Learning a language is a good idea
Learn a language: 13 effective tips
A chat with business partners in London, a short break in Rome or a visit to a restaurant in Shanghai - easy communication becomes possible when you have one Learning language. Many people just barely get by with school English while traveling. In most cases, one or the other sentence is quickly rehearsed shortly before the start of the journey, which may make it possible to order in the restaurant, but a real conversation in another language is still a long way off. Many people have a secret desire to learn another language. But often it stays with the wish, because only very few become active. Qualified employees with foreign language skills are more in demand than ever in a global job market. We show you 13 effective tips on how to learn a new language…
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
➠ Content: This is what awaits you
Learning a language for a career
In many job postings today Foreign language skills demands. Whether French, Spanish, Russian or, increasingly, Chinese too - every company is looking for new employees who at least one other foreign language (in addition to English). The necessity of this qualification arises from the Corporate globalization.
Many have branches or subsidiaries spread across all continents. No larger company can do without international suppliers and customers. In order to meet these requirements, the Demands on new employees. Sometimes an application without the appropriate language skills has no chance of success, in other cases it is at least a big plus to stand out from the competition.
But even for long-term employees, a Continuing education in different languages worthwhile to recommend yourself for higher positions or business trips.
Learn languages and gain work experience
Once in the middle of working life, the opportunities to learn a new language are usually limited. There is simply no time, everyday life demands full concentration and attention. This is not meant to be an excuse and where there's a will there's a way (as the tips below show). But who plans and acts with foresight, can adapt his own language skills to the expectations of employers and the challenges in the later job at an early stage.
Especially for high school graduates, university graduates or after an apprenticeship if they do not start their career immediately, there are some Alternatives: These combine work experience and learning a foreign language. In addition, the alternatives include staying in another country, which many recruiters notice positively, especially if the company itself is active in that country.
Four classic options we will introduce you and show you what you can expect:
Young women in particular are often drawn abroad as au pairs, where they live with a host family and look after their children. The prerequisite for an au pair stay is that the young women (or men) have experience in babysitting and / or have completed an internship in kindergarten. Most organizations will at least 200 hours of experience required when dealing with children. In addition, the au pairs must between 18 and 26 years be old.
Not only the experience in dealing with people, the stay in a foreign country and the improvement of the respective foreign language are decisive for many in the decision, but also the challenge of coping abroad alone. In many programs there is a On-site language course intended to further develop language skills. In addition, working as an au pair can have a positive effect on later training in the educational field.
Internships abroad are also very important to companies. The promise next to the Practical experience just too cultural knowledge. During an internship abroad you not only gain work experience, but also improve your language skills at the same time, promote independence and also collect country-specific knowledge that can be used as a important for the desired profession or the study can prove.
For example, anyone who can prove a stay in China and not only linguistically, but also Vocational and cultural training has good prospects for an application, for example in the textile or electronics industry. Incidentally, the German Academic Exchange Service provides good information on this - including financial aid and scholarships.
Work & Travel
Anyone abroad who, above all, should expand their personal horizons and if possible inexpensive would like to travel through the USA, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa or Canada is for Work & Travel just the thing. At Work & Travel, you practically always work when your travel budget makes it necessary again.
In this way you not only get money for the onward journey, but also collect money during your jobs on farms, as an animator or in the call center lots of practical experience. The requirements for the required Working Holiday Visa: Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old, have knowledge of the national language and have German citizenship.
For some years now they are increasingly popular Volunteer programs abroad. Support for environmental protection projects, development aid or other voluntary activities are particularly welcome for social and ecological professions or courses. There are volunteer projects in the poorer regions of the world such as South and Latin America as well as Asia and Africa, but also in many Western countries.
What is interesting about volunteering is that, unlike most other ways, prospective students go abroad even with over 30 years can easily participate. The portal Freiwilligenarbeit.de offers further information on the subject.
5 languages that will expand your consciousness
Have you ever wondered whether people see the world differently when they speak English or German? Arabic or Persian? How much does language influence our thinking?
The American linguist Benjamin Whorf asked himself exactly this question as early as the 1940s and came to the conclusion that the way a language expresses time, space or gender influences how the speaker thinks about the world. Over the decades the so-called Sapir-Whorf hypothesis repeatedly critically examined and refuted in some places. The fundamental question about the influence of language on our thinking remains, however.
For example, in the 1990s, psychologists ran one Test with Spanish and German subjects by. They wanted to know what associations they made with certain terms. For example with the word bridge. In German is the bridge feminine, in Spanish masculine (el puente). Amazingly, the Spaniards were more likely to write to the bridge masculine characteristics like strength too, the Germans rather feminine characteristics like elegance or narrowness. Something very similar was observed for other terms, for example mountain (the mountain - la montana) and chair (the chair - la silla).
To sharpen your senses alone, we are introducing you to five languages that you probably did not know yet. Realizing the differences between languages also shows how helpless you would be without your own. Or in which of the five languages would you like to communicate with your colleagues?? Just play through the scenarios in your mind ...
The language that knows no colors
EVERY language has terms for black, white, red, for cold and warm colors. The anthropologist Brent Berlin and linguist Paul Kay put forward this thesis as early as 1969. The Yeli Dnye from Papua New Guinea only know vaguely colored descriptions, the The term 'color' itself does not exist.
The color red is described with the help of a red parrot. The color black with the night. Is with the islanders Color is more of a metaphorical constructthat only makes sense in the context of existing things.
The language that doesn't make you the center of attention
When someone asks you for directions, how do you answer? Probably something like this: You go left over there and right again at the next intersection. Guugu Ymidhirr would do it very differently. The Aborigines from northern Queensland in Australia orientate themselves on their inner compasswho is apparently inoculated into them from an early age.
So when asked about the way he would answer like this: Go west and at the intersection go east. The language is never based on the speaker, but always on the cardinal points. It's not called: Move a little to the right. Rather: Back a little way to the west. The speaker does not focus on himself (or the interlocutor). It remains to be seen whether the Aborigines think and act less self-centeredly. But you Sense of navigation and orientation is top notch.
The language that demands evidence
How many apples do we have at home? – Five pieces. This is how one imagines a logical dialogue under German roofs. The Matsés from the Peruvian Amazon are less direct in this regard. They provide almost all of the information that you have communicate, with a kind of reference to the source.
In relation to the apple example, they would answer something like this: There were five of them the last time I checked. The verb forms ALWAYS depend on how to get the information and when it was last checked. These verb forms are also what make the Matses language so extraordinary, according to linguist David Fleck.
The language that measures time differently
The Pormpuraaw, also Aborigines from Queensland, have a strong sense of direction. They also use the cardinal points to provide information about a place. But more than that: for them even that is Imagination of time directly connected with the cardinal points. In a series of experiments, they were presented with sets of cards showing different processes: A man who is aging. A crocodile that grows. A person who eats a banana.
How would you arrange the individual cards? Probably from left to right. The English-speaking test subjects did that too. The Pormpuraaw put the cards against it always from east to west from - so always following the sun - completely regardless of which end of the table you were seated at. They weren't told whether you were looking west, north or south - they obviously knew that by themselves.
The language that knows no numbers
How many hours do you have to work tomorrow? – Eight. If you were a Piraha from the Amazon, the answer would not be that easy. The Piraha have neither words for colors nor for numbers, not even quantities. There are no 1, 2, 3 and also no “much” and “little”, also no “everyone” and no “more”. Their only size units are: "large" and "small". So if someone wanted to describe how much overtime they worked yesterday, they can only fall back on these two categories: "large" or "small".
Linguist Daniel Everett, who lived with the Pirahas for eight years and is now fluent in their language, therefore carried out some experiments with them. He showed the pirahas batteries arranged in rows. They could reproduce up to two or three rows, but nothing more. So without a numerical system no understanding of numbers. But they don't seem to mind this deficit. Their general satisfaction is so great, according to Everett, as he has never experienced in any other company.
Methods in learning language
Anyone who seriously wants to learn a new language has to invest time - there is no other way. But there are several methods that you can take advantage of to make your learning easier. You need to find out which one is right for you first. There are different types of learning, that is, depending on one learning channel is particularly pronounced in you, another less.
A distinction is often made between these four learning types:
The visual learner
Knowledge is best memorized by reading and visualizing. Sketches, diagrams or mind maps contribute to this, as well as the colored marking of text passages. Advantageous: Learning with flashcards and videos Disadvantage: A cluttered desk - it only distracts.
The motor learner type
The haptic and creative aspects lie with this type of learner, which is why practical work - for example in labor or on a model - is ideal for this person. Advantageous: Tangible learning materials such as Scrabble stones or memory cards Disadvantage: If this type of learner is condemned to sit still - exercise helps to anchor what has been learned.
The communicative learner
The communicative learner needs the exchange with others in order to be able to process and store information. For this, of course, the learning material must have already been written down, read and roughly reflected on beforehand. In exchange with others, ambiguities are cleared up. Advantageous: Learning in study groups Disadvantage: no feedback from others.
The auditory learner type
Simply reading the information is often not enough to be able to remember that he must have heard certain topics before. Reading aloud to yourself is very helpful here in order to be able to save learning material accordingly. Advantageous: Podcasts and learning CDs from specialist books Disadvantage: Noisy environment - it disrupts concentration.
If you find it particularly easy to access the language through a learning channel, you should particularly encourage it. One possibility for people who tend to be more communicative is this Looking for a tandem partner. How to kill several birds with one stone:
You can see and hear how certain words have to be pronounced and you can ask questions immediately if you have problems understanding them. In addition, the other person speaks for him in a foreign language, so most likely not communicated correctly. Both interlocutors benefit from the exchange and neither has to be embarrassed because they do not yet have a perfect command of the language.
Index cards: Learning a language with a system
Many want to learn a language, but are put off when it comes to cramming vocabulary. Of course, it makes a difference whether you want to learn vocabulary for your next vacation (and your own vanity) or one professional necessity behind it.
Then technical terms may be needed and they cannot be learned through Hollywood films. One of the most efficient methods is learning with index cards. To do this, you divide a card index box into five different compartments:
- First subject: This is where the cards with the new vocabulary come in. You learn them, and as soon as you can memorize them, the vocabulary moves to the second subject, otherwise they are left behind in the first subject. This subject is learned every day.
- Second subject: The vocabulary in here is checked every two days. As soon as you know them by heart, the cards go into the third compartment, otherwise they go back to the end of the first compartment.
- Third subject: The vocabulary here is tested once a week. If you have mastered it, the respective card goes to the next compartment, otherwise it goes all the way to the back in the first compartment.
- Fourth subject: The cards here are checked every two weeks.
- Fifth subject: Check the vocabulary from this subject once a month on a fixed weekday. Once you have mastered them, they can be taken out of the file box entirely.
13 effective tips for learning a new language
Many think of foreign languages endless vocabularythat cannot be remembered and complicated grammar rulesthat nobody understands. For some, this idea is enough to drive their motivation down and give up too quickly. But it is possible for everyone to learn a foreign language. It just depends on motivation and the right approach. We have put together 13 effective tips that will help you to successfully learn a new language.
Stop making excuses.
To learn a language, you need the right attitude: I can't because ... or I won't make it anyway ... are mostly nothing but Pretexts to protect against possible setbacks. Stop making these excuses and instead start making a plan that you put into action, step by step.
Everyone is capable to learn a new language if he gets involved and makes the necessary effort. There is no I am to stupid… and certainly not one At my age you can't learn a language anymore ...
Keep your reasons in mind.
First of all, it is important for you to know why you even want to learn a new language. Because learning a new language is not a task that you will master between the door and the hinge. It takes work, motivation and perseverance
If you have a good reason to learn the language, for example visiting a good friend abroad who you want to surprise, this will be easier for you. What could motivate you more than the idea of making your partner a declaration of love in their mother tongue? Of course, this also works professionally if you are aiming for an international position. Keep your motivations in mindwhen there is a lack of motivation. This will quickly get you back on track.
Go on a language trip.
The language trip is considered one of the best ways to learn a new language quickly. This is a Stay abroad combined with a language course. You learn new things in class, can also apply them directly outside of school and are constantly surrounded by the language. These prerequisites create an excellent learning atmosphere.
The language travel provider EF.de (Education First), for example, offers such trips to 40 possible destinations worldwide. However, a language trip is not cheap. For a two-week trip, depending on the country and type of course (basic or intensive course) between 700 euros and 1100 euros plan on.
You don't learn a language for yourself, but to communicate with others. This does not only apply when you have the feeling that you already speak the language perfectly. It is at least as important to use the new language beforehand. During a language trip, for example, you shouldn't be afraid to approaching native speakers. Ask for directions or order something to eat. If you trust yourself more often, you will become more confident in dealing with the language and more confident in using it.
It can also be helpful to have a To have a friend or colleague who speaks the languagethat you still want to learn. Ask to gradually switch your conversations to the new language and also ask for specific feedback if certain points are difficult for you.
Feeling ashamed can become a big problem when trying to learn a language. Those who are unsure do not dare to use their new knowledge. Instead, you evade or go back to the good old school English Afraid of possibly embarrassing yourself in front of a native speaker.
Try to overcome this fear. Most people react very positively when they see someone making an effort to learn a language. So you have nothing to lose: in the best case scenario, you will gain self-confidence, receive praise or further tips - and if it doesn't work out, simply present your request in English.
Learning a language doesn't just mean Sitting in front of vocabulary and grammar rules for hours. Not only is this boring and detrimental to your motivation, it doesn't get you to a point where you really can use the language. If you can keep the fun of it instead, you will have long-term success. So get creative as you learn.
Use the foreign language to write a poem, sing new vocabulary to yourself, buy audio books or conduct a staged interview with a colleague. Meanwhile there is also numerous learning software and appsthat support playful learning and are often even available free of charge. So you can learn new things, keep your motivation and enjoy learning.
Build the language into everyday life.
It's the tip that Experts always emphasize in particular: Those who surround themselves with a language all day learn and internalize it faster. So try to use every day to deal with the language - and not just for a certain period of time in which you learn specifically, but simply always and everywhere.
Glue Post-its on your furniture, on which you have noted the appropriate vocabulary, listen to foreign radio stations, order a newspaper in a foreign language. You can also try to write e-mails or short messages in your preferred language. The more you deal with a new language, the faster you will learn it.
Be aware of what you want to achieve first in the new language. Do you want to be able to have a conversation or read and understand a book in the language? Focus at the beginning on the content that is important to you. Typically, you don't need a knowledge of quantum physics vocabulary to have a conversation.
So select your learning content and focus on the important things. When you find that you are making progress and that you already understand parts of the conversation or that you can participate, it will increase your motivation.
Find a learning partner.
It doesn't just work better together because you support each other, it does is also just more fun. Learning the new language with a friend, family member or colleague can be very motivating. You can lie to yourself and find excuses why you can't learn today. With a learning partner this will no longer happen to you and so you will work more consistently.
In addition, a small competition have a positive effect on your learning. It's only human to try to outdo the other. And of course you have someone directly with whom you can talk in the new language in order to deepen your knowledge.
Observe native speakers.
Not just speaking yourself promotes understanding of a new language. It can also help to watch others speak. Every language has words or Sounds that are formed in different ways and can quickly become a challenge for non-native speakers. As a child, you simply never learned to incorporate certain sounds into language.
Anyone who specifically observes native speakers pronouncing these tones can orientate his own pronunciation on it. Try to pay particular attention to the movements of your lips and tongue. And: Ask and ask for help. No friend will hold it against you if you ask them for some pronunciation tips and advice.
Watching series or movies in the language you want to learn can be very helpful. Especially at the beginning of your learning process, films or short series should be easy to understand, as concentration quickly deteriorates if you have the feeling that you don't understand a single word. It can also help one Watching the film several times to aid understanding. Of course, films work best in the original sound.
If you're trying to learn Spanish, find a Spanish movie. In this way, just like with native speakers, you can watch the actors pronounce them. Another one The subtitles are a good aid. Not in German, of course, but also in the foreign language, as otherwise you only read instead of learning.
Talk to yourself.
It may seem strange to you, but talking to yourself can help you learn a language. If you don't have a partner to talk to in the new language, self-talk is a good alternative. You can test your knowledge of vocabulary and grammar, memorize sentences and appear more confident when using these sentences in a real conversation.
You have to no deep discussion with yourself In the beginning it is enough to simply talk about what you are doing or what is going through your head. The learning effect already occurs when you form sentences and apply your knowledge.
Learn like a child.
Adults have the urge to always want to do everything perfectly. For children, on the other hand, it is normal to build incorrect sentences and sometimes to speak incomprehensibly. The second way is better. So accept to keep making mistakes. There is nothing embarrassing about it - but it brings you closer to the goal of improving your feeling for language.
Feelings of home interfere with learning foreign languages
If you have a learn a foreign language want to eliminate everything around you that might remind you of your mother tongue.
Because if you stick to your learning while learning mother tongue think you will have less success with the new language. This was discovered by the social psychologist Michael Morris from Columbia Business School in New York. And coincidence helped him: A Chinese student had gossiped about a presentation and accidentally mixed Chinese and English, even though she had long since spoken fluent English. The trigger: During the presentation, she only looked at her Chinese professor. Or as Morris would say by now, she had seen something she had reminded of their home.
Further tests and examinations confirmed the thesis: things, objects, photos, even people who remind us of our homeland (and thus our mother tongue) can do the Learning foreign languages be extremely disruptive.
Recognize and avoid stumbling blocks
There are some things that do Slow down learning success can. When you know these stumbling blocks, you will find it easier to steer against them.
Make it easy for yourself
If you only learn for fun, for example as a memory training, you can choose the language yourself. There are languages in which the challenges are greater from the outset, as they not only have to learn a new grammar with new vocabulary, but also a new script, for example with Arabic, Russian or Chinese. In addition, some languages are easier for you as a native German speaker than others. German, along with English, Dutch, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, Faroese, Yiddish and even Afrikaans, belongs to the Indo-European language family. Many vocabulary can be developed. The same applies if you already master a Romance language such as French, then you can fall back on similarities in Italian and Spanish.
Think about breaks
When you learn a language, there are always parts that are not so much fun, ergo: The necessary process is perceived as “work”. This is where the problem lies when you are overwhelmed and ambitiously trying to hammer grammatical rules or vocabulary into your head, even though you need a break long ago. At some point the absorption capacity decreases and you should take that into account.
Work with repetitions
With a language course that takes place once a week, you will only learn a language for a very long time; the same applies to language holidays. You are exposed to a foreign language environment for 24 hours, but at some point every journey comes to an end. However, it is known from pedagogy and neurology that constant repetition is essential for successful learning. If you don't have the time to attend a course or regulars' table three times a week, you can use apps like Babbel.com or Duolingo.com to indulge in ten-minute bites a day.
What other readers have read
Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.
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