HAVE BAD HABITS, say sayonara to learning a language.
Welcome to the Ten Deadliest Language Study Habits — for any language.
1. Procrastinating — quit it!
We are extremists when it comes to learning languages. Either we wake up and work hard at it, or we keep putting things off till thy kingdom come.
Back in the 1970s in the UK, there was an award for it: A Round Tuit — “I’ll get round to it after I finish doing [this, that or the other].” Get the joke?
There’s always something to get out of the way first — always. Women, I’m sorry to say, are the biggest procrastinators, yet strangely enough, they’re also the most forward-acting.
, Learning methods
, Self Learning
/ Tags: habits
, language learning
, learning methods
, overcoming fear
Does it matter how you say it?
As an expat living in a Thai town that gets a fair number of foreign visitors every year, I’m exposed to quite a few English accents – from the native speaking Brits, Americans and Australians to the Northern European/Scandinavian accents and, of course, many Asian versions of English.
My strike rate in guessing where people are from, based upon how they speak English, wouldn’t be too bad. I’d willingly challenge most to a duel with that!
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, english language
If you are just starting out learning Chinese, the tones can be an annoying road block. You just got all the letters right, knowing the difference between “zh” and “z” and how “c” is pronounced very differently in English. So you feel you’re doing well, but the teacher keeps correcting your tones.
Does it matter anyway? Can’t Chinese people understand you if you get a couple of tones wrong? The attitude of “don’t care too much about the tones, just talk” is common among Chinese learners, and I have to admit that I’ve been thinking it at times as well.
Even on Changi Airport, Singlish gets you places
“I can hear from your English you live here for a while”, remarked the taxi driver. I was on my way to do some video interviews at French Toast Language Center. Stunningly, after the interviews, one of the students made a similar remark.
I was glad to hear from their tone that they meant it as a compliment. If you speak Singlish in Singapore, you become part of the in-crowd. Not that I really speak Singlish – but I guess you can say that the way I speak English has adapted to my surroundings in the 6+ years that I’ve been here now. I know Singlish is somewhat controversial, but I enjoy it when people speak it proudly.
It’s not that I try very hard. I think it’s unnatural for me to use a lot of the ‘advanced Singlish vocab’, like words that originate in dialects. Hey, I’m an “ang moh” so who am I to pretend that I was born and bred here.
I do use Singlish vocabulary though, when I order a coffee.