The Truth About Taking Language Courses

Learning new languages is one of the most fulfilling things in life. Not only does it add new words to your vocabulary, but it also opens you up to a whole new world. From new music to new cultures, you step deeper into the language and let it flow through you, but it's an extremely challenging thing to do. There are three reasons you would take a language course at the University of Puerto Rico. First, it's your major. You're ready to learn one or more languages and construct the rest of your life around them. Second, you're part of the Humanities faculty, and your major requires taking from six to twelve credits in a foreign language. Third, you're neither, but you would love to learn it for whatever reason. All of those reasons are completely valid, regardless, prepare yourself for what it entails.



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First off, the enrollment won't be the only hard thing about these courses. From your first class, be ready to be pushed into the deep end while not understanding what's happening. Basically, you'll be a baby that will start to learn how to speak. Don't expect to learn to talk without making an effort. In language courses, it isn't enough if you only attend your lectures (but it does help!). You have to commit to it and study for at least 15 minutes every day to make any improvement. Do your homework, review your verb conjunctions, and you will get better. It's essential to have patience with yourself. Some concepts and pronunciations will be challenging to grasp, but don't give up. Keep practicing, and if you need help, don't be afraid to ask your professors or classmates. In fact, relying on them will make your life easier.



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Don't let the class be your only source of knowledge, take what you learn, and put into practice. For example, you could add the keyboard layout of the language you're learning to your phone, watch a TV series in the language or listen to music from that culture. This way, you will get more exposure to it and feel more comfortable while speaking it. It's also good to find a practice buddy. The exams for the labs are oral tests, and if you study with a friend, they can help you to spot any mistakes on your pronunciation and help correct them. Practice in every way and moment that you can. It is the only way to get better at it. Even when you think you're done discussing a topic in class, review it, because it will probably be brought up again next semester. Languages evolve, so you will have to keep studying even when you think you're done.

Sure, taking a language course is challenging and it will eat up your time time, but it's also one of the best things you can do. Even just one course can do wonders, but you have to work for it. Step up to the challenge, enroll yourself in a course and keep studying. The truth about languages is that each of them is beautiful in its own way and learning a new one is an honor, no matter how difficult it may be.