22 May 2020 | 14:59 WIB
Now that the world becomes increasingly globalized and bilingualism becomes an international communication demand, learning a foreign language is an inevitable must.
For young people learning a foreign language is an investment for their future. The ability to sepak second or third language will open up job opportunities. More than often, job opportunities presuppose a foreign language skill for work communication. Their hard skills in the global economy are marketably improved if they can speak a foreign language. Hiring someone who can speak a foreign language is good for the company. Someone who has learned and can speak one or more foreign languages tends to have better analytical skills, and decision making skills, be more open-minded and able to communicate and serve people better.
Learning a foreign language is also good for adults. Studies have shown that learning a new language could improve the functionality of the brain. If enhances cognitive abilities in healthy older people. The language learning process challenges the brain to recognize words, negotiate meaning, and communicate in an entirely different language system. A Telegraph reporter, in one of his report (19 June 2013) wrote that "Speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process." He also stated that "the brains of bilingual people operate differently that single language speakers speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits."
Learning a foreign language means we have to make an effort to transfer messages between linguistically complex structures. Learning a foreign language means we need to memorize new vocabulary items that usually have no similarity to our own. Learning a foreign language means we have to learn a different phonological system. Learning a foreign language means we must learn how to express our thoughts in a different way. And many more challenges....
If you think that learning a foreign languages is difficult, then it will be difficult. If, from the very beginning, you think that you will have difficulty in understanding the structures, the grammars, the pronunciations, the cultures etc., then you have lost the war before you even start it. Just start learning and enjoy the process.
Learning a new language is indeed a long process. Think about the process that we have to go through until we come to the level where we are now, you will be amazed. For nine months in our mothers' womb we were forced to listen to our mother language and then we need more or less another 6 years before we finally can get by. I didn't say that you need that much time for you to get by with the new language. What I am trying to say is that it takes time and needs patience.
The key of learning a foreign language is to 'Keep It Simple and Simple', just enjoy the process when making mistakes, be patient, persistent, and HAVE FUN...
KISS, 'Keep It Simple and Simple', is a useful expression that will remind you every time you try to produce a complicated sentence. It's a common tendency for a language learner to produce a complicated sentence with grammers and sentence structures in his/her mother tongue. The other phenomena is that a language learner tends to produce a sentence in his/her mother tongue and translate it into the target language. Try to think in the target language. Try to use the grammars of the target language and not to translate your mother tongue sentence into the target language.
Try to produce simple sentences of the target language. Make a simple sentence. Keep It Simple and Simple.
Learning should be fun. A relaxed and happy mind helps us learn more effectively. To increase your vocabulary, start to read children books. To train your ears, you can listen to songs. You can also enjoy movies and learn. All of those activities are fun as long as you don't try to translate every single word you hear or see. If you don't understand some words or expressions during the process, don't worry. Try to understand from the context. If you still don't understand, just enjoy... Be sure, you will understand it at a later stage...
You learn language in order to speak. You will enjoy speaking when you like the topic and the person you are talking to. Therefore, choose the field and the topics you want to study and find a teacher who can encourage you to speak and fun to talk to.
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