Hablas espanol? Parlez vous frances? Nihongo ga hanasemasu ka? If you speak another language, or even if you don’t, there are many strategies to speed up your quest to become bilingual (or trilingual, etc.). I believe that there are four key aspects to learning a new language: reading, writing, speaking, and listening.
Once you are able connect these four areas seamlessly, you have asserted your mastery over whichever language you wish to conquer, whether it be Spanish or Icelandic (don’t you want to learn how to pronounce Eyjafjallajokull?). Reading is one of the most important things to embrace in a language, for it influences everything else that you learn. By taking the time to peruse books in different languages, you can learn new vocabulary and you can better your grammar. Writing and listening are difficult if one has not first encountered the language in print.
Speaking can be improved enormously if vocabulary, jargon, and sentence structure are learned from books. Even starting with children’s books is no source for shame; you can expand your Spanish knowledge while reading about the little bunny finding his carrot. It is basically a win-win situation: you read books in a language, you learn the language! So the next time you want to develop your linguistic skills, the library can provide countless books in a wide variety of foreign languages just waiting for you to check them out. Gangi þér vel! (Icelandic for Good Luck!)
Post by Emma M., teen blogger