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Introduction to language learning

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Success in language learning depends on a number of factors. Among them are your aptitude, your motivation, the time you have available for study and your previous language learning experience.

Language learners have different personalities, different aims, different beliefs and preferences in ways of learning. Some types of language learning activities will be more attractive to one person than to another. If you have a particular method of learning which is effective for you then you should use it.

Language learning can be enhanced by having good strategies and using good techniques. Many of these tried and tested methods are described and can be practised using these learning objects.

The learning objects are also designed to enhance your language awareness. As well as training you how to learn the foreign language(s) you're studying, it also encourages you to think about your own language and how this can help you in developing your target language.

It is useful to divide language up into 'the four skills' (reading, writing, speaking, listening) for the purpose of teaching and learning. However, in reality the skills often overlap, especially when you are practising the language in the classroom or doing independent study. For example, if you do a listening comprehension you will not only listen, but read questions, write answers and perhaps explain your answer to a teacher or colleague. (But it is important to have in mind what the main focus of an activity is.)

If you wish, you can work through the whole section from beginning to end. This might be useful if you are new to language learning. However, it is designed to be of use to all language learners. If you are an experienced language learner then you may just prefer to dip into some sections or use it as reference material.

Note: The text is in English, with some occasional words, phrases or sentences in other languages to illustrate the point which is being made.

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