1 Februar 2009

Artikel „Sprachen lernen“ für Zeitungsprojekt

In Rahmen einer Projektarbeit habe ich letztes Jahr, im ersten Semester einen Zeitungsartikel auf Englisch verfasst. Den habe ich heute wieder gefunden und stelle den jetzt gerne auch einmal online. Ich hätte gerne die ganze Zeitung online gestellt, aber erstens habe ich nicht die Einwilligung der anderen Projektteilnehmer und zweitens weiß ich nicht wie es mit den Rechten an den Bildern aussieht, welche wir verwendet haben.

Hier nun aber der Artikel: ( Oder als PDF-Datei, einfach hier klicken )

Everybody can learn a Language. As a proof for that you have learned one language, your mother tongue!

The first question is, how did I learn my mother tongue?

The first thing was to listen. We all had listened to the voice of our parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents and so on. We have learned the pitch of the voice and the tune. Then we have imitated the sounds, the pitch and the tune. After that we visualized words by pictures, E.g. we see a red ball, our mother says to us that this is a red ball and we understand. We learn that this is a red ball. So we learn to talk to other people and we can understand them. And after all, when we are seven or eight years old, we begin to learn the grammar of our mother tongue.

We must understand this background in order to learn other languages!

Okay I have understood , how I can start to learn a NEW language?

At the beginning you must search for some audio files in this new language. ( Later I will give you some links ) You need not understand anything, you need not learn any word and you need not learn any grammar. The only thing you must do is, to listen! You must listen to these audio files. Do your homework, go to work, go jogging, watch TV, make anything you want, but get the audio files play in the background and let your subconscious mind listen to these. Your subconscious mind learns the pitch, the tune and the sound of this language and this is the basic to learn a new language. After a while you can imitate the sound, the pitch and the tune of this audio file. You must speak the text loudly and clearly and you must get a feeling for the new words. After this you can begin to learn the words. Use the same audio files, translate the text word by word but do not form complete sentences! After that, listen to the audio file and read your translation at the same time. At first with your written translation and after a while without this.

In this phase your brain forms some new “motor-ways” (engrams).

Repeat this with other audio files and you will see, that you unterstand the new language better and better.

At this point you can understand simple conversation, can read simple texts and can talk to other people in this new language.

But now we come to the difficult task. Which is to learn the grammar! This part of learning a new language is boring and hard. You have to learn all the rules by heart! But if you understand the skeletal structure of the new language and if you have good and fast “motor-ways” in your brain, you will learn this rules quick.

Okay , this is a long text but I do not understand anything ;-)! Can you give me a short summary?


listen to the new language

imitate the new language

get the new language visualized

learn the new rules

Shall I learn single words?

Better not, do not learn single words. Learn word groups or whole sentences. Your brain can not store single words for a long time, because this is not a brain-deserved method to learn a language.

If you want more information about this topic or if you want to learn more about this method read the book “Sprachenlernen leicht gemacht” by Vera F. Birkenbihl.

English audio files on the example of Podcasts

To find audio files for the new language is easier than ever. The (new media) “internet” gives us more possibilities of finding interesting conversation and stories in this new language and the best is, it is free. One of these possibilities is to download and to listen to Podcasts.

Podcasts are shows from native speakers about one or more topics. In the majority of cases you can download and use them for free. For some files transscripts are also available. So you can listen to the narrator and read the text simultaneously, and you can use the transscripts for a word by word translation.

One of these sites is www.voanews.com . Here you can find free Podcasts and transscripts about various topics, for example “Science in the News”, “The Making of a Nation”, “Words and Their Stories”, “This Is America”, “Education Report”, “In the News” and so on.

Another site is www.thebobandrobshow.com . Here you can find a free Podcast fortnightly. The transscripts and two more shows per month are not free. You must become a member and must pay 5 US Dollars per month.

On www.china232.com you find a show from two guys who comes from Canada. They present some conversation. After the conversation they explain the unknown words and phrasal verbs to you.

The bob and Rob show++++ not free+++

Part 3 Reading…..

Referring to the Podcast you can also find interesting articles in the Internet. You can read newspapers, stories, short stories, and so on. With the help of Google, you can find interesting articles with your favorite topics.

You can also buy English magazines, for example “Spotlight”.

The Spotlight magazine is a magazine for people who learn English. There is one magazine per month with articles from all over the world. Below the articles you can find unknown words and in the middle of the magazine is an area with helpful information to improve your grammar.

Part 4 Games….

It is fundamental to have fun. If you learn a language you must have fun. Without fun you do not learn a language.

Play games!

Play games like “Ich packe meinen Koffer…” in English.

I pack my bag and put …… in

clothes –> what kind of clothes ?

Games –> what kind of games?

Funny stuff -> what ?

So you can use many English words and you can train your brain.

Another game you can play is “Mensch ärgere dich nicht” with some new rules.

Additionally to the old rules of the games some new one come :

  • You need index cards with sentences or word-groups, on the front side in German, on the other side in English

  • you must translate one card per move. Is the translation right you can move the pawn in a game forward, is the translation wrong you have to stay on your position

  • if you can chuck out another pawn in a game, you must also translate a sentence on the card

Have fun 😉