Doing a language exchange when you have a mathematical/scientific mind
There are lots of challenges related to learning a new language and doing a language exchange, but this is especially true if you have a scientific or mathematical mind.
Everybody’s mind is different and it’s one of the things that makes humans the most efficient, wonderful beings on the planet, as well as the most destructive depending on the angle from which you view it. Some of us have a linguistic, creative and often irrational mind and others have scientific, logical and overly realist minds.
There’s nothing particularly wrong with either type, nor is there anything inherently right. They are just different parts of human psychology and possibly anatomy.
Whether you believe in science, spiritualism, religion, astrology or a combination of all, we think that you’ll find this article helpful, particularly if you or someone you know finds it difficult to learn languages because they have a scientific mind. Here are some top tips to help you with your learning and language exchange:
FIND A LOGICAL METHOD THAT WORKS FOR YOU
This is one of the most important parts of language learning for anyone. It’s vital that you find a system which works in your favour. If you have a scientific mind, it’s likely that you don’t rush into anything and that you always have a plan at hand. Language learning and language exchange shouldn’t be any different. You need to utilise that picky, organised side of yourself for your benefit.
Most people who are like this find that making checklists and crossing off things one by one can actually help to maintain their goal and also soothe their minds. Scientific minded people are much less likely to experience abstract crises such as death anxiety, but are far more likely to experience stress from a lack of organisation.
When learning grammar, it’s essential for you to pick out the patterns and logistics of language. That’s fine! As with almost anything in life, there are basic rules which can (and for exam purposes MUST) be followed.
For example, if you’re struggling with the past continuous, try to remind yourself that it always follows the verb TO BE in the past (was/were).
I was going to a baseball game when the rain started.
We were going to a baseball game when the rain started.
In both sentences, the use of ING follows the past tense of to be. You can also note that the long action (go) is given to continuous whereas the short action (rain) is given the traditional past simple. This is a feature of past continuous. With complex grammatical theories, it’s probably best that you put it into some kind of table or chart that makes sense to you. We aren’t going to provide one because it’s vital that you do what works best for you.
UNDERSTAND THAT THE MIND IS A MUSCLE
If you have a scientific mind, then you’ll likely understand the functionality of muscles and know how things work according to anatomy. Well, your mind is no different. If you spend hours every day vegging out on the sofa drinking alcohol, then it’s likely that your cognitive functions will be lower than the general population. Unless of course you’re secretly Ernest Hemingway and rumours of your death have been greatly exaggerated, but we’d imagine that’s fairly unlikely. So, for the rest of us, we must activate our cognitive functions as much as possible every single day.
Imagine if you did one push up and then called it a day. Do you think you would feel the effects of that work out? Probably not! This is akin to language learning and you should aim to push yourself so much that it physically feels like your brain is melting (at which point you should probably stop, we don’t want to encourage masochism too much).
The more that your mind is forced to think, process and communicate in another language, the more likely you are to retain some of the information that you’ve learned. Again, this comes down to organisation and having a set plan in your mind or preferably written down somewhere that you can see it constantly.
PUT REMINDERS EVERYWHERE
Remember when you were studying for your end of year exams and you had to put thousands of post it notes everywhere so that you didn’t forget the US civil war happened between the years of 1861 or 1865, or if blood glucose levels are too high then cells are damaged due to a loss of water by osmosis?
We’ve all been there and we’ve all tried to remember millions of facts that we later regurgitate onto paper. In fact, in that manner of speaking, traditional exams favoured those with a scientific mind and it’s only in the past few years that exams have come into existence which give favour to those who have linguistic or creative minds.
Try putting post it notes or cards or posters, whichever gives you the greatest joy, around your room and house, in the places that you use the most, with the things you find most difficult. Those constant reminders will eventually drill that knowledge so deeply into your brain that it’s going to be impossible to forget.
We advise putting the things that you find more difficult in places that you use or visit more often. For example, close to the kettle if you love having a spot of tea throughout the day or even on the back of your phone so you can check it every time you receive a message.
REMIND YOURSELF THAT YOU’RE NOT A ROBOT
This is the one that everyone forgets! You are not a robot and you’re not just here to learn a language for nothing. It’s supposed to be a fun and involved process that can help you get ahead in life. Even though the goal is to gain fluency and obtain a better job or a degree of something along those lines, the process cannot be boring and rigid or you’ll start to lose all interest. If you don’t believe us then go to your local high school and ask some of the kids which lessons they hate. We guarantee that the classes which cause the most angst within children and teenagers are likely those that don’t provide any interactive moments.
This is the same for language learning in adults. If you’re sitting at the back of a room constantly reading a book, but having no communication with other people in that language then the reality is that you’re going to find it hard to learn at all.
Language is the same as some things you’ve previously learnt, in that it has basic rules which should be followed, however in reality, language is a sentient beast that lives, breathes and adapts to its environment. English for example has changed over time since we’ve been gifted with new technology, we have incorporated text (or txt) speak. This idea was to make things much simpler and for conversations to be completed much more quickly than they were in the past.
Remember, you can have fun with language occasionally, whether that means listening to music, singing, watching series and movies, writing a script or story for someone to correct or trying to perform a speech or play, it doesn’t matter. So long as you’re involved with the process and you don’t feel rigid, robotic and bored, then this is what is important.
ASK YOUR LANGUAGE EXCHANGE FRIENDS FOR HELP
Also, remember that you’re not the only person going through something similar. Everybody in the modern world needs to use their English in order to receive a good job, good grades or get into university for example.
There are bound to be people going through similar things in our language exchange section and we suggest that you take full advantage in talking to people from all over the world who may be going through the same thing as you.
Written by: Jordan Benyon, Staff Writer
- Language Exchange
- 25 Feb, 2020
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