On Learning a Foreign Language :
Regardless of what drives you to learn a foreign language, you would find that it can be overwhelming sometimes. Several people have reported encountering some challenges when trying to learn a new language other than their mother tongue while still enjoying the process all along.
In this article, we will try to cover some of the most common issues Algerian youth might face when tackling a new foreign language.
Finding Motivation :
As you try to learn a new language you are basically trying something new. Something that your brain is not used to. Hence, why you might encounter any sort of resistance from your brain. Resistance to change is a natural defense mechanism that has existed in our minds since forever.
What you can do about it is to set up a starting ground for your journey. What drives you to learn this language? Why this particular language? A small paper with pencil notes would suffice. Try to aim for consistency when setting goals or milestones by setting small ones. Say for instance that you aim to learn 5 words per day. 5 new words a day would mean 150 new words added to your vocabulary by the end of the month. That is quite an achievement if you ask me!
Another issue that you might encounter when approaching a new foreign language is the lack of adequate learning resources.
Several options may come to mind here. If you can afford to pay for classes, private schools may be a decent choice to get you started. Of course, some schools are only concerned about money and neglect quality. However, you can always ask people around you about their opinions. Or check the school’s page on social media for recommendations and comments. You would be surprised to see that some fellas out there do take the matter seriously and provide an honest and objective opinion about the product they tried.
If paid classes are not for you then you still have our common gigantic friend called the Internet. You will find way more learning materials than you can ask for and for free most of the time. However, it comes with a cost. The problem with the Internet is that being free and accessible made it possible for everyone to share content, which means tons of information, but not necessarily useful. For this, my friend, I recommend you invest some of your time to select learning content suitable for you.
You can check various sources to pick the most suitable one for you (Apps, Blogs, Youtube). For apps, you may want to check Busuu, Duolingo and Memrise. All three are available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store. They also provide free access with monthly paid subscriptions for the full content. BBC Learning English is one of the most reputable websites when it comes to learning English and comes with a delightful interface. If you already are familiar and decently proficient with French then Anglais Facile websites collection are your go-to. You can replace “Anglais” on the website address or on your Google search bar by your language of choice. e.g: Allemand Facile, Espagnol Facile Not only the integrity of the websites is FREE, but they also come with tests for you to measure your level in that particular language and choose where to start from.
It may take you some time to find what suits you the most. But hey, it is free, so we cannot complain about it.
If you are using or know other tools, please share them down below in the comments section. So that other people can benefit from them too.
If neither of the previous options suit you, you should try to find people around you who share your interest in that particular language. This will allow you to practice the language and make some friends in the process which doubles the benefit and the pleasure if you ask me. You can simply ask people about your language of interest in your school, workplace or neighborhood. You would be surprised at how eager Algerians are when it comes to learning foreign languages. A little kindness goes a long way. So always show appreciation when people accept your request to practice a language with them and avoid being clingy or needy at all costs.
Managing Your Time :
Finding time to spend on learning a new language can be a bit hectic nowadays. Depending on whether you are working or still go to school, you may have convinced yourself that you do not have that much time to spend on learning a foreign language. The thing is that you do have time. You are just unaware of it yet. Algerian youth tend to spend up to two hours on transportations per day.
If you use one of the apps or websites we mentioned, you can pretty much do it on your phone during this travel time to school/work. You can also download videos or podcasts on Youtube in the evening to watch/listen to them the day after on the go.
As for private schools, the majority provide an evening schedule of an hour or two past work time. Or a full day schedule during weekends to suit the majority of their potential clients.
If you managed to find someone with whom you can practice your language of choice, you are pretty much dependent on their schedule. However, you can always communicate and coordinate with them to set up for a meeting in a coffee shop or a parc. You can both practice your language and have some fun at the same time. Video chats and voice chats are also an option here if you cannot have a physical meeting.
All in all, languages are a very useful addition to your professional kit and quite fun to learn once your appetite is stimulated. You will get to visit places without actually moving from your place, simply by discovering their culture through the language. I highly advise you to pick a language of choice and invest some time learning it. It will payout for your time and effort in the future.