Learning A Foreign Language For College Admissions And More

Post By: COYD Staff

why learn a foreign languageOne of the things I encourage every student to do before they leave high school is to learn and practice a foreign language. Not only will it look good on your college application, but it also provides indirect benefits that will help you get into the college of your dreams and make the most out of your time in college. Obviously, the world is getting smaller and smaller every year, so knowing a foreign language will give you more opportunities and make you more marketable in the future. Besides these obvious benefits, there are several others:


1. Strengthens communication skills and global understanding: The very nature of learning a foreign language is communicating with people who are different from you. Besides not sharing the same language, you probably won’t share the same culture or communication style. When you are able to open up yourself to something so different from you, you are able to strengthen the communication skills that are crucial to success in college and in your future career.

2. Increases flexibility in thinking: Those who learn another language are better equipped to adapt in a fast-changing world.

3. Sharpens the mind: Increases your capacity for learning. People who have learned foreign languages show greater cognitive development in areas such as problem solving, analytical thinking, and creativity.

4. Increases your listening capacity

5. Increases your native language ability: Studies show that when you learn another language, you actually improve the ability to use your language more effectively.

How to learn a foreign language most effectively

These are methods for learning a foreign language that you can use in addition to the classes you will take in high school.

1. Dynamic Immersion Method

– Rosetta Stone teaches foreign language the way first languages are learned (“like a baby”). The software uses a combination of images, text, and sound in order to teach vocabulary and grammatical functions intuitively without drills or translation.

2. Read

– Read articles, magazines, books…etc. in that foreign language.

– Circle the words you don’t know and look them up. If you can’t figure out the meaning even after looking it up, make sure to ask a native speaker to help you.

3. Watch TV

– You’ll develop an authentic accent, and you will also learn the most recent slang for that language of that country.

– I have heard many people watch telenovelas to learn Spanish. This isn’t a joke. It really works!

– In a sense, it incorporates the Rosetta Stone philosophy of immersing you in that language and observing the language being used, without context in your native tongue.

– Watch something fun, and it won’t even feel like work!

4. Practice with native speakers

– Actually practicing and conversing with someone who speaks fluently is necessary to learn a language to fluency.

– There are several way to practice with native speakers:

a) In person: There are sites like www.conversationexchange.com where you can find native speakers of a certain language for a face-to-face conversation.

b) Online: LiveMocha is one of the sites that allows people around the world to help each other learn a different language. It is all done online, so it’s perfect for students who can’t find a face-to-face conversation partner.


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