10 Principles of Language Learning For Good Learners

Principles of Language Learning is very important for every language learner. In this article, i want to share proven Principles which will help the students in each and every step: The art of designing a language course appears to be in its infancy. Those arts which have achieved maturity have gradually evolved from a number of distinct primitive efforts which, by a process of gradual convergence towards each other, have resulted in the ideal type.This will come about as a result of a system of collaboration in which each worker will profit by that which has been done in the past and that which is being done by other workers in the present.

The following list would seem to embody some of these, and probably represents principles on which there is general agreement among those who have made a study of the subject.

·       The forming of new and appropriate habits and the utilization of previously formed habits.

·       Accuracy in work in order to prevent the acquiring habits.

·       Gradation of the work in such a way as to ensure  increasing rate of progress.

·       The proportion in the treatment of the various  branches of the subject.

·       The presentation of language-material in a concrete rather than in an abstract way.

·       The securing and maintaining of the student’s interest in order to accelerate his progress.

·       A logical order of progression in accordance with principles of speech-psychology.

·       The approaching of the subject simultaneously from different sides by means of different and appropriate devices

 Initial Preparation:

 We must realize that language-learning is an art, not a science. We may acquire proficiency in an art in two ways: by learning the theory, or by a process of imitation, is latter process is often termed the method of trial and error, but as the term may be misinterpreted it is better to consider it as the method of practice. The method of practice is a natural one, the method of theory is not. We may acquire proficiency in two ways: by forming appropriate new habits, or by utilizing and adapting appropriate old habits {i.e. habits already acquired). The natural process is the former, the latter being more or less artificial.

Language-study is essentially a habit-forming process. We speak and understand automatically as the result of perfectly formed habits. Most of the time spent by the teacher in demonstrating why a foreign sentence is constructed in a particular way is time wasted; it is generally enough for the student. to learn to do things without learning why he must do them {due exception being made in special cases, notably that of corrective courses).

The student should not only be caused to form utilize some of his existing habits; it is even part of the teacher’s duties to aid the student to select from his previously acquired habits those which are likely to be of habits.

Here you Must Focus On Best Principles of Language Learning.

2 Accuracy:

Accuracy means Conformity of a given model or standard, whatever that model or standard may happen to be. If we choose to take colloquial French or colloquial English as our standard, the forms pertaining to classical French or English (i.e. traditionally correct forms) are to be rejected as inaccurate. There are two types of inaccuracy: that in “which a colloquial form is replaced by a classical form and vice versa, and that in which a native form is replaced by a pidgin form. In both cases the teacher’s duty is to react against the tendency towards inaccuracy.

Appropriate drills and exercises exist which ensure accuracy in sounds, stress, intonation, fluency, spelling, sentence building and -compounding, inflexions, and meanings.

The principle of accuracy requires that the student shall “have no opportunities for making mistakes until he has  at which accurate work is reasonably to be arrived.

If we compel a student to utter foreign words before he hesitate how to make the requisite foreign sounds, if we compel him to write a composition in a Foreign language before he has become reasonably proficient in sentence-building, or if we compel him to talk to us in the foreign language before he has done the necessary drill-work, we are compelling him to use the pidgin form of the 1anguage.


Gradation means passing from the known to the unknown by easy stages, each of which serves as a preparation Oral Repetition before Reading. The student to be given ample opportunities of repeating matter after the teacher before being called upon to read the same matter.


The ultimate aim of most students is fourfold:

(a) To understand what is said in the foreign language when it is spoken rapidly by natives.

(6) To speak the foreign language in the manner of natives.

(c) To understand the language as written by natives. (d) To write the language in the manner of natives. We observe the principle of proportion when we pay the right amount of attention to each of these four aspects, without exaggerating the importance of any of them. There are five chief branches’ of practical linguistics. There are four ways of teaching the meanings of words or forms:

(1) By immediate association, as when we point to the object represented by a noun.

(2) By translation, as when we give the student the nearest native equivalent.

(8) By definition, as when we describe the mat by means of a synonymous expression.

(4) By context, as when we embody the word or expression in a sentence which will make its meaning clear.

These four manners are given here in what is generally their order of concreteness; it is interesting to note in this connection that translation is not nearly so ‘ indirect ‘ or ‘ unconcerned ‘ as the extreme ‘ direct Methodists ‘ have led us to suppose.It is for the teacher to judge under what conditions each of these four manners of teaching meanings may be appropriately used


 No work is likely to be successfully accomplished if the student is not interested in what he is doing, but in our efforts to interest the pupil we must take care that the quality of the teaching does not suffer. Habit-forming work has the reputation of being dull and tedious. The remedy, however, would not be to abandon it in favor of work which in itself is or seems more interesting (such as reading, composition, and translation exercises).


Apart from all questions of grading, we may observe in most of the branches of language-work different. Orders of progression. We may proceed from the spoken to the written or from the written to the spoken: we may start with ear-training and articulation exercises or leave them to a later stage: we may treat intonation  a fundamental or leave it to the final stage: we may ‘proceed from the sentence to the word or vice versa:  irregularities may be included or excluded during the first part of the course: we may proceed from rapid and fluent to slow utterance or vice versa.

Modem pedagogy tends to favor former of each of these alternatives: whereas the teachers of the past generations generally pronounced in favor of the latter. The ancient school said: First learn how to form words, and then learn how to form sentences, and then pay attention to the ‘ idiomatic ‘ phenomena, and lastly learn how to pronounce and to speak. The modem school says: First learn to form sounds, and then memorize sentences, and then learn systematically how to form sentences, and lastly learn how to form words.

The Multiple Line of Approach:

This ninth and last of the essential principles of language learning-study welds the eight others into a consistent whole; it harmonizes any seeming contradictions and enables us to observe in a perfectly rational manner all of the precepts set forth under their respective headings; it answers once for all most of those perplexing questions which have engaged the attention of so many language-teachers for such a long time.

If this principle is in contradiction to the spirit of partisanship, it is equally exposed to the spirit of copy promise; it suggests a third and better course, that of accepting any two or more rival expedients and of embodying them boldly as separate items in the programmed, in order that each may full its function in a well-proportioned and well-organized whole.

The term ‘ multiple line of approach emphasizes that we are to proceed simultaneously from many different starting-points towards one and the same end; we use each and every method, process, exercise, drill, or device which may further us in our immediate purpose bring us nearer to our ultimate goal; we adopt every good idea and leave the door open for all further developments; we reject nothing except useless and harmful forms of work. The multiple line of approach embodies the eclectic principle (using the term in its general and favorable sense.

by Abdullah Sam
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