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Lesley's Guide to Learning a Language

I took three years of Spanish classes in secondary education. Also, I am studying Korean online.


How Much Do You Know About Learning A Language?

For each question, choose the best answer. The answer key is below.

  1. Learning a (second/another) language is healthy for your brain.
    • True
    • False
  2. The optimal way to study is to cram (study a lot for a short period of time).
    • True
    • False

Answer Key

  1. True
  2. False

Explanation of The Quiz (Spoilers)

Question 1: If you answered, "True," you are correct and here is why. Learning a another or a second language increases cultural awareness, strengthens and builds neural connections, and permits brain flexibility. Strengthening this skill is both fun and good for you.

Question 2: If you answered, "False," you are correct and here is why. Cramming is neurologically considered ineffective for the long-term. When an academic crams, they may only rely on one type of memorization: Rote memorization. Rote, or repetitive, learning has a tendency to solely store in short-term memory, meaning one may not remember the knowledge when necessary. Also, cramming is generally considered unhealthy, because the person studying is less likely to take breaks. Breaks are vital and beneficial to the knowledge acquisition process, because they allow for language processing and creativity. The taking of breaks, in-turn, permits more effective learning. While everyone has a different means of studying, cramming knowledge is generally considered unhealthy and ineffective.

Online Learning Versus Class Learning


Learn at your own pace

Requires some level of organization

Teacher-directed pace

You decide the workbooks and textbooks

Workbooks and reading

Clear workbooks or textbooks either provided, borrowed, or on educational discount.

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Online Learning: Pros Versus Cons


Learn at your own pace

Requires good time-management

Pick your own textbooks and reading materials

Requires research to select materials. Could be costly.

Pick your own workbooks and ways to practice writing.

Requires organization of materials.

Practice speech whenever you want to

May require travelling to specific locations and may require confidence.

Class Learning: Pros Versus Cons


Supportive setting: Practice speech in-class or with a teacher, as opposed to a public setting.

Usually required for class credit.

Certainty: Lessons are at a specific time for a specific period.

Requires punctuality, a sense of time-organization, and may result in opportunity cost, or the giving up of other things to attend classes.

Time-saving: Educational materials (textbooks and workbooks) are usually assigned with specificality. This saves time on looking into and deciding on them.

Trusted workbooks and textbooks may be less cost-effective. However, used copies of well-reviewed/known materials are usually available at used book stores (both online and in person).

Availability and cost-effectivity: Well-reviewed/known materials are usually more available. (It's also more cost-effective to buy a gently-used copy.)

These materials may also be more costly and more likely to already be borrowed at the local libraries. Again, used book stores are a great option, if they have the book you are looking for.

Online Language Learning: A Few Options

  • Free Apps: Try searching up, "Free [language of your choice] learning (games)."

Personally, I used the Google Play store, and I searched up, "Korean Learning." Then, I tapped the button option labeled, "Kids," for simplified apps. Also, I learnt pretty early online that the Korean language uses a set of characters, called Hangul, to make up words and phrases. So, I searched up, "Hangul Writing," in Google Play and came across many apps about it.

One note about free apps: Be sure to check their permissions. I chose apps with limited permissions required for the app.

  • Online Workbooks: Use online workbooks for a fun, cheap method to learning a language.

© 2022 Lesley Shepard

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