Describe the first time that you used a foreign language to communicate
• Where it happened
• When it happened
• Who you talked to
• How you felt about the conversation
• I know three languages – Punjabi, Hindi and English
• Actually, English is a foreign language for us, but as it is taught in our schools right from class 1, it does not seem foreign any more.
• Here, I would like to talk about a time when I used a foreign language to communicate.
• It so happened that my cousin has settled in Italy and has been there for the last 10 years.
• He comes home once a year and last time, he brought his Italian Friend Martin with him.
• Martin did not know any other language except Italian.
• So, my brother had to act as an interpreter every time when Martin had to communicate with us.
• He stayed with us for a week and I learnt many words of Italian from Martin.
• Every time Martin would do something for me I would say Grazie Tante,which means thank you very much.
• If I did something for him, he would say Grazie Tante, and I would say Prego, which means you are welcome or my pleasure.
• It was great fun. I felt very happy when I could understand what Martin wanted to say and Martin would be very happy, when we used any Italian words with him.
• I also taught him some Punjabi words.
• I learnt many other words but unfortunately I don’t remember them now.
• My cousin has invited me many times to visit him in Italy, so I have planned to join some Italian classes for being able to communicate there if I go.
• Fortunately, there is a Language academy called Aroma Institute, where I can learn Italian.
• I will join that institute very soon.
1. What do you think of children learning a foreign language?
I think children should learn a foreign language. It is very easy for children to learn a foreign language as they are very receptive and they are not hesitant about making mistakes. They also have a benefit of not knowing any other language too well, to make comparisons and assumptions about the difficulty of language learning. In this era of globalization, knowledge of a foreign language is very beneficial for a better career and a brighter future. It opens more avenues for the students for higher education and good jobs.
2. Why are some language classes boring?
Some language classes are boring because of the teaching methods used. If there no interactive and fun activities involved in teaching a language and only textbook teaching methods are followed, students become bored easily. Incorporating technology in classrooms, keeps the students interested in learning and they learn it easily. For example, there should be audio-visual means used. 3. Some students hate to learn foreign languages, what can teachers do to develop their interest? Some students hate to learn a foreign language mainly due to lack of interest and uninteresting teaching methods used. Teachers play an important in developing students’ interest. Interactive and fun activities should be included to keep the children involved and interested in learning. If students are taught only from text books and there is a pressure of examination, it leads to students becoming bored or disliking language classes. Teachers should also use contexts and examples to which the students can relate in their day-to-day life. If they understand how the language can help and benefit them, students would be motivated to learn that language.
4. Some people travel for learning a foreign language, what do you think?
I think that traveling is a very good way to learn a foreign language. It is true that the more we use a language, the better we get at it. So, if travel to a county/region where that language is used, we will interact more with the local people in that language and learn its nuances better. Also, language is related to the culture. If we travel, we learn more about the culture and can learn the language better.
5. What’s the best way to learn a foreign language?
I think the best way to learn a foreign language in a classroom environment, from a teacher who has in-depth knowledge of that language. The teacher should preferably be a native speaker of that language or should have a high proficiency level in that language. It is very important to incorporate technology and audio-visual methods to teach that language. Also, travelling to that country/region where the language is spoken is also a good way to learn it. These days learning a language through videos and online classes has become very popular, as the students get a chance to interact with the teachers and also with native speakers of that language, through the internet. There are many apps also available, which can be downloaded on smartphones, which help learning a foreign language in a fun and interactive way. For example, the Duolingo app.
6. Why can some people learn languages fast white others learn slowly?
Some people learn language faster than some others because of the teaching methods used to teach them. Interacting more with the native speakers also helps with learning a language better and faster. Also, there may be a motivating factor, like a job that requires them to learn that language, which makes people learn a language faster than others, who don’t have any motivation behind learning a language.
7. Does one’s age affect their language learning?
Yes, I think age affects language learning. I thing the learning curve goes down with increasing age. Also, at an older age, people try and compare the new language they are learning with the language they already know. That may cause a hindrance in the learning of a language. People also become more hesitant about making mistakes and feel more embarrassed, at a later age, as compared to young learners.