by Laurianne Sumerset
There are a number of language learning methods one can employ to speed up the process of learning a new language. The success of a particular method is based on a number of factors, including age, personality, budget, and the amount of time one has to spare. What works for one person might not work for another, and therefore it is worth considering each of the three methods set out below to determine the method best suited to your circumstances.
This classic method of language learning forms the premise of the famous Rosetta Stone software and can be practiced alone at home, by either buying a program or simply using free resource websites. The idea is that you look at images and hear the native word for that image at the same time, thus developing a mental association between the two. If successful, when you attempt to recall the word at a later date, the image will appear in your mind and affirm the correct choice of word. While the image-recall technique has proved highly successful, recent research has shown that this language learning method works best for children, primarily because at a young age the mind is like a "sponge" soaking up images and their associated words. However, the research suggests that teenagers and adults learn far better by using their own language as a tool for learning. And also suggests that adults require a diverse approach to learning to ensure stimulate and optimize the learning process.
Group interaction represents the traditional classroom learning environment. The language techniques taught in the classroom will vary but largely consist of word repetition as conducted by the teacher. However, it isn’t necessarily the techniques taught in the classroom that make the difference in a person’s success in picking up a language and gaining a solid level of proficiency. The classroom environment creates competition between individual learners, and therefore, in the majority of people, increases motivation to do well. The classroom environment also presents figure of authority. Generally, people don’t like to let their teacher down and want to do the best they can in order to receive praise. Again, this is a key motivating factor in successful language learning.
Home study using language learning software has become the most popular way of learning a language in the modern day. There are a number of reasons for this, including study-time flexibility, a multi-faceted approach to learning and a far more affordable way to study than attending classes or hiring a tutor. The great thing about the newer language learning software platforms is that they utilize the best learning techniques and create an interactive package for the learner. For example, a teacher can be present through video to motivate and engage as they would in the classroom; audio is provided for on the go learning via digital devices, and reading literature is provided to diversify the experience away from the computer. In many cases certificates are also awarded for progressing through levels, providing the learner with a sense of achievement, which is essential for optimizing success. A key factor in choosing language learning software is most certainly the price tag. When you calculate the cost of attending classes or hiring a tutor, the fact that you can go from a very basic level of proficiency to fluent using language learning software for under $150 is quite remarkable. In light of this, more and more people are choosing home study via language learning software as their preferred method of learning.