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Learning new concepts – New Languages

When you are trying to learn something new, there are many problems, and many complexities that make it extremely difficult to learn. Usually, when I am learning something new and complex, what I tend to do is to simplify the processes and memorize the procedure. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always work out. The reason is simple. There are many things that are not easy. For example, if I wanted to build a plane I would say: 1. Study aerodynamics 2. Study Mechanics 3. Buy materials 4. Build the airplane 5. Test it to make sure it works.

Of course, you probably would agree with me that it is more complex than just that. If I truly wanted to build a plane that worked, I would have to study for a long time, I would have to practice and perhaps I can’t even do it on my own.


So, how to approach learning of difficult subjects?

1. Are there people who know what I am trying to learn? How did they learn it? How long did it take for them to learn it?

2. What are the steps in learning this subject?

3. How can I make the process of learning it:

  • Fun
  • Different
  • Challenging yet rewarding and achievable
  • Procedural
  • Applicable
  • Relevant
  • Significant
  • Social

The only way to do so is to do it in steps. And it has to take time.


If you are trying to learn a new language (Spanish for example) where do I think you should begin? Well you would do something like:

  1. Learn basics of conversation. Try to listen to people talk the language ( see it in action ). Try to figure out its functioning.
  2. Get a conversation tutor, somebody who can explain to you what you don’t understand about it, and that can push you in the right direction to find your own answers.
  3. Start having conversations with native speakers.
  4. Make little adjustments as you continue to practice and make mistakes.
  5. Take on new challenges, talk about new subjects and make adjustments.
  6. Read books and learn smaller distinctions.
  7. Teach others what you know.
  8. Put yourself in “do or die” situations (for example speaking in public) that way your brain is forced to expand and grow.

This post is really my own abstraction on how to learn to program in a new language. I hope you can appreciate the analogy.


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