Mastering the Third Language from Zero to Hero

Mastering the Third Language from Zero to Hero

As a student from English Department, we know that English has unconsciously become our second language for a standard of living. In Indonesia itself, we were taught to learn English since we were young. Even if you are not eloquent or just a passive speaker, that would still be useful because English is the world's international language.

However, in the 21st century, foreign languages besides English started to ascend to the top list of the world's most important languages. There are Spanish, French, Hindi, and Arabic, which are also known as society's influential languages. These prove that the others are equally important as well. 

As the world's promising generation, we are suggested to learn and use the third language to broaden our insight and ease of communication with foreigners. Therefore, here are four main guide steps that could help you be a proficient speaker in the tertiary language. A little heads up for those who will follow all the steps below, get ready to be fluent in your desired third language!

1. Brace Yourself to Learn a New Language

Preparing yourself mentally and physically are the most important steps. If you are not ready to face the new experience ahead, you will not enjoy the learning process and will not get anything at all in return. 

After you find yourself ready to learn, you can take notes for what you will focus on. For instance, if you often have pronunciation problems, you can deepen your speaking skill.

Last but not least, consistency and patience must be in your mind when you start to learn. Most people usually came to a halt in the middle, suddenly lost motivation, and decided to quit. That is why it is important to have your self-study method so that you can enjoy it even if the process is complicated.

2. Learning Time

Now, let's move on to the learning steps! If you are still confused with the material sources of the language, here are various options for where to learn from:

  • Application

Many applications are provided on mobile devices to help you, such as Duolingo, Mondly, HiNative, and many more as a start point. You can learn the basic words and practice pronouncing them with the help of audios that have been provided. 

  • Website

Aside from using applications, you can make use of some websites on the internet. If you are an audio-visual learner, then YouTube is the correct answer for you. There are many channels which provide some knowledge that you are looking for, even most of them are from the native speakers themselves. 

  • Textbook

However, if you are not used to learning through the internet, you can learn from textbooks. Start it with searching for any recommended books on the internet and looking for some reviews there. You can go to the nearest book store at your place or buy them online. If you do not want to spend money, you can borrow books from your relatives or the public library.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Of course, those all would be pointless if you do not practice at all, right? So, let's have a daily practice to help you get better at your desired language! Here are some tips for you:

  • When you want to improve your speaking skill, try to talk to yourself. You can do the basic one, namely, introducing yourself in front of the mirror.

  • If you want to practice your writing skill, write down your thoughts and try to make sentences using the language. Later, you will be able to write a paragraph without looking at the dictionary.

  • You can do exercise for listening skills through any websites or applications. Just type 'listening exercises for …' in the search bar, and you will see tons of platforms that provide your needs.  

  • While for reading skills, try to read for interest first. If you are into music, then read any news from your favorite ones. Make some notes for difficult words that you do not understand the meanings and practice using them for writing and conversation skills.

  • A special tip for those who want to practice with a real person in this pandemic situation, we suggest you to use a talking app such as HelloTalk or chat with a foreigner. You can learn and practice your skill with the native speaker itself. People can correct your grammar and pronunciation as well. There are voice notes and phone call features for you to practice your speaking skill. 

English Department from Universitas Airlangga also provided the third language courses. Starting from the third semester, we can choose one limited elective course to study a foreign language in addition to English! They provide French, Arabic, Dutch, and Japan for us to learn. Besides our mother tongue and English, the third language is worthwhile for us to use in the future.

In the beginning, you may be struggling a lot, but we all know that great things never come from comfort zones. If you follow all these steps above, for sure, you will be able to improve and perform your third language skills. Make sure to set your aim in your mind, and you are finally good to go!

Writer: Putri Hanin Mardhia

Editor: Hasna Fatina