want to get started on how frustrated I am (i.e. burning with the passion of a thousand suns) about how poor the language education is in this country, and how I wish I had been taught from a young age so I wouldn't be eighteen and sat here barely able to speak another language...

But I was wondering if anyone on here who does have a second language that they've learned (not necessarily from parents/family etc) could give me advice!
How have you learned? What techniques/apps/teachers etc worked well? What language would you say is best to learn? (I'm attempting German since I did it for two years at a poor school and still enjoyed it.)

I was also thinking about hiring someone to have one-on-one lessons, and would love to know a native speaker just to teach me how to *speak* the language, not have a formal regurgitated convo.

Basically, I'd like advice from native speakers and those who have learned later in their lives! Thanks
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JNDSAN
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id say im pretty good at german so i can maybe help, i just did it at gcse and a level and now do a german law modules taught in german at uni.
you need to do little and often, half an hour a day is better than one shift of a few hours a week, its harder than you think so you need to write down why youre learning the language to keep motivated.

start off with the basics and get the grammar fundamentals down, the tenses, the four cases, the declensions adjectives, conjugations etc, the boring is hard and boring but you cant do anything without it.

then you need to go on a vocabulary drive and learn a copious amount of words especially for a language like german where there are five words for the same adjective for example, all used as much as each other.


look up people like richard simcott, tim doner, alex rawlings and especially luca lampariello and they have the best methods i find,

DO NOT start trying to read books or listen to radio at this point, you wont take anything from it and itl just put you off - good luck!
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super_kawaii
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(Original post by jellygiraffe)
So I don't even want to get started on how frustrated I am (i.e. burning with the passion of a thousand suns) about how poor the language education is in this country, and how I wish I had been taught from a young age so I wouldn't be eighteen and sat here barely able to speak another language...

But I was wondering if anyone on here who does have a second language that they've learned (not necessarily from parents/family etc) could give me advice!
How have you learned? What techniques/apps/teachers etc worked well? What language would you say is best to learn? (I'm attempting German since I did it for two years at a poor school and still enjoyed it.)

I was also thinking about hiring someone to have one-on-one lessons, and would love to know a native speaker just to teach me how to *speak* the language, not have a formal regurgitated convo.

Basically, I'd like advice from native speakers and those who have learned later in their lives! Thanks
I can speak 4 languages on top of my native English, those languages being French, German, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. I use a variety of methods to become proficient in a language-grammar books and vocab are always the best starting point as you can't speak a language properly without them. Routledge have a good range of books for grammar and Memrise is good for vocab.

Learning vocab for things you're interested in, such as food, sports or music, can help keep your interest in a language.

(Original post by JNDSAN)
DO NOT start trying to read books or listen to radio at this point, you wont take anything from it and itl just put you off - good luck!
As a language graduate I have to disagree with you on the not listening to radio as a beginner point. Listening to how the language is spoken in a native context is essential, even as a beginner learner, to understand the flow and rhythm of how the language is spoken. Not exposing yourself to how a language is actually spoken from early on will only serve to stunt acquisition.
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JNDSAN
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(Original post by super_kawaii)
I can speak 4 languages on top of my native English, those languages being French, German, Mandarin Chinese and Japanese. I use a variety of methods to become proficient in a language-grammar books and vocab are always the best starting point as you can't speak a language properly without them. Routledge have a good range of books for grammar and Memrise is good for vocab.

Learning vocab for things you're interested in, such as food, sports or music, can help keep your interest in a language.



As a language graduate I have to disagree with you on the not listening to radio as a beginner point. Listening to how the language is spoken in a native context is essential, even as a beginner learner, to understand the flow and rhythm of how the language is spoken. Not exposing yourself to how a language is actually spoken from early on will only serve to stunt acquisition.

different strokes for different folks but as someone whos become fluent, i dont feel it helps in the slightest, anyones vocabulary for the first month or two after beginning and the lack of grammatical knowledge will make it impossible to understand what is being said, radio hosts dont speak slowly or even enunciate well, they talk quickly to entertain and any beginner wont get anything out of it, if a beginner were to insist on listening theyd only benefit from listening to some beginner german youtube videos otherwise they simply wont understand, the rhythm and flow of a language only comes around by the intermediate stage
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Asolare
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Don't worry too much about your age, I did German in school for 4/5 years learnt practically nothing and scraped a grade D. I didn't start actually being committed to learning German until I turned 19 (last year) and this year I achieved an A in AS, so your age doesn't have to hold you back.

I think you should listen to radio and music. I started off learning German (after school) by listening to a lot of music and that way I got used to pronunciation and never had to really learn how to pronounce words [though there are some things that are difficult - namely the R, CH and Z/S distinction]. For me I've found that:

- Listening a lot helps.
- Space repetition (google ANKI) works very well - especially if you use pictures.
- Doing something about the language every day
- Making astrong effort to incorporate it into your life; e.g. count/swear in the language.
- Typing/chatting with people who can speak German also helps.

Duolingo & Memrise are good for building vocab.

Best of luck with your Journey
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super_kawaii
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(Original post by JNDSAN)
different strokes for different folks but as someone whos become fluent, i dont feel it helps in the slightest, anyones vocabulary for the first month or two after beginning and the lack of grammatical knowledge will make it impossible to understand what is being said, radio hosts dont speak slowly or even enunciate well, they talk quickly to entertain and any beginner wont get anything out of it, if a beginner were to insist on listening theyd only benefit from listening to some beginner german youtube videos otherwise they simply wont understand, the rhythm and flow of a language only comes around by the intermediate stage
It's more useful than you'd think-listening is how babies acquire their native language.

(Original post by Inexorably)

I think you should listen to radio and music. I started off learning German (after school) by listening to a lot of music and that way I got used to pronunciation and never had to really learn how to pronounce words [though there are some things that are difficult - namely the R, CH and Z/S distinction]. For me I've found that:

- Listening a lot helps.
See-it also helps with pronunciation, not just language rhythm and stress. If you can't be bothered to learn these basic things, then you shouldn't be learning a language
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tictactao
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In terms of learning German, the best thing you can really do is either watch a film that you've already seen in English and know pretty well but all in German. Try without subtitles given that you know the plot already - it's a big confidence boost when you realise how much you understand!

Also, watching German soap operas is honestly the best as well for getting you used to the language. They're easily accessible on the internet and even if you don't understand a lick of German you'll be able to get the gist of what's going on.

Hope this helps!
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username917703
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As said, Memrise & Duolingo are ace for language learning. I started Spanish about four years ago. I used Michel Thomas's Spanish course and I can't recommend it highly enough, you can find it online quite easily (for free I mean), he's done loads of languages, I did it over a two or three week period over Christmas and learned a lot quite quickly, how the language works and constructing sentences fast. I think it helps if you have an interest in the culture of countries that speak the language you want to learn as it will be less tedious. I'm into South America a lot so I have a genuine interest in learning this language. I originally wanted to do German as like you I had done it at school but I am not that interested in German culture aside from one or two German bands.

Suffice to say though, there is no easy way to learn a language and a lot of the time it's just going to bore you but if you don't put the effort and time in, you're going to get nowhere.

See if you can find some German speakers to do language exchange with. I speak with some people from Chile, Uruguay and Argentina on WhatsApp, we send voice clips to each other in English (them) and Spanish (me) so maybe you could try that. It helps a lot but it is also fun to do. My main problem now is just vocabulary, I understand the language reasonably well though so a lot of the time I can guess what the Spanish for certain words will be and end up making sense that way.

Also, use it or lose it. Put it into practice as much as you can.
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