I am often asked “What’s the easiest language to learn?” as though the simplicity of the language is the reason to learn it. It doesn’t matter how “easy” or “hard” the language is. If you don’t like the learning process or believe in false myths about language learning, you’ll be doomed and you may never truly acquire the language.
Here are some common misconceptions about foreign language learning that may make you rethink what you consider easy or what you may let yourself believe to be excuses for not learning a language.
If I just use music and media, I can give up studying grammar and vocabulary and quit my language classes.
If you are still a beginner or intermediary student, you absolutely must keep learning grammar and vocabulary, even if you are studying what you think is “the easiest language to learn”. Grammar and vocabulary are the foundations of any language. Using music, TV, radio and film as additions to your language lessons will only reinforce grammar rules and vocabulary lessons.
For example, a Russian student who is just starting to study English listens to Frank Sinatra’s famous song, New York, New York and learns to sing the song or at least memorize the verses.
In class, the teacher is instructing students on how to form negative contractions like the word “doesn’t”. This type of negative contraction does not exist in Russian and it is much easier for the student to recall how to say this correctly because he has the verse, “I want to wake up in a city that doesn’t sleep” from New York, New York in his head.
Music Makes It Easier
It’s much easier to remember words, grammatical formations, phrases, idioms, irregular verbs, etc when one has heard the language sung and can recall words from songs that bring the language to life. Advanced students who just want to improve their listening comprehension and speaking abilities who have a strong foundation in grammar and vocabulary, may find it appropriate and more fun to stop taking classes and making their target language come alive by focusing on songs, TV shows, the news and other media.
I am a visual learner, so I won’t be able to learn using music and media
Whether you are a visual or oral learner, all language is based on sounds and music. Even if you have to see something in order to understand it and learn it, you have to hear sounds and words to pronounce them correctly.
Eventually, you will have to use your auditory senses to learn a language. You can use TV and movies to learn languages because visual cues can help us understand what people mean when they are speaking.
Music Makes It Fun
By making your language process fun, you will not even have to worry about whether you’re approaching the “easiest language to learn” or not. The easiest language to learn is the one you believe you’ll enjoy!
Photo by: Pete Prodoehl