Polyglot Multilingual Learning Techniques and Methods

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Learning how to learn: Multilingual learning techniques and methods.

While studying as a graduate student in education at the University of Tokyo, I realized that learning is a lifelong pursuit and that the essence of education is learning how to learn.

Chika is a practitioner of multilingual learning and uses Chinese, English, and Japanese in her daily life and work. She also has a good grasp of Italian and Mongolian. The most important thing is that she loves languages and is passionate about them. No matter how busy or tired she is, she always finds time to continue learning languages. Last night, she shared her language learning methods and techniques with us based on her own experience of learning English.

With Chika's permission, I summarized the most valuable content of her sharing in written form here, hoping to help more friends who are confused about language learning find some direction.

Here is what Chika shared:
In terms of language learning methods, I have summarized four ways in total.

Firstly, I call it the shadow following method. It means starting with materials you like and purposefully learning from them. This shadow-following method requires you to clarify your language learning goals and interests. Because only when you enjoy something can you be motivated to learn, and interest is the best teacher.

So let me first tell you about my goal and interest in learning English. My goal is very simple. I like to interact and make friends with foreigners, and I want to improve my language ability so that I can communicate fluently. As for my interest, I like expressing myself and looking at some SNS. I like some beautiful and positive expressions and some life hacks in English, so I start by selecting materials related to these topics. I like to use the following two websites to search for and find materials to study:

The second approach is to learn English like a baby. When I was studying languages, my teacher in college told me about the language brain. If you want to quickly learn the way of thinking in a language, it actually follows the order of listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

Think about it, when we were young and learning Chinese, we didn't start with memorizing words. We began by listening and imitating. The same goes for adults. We can start by listening and then imitating. In this unconscious process, we gradually learn how to say things in English or other languages.

Therefore, if you want to master the process of learning English, I suggest starting with listening, followed by speaking, reading, and writing in that order.

Thirdly, I want to emphasize the importance of having confidence in yourself and finding suitable friends to practice English with. Learning a language is not something that can be achieved overnight. We need to master our input and output cycles.

My method is to try to maintain a continuous cycle of language learning as much as possible. Let me share with you my daily schedule for learning English. Firstly, I have breakfast from 7:30 to 8:00 am, and from 8:00 to 9:00 before I start work, I spend 30 minutes learning English. If there is enough time, I will choose to study for an hour.

Why do I choose this time? Because I heard from my previous English teacher that people's stamina and logical thinking abilities are at their best during this time. I arrange this time to practice my listening and speaking skills.

From 10:00 to 11:00 pm, I use this time to practice my reading and writing. Even if I'm busy, I will continue this routine for at least three days a week. This way, a habit will gradually form, and you will treat language learning as a habit and continue it.

The fourth point I want to share with you is using fragmented time to learn. Like many of us, we may have limited time for long hours of learning due to work. For example, if you're interested in movies, you can learn by watching them. However, it's hard to find time to watch movies regularly apart from the weekends. Therefore, I recommend using short videos and YouTube as a learning tool.

In terms of short videos, I highly recommend TikTok. TikTok now has many English life vlogs and short videos that we can follow and use during our fragmented time to maintain contact with the English language cycle.

Why do I recommend TikTok? Because it is not just an entertainment app. I think TikTok is suitable for learning English for two reasons: First, there are many English learners on TikTok, and you can always find a teacher who interests you. Many teachers are native speakers or Chinese people who have lived abroad for a long time, so their sharing is quite accurate and authentic.

Secondly, TikTok's videos are very short, and repetition is natural. We can improve our English contact rate by repeatedly accessing some relatively short and easy-to-understand stories.

Finally, let me talk about how to maintain a positive learning attitude? In this regard, I mainly summarize finding motivation and presenting opportunities to oneself. Because I like to communicate and express myself, I enjoy sharing my ideas with others and making new friends. This is my motivation.

Regarding the input and output ratio of my language learning, my input is 40%, and my output is 60%. Because there is a difference between what you learn from books and what you actually express in language. Language expression allows you to gain more knowledge through practice. Therefore, when you learn a new word, try to use it as much as possible. For example, you can make a sentence and post it publicly on your online learning channel, or say it to your teacher or friend. Let the teacher check whether you are saying it correctly.

Only through continuous practice and repeated exercises can you gradually consolidate your language skills and improve your speaking ability.

In summary:

The most important thing in language learning is finding motivation.
Chika has four methods for learning languages: A. Shadow following method (learning from materials that interest you); B. Baby learning method (learning in the order of listening, speaking, reading, and writing like a baby); C. Have confidence in yourself and find friends to practice language with (don't be afraid to make mistakes, speak boldly); D. Using fragmented time to learn (watching TikTok, you can also learn English, did you know?).
Websites for searching English materials: 
Find motivation, present opportunities to oneself, and practice!

This item was added to our catalog on Saturday 20 May, 2023.

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