Foreign Language for a first time in college

994
12
Joined Feb 3, 2004
I know there are a lot of multi-lingual people on NT.  But I was wondering, did any of you all become fluent after taking a foreign language for the first time in college? 

I'm in my 12th hour of introductory Spanish, and I feel like I haven't really learned anything.  I know they say you get out of it what you put in, but for some reason it's just not working for me.  And the thing is, I've passed my 2 previous classes with decent grades.  I really think my problem is that while I want to really learn the language, my ultimate goal is passing the class with the best grade.  As a result, I'm not really learning anything.  I'll study what I need to study for the quizzes and test, and won't retain any of the information once it's over.

It bothers me how some majors require you to take up to 12 hours of the same foreign language.  Also my school's Spanish department isn't really on point.  We do all of our work online, and get multiple chances to submit the assignments.  While it's great for the GPA, I'm not really learning much. 
 
2,779
10
Joined Jul 31, 2006
Originally Posted by I AM KNOWLEDGE

I know there are a lot of multi-lingual people on NT.  But I was wondering, did any of you all become fluent after taking a foreign language for the first time in college? 

I'm in my 12th hour of introductory Spanish, and I feel like I haven't really learned anything.  I know they say you get out of it what you put in, but for some reason it's just not working for me.  And the thing is, I've passed my 2 previous classes with decent grades.  I really think my problem is that while I want to really learn the language, my ultimate goal is passing the class with the best grade.  As a result, I'm not really learning anything.  I'll study what I need to study for the quizzes and test, and won't retain any of the information once it's over.

It bothers me how some majors require you to take up to 12 hours of the same foreign language.  Also my school's Spanish department isn't really on point.  We do all of our work online, and get multiple chances to submit the assignments.  While it's great for the GPA, I'm not really learning much
This is the problem with our current education system. It is too reliant on grades, you can basically cheat your way into a very lucrative position then fail miserably because you don't actually know anything.

Anyway, about foreign languages, the best way to pick up a language is to immerse yourself. Having a 1 semester class on Spanish will only give you a good base you have to be speaking the language everyday pretty much for it to stick. I was in french immersion while I was in elementary/highschool and now that I haven't been speaking daily for a few years I can barely string together a sentence (my understanding is still there though). I took a Spanish class last semester and got a B+, and all I can remember is mochilla and messa(?)
 
8,773
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Joined May 14, 2009
I took a language while in college but it was a continuation of one I had studied in high school so while I can't speak on it from your perspective, perhaps some advice. Start watching newscasts in Spanish or reading a newspaper in Spanish, with dictionary in hand, found that to be helpful to me while in school and it is something I still do today. All of this stuff is available on the web so its right at your fingertips.
 
5,678
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Joined May 13, 2008
I took a language class

and that #$@+ was full of pain

Usually they just continue from stuff learned in HS. I was lost a week into it.
 
908
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Joined Apr 4, 2008
I'm in my 4th semester in Arabic and even though I learned a lot of grammar rules and sentence structure, I really couldn't hold a conversation with you in Arabic. Put a newspaper in front of me and I can pick it apart grammatically though
The number one thing that has helped me with my Arabic is listening to other people speak it. Whenever I go to the mosque, I always listen to the people speaking Arabic to each other and try to understand what is being said
I watch youtube videos in Arabic, listen to Arabic programs, etc. I've honestly learned more this way than in class. I'm headed to Dubai and Somalia this summer though so hopefully I will be able to polish up my conversational skills a little better
 
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