"Age is not important unless you're a cheese" Hayes, Helen.
It’s not just a rewarding process but it increases your quality of life, it keeps you more mentally agile and younger. In fact, learning a foreign language (or more than one) improves memory, math skills, analytical skills, problem solving and increases critical thinking and creativity. So just keep your brain young! Keep learning.
Some facts about learning:
- 95% of people think that learning about new things boosts your confidence.
- 92% of people think that learning about new things is enjoyable.
- Seven in ten adults (71%) think that learning can lead to a better quality of life.
- 93% of us believe that it's never too late to learn.
- 83% of us believe that learning will become more important in the next millennium.
- 72% of us think we should devote more time to personal development.
You have chosen to learn Italian which is widely believed to be the most beautiful language in the world. Culture, music, art, cuisine - the sights, sounds and scents of the cream of life are all encapsulate in the extraordinary Italian language. Italian is an excellent second or third language choice for anyone.
Regardless of your age or experience level, you have exactly what it takes to learn a new language to the level that you want, here some basic tips.
- Get motivated and stay motivated. You have to want to do it. Whether you are learning because of a life-long desire, an upcoming vacation, a business trip, family relationships or whatever reason - you must keep this in mind and stay motivated.
- First determine how much you already know of the language and how much you want to learn. If you're starting from scratch with no knowledge of the language at all, then there's no problem, you are at the starting line.
- Set goals. Failing to plan is planning to fail. Set realistic goals for yourself. Not simply - "I want to speak Italian", but be more precise. If you set more reasonable goals, you will succeed.
Remember that each day, each week you are getting closer to your final goal. Keep that ultimate goal in the back of your mind, and the short term goal in front.
- Try to use the new language a little bit each day by reading books, newspapers and magazines, watching movies and television, listening to music, writing to people and most importantly of all, talking to people. Be the language. Use it every day, as often as you can.
Can learning a language benefit everyone?
Yes. Languages don't just pop up out of nowhere, they evolve from other languages and change over time. Many of the most widely spoken languages are related and share some vocabulary, and even if they aren't, languages are always borrowing words from each other. I'm sure if you look around and evaluate your life you will see lots of opportunities to use different languages. We are all surrounded by people who use other languages, or opportunities we could benefit from by using other languages.
Many people learn a language to connect with their roots. Learning the language of our ancestors can help bring us into better contact with ourselves and open up a whole new understanding of ourselves and how we got to be who and where we are.Think of the possibilities when you learn another language. The increase in possible social contacts is tremendous when you add a whole way to communicate. That goes for love, friendship, travel or business.
Learning a language for business is a very common reason. The business opportunities that have arisen in the last few decades have made it almost imperative for a businessperson to have language skills. The reasons for students to learn languages are many but one thing we know is that helps improvement of memory, creativity, problem solving ability and analytical skills also are of significant importance to a student. Having second language skills also makes a student more competitive in the job market.
Some Language Learning Tips.
Talk to yourself. It may be obvious, but the best way to get better at a language is to speak it! Even if there is no one around to speak to, talk to yourself. This simple language learning tip will help this everyday vocabulary sink in and become second nature.
Talk to friends. This is going a step further than talking to yourself. Even if they don't speak the language, talk to the people you know in your new language. Warn them in advance that you are practicing your new knowledge and they'll know what's coming. Even a simple 'good morning' or 'see you later' in your new language will make those phrases more natural to you.
Listen to music. Listen to music in your new language. You'll hear the language used in a real context and this will help you pick out the rhythm and pronunciation even better. You will also come to further understand and better appreciate the culture behind the language.
Make Mistakes. The easiest language learning tip to try! Go ahead and speak and write and don't be afraid to make mistakes, because I guarantee you will! In fact, you will learn as much from your mistakes as you will from your triumphs. Speaking with other people who have already gone through or are still going through the process of learning the language can be extremely helpful.
Talk to complete strangers. Put yourself in situations where you will have the opportunity to speak the language you're learning.
Television. If possible, watch TV in your new language.
Movies. Try to watch movies in your new language. Much like listening to music, watching TV and a few other language learning tips, movies will give you a real-life context to test your knowledge of the new language.
Learning a language isn't just learning some new grammar concepts, vocabulary and different sounds. It gives insights into other cultures. It creates a more positive attitude toward people who are culturally different and gives us a better understanding of what it's like to be an immigrant. Accomplishing this life skill will give you increased prestige in your own culture and a markedly increased status in other cultures. It's a required skill to become a World Citizen. Ultimately, learning other languages gives us a better understanding of our own language and our own culture, and a new viewpoint to look at the world in which we live and define our place in it.
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