Steve's Introduction to LingQ
Hi there. You may think that language learning involves studying grammar rules, declensions tables, word lists and then doing exercises and tests to make sure you got these things right. And you may think that if you get them right then you can build on that to become fluent in the whole language, and that if you get these things wrong you just keep studying until you get them right. You may even think that looking at pictures and guessing the meaning of words on your computer, using Rosetta Stone, is going to make you fluent.
You may think that, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Language learning is more like stumbling around in the fog. The fog will slowly lift as you wander around, but you don't control when and where it'll lift. You can't really control what you'll learn and what you'll forget. You just keep walking, and listening and reading and speaking, making mistakes and forgetting as you go, and enjoying yourself. Most of the kids who passed all their French and Spanish tests in high school, can't speak French or Spanish. Successful language learners don't use Rosetta Stone. You just need to spend time with the language, doing things that are easy and fun. The words and phrases will start to accumulate, gradually and unpredictably.
Here at LingQ you just need to start by finding something interesting to listen to and read in our library. Take something at your level so it'll be just enough of a challenge for you. If you're a beginner, you need to listen many times to the same content. Don't worry if you do not understand at first. Just wait for the fog to lift, and it will, gradually. Don't be impatient. Don't get upset if you forget, or can't pronounce, or don't understand. You aren't expected to get things right. You're learning the language. You just need to get used to it. Don't worry about how you speak until you've done a lot of listening and learned a lot of words.
Listening is key. Listen everywhere on your iPod or MP3 player. Take your language immersion with you. As you become more familiar with the language, you won't have to listen quite as often to the same content. It's up to you to decide what you want to do. Just make sure you spend the time with the language, mostly listening.
All recordings in our vast library come with a transcript. Read the transcript on the screen. Look up words you don't know and save them to your own personal database. Do the same with phrases. We call this "LingQing" or creating LingQs. Get in the habit of LingQing a lot. LingQ different forms of the same word. LingQ words that you think you know but aren't sure about. LingQ phrases that you want to use. LingQing is your key to creating a large vocabulary. It's a little bit of work, but it'll soon become a habit. It'll make your listening much more effective.
When you create LingQs, you're creating flash cards that will be emailed to you regularly. If you fall behind in reviewing your new words and phrases, don't worry. You should be saving so many LingQs, that you can't possibly review them all, let alone remember them all. But, you'll meet them again and again,in your listening and reading, and you'll find that these "old friends" will be highlighted in yellow on your screen. You'll be surprised at how quickly your vocabulary will grow, almost without you realizing it.
Take the time to make friends on our Community. Write on your friends' walls. Follow their activities. Find friends who are native speakers of the language you're learning. Submit writing to them for correction, if you want. Sign up for online discussions with them. You'll receive detailed reports back, that'll really help you.
You can even tutor in your own language at LingQ, and create or contribute content to our library. You'll earn points that way to use to pay your tutors for the language that you're learning.
Just decide that you're going to enjoy yourself and the rest will take care of itself.
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