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How long will it take to learn a new language?

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Information about How long will it take to learn a new language?
Education

Published on March 7, 2014

Author: GuusGoorts

Source: slideshare.net

Description

If you are thinking of learning a new language, you must be wondering how much time and effort it takes to become fluent.

You may also wonder:

"Which language should I learn?"
"Will learning a new language really help my career?"
"What is the key to success when learning a new language?"
"What is the best way to learn a language? Classes, books, podcasts, something else, or a combination?"
"How can I overcome fear of failure, and start speaking as soon as possible?"

Everyone faces these questions at some point when trying to master a new language. I have faced them time and again as I studied English, Mandarin, German, Spanish, French, Ancient Greek and Latin.

On Career & Education 2014, at Suntec Convention Centre in Singapore, I shared my experience.

Learning a new language is easier for some than others, and I certainly don't have all the answers. But having gone through the learning process so many times, I do know how to avoid some of the major roadblocks.
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TIPS FOR LEARNING A LANGUAGE So you want to learn a language in Singapore. How to get started? ! Guus Goorts - 8 March @ Career & Education 2014

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

INTRO • Dutch: My mother tongue • English: Learned in school. It’s all around. • French: Learned in school. But never used it. • German: Learned in school, holidays. Quite alike to Dutch. • Spanish: Took full-time classes in Spain, travelled, and took part-time classes back home • Mandarin: Learned in Singapore since 2006. Full-time and part-time. 我每天⽤用

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE?! • Conversational: a few months… • Fluent: A couple of years… • It depends on: • How fluent do you want to be? • Which languages do you already know? • How much time & effort do you spend? How driven are you? • Do you have a brain for language learning? • Tip: move beyond the classroom asap.

PERSONAL EXAMPLE: SPANISH • Conversational after 2 weeks of full-time study in Spain • I’d had exposure to French, Italian, Latin • Now: Lost my ability to converse • No follow-up after holiday • No link to Spanish / Spain • Stopped evening lessons • Can pick it up quickly if needed

PERSONAL EXAMPLE: CHINESE • Took me 4 months to get near conversational • Full-time study: 4 months. Part-time: 2 years • Different from anything I’d learned before • I hear and speak Chinese every day • Little exposure to writing / reading now • Current situation • Conversational • Can’t read newspapers

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

WHICH LANGUAGE? • Reasons from the heart • Love for the language / culture / people • Curious / challenge yourself • Why are they important? • Reasons from the brain • Employment / practical use • Follow your heart AND your brain! • Should you improve your English first?

FROM THE HEART: ! YOU LOVE FRENCH WINE • Learn French • Enjoy your wine more • Wine tasting trips: Speak to winery owners • Meet like-minded people • Use your French all the time • Become really good at it • Now, reap the other benefits

FROM THE BRAIN: ! YOU WORK IN FINANCE • Learn Chinese • Pick up a Chinese-related interest • Calligraphy • Table tennis • Wuxia novels • Speak Chinese at every opportunity • Join a business Chinese course • Become really good at it • Now, reap the career benefits

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

LANGUAGE LEARNING IS A JOURNEY • Package tour = full-time class • Free & Easy = part-time class • Private Guide = one-on-one • Backpacking = self study • You can do all (over time) • Find courses at http://yago.sg

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

THE KEY TO SUCCESS! • … is motivation • Must be specific • Must be actionable • Must come from the heart • What doesn’t work: • “I want to learn Japanese for my career” • What works: • “I'd like to learn more about Japanese culture and speak with Japanese people in their own language. My company also has many Japanese clients, so learning Japanese will help me serve them better while improving on my Japanese.”

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

BEATING FEAR OF FAILURE • Why fear of failure is so deadly to language learning • My own fear to speak English (when I was 12!) • Supportive friends & family • Start small • Speak to non-native speakers (Tete-a-Tete) • Put yourself in a position where you have to speak • Stop thinking about it & start speaking! !

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

COMMON ROADBLOCKS! • “I am too busy to learn a language” • “Adults cannot learn new languages any more” • “Learning a new language means memorising lots of stuff” • “I must live in the country to learn the language” • “I must buy expensive books / dictionaries / take expensive courses”

AGENDA! • Quick intro • How long? • Which language? • How to learn? • The key to success • Beating fear of failure • Common roadblocks • Career benefits !

CAREER BENEFITS! • Instant promotion is a myth • Learning a language can set you apart • Lawyer vs. Spanish speaking lawyer • Developer vs. French speaking developer • Only works if you speak really well • You don’t need 1 million opportunities • Instead, take full advantage of 1

NEXT UP: LANGUAGE PANEL Korean - Ms. Sue Kim (Lingo) French - Mr. Remi Malachin (French Toast) Spanish - Ms. Estefania Peral (Las Lilas) German - Mr. Olivier Strippel (InLingua) Thai - Ms. Kreaukeaw (Christine) Tan (The Language Academy) Mandarin - Mina Zheng (Yi Mandarin)

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