Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Learning a language is like losing weight

Good advice for myself (and perhaps others).

From the article
Ten good habits for learning Japanese for life in Japan
by Eido Inoue (Adrian D. Havill)


Repetition with both writing and listening works best. Don't just mentally read and answer the exercises in the textbook. Copy the questions longhand whole to a notebook along with the answers. Verbally say and hear everything you write.

There are tons of books with mnemonic systems. Maybe they work. Maybe they don't.language exercise But repetition does work. Nobody likes to hear that. Just like nobody likes to hear that the foolproof way to lose weight is to eat less and exercise more. Because it's hard work.

You should approach learning a foreign language the same way you would exercise and diet. The exercise is the endless repetition of writing of the same words and phrases — longhand — over and over. It's the endless oral repetition of your written notes. It's the endless repetition of reading the same phrases over and over. The diet part? That's refraining from using too much of your native language in Japan (—or whatever country you're in).

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