Studying and learning foreign languages is no longer about having a better travelling experience. Before it pays to learn to speak the local or native language of a country you will be visiting to avoid any embarrassing and even sometimes insulting situations. Learning foreign languages is not just about getting the right directions, it is about making connections with people that have different languages, culture and history. |
A lot of people are now recognizing the advantages of learning foreign languages. We are living in the time of globalization, everyone around the globe has somehow became connected together whether it is through education, business or arts. We have reached a period where learning and speaking one language is not sufficient. With people understanding the impact of learning and speaking second languages, people from different ages are starting to get formal education for it.
If you are a teacher and teaching foreign languages or students who are second language learners, then it is possible for you to encounter some difficulties. Most of the students who are language learners would come from different ages and background. You would have to deal with these differences to make the experience rewarding and productive. How to do it? Here are some tips that could help you when teaching.
• There are many tips and tricks that could help in making the class interesting. Make use of different teaching methods that would make the class interesting. According to studies, children can easily acquire language, especially if they are from ages 0 to 7. The ability to learn language easily decreases when they reach puberty. That is why most adults would find it more difficult to learn new languages than children.
a. Role playing is one of the great teaching methods and activities for language learners. You could layout simple situations and ask them to converse using the language that they are learning. Those involved in the role play will of course learn the language, but the other students who are watching will also be able to pick up the words in a very entertaining manner.
b. Pictionary is a great game when teaching new words or expanding vocabulary. Flashcards would also be great, but for more interaction, you could use pictionary.
• When drilling students or asking them to answer questions, make sure that they are given enough time to answer them. Some beginners or anybody who is learning a second language, would first think of the answer in their native language before translating it into to the second language that they are learning. So give them ample time to answer. As you progress in your classes, teach them the importance of thinking in the second language to execute and speak better in the language they are learning.
• Some language programs boast about how many words they could teach an individual learning a second language. As a teacher, you do not only teach them words and meanings, pronunciations and grammar usage. It would most important that the words you are actually teaching them are something that they would utilize in real-life situations. There are studies showing that 15-20% of students cannot remember what was taught three to four weeks before. You have to know when to slow down and increase the pace. This is of course will be based on your students’ reactions in classes.
• Because of the nature of students forgetting what is taught. It is important that the teacher do reviews. After a lesson is taught, review it by doing different methods like open conversation, games, songs, chants and other activities. Introduce the new lesson afterwards. This would help those students who are lagging behind or having problems catching up. This would also help those who can catch up to retain what they know.
Teaching, in general can be very rewarding and challenging. When teaching languages, nothing is more rewarding than hearing your students converse in language that they do not even know how to speak before your classes start. You just have to realize that learning is a process. Some would take a long time before they can reach the level that you want them to be in. You have to understand these differences so you would be able to handle them well.
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In this era of globalization, countries and people are forging closer connections. Learning foreign languages would help you build a global understanding. But learning how to speak in a foreign language should not be just to brag about it. Learning and mastering a foreign language should manifest when we start thinking in it and embracing the culture and history that comes with it.
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