Learning a new language can be one of the most challenging things a person can look to try and do. On the other hand, it can equally be one of the most rewarding things to accomplish if an individual can do it successfully.
Of course, many will immediately realize that there are some benefits to learning a foreign languag. It can have an immediate impact on several aspects of a person’s life, both professionally and socially. have a direct impact on several aspects of a person’s life, both professionally and socially.
Naturally, those that may wish to visit Germany or conduct business with Germans will typically look to take German lessons to further themselves and potentially immerse themselves within the culture that they will either be visiting or trying to connect with, whilst others will continue to learn a new language so they can understand the lyrics or words to their favorite songs and/or TV shows and films.
As mentioned, this is a lot easier said than done, however, there is one aspect that can be focused on that can make a huge difference in making the acquisition of a foreign language seem to appear to be a little easier.
Input is an important aspect of language acquisition
One of the most important aspects of language acquisition is input. Input is defined as the language that learners are exposed to while they are acquiring a new language. This can include spoken language, written language, or both.
Unsurprisingly, there are several different theories about how the input affects language acquisition. However, this only helps to further highlight why this aspect is considered to be extremely important in the process and why it needs to be correct.
Input needs to be comprehensible
One theory is that input must be comprehensible for it to be effective. This means that learners must be able to understand what they are hearing or reading for it to help them acquire the new language. If it is understandable, learners will find that they are naturally more engaged with the learning process and will perhaps find themselves more willing to try and accomplish the goal of learning the new language.
Input needs to be engaging
Another theory is that input must be interesting or engaging in order for it to be effective. This means that if learners are not interested in what they hear or read, it will not help them acquire the new language. This theory can be linked with the one mentioned above, as we highlighted just how important it is to ensure that resources are understandable; something many will immediately suggest is only possible when they are as engaging as possible.
The level of difficulty needs to be balanced
Lastly, some researchers believe that input must be at the right level of difficulty for it to be effective. If the material is deemed too difficult, learners will not be able to understand it and if it is too easy, they will not learn anything new from it. Therefore, it is important to find a fine balance and one that can encourage learning, rather than deter it.
The amount of input from learners is vital
The amount of input that learners need to acquire a new language is also an important factor. Some researchers believe that a certain amount of exposure is necessary for the acquisition to occur. Others believe that there is no set amount of exposure required and that learners can acquire a new language with any amount of input.
Regardless of which theory of input is correct, input plays a significant role in language acquisition. Learners need to be exposed to as much understandable, interesting, and level-appropriate input as possible to learn a new language.