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Tip for learning a new language


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Read children's books written in the language you want to learn. To some this may sound silly. However, I have found it to be effective for me for several reasons.

1. It's the very basics written in a fun format. 

2. Reading a book provides less opportunity for embarrassment at my mistakes.  

3. It's cheap if you can  find  that  language at your library. 

4. Some books will have an English translation on the next page. Try to test yourself first. No peeking!

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On 7/27/2016 at 4:01 PM, blue_plume said:

Read children's books written in the language you want to learn.

Excellent advice! What I've done in the past is reading manuals for beginner learners in my target second language (not necessarily for children). I can only say it has been effective.

Another thing that helped me when learning being using books for tourists. Usually they list the most popular and useful phrases for everyday life, which can be invaluable when interacting with native speakers for the first time. e.g. Greetings, how to ask for directions, asking for common meals at the restaurants and the like.

This has been my personal experience. I can only agree with what you mention; a children's book is also quite valuable, especially if you have someone who already speaks fluently to clarify your doubts. Textbooks for infants are usually used by a teacher in the educational process so it does not hurt to have a personal mentor.

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Thanks for posting that suggestion :). I will go to the library and check out some tourist books. 

Reading in a foreign language is so much easier for me. I absorb and remember information so much better than when I hear it. So, for me, it's great to have different types of literature available for learning. 

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Children's book are an excellent suggestion, but I don't think someone would stick reading them if He/She doesn't find it interesting. Regardless, as long as you are willing to read it in another language, I think any book will suffice.

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I actually posted about this in the French section because I was wondering if anyone knew where I could get some. My best friend and I used to get TinTin books out of the library that were in French. Our rudimentary knowledge was barely enough to comprehend half of what was going on, but we would dig out our dictionaries and look up new words. It was a fantastic way to learn! 

i actually hadn't thought to look at the library where I live now, so thank you for reminding me. I'm not sure they would though. We were closer to Canada where I grew up, so I think that was why there were some French children's books there.

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Thanks for that tip. I've never actually thought to do that. That sounds like such a simple and yet super effective way to start to learn a new language. Rather than go to a library though, I think it might save you more time and money to just google and download free ebooks on your phone, that way you can have them accessible to you wherever you are. 

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This sounds like a fab idea, especially for absolute beginners! I too never gave it a thought, but I imagine it would bevery effective in nicely and gently easing you into your chosen language because really, because you're taking your learning process to the most basic form of learning. Sometimes this way of learning is the best technique to adopt, even for adults. Thanks for sharing, it's definitely something I'll consider in the future :) 

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Yes you do have a point there. Reading children's books are so simply written, you will easily understand and translate it to your native language so that you can understand it. I think you don't even have to go to your local library to find them. You can easily find them online in pdf form if you just google it.

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Hi,

My instructor has always encouraged me to read and although reading children books is not a bad idea, there are some slightly negative issues:

1. The vocabulary will be geared for children. It may not be very useful for an adult.

2. As mentioned by some other people, the subject may not be interesting enough for an adult, therefore, the book will be put away rather quickly.

3. I have noticed that many children stories use words that are impossible to find in a dictionary; authors will "invent" words to enhance the story. This could be very frustrating!

So...  again, the fellow that is teaching me now (he's the best I know), prefers reading books that were specifically written for students and, better yet, watching movies that were,  also, produced for students (try: http://www.learner.org/series/destinos ).

Myself, I put in a lot of hours into learning Spanish and try to practice "live" as much as I can by attending conversation clubs, restaurants and, of course, traveling.

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@Linda Gringa....you make very good points about the disadvantages of learning from children's books. However, I think this would depend very much on how 'young' you go. I personally don't think it would be wise to go for books geared towards say 3-4 year olds LOL That would just be a little silly LOL I would think maybe looking at older kids' books like say 12+(early high school age and up) would make more sense because although they are not exactly adults, you expect the language they speak to be a lot more grown up and not likely to be 'baby talk'. The vocabulary probably wouldn't be as broad, but IMHO it would be  ideal for someone starting out in their journey of learning a new language, someone looking for a way to ease themselves into a new language.

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The negative aspects of trying to learn from children's books outweigh whatever positive benefits one may derive from them. I think that Linda Gringa makes a really good point and thank you for the useful learning resources you provided. 

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