The Difficulties of Learning a Second Language and How to Overcome Them

Published: 09th February 2009
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Learning a second language is no longer just for a select few people but rather for hundreds of millions of people around the world who need a second language in order to get that job, get promoted or to travel. In Canada, children grow up learning French for once a day until grade 9 at which time it is up to the student to decide whether or not they will continue. After learning French for all these years, I realized that I hadn't truly mastered the language nor could I talk with a native speaker in Canada's French speaking province of Quebec. What I had learnt in school translated into being able to understand hundreds or possibly a thousand words all unrelated to the next. Although, I knew all of these words I was unable to effectively put them together in my head or with a French speaker to either communicate or comprehend what was being said. With all my years of French learning I was effectively a person who didn't know French because I could neither speak it nor understand it because I couldn't translate the French words back into English quickly enough.

What started me on the path of improving my French and putting all the pieces of the French language puzzle together was using a variety of speaking related learning activities which included speaking to my fiancée who is fully fluent in French and online speaking/listening content where I would listen or speak small sentences at a time. There are lots of online and offline programs developed just for this type of learning that focus on listening and putting sentences together rather than the usual memorization and individual words learned in traditional schooling in Canada. The best method that I found that improved my French immensely was as simple as talking with other French speakers. Learning a second language doesn't have to be difficult but can be very fun if you talk with somebody that you trust and won't criticize your mistakes to the point of giving up. If you don't have access to somebody who speaks the language you want to learn as close as I have when trying to learn French, there are websites that offer online speaking practice that you can find with a native speaker of that language. English is probably the easiest language to find qualified people online to help you with your second language. There are also other online language tutors who don't teach English if you look hard enough.

Remember, learning doesn't have to be boring so take the time to find out what works for you. It's not all about memorization or rote learning, most languages will reveal themselves to you with a lot of hands on practice without a book in front of you the whole time.

About the Author
Marc Anderson is the General Manager of an online English language learning company called TalktoCanada.com that helps companies of all sizes and individuals around the world learn English online using voice chat and a webcam with experienced native English tutors. If you would like to learn how live online English lessons can help you or your company please visit TalktoCanada.com today and find out how you can improve your online spoken English.

English Language Learning - TalktoCanada.com helps you to Learn English online and experience what many other students have come to discover. It's like nothing else you have ever tried, offering live online English conversation in real time with a fully qualified tutor. Book your lesson today!!


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