My Experience and Scientific Results about Second Language Learning Posted by Sandra Rösner on Jan 26, 2011 in Current Events, Grammar, Language, People, School
In this post I would like to tell you about eine Begegnung (an encounter) I had some weeks ago because this zufällige Begegnung (chance meeting) gave rise zwei Themen in einem Zug anzureißen (to touch on two topics in one go). Additionally, you have the opportunity to enlarge your vocabulary. One of the two topics is language and the other one is music.
Recently, I got to know an Australier (Australian) who has been living in Germany for about four years now. Although, he speaks German every day I could recognize that he still has language difficulties with regard to Grammatik (grammar), Wortschatz (vocabulary), and Aussprache (pronunciation). Dennoch (Nevertheless), I and all the other German Muttersprachler (native speakers) around us were always able to understand was er beabsichtigte auszudrücken (what he intended to express).
I am telling you this because I want to ermutigen (encourage) you to speak German whenever you have the Möglichkeit (opportunity), without focusing your attention on grammar too much. Instead, I would advise you to try to ausdrücken (express) your Gedanken (thoughts) with the words that you already know. Linguistic Forschungsergebnisse (research results) show that Sprechen (speaking) is der einzige Weg (the one and only way) to internalize grammar.
Ich kann ein Lied davon singen (I can tell you a thing or two about it). Als ich mein Abitur gemacht habe (when I took my high-school diploma) I was convinced that I had mastered the English language completely. I was able to converse with native speakers of English and sometimes it was even ziemlich ärgerlich für mich (quite annoying for me) when I recognized that my non-English Gesprächspartner (interlocutor) was at a lower Sprachniveau (language level) than I.
At university I came to know that my English was still mittelmäßig (mediocre) and that I had to learn much more about the language. Sozusagen (so to speak), von jetzt auf gleich (at a moment’s notice) I was urged to live in an English-speaking world. All my Vorlesungen (lectures) and Seminare (seminars) were given in English. I had to compose different type of texts in English, e.g. wissenschaftliche Arbeiten (scientific papers), letters, fictional texts, and Kurzgeschichten (short stories). After some years of studying and learning the English language I lapsed into silence because I recognized that my English worsened. This was quite appalling for me and I wondered why I was not able anymore to say a simple sentence. Because of my scientific work I found out that I reached a very important phase in foreign language learning: Neuordnung (reorganization). My brain reorganized all language information that I gathered for years and this was the reason why I became silent for some time. So, whenever you come to the point where you might think that your German worsens you should always im Gedächtnis behalten (keep in mind) that this is a very natural development. The most important thing is that you never give up because Übung macht den Meister (practice makes perfect).
To be continued …
(die) Begegnung – encounter
(die) zufällige Begegnung – chance meeting
ein Thema anreißen – to touch on a topic
in einem Zug – in one go
(der) Australier – Australian (m)
(die) Australierin – Australian (f)
(die) Grammatik – grammar
(der) Wortschatz – vocabulary
(die) Aussprache – pronunciation
dennoch – nevertheless
etwas beabsichtigen auszudrücken – to intend to express something
(der) Muttersprachler – native speaker (m)
(die) Muttersprachlerin – native speaker (f)
ermutigen – to encourage
(die) Möglichkeit – opportunity
ausdrücken – to express
(der) Gedanke – thought
(das) Forschungsergebnis – research result
(das) Sprechen – speaking
der einzige Weg – the one and only way
Ich kann ein Lied davon singen. – I can tell you a thing or two about it. (lit. I can sing a song of it.)
sein / das Abitur machen – to take one’s high-school diploma
ziemlich ärgerlich für mich – quite annoying for me
(der) Gesprächspartner – interlocutor
(das) Sprachniveau – language level
mittelmäßig – mediocre
sozusagen – so to speak
von jetzt auf gleich – at a moment’s notice (coll.)
(die) Vorlesung – lecture
(das) Seminar – seminar
(die) wissenschaftliche Arbeit – scientific paper
(die) Kurzgeschichte – short story
(die) Neuordnung – reorganization
im Gedächtnis behalten – to keep in mind
Übung macht den Meister. – Practice makes perfect.