The Three “Makes” That Will Enhance Your
首先，我想要先簡單的介紹我自身的語言學習經驗。身為一個主修日文的英文母語者，我可以保證我很了解學習另一種語言的困難。我學習日文已經超過十二年，透過這樣的經驗，我了解在學習時若沒有一個開放的心態，會很難跨越一些觀念及文化差異的障礙。另外，我已經開始學習韓文、中文以及台灣話，每一種語言我都遇到特別的挑戰。能提供給大家一些我破除學習障礙的秘訣是我寫這篇文章的目的。我把這些秘訣稱為”Three Makes ”。
第一個”make”是指”make mistake (犯錯)”! 你的中文總是講得很完美嗎? 當然不可能! 我們都是從錯誤中學習，而且是很多的錯誤! 人們總是說在幼兒時期學習另一種語言有很多的好處，但我認為最大的好處就是小孩跟大人比起來，他們比較不怕犯錯。試著讓自己跳脫犯錯的恐懼吧! 因為這樣的恐懼會讓你在學英文，甚至在生活中處處受限。
第二個”make”是指”make the connection (創造相關聯性)”。當你在說英文時，你是用英文思考還是把中文直接翻譯成英文呢? 英文並不是翻譯後的中文，如果你真的想要加強英文能力，你必須要開始用英文思考。你的頭腦必須把英文及現實生活中做連結，雖然這並不容易。當你走在街上，試著用英文辨別出所有你看到的東西。起初可先從簡單的東西開始，像是車子、樹和街道。下一步則是跟自己有關的動作，例如: 走路、看、出去……等等。最後試著辨認與自己感覺相關的形容詞，像是熱的、忙碌的、飢餓的，或是任何你可以想到的形容詞。當你可以掌握這個技巧，你將能夠輕易的進步到更高階或更複雜的英文思考。
第三個“make”是”make your learning environment (打造你的學習環境)”。住在國外或在國外讀書的人在學習外語上當然有絕對的優勢。然而，並不是所有人都有這樣的能力可以出國去增加他們的外語能力。如果你無法出國學英文，你必須就現有的資源中盡量去努力，也就是盡可能地為自己創造一個沉浸式的英語環境。當你決定去上英文課，你已經有一個好的開始了。你可以在回家的路上聽英文歌或收聽英文新聞、觀看英文節目或電影，隨時盡可能地聽英文。你也許會說這實在太困難或你無法了解它到底在說什麼? 那你覺得那些住在國外或在國外唸書的人是如何度過剛開始的幾個月呢? 不管你覺得英文能力增加與否，只要願意嘗試，你的英文就一定會進步。有一天你會發現你的努力有了代價。
The Three "Makes" That Will Enhance Your Language Learning Ability
First I would like to briefly introduce some of my own language learning experience so that I can better connect with you. As a native English speaker who majored in a foreign language (Japanese), I can assure you that I understand the difficulty in learning a language that is very different from your own. I have spent well over twelve years studying Japanese and through this experience I have learned that there are some concepts and cultural differences that exist which cannot cross the language barrier without the help of an open mind. I have since gone on to study Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese and I have encountered unique challenges in each language. My goal is to give you some tips that I use which will help you to break the language barrier. I call these tips the three makes.
The first “make” is make mistakes! Have you always spoken perfect Mandarin? Of course not. You learned by making mistakes. Lots of them! People say there are many advantages to learning languages when you are a child, but I think the biggest advantage is that children are not afraid to make mistakes like adults are. Try to free yourself from the fear of making a mistake because it will hold you back from your goals in English and in life.
The second “make” is make the connection! When you speak in English are you thinking in English or just translating Mandarin to English directly? English is not translated Mandarin. If you really want to enhance your English ability you need to start thinking in English. Your mind needs to make the connection between English and reality. This is easy to do. While you are walking down the street one day try to identify everything in your sight in English. Start with simple things like car, tree, and street. Then identify your actions simply by thinking to yourself, walking, looking, or going. Finally identify your feelings with adjectives like, hot, busy, hungry, and as many as you can think of. When you have mastered this it will be much easier to think in more advanced and complicated thoughts.
The third “make” is make your learning environment! People who live or study abroad definitely have an advantage in learning a language. However, not everyone has the ability to just go overseas in order to improve their English. If you cannot travel to learn English you need to do the best you can with what you have, so try to create a sense of language immersion for yourself. If you are going to an English class you are already off to a good start. On your way home listen to some English in music, or tune into an English news show. Watch English TV shows or movies. Listen to English whenever you can. You say it’s too difficult and you can’t understand what they are saying? How do you think the people who live or study abroad feel during their first few months there? Do it and your English will improve whether you feel it improving or not. One day you will realize that your efforts have paid off.
Good luck on your English learning endeavors and remember to make mistakes, make the connection and make your learning environment!