By Hu Wo (Cuckoo’s Song)
Sometimes language learners have had enough of linguistic study for many different reasons. The two main reasons why these learners get fed up with this linguistic study may be that they have not yet achieved their expected outcomes of language learning, even though they are studying the language so hard, and that their language study time has taken much longer than needed. Whatever has happened, it is only human nature that the agent feels bored with doing the same thing every day, even if it does not matter to him whether he is used to it. On the other hand, it is often found that numerous linguistic learners are always conducting their evident language mislearning styles. Without adequate listening, some want to be great public speakers while others wish to be excellent writers with no sufficient reading. As it happens, they are on the threshold of higher potential boredom in language study when it sounds like they have not got an authentic study of language. So, I believe with my whole heart that this article can potentially resolve language learners’ existing boredom threshold in linguistic study to such an extent.
First of all, language learners should have had some underlying attitudes towards linguistic study before devoting their heart and soul to that study. As we are all aware, language is absolutely serious, vast, and diverse in terms of both linguistic theory and stylistics. For instance, the sentence `It’s raining heavily´ can be spoken as `It’s raining cats and dogs´ or `The rain’s pouring down´ or `The rain’s coming down in torrents´ or `There’s torrential rain now´ or `There’s heavy rain now´ or whatever, following others’ common expressions or the speaker’s own words. Thus, any length of time, so much patience, reasonable diligence, and discontinuous determination have been required alongside continuous learning and life-long learning for language study since its beginning. As far as I can see, most linguistic learners study a language one day but do not another day, or they study the language only at the time when they are interested in learning it, or they have not acquired enough time for language study, or they spend too much time running into language difficulties and language barriers. Of course, it might be best if a learner has studied the language at the rate of one hour a day for at least six months on end, and perhaps that length of study time would contribute to his obvious linguistic achievement level. What is more, all learners must never be shy to study language, especially with regard to its final consonant sounds should the language have them. It is public knowledge that languages are different in either spoken or written forms from each other and learning vocabulary by heart with little care of final consonants most frequently leads to several spelling mistakes. Last but not at least, any learner had better set a target learning of language whether it is at an elementary, intermediate or advanced level, particularly for TOEFL, IELTS, university entrance exams, job requirements and the like. I am strong of the opinion that a large number of language learners behave as though they had enough linguistic study, just knowing the language after a fashion. All the same, a language study journey looks endless more often; this is like doing the crawl across a Tharawal river horizontally, which means no easy matter studying languages. Above all, it is highly improbable to study a language from A to Z apart from doing as enough study of language as its learner can afford.
After the description of linguistic or stylistic concepts, study time, patience, diligence, determination, resolution, non-shyness, and enough study as the underlying attitudes to language study, effective and efficient ways of overcoming boredom in the language study will be shown as the best as I can. To start with all language learners ought to study linguistic matter that may interest them, for example, comics, poems, short stories and even literature. For readers with a little bibliophobia, comics are likely to be the first step towards language study in that those comic books usually catch the readers’ attention with colourful pages, cartoons, drawings or paintings. Poems are mostly short and to the point as well as arousing wishful or lateral thinking and emotional feelings of importance in life to readers. Like the poems, news headings and highlights can also be read within a short time. These parts of any news tend to provide meaningful action verb usages and a news theme respectively. Then, short stories are generally supposed to have passed through the golden age of the global literature world, for story lovers like to be engrossed with the characters and circumstances from all walks of life in which their living conditions _ physical, oral, or mental – significantly differ from theirs. In order to pass boredom over language study, more studies should be finished in a shorter time as well, especially with a great deal of concentration. If and when there are too many studies in number readers need to do them page by page or chapter by chapter. Most importantly, every concentration on subject matter or technique and any time for study must include a love of language indeed.
And again, the effective way to fend off linguistic study boredom, to my certain knowledge, join hands with authentic language study quite regularly. Of all the language skills, the listening skill is the first to develop, so some people commence learning to speak accurately and fluently at first, along with their listening skills. As regards the listening skill, not only language learning but also language acquisition should be thought about carefully. Since language acquisition is more authentic than language learning in the eyes of the language, language learning must go hand in hand with language acquisition. It goes without saying that native speakers have familiarized themselves with their language acquisition since their childhood, not making a special effort to do it. But then for foreign learners, meeting a language learning partner, creating a private enjoyable learning environment, visiting a language-speaking country, watching TV news, seeing movies, and listening to the radio or podcasts can give their language acquisition to a greater or lesser degree. Here, it will not have escaped our notice that news, movies and podcasts very occasionally seem less authentic simply because some documentaries have been pre-arranged in a systematic order before being broadcast on air. Just after the listening skill must come the speaking skill. After hearing a song, again and again, someone would like to sing that song whether in a good voice or not. Similarly, learners get expressing a desire to speak a language bit by bit after listening to that language over and over again. As to the speaking skill of language, most people, as usual, talk about accents, for example, British and American accents in English. Really, private or public utterances do not have the same accent even on the only subject matter of love or money. Curiously enough, there are unnoticeably various accents in a language from region to region even between native speakers. Hence, I think that language learners will be able to do nothing but only imitate native speakers’ accents till their optimum conditions for effective learning.
So as to lessen linguistic boredom, short-cut language study can still be carried out, where the term `short-cut language study´ is similar to intensive language learning that will offer heaps of linguistic knowledge within a well-planned duration. In the English language, short-cut study is suitable for grammar learning and dictionary habits. Some English users, experienced teachers in particular, can give some advice that language learners at the beginner level should throw their own dictionaries away, and they do not need to study grammar separately if they have read a lot. It can’t, however, be denied that this sort of advice would be good and proper for the teachers who have ever acted upon a wide range of book reading or even the learners who are totally lazy to study grammar and impatient to look up words in dictionaries without much book reading. In actual fact, language learners need to study grammar and dictionaries part-time whether or not they have got reading knowledge. Unless this language is their mother tongue, they must exert strength in these linguistic aspects. Actually, devotees of language will manage to absorb the taste and essence of any subject matter to the full on condition that they understand the grammar by which it has been written and know the relevant meanings of vocabulary with which it has been described. As my English teacher U Hla Kyi that passed away once said, when somebody wonders if somebody else has been proficient in English, the former can see and guess the latter’s use of articles, tenses, and choice of words. He, too, added that even great teachers of English make careless mistakes with articles sometimes. Make no mistake, tenses are the life of verbs in English as they can tell 50 per cent about the verbs’ literal meaning. Amazingly, it is found that the vocabulary choice of authorities on efficient writing, mainly in classic works of literature, could not be replaced by anything else. Whichever is made for grammar or vocabulary, this can be accomplished by underlining or highlighting the respective parts in any reading passage through coloured pens with fun very quickly.
To avert language study boredom still requires a brief pause for one month or so in my estimation. As mentioned above, doing only one thing day after day may drive agents bored to death when it is getting longer. During the break time of language study, learners can get another language they want to be done temporarily. I, this article’s writer, take it in turn to read English and Myanmar which have been both of my favourite languages since I was in my primary student life. By the time I think that I am pretty cheesed off with reading English, I enjoy picking up the nearest books in Myanmar. If the truth is known, making comparisons between languages enables learners to study a close or distant relation between them and to help appreciate languages including literature. As far as I can remember, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean are related languages, or, more precisely, Japanese comes from Chinese, and Korean is derived from Japanese. Despite this, it is strange that only Chinese and Korean are similar in their name-giving systems, whereas that of Japanese varies considerably from theirs, although Chinese might be considered its very language family. Broader usages of pronouns will be seen in the English language rather than in the Myanmar language. Even in British English and American English, there are noteworthy differences arising between them. Black cats, for example, have associations with good luck in Britain but with bad luck in the USA, Cambridge says. It also states that the most commonly shared association of the word `dog´ in English is `faithfulness’; however, the phrase `a dog’s life´ is used to refer to a very unhappy and unpleasant life. Not being activated, the ability to memorize naturally falls into a gradual decline, that is, it never stops. In this connection, a brief pause in language study should not be too long, chiefly in years.
As a matter of fact, language is not a kind of boredom; language is of very interest to each and every individual learner. That is why there is a lot to study in a language and it can perform functions of various kinds possibly unnoticed by most people. The language describes unseen things such as mental beauty and inscribes unbelievable facts like science. Literature is the life of language or vice versa. They are getting interdependent on each other. Thanks to literature, most languages must be living exactly and firmly until today. Languages pass on human history and culture to people from one generation to another so that they will be able to take hold of the chance to perceive a country’s national characters, patriotism, worship, art, viz. singing, dancing, composing, and playing, customs, traditional values, cultural norms and many, many others like these. Furthermore, language study has to be approached from the point of view of skills, i.e. listening, speaking, reading and writing, or a tool for communication, or forms – spoken and written. Not only that, it is vital that language should be studied through each of the six senses: 1) sight, e.g. `glanced´ and `observing´, 2) hearing, e.g. `silent´ and `loud´, 3) taste, e.g. `sweet´ and `bitter´, 4) touch, e.g. `poked´ and `handle´, 5) smell, e.g. `pungent´ and `aromatic´, or 6) extrasensory perception involving a) telepathy, experiencing someone else’s feelings even though we are apart, b) premonition, knowing something is going to happen before it occurs, c) intuition, instinctive understanding, and d) déjà vu, an inexplicable feeling that we have already been somewhere or experienced something before. As my final tip, young or adult learners ought to study a language provided that they are certainly keen to do it. Always remember to upgrade your language skills day by day. Never ever be greedy and hurry up in language study. May this article’s reader be free from experiencing a higher potential boredom threshold over language study. Enjoy the language!