Wednesday, 13 January 2016

Get used to the basics

Get used to the basics, I say.

Don’t be in such a rush. Don’t overdo it. Language takes time. You eat an elephant one bite at a time.

It’s important for your confidence and motivation not to do too much. Language is all about exposure. You get used to it by exposing yourself to mild doses. Certain words and word patterns come first. You need to get comfortable with them first, and get them right. You need to be able to perform them well, by which I mean automatically.

That’s what is meant by getting used to the basics, in my opinion. Exposure is the key. Not practice, not dills, not exercises, not tests, not lists, not memorization. Exposure to real and authentic language meant for native users of your target language.

So that’s a bit tricky at beginner levels, because not much is written in really basic language that is directed at adults. There’s stuff for children, sure. But it isn’t usually of interest to adults.

Probably, to gain exposure to a lot of basic language, one needs to develop the ability to ignore language at a level that is still too difficult to comprehend or absorb. That’s counter-intuitive.

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