Saturday, 9 July 2016

What's the best way?

How to work out the best way to learn a languages, or languages.

There are two obvious approaches:
  1. See how the best language learners are doing it, and take a leaf out of their book (a leaf that you save).
  2. See how the worst language learners are doing, take a leaf out of their book . . . and do the opposite (i.e. you throw that leaf away).
 I've been exposed to both ways in Japan these last few years.

I've been researching into the techniques that polyglots use, so as to apply them myself to learning Japanese. I've observed how the Japanese try to learn English (and realized that I share some of their less than ideal whatchamacallits).

They study seriously. They waste a lot of energy. They do it formally. They analyze ad infinitum (until the cows come home). They try never to make mistakes. They use shaming techniques on each other. Their humbleness becomes negative self-talk. All sorts of things like this are going on here.

And as I say, I share some of those tendencies. I may have picked them up from them to some extent, but I had many of them before I came here, to be fair.

So anyway, if things aren't going all that well, try doing the opposite. You may well end up in a better place!

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