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General thoughts about language learning #1

June 10, 2012

How to learn a language #1?

The question should rather be: “How to learn?”

Point 1:  Unused knowledge fades very fast.

I have spent 17 years of my life in schools / part-time schools or universities yet. And of course I have forgot a lot of the stuff I was teached. The simple reason therefore is, that I didn’t use a majority of my taught knowledge anymore. I had a long “school-break”, before I made my “Abitur” within one year in Germany. A few month after finishing my final exams I couldn’t remember the most of the things, which I knew when I actually wrote the exams. No matter what subject it was about: German, Political Science, IT, Math…. (I think you got it now) – I barely could remember anything of that stuff, I had learned within this year, after just a few month.

Conclusion 1: Use and repeat your knowledge as often as possible.

Why did it fade away so fast? I learned so hard for the exams and I did so well (ok – just in some parts) and now I feel like I knew nothing anymore. All is gone – except for a few subjects that I repeated constantly, because I was interested in it, or because I needed them for further studies. These things are still alive. And after a while these knowledge was so deep stored into my brain, that I can use it fluently and without hesitating now.

That is usually the aim of language learning: Using your knowledge instantly, correctly and fluently. And you just can come up to this level, when you not only learn grammar or vocabulary, but also force yourself to use and repeat these things as often as possible in order to get a routine.

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