How to learn a language?

When it comes to language learning, there are different styles or approaches that fit the needs of different people. Some people find it easy to get familiarized with a new language by reading it, while others may find it more useful to listen to a new language. Still more people might like being physically active while learning a new language. In this way, language learning can be optimized in order for the learner’s experience to be made as enriching as possible.

Let us discuss a few of these various types of learning styles.

Auditory Learning Style

Auditory learners learn best through sound, and when this is applied to language learning, the most effective method is for learners to interact and hold conversations with other people. As their learning takes place best through sound, making frequent efforts to try and communicate in the language they are learning can allow them to grasp knowledge in the most efficient manner possible. Some advantages of this learning style include the sharpening of the student’s pronunciation and fluency in the language, increased confidence and higher motivation to practice and be more comfortable with the language. Additionally, listening and speaking are two of the most important parts of a language learning experience, going hand-in-hand with reading and writing. Here are some ways in which auditory learning style can be used in language learning:

  • Reading the study material aloud to the student.
  • Asking student to orally summarize the content that was taught.
  • Making use of methods such as mnemonics and rhymes to help memorize content.
  • Ask the student questions that they are required to respond to orally.
  • Having them record themselves while practicing and listen to it with them.
  • Making use of music, videos and conversations to enhance their learning.

Visual Learning Style

When it comes to visual learners, the most effective way of learning for them is by seeing, reading, and watching content about the topic of study. Applied to language learning, this can be incorporated in classes with the use of images, graphics, colors, all kinds of primarily visual ways of presenting the study material to the student. The ability to see and visualize what they are learning in their minds makes it easier for the student to grasp the concept being taught and allows them to understand it in the best possible manner. Some of the advantages of the visual learning style include the added ability of the student to understand the “big picture”, increased memory of the topic being taught, allowing for better comprehension as well as making communication much quicker and simpler. Some of the ways in which this style can be enhanced in language learning include:

  • Making use of images while explaining content to the student.
  • Making use of maps, flow charts, or webs to organize study content.
  • Providing reading material for the student to use while studying.
  • Reading the language that the student is learning can also allow them to get more familiarized with recognizing words and letters.
  • Instead of just making notes during classes, using images or pictures to pair with words will prove to be useful.
  • Watching shows or movies in the language that the student is learning.

The third learning style we’ll discuss is more of an approach taken by the teacher than a learning style of the student, in that it can be applied to whatever style the teacher may adopt in order to ensure the most optimum learning experience for their students. This approach is called the language immersion, or immersive learning approach.

Language Immersion

The main aim of this approach is to allow the student to learn a new language in the same way, and just as naturally as they learned their mother tongue. This approach is used while teaching a second language to students, and, as the name suggests, it seeks to immerse the student into the experience of the language completely. There are different types of language immersion and we will talk about three of these: total immersion, partial immersion, two-way immersion otherwise known as dual immersion. Let us look at these in a little bit more detail.

  • Total Immersion: during total immersion, the students and the teacher speak in the second language (or the language being taught) throughout the duration of the class. This encourages the students to speak the language in a more natural manner instead of always pre-planning their sentences and rote-learning the phrases to be said. It allows them to learn to speak the language in a spontaneous, more casual manner as they begin to familiarize themselves with the language well enough to be able to speak it naturally.
  • Partial Immersion: similar in some ways to total immersion, partial immersion involves the use of the language being taught during half of the class. So, the teacher and the students speak in the language half of the time, and in their regular language for the rest of the duration. The main goal of partial immersion remains to make the students well acquainted with the country where the language comes from, along with the culture of the country.
  • Two-Way/Dual Immersion: this type of immersion learning follows a basis similar to that of total and partial immersion, however it requires students to play the role of not just the learners but also the teachers, in some ways. In dual immersion, the student population is such that half of it knows two or more languages. The duration of the class is then split in half, with one half focusing on one language and the other half focusing on another language. The way that this method allows students to take on the role of teachers is by encouraging the two sets of students to teach each other the languages that they are new to. As can be concluded, the student population ultimately becomes bilingual.

These are some of the learning styles and approaches to be considered when it comes to an individual’s language learning, so that a teacher may try to create the most efficient learning environment for the students.

At Saswath Academy, we teach Hindi language primarily to students both as academic and spoken language. We prefer learning in small groups with teacher guiding the students in improving their vocabulary. Our teachers understand the learning style preferred by each child and help them gain the command of the language at their own pace. You can contact us for a trial class for Hindi language.

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