Learning a Language in 6 Months

Chris Lonsdale gives a good TED talk on how to learn languages quickly and below is my summary


5 principles of Rapid Language Acquisition

  1. Focus on language content that is relevant to you – information that helps survival, personal goals, business, etc.
  2. Use language as a tool to communicate
  3. When you first understand the message, you will unconsciously acquire the language
    1. Comprehension is key
  4. Physiological training (filters in brain to native languages, facial muscles must adapt to new sounds)
  5. Psycho-physiological state
    1. Will learn much better when happy, relaxed, curious
    2. Must learn to tolerate ambiguity
7 Actions to take for Rapid Language Acquisition
  1. Listen a lot – brain soaking
  2. Focus on getting the meaning FIRST (before you get the words)
    1. Body language, nonverbal cues
  3. Start Mixing
    1. Mix verbs, nouns, adverbs…incredible amounts of sentences can be made with few words
  4. Focus on the most common words
    1. Week 1 – use target language (what is this?…)
    2. Week 2 – pronouns, common verbs, adjectives (you, that, give, hot…)
    3. Week 3/4 – Glue words (although, but, therefore…)
  5. Get a Language Parent – creates a safe environment to practice
    1. Works to understand what you are saying
    2. Does not correct mistake
    3. Confirms understanding by using correct language
    4. Uses words the learner knows
  6. Copy the facial movements
  7. Direct Connect” to mental images
    1. Don’t convert from mother tongue to new language, use memories and imagery to connect new path