Learning Telugu the easy way
Learning means to build connections – bridges between the new thing you just discovered and something you already know. This is how our brain works. It builds connections.
Have you ever wondered why children learn a new language so easily when they come to a foreign country, while we grown-ups usually struggle with that for years?
Did you notice that these children never run around with long lists of vocabulary, eyes closed, reciting these words?
How do they do that?
The best answer is: They learn it the natural way. They learn the language by experiencing what is happening around them while at the same time hearing the sound of the words – thus making the connections. It is the simplest and most fun way to learn. Trying to remember long lists of vocabulary is the hard way and has some severe drawbacks as described earlier.
So, why don't we go on doing it just like that? Well, there is something we have in favor of the little ones, something that we do not have to learn all over again – which would be boring. A child, while learning a new language, has to develop its whole being. There are many steps on the way from a child to an adult. Learning the language is the smaller part here. So our advantage is that we have done that already. We have an understanding of abstract concepts (like "to be honest" for example), we have our character developed. We do not have to do that again, we just have to connect all these experiences with a new sound called “Telugu”.
This way of learning a new language was developed by Vera F. Birkenbihl in last 25 years, a well known author and management trainer from Germany. She conducted seminars for some of the largest companies in the world and worked together with the German government to reform the way children are educated in language and other skills. The method was well tested over the last two decades and there are several great books, CDs, and DVDs available.
The 4 steps of learning a new language
So the 4 steps are:
Step 1: Understanding the meaning of the words
Step 2: active listening
Step 3: passive listening
Step 4: further learning activities
What you have done in the example before was one step out of these four, the step of active listening. It is an important step, but to really lern the language in a long term you need to complete all four. So let us walk through these steps in a little more detail and see what they mean. Here comes Step 1...