Language Learning Tip #11


I am working hard, but I don’t seem to be making the progress that some others are making.


There could be many reasons for this. Some of them are out of your control. For example, you cannot easily change your natural aptitude. Some people are just more naturally gifted in different areas of language learning and it takes practice to develop those gifts.

However, what often happens is that people try to learn a language by “brute force.” They work hard, but they are often spinning their wheels or running around in circles. A book entitled Language Learning Difficulties listed 5 signs that students are working hard but not smart. Or more accurately, you could say they are not working efficiently, because not working “smart” is usually a matter of using the wrong tool for the job. Students have learned and studied many things before trying to learn Arabic, so naturally he or she brings their learning strategies and tools with them to tackle Arabic. Unfortunately, this often is like the man who was a successful engineer so he thought to solve his marriage problems with his engineering know-how. There is no recognition of the nature of the task. And many times we don’t even realize what we are doing. Anyway, here are the 5 signs.

  1. Too much “brute force” in memorizing
  2. Very long study hours
  3. Lack of planning or system in study
  4. Low risk taking
  5. Mismatch between student’s preferred learning strategy and program expectation

Do you see any of these signs in operation with your study? Maybe it is time to re-evaluate your efforts. In the coming messages we will look at each of these 5 signs and make some suggestions about what you might consider changing.

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