When you learn another language, there are a small number of variations in how you achieve the knowledge. It is fine to mix and match the different styles, but we all learn a new language so much easier if the content is invigorating.
You may remember the language learning schooldays, when a vocabulary was created on a boring list, sentence structures were written in dusty old grammar books and learning was anything but fun.
Content that grabs the attention and is interesting will place an entire new approach to language learning. If you read interesting content, your brain will work in a dynamic way. Vocabulary and sentence structure is more easily absorbed, learning another language becomes fun and somehow we know a lot more than the tedium of grammar lists.
Interesting content can be something that is appealing to you. It might be a television drama with English subtitles, or a great travel article written in English and your target language.
This is important because we all learn our first language from listening, before aping the sounds we hear. We talk long before we write or read. But now we know how to read and write in our first language, can we not go straight for interesting reading in our second language that we are learning?
Language learning gets exciting when you learn a word and see it appearing in a different context. But to speed up the learning process, make the topic interesting and put some fun into it.
If you were to go back in time, when being taught Mathematics, you may recall how boring it used to be. But interestingly, content-based learning changed the way math was taught. If you give a child three apples and tell her to remove two, to reveal the answer you require, it becomes far more intriguing for the child than it might looking at the chalkboard and seeing “3 – 2 = what?”
It works in a similar vein to language learning. Tedious lists of vocabulary are hard to memorise.
Focus of something interesting: If you are learning German – check out the history of the Berlin Wall; for French language students, try to discover the background of the Eiffel Tower or The Champs-Elysées. Spanish language students might want to read and write about the archaeological wonders of Teotihuacan or the colonial neighbourhoods around Mexico City.
Interesting content sticks in the mind and hastens the learning process; and it’s a lot more fun too.
Resource: Richards, Spike, et al. “The Top 10 Places in Mexico You Need to See to Fully Experience and Enjoy the Country.” NeverStopTraveling, 15 Mar. 2018, www.neverstoptraveling.com/the-top-10-places-in-mexico.