Author Topic: How to acquire any language NOT learn it!  (Read 158 times)


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How to acquire any language NOT learn it!
« on: July 25, 2020, 10:52:02 AM »

This is one of my most favorite videos on learning a foreign language. It's similar to how I learned how to program, by doing a top-down approach. So speak the foreign language instead of study the grammar initially. Similar to programming, you want to start projects instead of do a bottom up approach (i.e. study how the computer's memory works or how the graphics cards work). I studied Spanish when I was in elementary school and am very lucky to have a baseline in Romance languages.

These are my notes just in case you don't want to watch the 1 hour long video:

Interviewee learned Arabic in 1 year. Not perfect but pretty good.
Babies acquire language. Learning is sitting down in a classroom and learning the rules.
Doesn't suggest studying grammar. Wait until you are fluent.

Natural approach experiment: Learn language through storytelling (comprehensible input)
Find the right instructor
State department has levels for difficulty Chinese is Level 5
Don't focus on reading and writing, get the right instructor 2 hours per week
Language exchanges can help if you don't know anybody (Craigslist, apps)
Get magazines with pictures and children's stories and get the tutor to help you. Don't have to retell the story. 20% magazines and 80% children's books. Only foreign language. No grammar. No corrections.
Why is the most important question for any language
Reading puts everything together.
Students who read 100-150 pages per week had the best results.
You need people not a digital flashcard app. You need interaction.
Duolingo is just memorization. You need interaction.
Study abroad if you can.
Speak naturally, no need to think.
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Re: How to acquire any language NOT learn it!
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2020, 10:57:15 AM »
Benefits to learning foreign languages

  • Learning stimulates your brain
  • With certain languages it establishes a baseline for other similar languages (i.e. Romance languages)
  • It's impressive if you can speak multiple languages*
  • Broadens your job search and if you're an entrepreneur it can open your business up to other markets

* It's a common misconception that children learn languages better than adults. When I was a kid I struggled to learn Spanish however after working many low paying jobs I'm motivated to learn useful skills like foreign languages, marketing, and programming.
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