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As I was browsing the Internet last night, I was surprised at the many websites - for teaching Arabic as well as other languages - claiming that they can teach you a language in an amazingly short time. Some claim that in just a few days or weeks, you could KNOW the language. I guess 'knowing' a language could be interpreted in different ways, but to make such claims, I believe, is really misleading.
To effectively learn a new language, one needs to realize that it takes time and effort. You can't learn a language overnight. My husband had a great way of explaining it, saying, "It's not a microwave process," meaning you can't just insert your brain into a language and learn it in fast motion and RETAIN what you learned. It's more of a slow cooker-type progression, where all of the flavors and "meat" slowly come together over time. Learning a new language requires a strong, solid foundation before you can continue on to the "meat" of the language. Rushing through the building of this foundation only sets you up for failure down the line.
Error is always in haste. - Thomas Fuller
Looking back on my Arabic studies, I realize that the lessons that I rushed through are lost memories to me now. Even worse, I realize that as I was learning and studying new lessons, things seemed to become so much harder because I hadn't taken the time to let all the new vocabulary, grammar rules, etc really sink in. It turned into a domino effect, where not only was the initial lesson difficult to get through in a rushed manner, but the ones that followed it were also much more difficult.
In the long run, learning a language 'fast' is a waste of time and money. Sure, you may finish quickly and be able to tell people that "I learned Arabic in only three weeks" or maybe you earned a 'certificate' saying that you completed, but that knowledge isn't going to stick. Six months later, you're going to have to start at the beginning again because you didn't give time to create a solid foundation.
1. It takes patience. Remember that learning a new language takes time and cannot be done overnight. You can take live classes or learn Arabic online, but no matter what you do, you must be patient in your learning process.
2. Put in the work. Learning a new language requires work on the student's part. You can't just sit in a lesson and expect everything to flow into your brain and stick; you have to be willing to put in the work it takes to learn and retain the language.
3. Practice makes perfect. Learning Arabic takes practice...and lots of it. Outside of your class, spend time speaking, reading, writing and listening to Arabic. Speak Arabic whenever you can. Watch Arabic cartoons, videos, or news. Read Arabic newspapers or books, even if they're simple children's Arabic books. Practice writing Arabic, including the new vocabulary words you're working on.
4. Daily Exposure. Exposing yourself everyday to Arabic will help your mind start thinking like an Arabic speaker. Like the above suggestions about practice, expose yourself by watching or listening to videos or news, reading Arabic books, and speaking to Arabic speakers any chance you can get to get extra exposure.
There is a saying that concludes: "...and he that is hasty with his feet shall stumble." As a language student, one needs to remember that learning a new language is a lifelong journey. For some, it can be possible to "learn" Arabic fast, but to actually RETAIN that knowledge requires a lifetime of daily implementation. It takes patience, practice and dedication, but your achievements can be so rewarding. It will open your eyes to a whole new world, culture, and way of life. By spending a little bit more time and effort, Arabic can become second nature for you and a language you can call your own.
When you said "To effectively learn a new language, one needs to realize that it takes time and effort. You can’t learn a language overnight." That is so true--look how long it takes to learn the language we speak. Great article
True information here. We need not rush through things we choose to learn, as they are quickly forgotten. I agree with you. When I have done that, all knowledge is gone. Relax into it, enjoy it and of course, practice!!
Love how you call learning a language a "slow cooker" process. I can really visualize that concept. You have to allow all the aspects of a language....vocabulary, grammer, etc., to really sink in and marinate! Great job.