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你其实不会学:外语学习的5大常见误区

2012年12月28日11:13
来源:搜狐教育

  It’s a myth that intelligent people are better at learning languages.

  聪明的人更擅长语言学习?这种话只是传说而已。

  Sure, it doesn’t hurt, especially when innately academic types hold an arsenal of learning strategies. Most language learning skills, however, are in fact habits, which can be formed through a bit of discipline and self-awareness.

  当然,这也算不什么,尤其对那些天生会读书的人来说来说,他们对各类学习方法可谓驾轻就熟。但实际上大多数语言学习技巧都是习惯,稍加自觉和训练便能获得。

  Here are the five most common mistakes language learners make – and how to correct them...

  下面是语言学习者最常犯的五个错误,以及改正错误的方法。

  1. Not listening enough

  听得不够

  There’s a school of linguistics that believes language learning begins with a “silent period”. Just as babies learn to produce language by hearing and parroting sounds, language learners need to practise listening in order to learn. This can reinforce learned vocabulary and structures, and help learners see patterns in language.

  很多语言学观点认为,语言学习应该从“无声阶段”起步。但是,就好比婴儿通过收听与模仿牙牙学语一样,语言学习者也需要通过听力练习加以提高。这不仅能强化学过的词汇与结构,还有助于学习者领悟语言模式。

  Listening is the communicative skill we use most in daily life, yet it can be difficult to practise unless you live in a foreign country or attend immersive language classes. The solution? Find music, podcasts, TV shows and movies in the target language, and listen, listen, listen, as often as possible.

  听力是我们日常生活中最常用的交流技巧,可练习起来就未必容易——除非你在国外生活或学习大量的语言课程。那到底该怎么办呢?找些外语歌曲、视频、电视剧和电影,然后尽可能地多听、多听、多听!

  2. Lack of curiosity

  兴趣不足

  In language learning, attitude can be a key factor in how a student progresses.

  学习语言,态度是决定学习者进步程度的关键因素。

  Linguists studied attitude in language learning in the 1970s in Quebec, Canada, when tension was high between Anglo- and Francophones. The study found that Anglophones holding prejudices against French Canadians often did poorly in French language learning, even after studying French for years as a mandatory school subject.

  20世纪70年代,在加拿大的魁北克省,讲英语和讲法语两派之间关系紧张,语言学家为此研究了语言学习中的态度因素。研究发现,对加拿大法语派持有偏见的英语派,即便多年接受法语义务教育,法语水平还是普遍较差。

  On the other hand, a learner who is keen about the target culture will be more successful in their language studies. The culturally curious students will be more receptive to the language and more open to forming relationships with native speakers.

  相反,对外语文化感兴趣的人更容易学好外语。对外语文化感兴趣的学习者更易于接受外语,也更愿意同当地人交往。

  3. Rigid thinking

  思维刻板

  Linguists have found that students with a low tolerance of ambiguity tend to struggle with language learning.

  语言学家发现,不太能容忍模糊性的学习者学起语言来会比较困难。

  Language learning involves a lot of uncertainty – students will encounter new vocabulary daily, and for each grammar rule there will be a dialectic exception or irregular verb. Until native-like fluency is achieved, there will always be some level of ambiguity.

  语言学习涉及很多不确定性——学习者每天都遇到新的词汇,每条语法规则也都可能包含截然相反的阐释或不规则的动词。除非外语的流利程度已接近母语,否则学习者总会遇到这种模棱两可的情况。

  The type of learner who sees a new word and reaches for the dictionary instead of guessing the meaning from the context may feel stressed and disoriented in an immersion class. Ultimately, they might quit their language studies out of sheer frustration. It’s a difficult mindset to break, but small exercises can help. Find a song or text in the target language and practice figuring out the gist, even if a few words are unknown.

  学习者如果遇到生词就立即查字典,而不试着联系上下文猜测词义,可能会变得毫无头绪、倍感吃力,最后甚至会因为受挫而放弃语言学习。这种思维定势很难突破,但稍加训练也可以有所改观。找一首外语歌曲或一篇外语文章,不去管那些生词,试着弄懂大意。

  4. A single method

  方法单一

  Some learners are most comfortable with the listen-and-repeat drills of a language lab or podcast. Some need a grammar textbook to make sense of a foreign tongue. Each of these approaches is fine, but it’s a mistake to rely on only one.

  有些学习者比较擅长在语音室或跟着视频练习“听力-跟读”,有些则宁愿参照语法书摸索外语发音。这些方法都不错,但如果只单纯依赖一种方法就不见得明智了。

  Language learners who use multiple methods get to practise different skills and see concepts explained in different ways. What’s more, the variety can keep them from getting stuck in a learning rut.

  方法多样化的语言学习者可以锻炼各种技能,并能从不同的角度理解概念。而且,多样化还能使他们避免学习时墨守成规。

  When choosing a class, learners should seek a course that practises the four language skills (reading, writing, listening and speaking). For self-study, try a combination of textbooks, audio lessons, and language learning apps.

  在挑选课程的时候,学习者应选择能综合训练听、说、读、写四种技能的课程。若要自学,则应结合教材、音频及语言学习工具等。

  5. Fear

  心有畏惧

  It doesn’t matter how well a person can write in foreign script, conjugate a verb, or finish a vocabulary test. To learn, improve, and truly use your target language, we need to speak.

  外文写得漂不漂亮、知不知道动词变位或能不能通过词汇测试其实真的不是很重要,重要的是你学有进步、真正学以致用。我们要的是能够交流。

  This is the stage when language students can clam up, and feelings of shyness or insecurity hinder all their hard work. In Eastern cultures where saving face is a strong social value, EFL teachers often complain that students, despite years of studying English, simply will not speak it. They’re too afraid of bungling the grammar or mispronouncing words in a way that would embarrass them.

  这个阶段,学习者会因为害羞或不安而难以开口,导致所有辛苦付出难以收获回报。东方文化中,要面子是很重要的社会价值观。经常有英语老师抱怨说,许多学生尽管已经学习很多年英语,但就是开不了口。他们太害怕因为发错音或犯语法错误而遭遇尴尬了。

  The key is that those mistakes help language learners by showing them the limits of language, and correcting errors before they become ingrained. The more learners speak, the quicker they improve.

  其实,这些错误可以帮助学习者发现自己语言学习的不足,并在错误根深蒂固之前予以纠正。学习者越是敢于开口,就越容易取得进步。

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