In the modern world, learning foreign languages, especially English is regarded as an intrinsic part of our lives. The majority of people study English, because this language is known to be the most common in the world. If an individual wants to travel around the globe, they will learn foreign languages.
The main objective of the research is to describe effective methods how to learn foreign languages. This method includes a conversation with a native speaker.
This method was studied by an Irish polyglot Benny Lewis, the author of a unique method of learning foreign languages. According to Benny Lewis, to achieve the maximum level of language proficiency, it is not necessary to leave the country. Virtual immersion can be just as effective, because modern technology allows us to hear and use a foreign language without leaving home. The replacement of travel can be a program for virtual communication like Skype.
The article provides the information about the method used in research was based on personal experience. Studying foreign language (English) began from the 4th grade. The training calculated 5 years of deep diving in English “audience”. It was built only on communication. Participants were taught the basics of the language, they were forced to communicate with foreigners, with those people who knew the language at a high level. A participant’s discussion was conducted for about an hour. It was like a survival. The aim was to get the contact with a person, to try to communicate on any topics. Firstly, this experience was difficult for many of them, step by step it was becoming more exciting. This procedure encouraged learners to boost their vocabulary. Learners began to study some phrases to understand more about what their interlocutors said. Over time, as statistics showed, students began to understand more of what teachers said. They started to communicate more fluently and generally raised their conversation level. This method could also be as a prevention of insularity in people, as the trainee was becoming more socialized during study.
Fig. 1. Training scheme
In a research design mixed methods were used to strengthen the overall quality of a research and make it more accurate, confident and valid. In order to disclose the issue of the rationality of this training method, a survey was conducted among students, schoolchildren and adults. There were about 100 people questioned. The purpose of the survey was to reveal the interest of respondents in the study of languages, as well as learn about alternative methods of language learning. The main questions were:
– Are you interested in learning foreign languages?
– What languages do you study?
– Have you studied a foreign language (e.g. English) on your own?
– What methods did you use?
– Is it possible to learn a new foreign language from scratch, while living in native country?
According to results of the given survey, 56 % of respondents have chosen English, 10 % Korean, 12 % Turkish, 5 % Deutsch and 17 % other languages.
At the same time, the majority of respondents had a fairly good level of English. The 73 % of respondents had a pre-intermediate level or upper-intermediate level. Only a quarter of respondents had a level of a beginner.
To collect more data, a question about the training method was asked: «Is it possible, to learn a foreign language from the ground up, living in a foreign country?”
80 % of respondents gave a positive answer, other responded that it was possible with a tutor near the student or a student should take special courses.
To obtain more qualitative data, the research work was conducted. A huge list of different polyglots using a similar method of learning languages was worked out. The list is endless, but there are some of them:
- Interpreter, Lomb Kato had a 16 languages.
- Archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann spoke 15 languages.
- Writer Leo Tolstoy spoke 15 languages.
- Writer Alexander Griboyedov knew 9 languages.
- Inventor Nikola Tesla spoke 8 languages.
- The novelist Anthony Burgess owned 12 languages.
- Luca Lampariello speaks 10 languages.
- Sam Jandro speaks 6 languages fluently.
- Ollie Richards speaks 8 languages.
- Randy hunt speaks 6 languages.
- Donovan Found speaks 10 languages.
- Benny Lewis speaks 11 languages.
A striking example is a British-born polyglot — Alex Rawlings. This person is fluent in 15 languages. Alex Rawlings was always practicing his new language. “I’ve studied by myself, I’ve asked friends to teach me specific words and phrases while I’ve been on holiday, I’ve read books, I’ve watched TV programmes with and without subtitles, I’ve used flashcards, I’ve used apps, and I’ve used every language learning product under the sun.”
To reveal more objective and complete answers, an interview was conducted with a person who had arrived in Kazakhstan in order to study Medicine and two new languages, Russian and Kazakh. This student came from Germany and has already an experience in learning foreign languages. He speaks 6 languages such as English, German, Czech, French, Italian and Russian. The respondent was asked questions related to the person’s adaptation to the new language conditions. During the interview it was found out that the respondent's methods of learning languages are quite similar to our methods proposed. The person individually or with the teacher (in the learning of difficult languages communication taught the basics of the language, and then devoted himself to a full confrontation with native speakers. For instance, he had learnt Russian using this method.
The background research provided appropriate, accurate and valid information based on facts. The research was generally successful due to all questions were answered. All the research aims have been achieved and obtained information was used to make the following conclusions.
The method can be used for training, but the presence of a partner or mentor is sometimes necessary. The effectiveness and potential of this method is confirmed by 80 % of the respondents, as well as by the focus group who studied English by this method. The given research allows us to identify promising future direction of this training.
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