Learning a foreign language requires a holistic approach and should be meaningful, engaging and fun. I vary my teaching techniques as not all students learn alike. I believe everyone is capable of learning a foreign language as daunting as that may seem.
After all, we all learned our native language at a very young age. It is interesting that most kindergartners speak remarkably well and grammatically correct without ever having any formal instruction.
An analogy to the varied and essential methods in foreign language acquisition is much like building a solid house. A strong foundation is essential: pouring a concrete pad, framing, wiring, plumbing, etc., all require a variety of skill sets and expertise. In order to develop the variety of skills needed to effectively learn another language the teacher is challenged to use many different techniques. These include: grammar, vocabulary, building activities, role play, art, culture and history. My ultimate goal is that the student sees communication and an understanding of the culture about which they are learning as meaningful. If this is accomplished, students become motivated to hone their skills, build their vocabulary and expand their horizons.
Once a student has some success in speaking and understanding others, they are off to the races. Learning a foreign language opens a whole new world, as anyone knows who has traveled to a country where they do not speak the language.
It’s like learning to swim, if you don’t know how, you can still visit the pool, maybe put your feet in the water and watch the swimmers. If you know how to swim, you can swim and splash with the others making the pool a much more enjoyable and valuable experience for you!
So jump in! The water’s great. Start to build your house with a strong foundation. Learning a foreign language results in a lifetime of successful communication.