Unlocking Language: The Journey of Reverse Language Learning.

The adage that children are like sponges when it comes to learning a language and, in our inter-cultural world, multi-languages, we as adults look at them with envy. While I sit along my favourite marina for that precious cup of early morning coffee in Mediterranean sunlight, I overhear the persistent wailing of “I’m too old to learn another language” or “I can’t remember a thing I learned the other day.” This is uttered by English Seniors and other foreigners who flock to these sunnier climates.

Learners, especially adults, no longer seem to accept the old-fashioned way of rigid textbooks to follow. It is too boring. It does not motivate us. Yes, I too had grammar, grammar, and grammar drilled into me in stuffy classrooms, from a voice droning on and on…’Ooh, had I nodded off?’

We were not inspired to learn languages, nor taught the benefits, many decades ago, of how important many multi-linguistic opportunities would be in our future careers and lifestyles, where the globe has opened up to us in so many different, diverse, and exciting ways. Likewise, if you relocate to another country and even more so, retire to a foreign country it is imperative for your well-being and independence, along with socializing to know the local language. Learning parrot fashion does not gel into long-term memory!

So how do we grasp a new language?

We unlock the language differently! We embrace the journey of Reverse Language learning with a positive mindset.

What is the reverse language technique learning method? Allow me to expand on this.

The reverse language learning technique, also known as backward language learning, is an approach that involves learning a language in reverse order compared to traditional methods. Instead of starting with basic vocabulary and grammar rules and gradually progressing to more complex language skills, reverse language learning starts with more advanced concepts and works backwards to the basics.

Here’s how the reverse language learning method typically works:

  1. Starting with Complex Material: Instead of beginning with simple vocabulary and grammar, reverse language learning starts with more complex material, such as authentic texts, advanced conversations, or media content in the target language. This could include reading articles, watching videos, listening to podcasts intended for native speakers, spend siestas listening to YouTube English songs with lyrics/subtitles.
  2. Analysis and Deconstruction: Learners analyze and deconstruct the advanced material to identify key vocabulary, grammar structures, and language patterns. They focus on understanding the context and meaning of the language with phrases, rather than memorizing individual words or rules in a parrot-rota.
  3. Identification of Language Patterns: Through exposure to authentic language use, learners identify recurring patterns, phrases, and expressions, similarities or cognates, in the target language. They pay attention to how words are used in different contexts and how grammar rules are applied naturally in speech and writing.
  4. Gradual Simplification: After identifying patterns and language features in advanced material, learners gradually simplify, reduce and break down the language into more manageable, bite-size chunks. They focus on extracting essential vocabulary and grammar rules from the complex material and practice using them in simpler contexts – preferably relating them to their natural environment. Then they remember it!
  5. Progression to Basic Material: Once learners have a solid understanding of the language patterns and essential vocabulary, they gradually progress to more basic material, such as beginner-level textbooks, language exercises, and structured lessons. They use their knowledge of advanced language features to reinforce and scrutinize the basics.
  6. Continuous Exposure and Practice: Throughout the learning process, learners continue to expose themselves to authentic language input and engage in regular practice activities, such as speaking, writing, listening, and reading exercises. They actively seek opportunities to use the language in real-life situations and interact with native speakers

Please keep popping back as we will bring more detailed tuition, courses and e-books to this website. We will be expanding on the blogs in comprehensive and easy-to-follow tuition resources. Furthermore, we will be writing our own short stories, followed by comprehension bits and bobs for you to internalize what you have read and understood.

(c) Rosie Reay