Chris4Davi

The more we read and write...

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The more often you read and write the language you are interested in learning, the better it is for you. Your vocabulary will expand over time and practice always makes perfect. Theory is always good but doing the actual thing is greater. Having conversations with natives and or bilingual persons helps a great deal too, this is the easiest way to catch up on your mistakes and make necessary corrections. What do you think?

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I think doing all of those things -reading, writing, and speaking- are essential to learning a language. I think that speaking is more helpful, though, because it reinforces certain words that are used in daily conversation. Also, if you embarrass yourself while speaking to someone, you're more likely to learn and remember the correct words/phrases to avoid future embarrassment. Reading and writing definitely shouldn't be neglected, though, especially if you're learning a language for business purposes. It all depends on the person as to how they learn best and how interested they are in learning, though.

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During our elementary Nihongo class, we are given some practice exercise sheets to determine our proficiency in learning the language.  It's not easy, but once you get the hang of it, you will eventually learn to appreciate the language.  In my case, I have been writing some Nihongo words as well as practicing the hiragana form of these words.  I am writing it in my sheet of paper, but our instructor recommended that we use a graphing notebook in order to write the letters correctly.  At the same time, we also practice our writing skills.

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That is really great advice, and I completely agree with you. I best learn a new language exactly the way you describe it. For example, once I have written down a grammar rule and used it in at least one hundred exercise examples, it really gets firmly established in my mind.

I also often read foreign language texts that I don't completely understand, but I can make out what it means from the context. I then use my dictionary to make notes in my vocabulary notebook, and remember those new words rather quickly, as I recall the story in my mind.

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I was really generAlizing as we all learn in different ways. I know for sure though that in English, writing is essential when practicing your grammar and punctuation skills. Thanks for commenting guys, it is great to learn from each other.

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The more often you read and write the language you are interested in learning, the better it is for you. Your vocabulary will expand over time and practice always makes perfect. Theory is always good but doing the actual thing is greater. Having conversations with natives and or bilingual persons helps a great deal too, this is the easiest way to catch up on your mistakes and make necessary corrections. What do you think?

I agree with you. Constant reading and writing is needed to learn the language. But I will need a dictionary or the internet to check the meanings or translation of some words, which is really helpful. Getting familiar with the words makes you remember faster.

Application is very important in language learning. Immersion is the key to practise the language. So talking to native speakers or bilinguals will make you adapt to their manner of speaking, the words they use and their accent.

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I agree. I think reading and writing helps you become more conscious of what you're learning so you're able to retain it more. I've found this to be the case when I was learning Chinese and I think this applies very well to that language since their writings are very image oriented in nature so it helps you get a visual of what that word is implying.

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There's truth to this. You wouldn't know how often my Professor and students say that they went to to Japan and learned more from their peers around them. People learn that way since childhood. You learn more and more you're around others and words increase with school and time. After all, if you don't use, you lose it.

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I totally agree with your assessment here. I find that when I attempt to write in a language I am currently learning I grasp it quicker than if I am just depending on the lessons I take for it. I also realized that writing to me helps get things in my mind quicker than if I just read and try to memorize. I remember most of the things I write down a lot.

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All four skills are equally important - reading, listening, speaking, writing and they all contribute to your fluency.

You can't say you speak English if you've never read anything in English... or listened to the news or the radio. It seems somehow superficial. Books in English are especially popular. Half of the reading material for college is in English, even if English is not your native tongue, so that speaks a lot. But in general, until you've fought your way through a book...

Speaking is good for conversation. It takes time to make it perfect, but you should always bear in mind that speaking can't be made perfect without listening. Somehow these two go hand in hand. After you'd listened to, for example, BBC radio every morning for an hour at 7 or 8 a.m. before work or school, you'll see how phrases simply seem to come to you.

Writing is one crucial skill. That's where you really see how much (or little) you know about a language. When you speak, you don't think much, so it's a more or less grammatical sequence of thoughts, but honestly: it's more of an ungrammatical speech... you always forget something. When it comes to writing, you have time to think and not only to think to doubt yourself. What is the right case? What is the right word? Do I use a synonym? How does this sound? Is this the right tense? In any language.

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To be honest I'm  not using the language I'm learning so much right now, that is a huge mistake, but I don't seem to be able to correct!  I really want to use it, but I still feel like I don't know enough words!  I am so worried about my performance as well, specially because I need to learn it so fast and will have to pass a test and so on. Sometimes I wonder if I'm asking too much from myself?

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That is really great advice, and I completely agree with you. I best learn a new language exactly the way you describe it. For example, once I have written down a grammar rule and used it in at least one hundred exercise examples, it really gets firmly established in my mind.

I also often read foreign language texts that I don't completely understand, but I can make out what it means from the context. I then use my dictionary to make notes in my vocabulary notebook, and remember those new words rather quickly, as I recall the story in my mind.

I think I need to do that as well!  I need to find as many exercises as possible and do them, I have an easier time remembering things when I actually type them or write them using a pen or a pencil.  It's like the knowledge stays in my mind easier.  I might need more notebooks tho :P  I also like to keep a phrase book!  I can feel how some of the things I've learnt are vanishing already :(  I need to use the language quick!

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I definitely agree with you! However, if an immersion program is available then I think something like that is always the most helpful. I went to a Spanish immersion day once and I learned more there than I did in a week of classes.

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I do agree languagelearner. I also think that Immersion is usually (and for most people) the most effecitve way to learn a language. Some friends of mine speak more than 5 languages and they all achieved this by living in different countries for some time (and some of them having relatives and family all over the world, which, of course, makes studying languages much easier as well).

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Everyone's made valid points. Haha, I don't think I've more to add, except probably mention the brain aspect. I think I've mentioned it somewhere in the forum that language learning is like a tree. The more you use it (reading, writing, immersion), the more you'll grow the tree. Similarly, the more activities you engage in, the more you are building neurons (at least that part of the brain responsible for language) in your brain. More usage solidifies these neurons.

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I have to agree with you. No matter what you're doing in life, if you're with a person who is better than you at something they will be able to teach you more. So, by working on learning a new language with a native speaker. I think that would be the best way to learn. I think that would be something to look into if you are serious about learning a new language.

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Our college teacher in Spanish language told us that to master the language, all you have to do is use it - speaking or writing and reading as well. But it's sad that we students were not motivated to really learn Spanish in spite of the required 2 years in college subjects. Now I can't even say any sentence except como se llama usted to mean what is your name.

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This is so true, reading and writing is one good way of practicing and gauging your progress. I'm also  huge fan of mixing with the native speakers and learning from them. If they can't speak much English, even better, because we can help each other along. Depending on where you're at with your skills and learning, I'd also suggest watching TV and listening to music in your chosen language because that way you improve your listening skills.

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Both reading and writing go hand in hand when learning a new language. And yes, they could totally help you expand your vocabulary. However, I think the best method of language acquisition is to immerse yourself in the language and culture, speak the language as often as possible to achieve fluency in it.

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The more often you read and write the language you are interested in learning, the better it is for you. Your vocabulary will expand over time and practice always makes perfect. Theory is always good but doing the actual thing is greater. Having conversations with natives and or bilingual persons helps a great deal too, this is the easiest way to catch up on your mistakes and make necessary corrections. What do you think?

I agree with everything you've said. In fact, this is my favourite way of learning, that alongside the typical classroom setup. I've always said that if I could, I'd go the immersion way every time. If money weren't an object, I'd just take a year or two out and go and live among the people and soak up their language and culture. I'd prefer to go where there's little to no English spoken, to force me into learning faster, too.

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Yeah, its great how our minds work like that, it also works like that in the sense of talking and listening

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Constant practice and exposure to something helps tremendously for remembering it in the long run. Same goes for language learning. The more we practice, the more we learn. I find that reading is a great way in learning a new language. It always help if you have a tangible book or paper that you see and read. Writing helps people, like those people who write notes in class, this is great for them if this is their mode of learning. It just depends on whether reading or writing works for you. Of course, if you're learning to write a language, then it is a must for you to utilise writing as a mode of learning.

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I am always going into the foreign language section at my local library! I find that reading does help to expand our vocabulary and I also need to hear how inflections are as well. Audiobooks and movies help with this. I like to know the sounds of the words that I am reading. 

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I believe reading to be essential when learning a new language, any book or magazine will do. I used to write the definition of each new word on the side of the page, to helped me memorise it. Looking up words on the dictionary takes away part of the joy of reading at first (it takes self discipline), but overtime, as you learn more, you'll need to do it less and less, and by the time you start enjoying reading again you will have learnt so much.

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Reading a lot and writing new words down at the same time is definitely a good way to learn a new language. Writing down vocabulary is by far the best way for me to remember it. Just hearing stuff has never really been a quick and effective help for me. 

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