HOW TO LEARN
A LANGUAGE ?
Learning is a part of process of living. Everybody has their own experience to learn something. The most significant thing is to learn a language. Every nation has their own characteristics of language. There are thousands of languages all over the world. They are English, Dutch, French, Germany, Indonesian, Indian, Italian, Arabic, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, etc. Those are the languages based on the nation.
In my country, Indonesia, there are also many local languages such as: Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, Malay, etc. There are still many other local languages that cannot be mentioned one by one here.
To my surprise, how can a small child speak a language without schooling? For instance: for children of inlanders of Borneo (Kalimantan) or West Papua (Irian). Sometimes they use their local language but they themselves do not know how to write in their local language.
In short, they speak but they do not have alphabets of their language characters.
I am a student of Senior High School in the tenth year. I feel too difficult to speak a foreign language, especially English. Fortunately, I find a good teacher of English. He is an expert of language. Then I ask him what is the best way to learn a language. He gives much explanation in details. Here are some explanations:
Generally, there are four skills to master a language:
One. By Listening.
Two. By Speaking.
The two above is the basic of learning a language. Without having a good sense of hearing, it is impossible for anybody to listen, especially for children. For children having a problem of their ears since they were born, they are dumb. Why? They cannot hear a single word since a child. Consequently, they cannot speak.
So, to master any language, people must have much LISTENING first. Next they can imitate or repeat some words they hear. By so doing, they later can speak the language. If they often practice the language by SPEAKING (CONVERSATION), surely they can speak well. That’s the secret of learning any language.
Thus it is untrue for teachers who only teach their students through Grammar and they hope their students can speak the language well.
Remember, first train by LISTENING. Then train by SPEAKING. Slowly but surely, language learners can speak well.
Three. By Reading.
Four. By Writing.
The last two points above can be applied in school. Students will be able to read and write in school. Those are also important, but it is not so important for the beginners. That’s why in every meeting in class, every language teacher must use the language they teach as a means of communication among their students. Teachers practice first, and students follow next.
Thus, the best way to master a language, especially English we are studying now, is to use the four skills or steps above in a correct order.
(Compiled from Various Sources)
Answer the following questions based on the text above.
1. Mention some international languages.
2. Mention some local languages in Indonesia.
3. Write the best way to master a language in a correct order.
4. What does the expert think to learn a language first? Why?
5. Explain in your own words for the reasons no. 4.
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