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Linguaholic

Did you take Language Learning in School Seriously?


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Highschool in general was a bad joke. As for learning foreign languages, English was taught at a decent level, but nothing serious. I learned a whole lot more by studying at home or learning with my clients. Honestly, learning on your own is by far a better choice rather than paying for courses, at least to get the basics.

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In junior high, English is a compulsory subject for us in Indonesia. Other than English, only in the 2nd year we were taught Japanese. I took that seriously during the class, however I didn't learn it further after it is no longer  a subject. I kinda regret that I didn't follow it up cause now even though I can some part of Japanese conversation, I can't communicate well with them. Believe it or not, learning foreign language and being able to use it well will always give advantage for you. Doesn't matter if you don't really use it in daily life but when you travel or meet people who speak that language, it's gonna be an exciting experience

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Even if you took it seriously for my case, the class size was simply too big, you had a mixture of people with all kinds of skills levels and proficiency with the language, so the class had to move at the pace of the slower students, there was no way to adjust the learning plan to your individual needs or skills so you either felt bored or left behind, there was not enough time for you to practice your conversation skills and the teacher had to grade 30 or more students so there was no time for a more individualized training.

The only part of the world where learning a language in High School appears to have any impact is on countries or Nordic Europe where everybody appears to pop out of school speaking perfect English, everywhere else everybody has to take a language course in High School and the entire population leaves school without a trace of any knowledge regarding the language that they "studied" for years.

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I tried really hard in school, but i was never able to grasp language as i did other subjects, now I did good in all my language classes but I never was about to really learn it.  I have always had a hard time learning languages and that is why I joined this forum.

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I won't count English in this case as a foreign language because it's been, thankfully, shoved down our throat since first grade. The only time I learned a foreign language was in college when Spanish was still part of the curriculum. I fell in love with the language and took its study seriously. We were required to complete 4 Spanish subjects and spent 3 hours a week to comply with course requirements. I even bought myself a Spanish dictionary. Back in the day, internet was not in full bloom and there weren't too many free resources. I've used my knowledge of Spanish to learn a few more romance languages.  

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On 02/08/2016 at 1:32 AM, abonnen said:

I tried really hard in school, but i was never able to grasp language as i did other subjects, now I did good in all my language classes but I never was about to really learn it.  I have always had a hard time learning languages and that is why I joined this forum.

I have found that quit often, I have spoken to a lot of people that had 5 or 6 years of a language and are still not able to grasp it completely. They would get good marks in their tests but are not able to have a full conversation in the language they learned. I think that is the problem you have in many educational establishments. They are more worried about the tests results instead of whether the student has actually learned the language or not.

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When I was finally able to study French at uni, I was old enough to take it seriously. I was even able to top the class, which luckily wasn't too big, a couple of times. However, I think I could have taken it that little bit more seriously. When I look back, I can sort of understand why my French lecturer always seemed to push me harder. He always maintained I could do a lot better and would tell me I wasn't putting as much into it as I could. Instead of listening, I took it to heart! Stupid, really. The man was just really passionate about his work and wanted me to perform to my greatest potential. I actually miss him and wish I could learn from him now as an adult.

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I tried to, but I wasn't that great at learning languages.  I learned a bit of Spanish from a teaching record for kids (Yes, a vinyl record on a record player! Now I feel old!) that my grandmother had when I was about four or five, but it was pretty limited.  My elementary school didn't teach languages, and in middle and high school our choices were limited, and I didn't have much interest in the languages offered to us.  I would have loved to learn Hindi or Irish, but those weren't options.  I had a six-week elective class in Chinese language and culture, but that didn't do much.  I think to make kids interested, schools should offer a more flexible program by offering resources to help learn a variety of languages, letting the students choose, and have a teacher there to provide additional resources, guidance, and help.  I also think sign language should be a choice.  I do have to add a bit of a naughty aside and say that one of the things I did look into in my high school Spanish classes were the more "colorful" and not-so-kid friendly words and phrases. ;)
 

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I tried to take it seriously but it was difficult because I didn't get on with my teacher's style of teaching in French in particular. I did take learning Spanish much more seriously though because I have a Spanish friend and helped him to learn English through what I knew about Spanish, so I had more of a motivation for learning Spanish than I did for learning French at the time. I think if given the chance to go back to school to do languages though I would do so. I think now I'm older I'd appreciate the opportunity more than I did then. 

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I didn't, because it didn't help. The things that were taught in school were things I learned 2 years prior. I could also see that kids don't really learn proper English in school, as they are always lacking in grammar, vocabulary, and pronunciation. You can even see in adults that they almost never properly apply the English alphabet. I would definitely blame schools for this, as kids only start to learn English in high school which is way too late.

I did follow French in school and somehow, I found it interesting enough to want to become fluent one day. German, however, not so much. And Latin... Nevermind.

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Well I cannot say that I took it as seriously as I should have.  I know that for all the years that I took, I still really do not as much as I should.  The good news is that there are so many resources available these days that it much easier to play catch up if you are in a bind, but I would still like to be able to say that l learned the language in school.  It makes me wonder if my experience is similar to everyone else, but I cannot help but imagine that it had a much more significant impact on others than it did on me, but I bet it also varies a lot depending the student and the school.  Interesting to think about, though, and thanks for sharing.

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Not really. I personally think that language classes at school were really boring and therefore, I did not even have the interest on paying attention to the classes, I really found it really annoying, however, I've always considered it as the best way for people to learn the basics of any language without having to struggle too hard. I've got to meet a lot of people who have learned English basics just by listening to their school classes, of course, they do not speak it fluently nor either anything like that, but at least they try to achieve something bigger than just the basics, that's my opinion though.

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I am fluent in my first language and second language, thanks to my language teachers in school and college. Interestingly, my first language and second language both were compulsory in School and college.Had these languages not been compulsory subjects I would have never acquired better reading,writing and speaking skills.

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I didn't but I was forced to because I would fail otherwise. If I had been given a choice on what to learn I think I would have picked something I actually liked and would have had a much better chance of actually taking the class seriously and retaining the lessons but I was mostly just forced into the situation and although I didn't take the class too seriously like I said I kind of had to so I did end up retaining at least half of my education. 

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English was the only foreign language that I have learned from school, from my pre-school years up to my college years. I must say that I did take the subject seriously because I have always been fond and early exposed to it. My cousins, who used to play with me when I was still very small were of American descent, so they spoke in English during our play times. Even after college, I have made the effort to improve my English more. :)

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I always have taken language-learning seriously! The main reason that I've taken it very seriously is because my passion is English, and learning Spanish actually helped improve my understanding of English. I know that not many people take language seriously while they're in school, and I understand while they're disinterested, but at the same time, it's very helpful and employers like to see that you are multilingual! Being able to speak a separate language might be a determining factor to whether you get a job or not. However, it's never too late to learn another language!

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I most definitely took it seriously. I enjoyed it a lot even with having teachers that were good and bad. There was only one reason for why I did not remember it. This is due to them not implementing the conversing techniques. I could read and write it well. However, it was an issue for me to recognize when others spoke it and then think of what to say and say it back.

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 8/25/2016 at 1:08 PM, Lingua Franca said:

I have found that quit often, I have spoken to a lot of people that had 5 or 6 years of a language and are still not able to grasp it completely. They would get good marks in their tests but are not able to have a full conversation in the language they learned. I think that is the problem you have in many educational establishments. They are more worried about the tests results instead of whether the student has actually learned the language or not.

I agree, I was more worried about passing the classes then anything.

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Well, when it comes to school's language classes, I always used to miss them and that sort of thing just because I was too lazy to wake up early at 6 am just for attending to such boring class, also the teacher used to be really annoying and absolutely boring for me. I never failed any exam so it definitely didn't affect me whatsoever. The language classes you receive at school are quite useless and poor, that's my opinion though.

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No, I didn't take it as seriously as I should have. 

I took french school. I already knew some French and I think I felt like studying it was a waste of time.

Boy am I sorry now. I live in a place where they speak French all the time. My accent is good but my grammar is horrible. I have trouble understanding people as well. It makes me wish I had tried harder in school!

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Of course, it isn't always so much fun to learn languages in school, but I think I take it quite serious, because I love languages. (I'm 16, so I'm still in school.) Honestly, I don't always learn the vocabular and the grammar, but I would say, I take it more serious than other students. xD

 

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I think its important to learn languages at a younger age.  I learned in my teens and had a difficult time with it.  Its also important for people to speak it often so they don't forget.  Learning a language that isn't spoken commonly may be harder for someone to keep up with then a language that they see and hear everyday.  I still remember a little of what I learned but not nearly enough to hold a serious conversation.  

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On 09/09/2016 at 2:09 AM, abonnen said:

I agree, I was more worried about passing the classes then anything.

I think if they focused more on making people understand the language instead of only testing them you wouldn't have felt this way. I think that is one of the bigger flaws of teaching on a school level. It's not the teachers fault, it's just how the system works.

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Yes, I can say that I've taken language learning seriously, since I was in elementary the first language that I was taught was English. I'm a native Spanish speaker and in my country many people don't take language learning seriously and most of them don't actually care about learning other language, some people are interested in learning English of course because that's the universal language, but I think learning other languages is always good because it helps you understand other people that you were not able to connect to before.

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