外語學習經驗與建議 Ep. 2 學習歷程的回顧與反思|Foreign Language Learning Experience and Advices Ep. 2 Reflections on My Experience

歡迎回到外語學習經驗與建議系列文章,本篇是此系列第二篇,所以如果你尚未看過本系列第一篇〈淺談我的外語學習歷程〉,建議你點這裡,看看我上一篇分享的個人學習經驗,也會更容易理解本篇內容。如果你已經讀過上一篇文章,就讓我們進入本篇主題吧!

在上一篇提到,我在較小的成績壓力和專注於學習的內容而非語言能力限制的情況下,學習成果反而獲得長足的進步。而在開始享受使用正在學習的語言獲得新知的樂趣後,我更是受到很大程度的鼓舞,並且更願意投資更多時間和努力。於此,學習的正向循環被建立,且隨時間愈加穩固而成習慣。

經歷過這樣的學習過程,我也因此得到一些關於語言學習的結論。以下就是我整理出學習語言時應該注重的六點,和我對於每一個重點的解釋。

I. 興趣和目標是推進你前進的原動力。
有了興趣才會願意投注時間和精神,有了目標才能擬定學習進程和階段性目標。如果僅有興趣而無目標就會如同我目前學習法文的情況,並沒有鞭策自己的理由,純粹為興趣。並不是把語言僅當興趣不好,而是如果你希望見到自己穩定的進步,還是最好有目標,才會有行動力。擬定短、中、長程學習目標能夠幫助你掌握進度和專注於最有效的策略,並且也會在你達成目標時帶給你成就感。

II. 找到最適合你的學習模式,才能持續不懈。
如同我在前一篇文章中提到的,我的英文學習從挫敗氣餒到享受學習,最根本的原因就是第二間語言教育機構的教學方式非常適合當時的我。主題式的教學讓我把目光從多少單字和文法我還沒學好,轉移到使用這個語言我能獲得許多有趣的資訊,因而在獲取資訊的過程中試圖了解文章和說話內容,導致我主動學習這個語言本身。或許這個教學法並不適用每個人,但這也讓我了解,每個人必定都有一個適合自己並能刺激學習的模式。

III. 教材或課程必須符合學習者的程度,而非學習者去適應教學方。
如果你的程度尚不足以支持你自學,請一定要注意你參與的課程的難易程度,即使你要自學,也必須評估自己的程度和教材是否符合。如果在學習過程中發現教材或課程的難易度不符合你的需求,不要遲疑,立刻更換教材或轉換班級。如果教授內容對你來說太容易,那麼時間就算白白浪費;反之,如果太困難,要花額外時間自己摸索不足的部分,成效不如直接在相對應課程中學習,且趕不上高難度課程進度的挫敗感可能會讓你失去繼續學習的熱忱。

IV. 每個學習者所需的壓力大小和種類都不同,但沒有一定程度的壓力不容易進步。
有了適當的學習程度,你仍需要一定壓力才能不斷向前。如果你正在上某些課程,你或許會有來自老師和考試的壓力;如果你是自學者,你也可以報名參加大型語言檢測項目,如雅思 (IELTS) 或托福 (TOFEL)。如果語言檢定不是你想追求的目標,你可以發揮一些創意,選擇較專業的內容,如吸收學術期刊和專業領域演說的影片,並找能夠幫助你修正自己的專業人士批改你生產的文章和糾正你的口語表達。另外,你更可以把語言學習和你的興趣結合,如烹飪食譜、運動轉播和報導、電影、影集、時尚,甚至電玩。我在本系列下一篇會分享關於我在英國語文學系學習的經驗,其中也會提到自學方式,所以如果你對此有興趣,可以在這個網站首頁下方填寫你的電子郵件地址,下篇文章發表時自動會寄至你的信箱。

V. 學習資源俯拾皆是,所以沒有無法學習的藉口。
個人認為,只要你所在的地方有書店和網路,就幾乎沒有你無法取得的資源。你只需要大約 8000 字的單字庫和基本時態和句構的文法基礎,就基本可以完全自學。部落格、雜誌、YouTube 頻道、甚至 Instagram 帳號、粉絲頁、網路文章作者帳號、漫畫,這些都是非常容易取得的學習資源。我會建議以較有組織架構的方式學習文法,例如上課或直接購買文法紙本書來練習;至於單字、用語、諺語、俗語這類則可以靠上述資源大量補充。

VI. 時常回顧你的學習歷程,並保持改變學習策略和重點的彈性。
並沒有一種學習法能讓你從初學一直用到進階程度而不需要改變。在不同的學習階段,你會有不同的能力和需求。舉例來說,在初學階段,你會需要大量重複聆聽和複誦去記憶,但到了後期,當你的閱讀量已有相當的累積,字首、字尾、字根更能幫助你記憶更複雜抽象的單字。但值得注意的是,即使在不同學習階段有不同的重點,也不能因此嚴重忽略其他應該保持的項目。舉例來說,如果在學期初期過於側重閱讀和背誦,而忽略對話的話,容易在之後發現發音上的問題或是對話時難以同時思考。因此,保持和該語言專業人士定期定量的互動能幫助你及時發現自己學習上的成長和缺失。

當然,學習語言的重點遠不止以上這六點,但我認為這些是在所有階段都相當重要的。希望以上的文章對你有所助益,但如果你覺得有些部分不夠清楚或想要獲得更多補充資訊,歡迎到這個網站的 Contact 頁面,留下你的建議或疑問,我會視情況以私人或文章的方式回答。

在本系列下一篇文章,我會談談我在英國語文學系所學的更多關於語言學習的方法和觀念,也會分享主修語言的學生都在學和做些什麼。

我們下篇見!

Imperial War Museum London, 2019

Welcome back to the language learning series. If you have not read the previous article in this series, please check it out before continue reading this one, because the content is much relevant : Foreign Language Learning Experience and Advices Ep. 1
If you have read it, let’s cut straight into our topic.

As obvious as it is in my previous article, I apparently gained much more progress when I was under less pressure and focused more on the information the language brought me instead of the language barrier itself (theme-based instead of score-oriented). Moreover, when I started to benefit from the learning results, I felt more encouraged to invest more time and efforts in learning, and thus the model created a positive circle.

So here are the conclusions I got from the early stages of English learning and my explanation to each of them:

I. Interest and goals are essential.
Initially, the interest in the language or in the target you aim for with the language and the goals you hope to reach are crucial to the efficiency and the results. With clear goals, the stages in learning can be easily divided and planned, and you will be encouraged when each stage gets completed.

II. Find the most suitable learning style for yourself so that the learning process can last.
As I mentioned in the previous episode, the main twist in my English learning process was the change in learning style. I switched the focus from how many vocabularies and grammar rules I had not learnt or memorised to the information I get from the language I was learning. When I focused on absorbing information, I would natrually want to figure out the meaning and knowledge the language is carrying. I am not saying a certain learning style is suitable for everyone, but I do believe that every individual has a method that works the best for them.

III. Be careful with the level you work on. The level you choose HAS TO be suitable for you.
The next aspect you need to consider is your level. If you are not yet at the level to do self-learning, enrol in a course that is suitable for you. If you plan to learn by yourself, you need to do the assessment by yourself as well. In the learning process, once you feel that the materials are too difficult or too easy for you, please do not hesitate to switch to the right one. When the materials are too easy, you waste your precious time; if the materials are too tough for you, it is difficult to make real progress, and you might feel too frustrated to keep going.

IV. The pressure everyone needs is different, but it is quite impossible to make progress without any form of pressure.
Other than a proper level, what you also need is adequate pressure to always push yourself to the next level. If you take language courses in an institution, you might already have the pressure from the teachers and the tests, but if you are trying to acquire a language on your own, it involves more strategies to put pressure on yourself. The most direct way is registering for a language exam, such as IELTS, TOFEL, Cambridge… etc., but if it is not what you are looking for, you can do it with a bit of creativity. With the materials you choose to work on, it would not be difficult to find the professional articles and speeches. Find professionals in the language to help you with your output, both writing and speaking. You can also combine language learning with your hobbies, such as cooking, sports, films, TV series, fashion, or even games. I will be discussing more about making language learning interesting for oneself and tailoring a meaningful learning project in the next episode, so if you are interested in various ways of self-learning, sign up for email update on the home page, so that you will not miss it when I post.

V. Learning resources are everywhere, so no excuses.
Literally, bookstores and the Internet are all you need after you know most of the basic grammatical rules and got a vocabulary bank that covers around 8,000 of them. Find topics you are interested in, subscribe to blogs, magazines, comics, YouTube channels, follow accounts, pages, authors, and never stop expanding your input resources. I would recommend you to build the concepts of the grammars in a rather systematic way. In other words, no blurry areas are accepted, because even if you try your best, you will still find some in the future. In terms of vocabularies, phrases, idioms, and slangs, one and only rule: the more the better.

VI. Look back at the path you came so far and adjust the learning methods and focuses from time to time when needed.
There is no learning model that you can use from the very beginning all the way to the advanced levels. In different stages, your learning methods need to be adjusted according to your abilities and needs. For example, you may find listening and pronouncing the most efficient ways to memorise vocabularies in the early stages, but later as the reading input increases, prefixes, suffixes, and roots will help as much. However, it is important that no aspect of learning get neglected while you have a specific focus in a certain stage. For example, if you neglect speaking in the early stages of learning, it is very likely that you will struggle to pronounce correctly or speak and think simultaneously later. I suggest you to have forms of interaction with native speakers to constantly be aware of your progress and flaws.

Of course, there are more than these six points I pay attention to when learning languages, but they are what I find the most important. Hopefully there is something you find practical, but if there is none, send me a message on the “Contact” page about what you want me to be more specific or what you think can be added to this topic.

In the next episode, I will write about my learning in the department of English Language and Literature in Fu Jen Catholic University. I look forward to share with you more creative learning ways and insight to what language majors do.

See you in the next episode. Au revoir!