Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Step 3 : Build up the environement

En français
Now that you are resolute to learn whatever that thing you want to learn (step 1) and that you are aware that you will probably have to face adversity (step 2), I am going to discuss the environment, your new environment. I'm sure that this can be applied to any kind of learning, from ping-pong to languages... but I will here take the example of languages as it seems a bit more obvious. I'm not really sure about that, so many things that seems obvious to me are kind of obscure for others. Anyway, lets describe how to built a language environment.

Why building a new environment for learning ?

You probably already try to learn a language, you probably bought some books (textbooks) you probably attended a lot of classes, maybe tried to talk to some native speaker in your target language. I did it too, I have a lots of textbooks in different languages at home and the audio that go with. I went to all the classes I could attend at University and nearly fall asleep during Japanese classes. Though were the worse I had, together with the second year of Chinese... but that's not the point here.
The point here is, I have tested it, just like you did and I've seen that it doesn't work at all, just like you did.
The reason is that you need a lot of extra work, extremely painful amount of extra work. But the commitment an discipline that you would get out of it is to hard to reach. Except if you make it differently, if you stop torturing yourself with an uneatable amount of grammar exercises and let it flow...

So that's were the need for a new environment comes from, you will need to transform you way of live so that every single minute of it becomes a learning moment.

What do I need to build an environment ?

Here I seriously want to say, I don't know. Not because I'm not using one, just because I'm using one that works for me but that maybe won't work for you. So that's really up to you.
I still can give you some basic rules : (Everybody need a bit of structure right.)
1) Get something you are interested in.
2) Get something funny (I seriously believe that boredom can kill you, or at least that it's killing your brain sell which is about the same thing)
3) Get the typical things about the country where the language is spoken.
4) Get the same thing that you have in your mother tongue in your target language.

Ok, now I'm going to explain.
Point 1) You like cooking, get a cooking book, that way you will enjoy trying new recipes and cooking and learning at the same time. I like fantasy books, crime books... that's the type of things that I'm going to try to read. No need for me to read a bibliography as in my mother tongue I will already sleep at the second page, You got the point I suppose, make it interesting.

Point 2) Get something funny or I should have said relaxing, everybody need to laugh and to take breaks. Do it in your target language, stop making it like it needs to be something painful. People (native speakers) have fun in that language everyday. Do the same. Get music, cartoons, mangas, whatever, make is pleasant.

Point 3) I love that one, that's the one that gives you the spirit, the one that is going to make you get the feeling for your target language by learning about the culture. When I need to talk in Korean (I don't have Korean people around 24/7) I talk to 뻬루, well he doesn't answer much but I made him from the teddy in the Korean drama 이 죽일놈의 사랑 (a love to kill).
Get think that native speaker use everyday, because you don't want to be talking like a textbook in the end, you want to be talking like a native speaker, right ?

Point 4) If you really enjoy something, like a drama or a movie or a book or whatever in you own language, so much that it's a real pain not to watch/read/whatever it, than get it in your target language. Like that you will kill two birds with one stone.

What does my environment look like ?

That's a bit of a hard question because my environment is evolving all the time.
I get ride of everything that bothered me to keep only the things that I'm enjoying. But I can still describe my environment at the moment.
So I'm watching 베토벤 바이러스 (Beethoven Virus), listening to my usual Shinee, Shinwa, 1Tym, mp3 version of the drama all day long and reading the book my friend brought me from Korea.
You see building an environment is not that difficult.
And it's rewarding. Can you guess why 大空 翼 (Tsubasa Oozora) was the best player of his team in the キャプテン翼 (Captain Tsubasa) cartoon ?
Because that guy was never letting go of his ball, he even slept with it.
So go for it, sleep with your ball !

Back to step 2
Forward to step 4

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