Have you ever wondered what it is like to live without language?
What would have happened if every single thing was nameless?
Could an ideology spread worldwide in the absence of language?
Incontestably, the possible answers to all these questions will indicate the significance of language in everyday life. As we are growing up with language, we may already know that language is playing an important role in communication. However, do you still remember every endeavor you undertook to utter a recognizable word way back then? Or how did you know to distinguish speech sounds when you were a baby?
In fact, we never realize how language was imprinted in our brains from the very beginning. We anyhow would say that we acquired language subconsciously. But, would you say multilingual and polyglot acquired languages by a fluke? Certainly, the presumed answer is no. According to linguists, language acquisition and language learning are two distinguishable concepts. There are several theories explaining these matters extensively such as Behaviorist Theory and Humanistic Theory. To put it simply, most travelers will learn another language (language learning) rather than relying on their first language (language acquisition) as a way of survival in a foreign country.
From a linguistic perspective, vocabulary, grammar and context are enveloped in the language realm. Hence, if you are a language learner, you might know what comes first, vocabulary or grammar, in order to create a meaningful communication. It is generally believed that enhancing lexical knowledge should precede the syntactic skills in a language learning process. Concerning this matter, here are some useful tips for the beginner language learners:
- Focus on boosting your vocabulary. Grammar should be the second thing whilst should not be disregarded.
- Read a lot. Intensive and extensive reading will benefit you in many ways. – If you are not a ‘reader’ or a bibliophile, identify your learning preferences. For instance, you can watch some foreign films if you are a visual learner. – Choose the right genre since every subject matter has its own jargon. (Will you watch a horror film if you want to learn how to cook?)
- Connect with native speakers. This is undeniably the best method to practice foreign language as you will be exposed to extensive vocabulary, rules and quirks of the language, and even to their cultural insights.
Nevertheless, there are no shortcuts in language learning. Achieving fluency requires patience and determination since it may take some time. Instead of being disheartened by the daunting process, you should plunge into the language with relish. Everyone has their own unique styles of learning. Who knows if perhaps one day you could outsmart advanced learners. Just keep in mind, an expert was once a beginner. Thus, keep motivating yourself and embrace failures to attain fluent speech.
– Siti Suhailah