The Internet and advancement technology make the world flat and smaller.
The need to learn a new language becomes inevitable as everyone has an access to just about everything in the world through social media and the web, among others.
It becomes an advantage when you can understand and appreciate discussions that benefit you. You can actively contribute and participate in such discussions where the discussion was carried out in a language foreign to you? Learn the language!
Learning a new language can be difficult, challenging, and yet it can be fun too. One needs to learn vocabulary, grammar, sentence construction etc.
With your responsibilities to yourself at home, and possibly at work, learning a new language can become a big challenge. Yet, with a goal in mind and the right attitude, you have decided to learn a new language. Now, should you study the language by yourself or should you study it with a group of individuals wanting to study the same?
Advantages of Learning by Yourself
- You can manage your own time to study and not be pressured with having to attend classes that will conflict with your appointments.
- You can set your own pace of studying the new language. You learn at a speed that fits your ability to learn, your time as well as your resources.
- You are less likely to get distracted since you will not be interacting with others – no adjustments necessary. Studying alone will improve your focus.
Disadvantages of Learning by Yourself
- You will not have someone (friends or peers) to push you when you become sluggish at times. You can be sidetracked by extra hobby, extra task at home, or even unplanned overtimes at work or school. During these times, friends that can remind you and pull you back to learning a new language is beneficial.
- You sometimes become unmotivated and friends/peers can fuel extra motivation that you can definitely use.
Advantages of Group Learning
- When you interact with others while learning, you will get the chance of verifying your ideas learned to be correct or not. The exercise of verification of learning will help improve retention. The more you apply and use the vocabularies and sentence patterns that you have learned, the more likely to remember them.
- You can review what you have learned with others. You learn from them, and at the same time, your team mates learn from you.
- Having others learn with you can be an extra motivation. Members of a team will feel responsible of the need to have other members learn what everyone is learning.
Disadvantages of Group Learning
- When you are in a group it is more likely to have more distractions. Almost often, other members are distracted and are too loud and can be out of control. It will greatly affect each group member’s learning focus, including you.
- Once you are in a group, you will need a period to adjust with different personalities in a group. Each member will have his/her personal goals, and different personal motivations for learning a new language. Such can, most likely, be different with yours and will represent an additional challenge.
Challenges of Learning a New Language
In learning a new language, when you are a beginner, everything is new. Vocabulary and grammar, for example, can be completely new. How the language sounds is completely new and distinguishable from your mother tongue.
Grammatical structures and sentence patterns can be completely different from what you are used to. Add to that how the language is spoken. It will take time for you to process and learn all these things. Here are some tips to overcome the challenges you may encounter in learning a new language:
- Commit yourself to learning new words on your own. You can set how many words you need to learn each and commit to that target. When you are short of your daily target because you are off-tasked, make sure you make up for the missed targets. You can use cutouts of pictures associated with the vocabulary you need to learn as visual aides. Work diligently and stick to your daily targets until you become comfortable with the language’s vocabulary. Recorded voices of how each word is spoken is very helpful as there are times that a word can have different meanings when pronounced differently.
- Study grammatical structures and sentence patterns of the new language on your own. Have different tools and references handy. You must completely understand that each language varies with grammatical structures and sentence construction. You must not confuse, and most importantly, not impose your mother tongue’s constructed grammar on the new language.
- Join language learning groups. After getting familiar with the new language’s vocabulary, grammatical structure and sentence construction, you can meet up with others and join various groups or language clubs. Your very purpose of attending the group study is validating what you have learned. You verify whether what you have learned is correct. Interacting with other learners will give you a chance to apply what you have learned. Research and communicate with educational resources like scholaradvisor.com to understand and connect tips and tricks from other students. It is very important in learning a new language to put it into actual use. It is best to be with people who are more familiar with the language and, if possible, in places where the language is mostly spoken.
Should you study alone or in groups?
It depends on what you are learning and depends on your commitment, availability (time) and motivation.
If learning a new language alone works for you, then go ahead and reach your goal. If language learning in a group is effective for you, find a group that will make you comfortable and will make you more efficient in reaching your goal.
Learning a new language is basically challenging, and yet it can be fun. One must need to have the specific personal goals set. Goals including what you need to learn and how long do you need to learn it.
In addition, one must need to have the right attitude, determination and motivation. Do you really need to learn that new language? Why? What for? Your answers will help you determine if you really need to learn that new language. When things get sluggish or slow, you can always go back to the goal of your endeavor.
Bio: Colin Christensen
A student, who likes to write, learn, read and research all about languages.
He is always ready to improve himself and with pleasure helps everyone.
Collaborated with scholaradvisor.com and other learning resources.