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Kev Brown

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About Kev Brown

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    Language Newbie


  • Currently studying
    French, Portuguese
  • Native tongue

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  1. Having an increased ability to interact with people is my main motivation. Also being able to travel to places where English isn't widely spoken is another. I prefer to focus on the positive benefits of learning a language but I do admit feeling bad about my ability or speed of progression becomes a motivator after about 6 months of learning.
  2. I agree with you 100% here. Children also have the ability to stay positive and not get upset if they make a mistake. The more mistakes you make in the early days of learning the better. Being prepared to constantly repeat the same things is a mental block many adults stumble over.
  3. I think this is key. It helps you make massive jumps in understanding as you are able to learn whole groups of a language quickly. It also helps you with accents and getting familiar with contractions. Generally, a great way to improve your listening.
  4. Yes I would. The earlier children are exposed to different forms of learning the better it is for them. Also having the ability to speak more than one language allows you to see things from different perspectives which is great for children. As they get older it helps them to become more well-rounded.
  5. Great question, there's always more to learn but I have three scenarios I think are quite telling. One involves a noisy social setting, a dinner or party for example. If you are able to comfortably maintain conversations and catch all attempts at humour then you're doing very well. The second is a more formal/professional setting that requires you to talk at length about a specific issue. It can be a doctor's appointment, a conversation at the bank, or a chat with a mechanic. After five to ten minutes you'll have a great idea just how fluent you are. The final scenario involves your
  6. I know that there's great music all over the world. As a language learner which music do you listen to in order to improve your general understanding of a language. I listen to a lot of Bossa Nova and Brazilian Jazz. The songs are simple in a melodic way and the lyrics are often sung in a way that makes them easy to understand. How about you?
  7. I think it depends on the civilisation the languages are linked to. If there is a significant body of literature or writings that are of importance today then an understanding of the language should be maintained. If not I think it's fair to let languages that have died out naturally to remain in the past.
  8. I agree with this. As long as you are happy to not be able to understand the majority of what is said, you will make progress. The key is just to listen in general and not force your understanding. A few words will stand out and after time, these words will become phrases and full sentences. Eventually, you'll be able to understand the entire conversation.
  9. I used his cd to help me learn French. If you are a raw beginner you may find his method to be useful. As more time progresses you'll notice that you are spending a lot of time listening to people speaking in English. I prefer the Pimsleur system as you spend much more time listening to the language you are learning. The conversations are also graded to allow you to improve quickly if you are dedicated.
  10. Yes, non-native speakers have usually been through all the steps to learn the language and as a result are able to help you very efficiently. They also have a good feeling for problem areas and can imagine what it is you may be thinking. Native speakers are fluent but don't really know why they say what they do and sometimes can't be sure if something is grammatically incorrect.
  11. For some reason, it seems to be easier to remember certain things. Even without much effort you are able to remember swear words and certain slang words. It may be the frequency with which you hear the words or you subconsciously keeping note of them but they just seem to stay with you. I can speak 3 languages but swear in about 5 or 6.
  12. Starting to learn a language presents a number of challenges, one that remains for a while is a feeling of uselessness as you learn the basics. As a beginner, you aren't able to express yourself and often feel as if you are making simple mistakes. It's important to remember that mistakes are normal and to keep focusing on the positive things that attracted you to the language.
  13. Strong emotions can be a block when learning a language. General feelings of frustration often stop people from learning effectively. When speaking strong feelings can actually help your communication as they focus your energy and focus your message. I have seen people not fluent in a language speak very well in sudden situations where they were made angry.
  14. Technically, "the easiest" language to learn will be the language most related to the one you already speak. A good example of this is Spanish for Portuguese speakers. The languages are similar and share a latin base. The actual ease of learning a language often comes down to perception. The more motivated a learner is, or the more enjoyable the learning experience is, the higher the likelihood that the experience will seem easier.
  15. I didn't take studying French seriously at school, ths had little impact on my ability to learn the language over 10 years later. I lived in France for two years and found that there's a big difference between what you learn at school at what you'll need to communicate effectively. This is especially true for speaking. The most important thing is constant attention and dedication to learning a language, whichever way you chose to do it.
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