Learning a Second Language...

<p>I heard from my freshman Spanish teacher that learning another language is like learning Math, and that people who are good at one are usually also good at the other.</p>

<p>I agree, for the most part. In both Spanish and Math you learn by doing examples over and over until you know the concepts. Just like someone would do Math problems to learn a concept, so would the same person do a worksheet focusing on what they learned in Spanish to learn that concept. This can probably be applied to learning all languages.</p>

<p>Personally, I'm really good at picking up the rules of Spanish and just good at Math, but I can see that the way I learn them is mostly the same (with the exception of learning Spanish vocabulary).</p>

<p>Now, I have a friend who is awesome at Math, but who is not doing well in Spanish. However, I think it's because she cares about Math and doesn't care at all about Spanish, which she admitted to me, and she said that it might be a reason she doesn't do well. If she did care, and did better, it might fit in with my previous Spanish teacher's statement.</p>

<p>Any thoughts? Agree? Disagree?</p>

<p>Both my French teacher and my History teacher have echoed the statement that people who are better at math are better at foreign languages. I think it holds true, but then again, it's difficult to extrapolate a correlation because the same people who struggle in AP French are struggling in AP Calculus. (Struggling, but getting A's, mind you.) I have no data from AP Spanish: they tend to keep to themselves.</p>

<p>I agree. Mathematics and language are both located on the left side of the brain, if you believe in the split brain theory. :) So those dominant in the left side of the brain are more likely to have a better handle on math and language.</p>

<p>I do horribly in math-Spanish is my best subject (perhaps i'm an anomaly?)...</p>

<p>Well, here in Austria there is the opinion that people are either better at math or better at languages.
Utter rubbish, I think.
While most average students like one of those subjects better (and learn more because of this) - which is why we have technical, oeconomical, and language based schools, most "good" students are good at both -
It's a matter of abstraction and ability to follow rules, which do describe, what's right or wrong, but not, how to get there.
In the beginning, it's: "Learn that rule and apply it", which is the same in both subjects. Later it's: "Get a feeling for the language / the problems and know intuitively, what to say or how to proceed".</p>

<p>(And, before you think I'm bad at math, too - English is my second language :-)</p>

<p>I think that it's hard to tell unless someone did a study on it. It has a lot to do with caring about the subject. I care about Spanish and it's my best subject, and I don't care a lot about Math and it's my worst subject (but it's not a bad grade, thankfully). My friend is opposite. And I know people who struggle with both. So, while it's a trend that people who are good at one are good at the other, it should also be taken into account how much they feel each subject is relevant to their lives. And the teachers, whether they are good or not, counts too...</p>

<p>Math is not my strong point, but I love learning foreign languages</p>

<p>Good at math, failed spanish. Lolz.</p>

<p>Thelittlemermaid, you bring up a good point, but there have been studies to determine whether language and math are in the same areas or in different areas. For example, epilepsy patients who had disconnected right and left hemispheres were studied in order to determine this. </p>

<p>I do believe that there are specific hemispheres dedicated to language/math and creativity, or in other words quantitative thinking vs. qualitative thinking. When learning a language, it requires the individual to learn a lot of rules, and memorize vocabulary and other concepts.</p>

<p>Of course, other factors, such as interest in the language or type of class, can contribute to an individual's strong interest in languages versus math. I am interested in languages, but I am not so talented at it that it comes easily to me. I compensate by studying hard and being enthusiastic towards the topic. This is because I believe myself to be more of a right-hemisphere type of person.</p>

<p>Phew! :)</p>

<p>I think that sounds right. I pretty much struggle with both, although I love the idea of math and find languages fascinating. Math is consistently my lowest grade, although I still make A's. Actually, I was looking at my transcript, and I pretty much started sucking at it once I entered high school. (Lolz, Ophelia complex. :P)</p>

<p>I'm much better at hiding my lack of language talent-- some of my teachers have actually called me "gifted at languages". I think it's because I'm good at rote memorization, so I get the vocab down, but I suck at all the other parts of it.</p>

<p>Catsushi--if you can remember where you saw those studies/articles about them, I would be interested in reading them. </p>

<p>At the basic level, I suppose I see the connection between drilling math concepts and drilling grammar or vocabulary basics. At a higher level, I don't see much of a connection. Studying vocabulary and drilling exercises will only get you so far in learning a language. Real mastery comes from thinking, speaking, reading, and writing in a language you're trying to learn as much as you can to get exposure to the language and practice it. While math is sequential up to a point (first you learn algebra, then use concepts from algebra in geometry and algebra two, then you learn precalculus etc...), learning a language isn't quite so sequential. Also, I don't see the connection between learning math concepts and methods of solving problems, then thinking critically to apply them and learning a language. I think critically when I'm learning a language to the extent that I'm making connections between words with similar roots in both languages, or applying rules of grammar or syntax to new constructions, but to me, it's not the same kind of critical thinking. </p>

<p>Oh, and I'm decent at math and fluent in Spanish (as a second language).</p>

<p>I'm pretty good at Spanish and very good at math, and that seems to hold true for most of the kids I know. I'm sure the level of effort they put into all their classes plays a pretty big role, too, but I do think there's some correlation.</p>

<p>Of course, there is the girl I know who's a prospective Spanish major, is acing AP Spanish and absolutely loves it. Trouble is, I know this because we talked about it when I was tutoring her in precalc, which she was failing earlier this year. There are exceptions to every rule.</p>

<p>I am very proficient at math (I'm in Calc BC as a senior). I took spanish I-II in middle school and III-IV in high school. I basically ended up screwing myself over (GPA wise) because of my spanish classes. I really didn't enjoy spanish or the culture that was behind it, so I never once studied or put forth any effort to learn the language. I began learning Japanese recently, and have put forth a full effort (3+ hours per day) on learning the language and culture. In a matter of a few days, I had learned all of the hiragana + katakana, and a few kanji. I am now starting to work on the verbal aspects of the language, and will continue with my studies through college (and perhaps move to Japan). I really wish that they had offered Japanese (since they even have it as an AP class now) at my school, instead of the traditional Spanish/French. It is simply a matter of your interest level, I believe.</p>

<p>Nope! I think the reason that some people think they 'see' a correlation between math and second language proficiency is because of this backwards and inefficient way that we teach foreign langauges in the U.S. Do the worksheet, memorize the verb charts, spew out a few structured scentences and you've 'learned' the language.</p>

<p>If you actually learned language the better way, you'd see that neither English or math types have an advantage. Input, lots of it. Read books, watch videos, talk to people who actually know the langauge, listen, and work out the grammar as it comes up. </p>

<p>And before any jumps on their high horses and scoffs at such an 'unstructured' method, I learned German to full proficiency, from nothing to getting my Goethe Institut fluency certificate, in 11 odd months and German is by no means an easy language. Why else would foreign exchanges be considered the best way to learn a language? Dur!</p>

<p>The two subjects that come easiest to me are English and French. I barely have to try in these subjects; everything just clicks. I also truly enjoy them.
On the other hand, I hate Math. I can't say that I'm bad at it since I'm in BC Calc and I'm getting a good grade, but I can barely grasp the concepts- and I still don't really grasp some. Math has always been my weak point.
So, I don't know whether this correlation is true or not, but it's definitely not true for me!</p>

<p>well math is often called a "language"</p>

<p>I disagree strongly. I'm not stellar at math but languages have always come easily to me.</p>

<p>Pistolen08, check out this guy for some interesting ideas on learning Japanese: All</a> Japanese All The Time Dot Com: How to Learn Japanese. On your own, having fun and to fluency About</p>

<p>I struggle to get B's low A's in math, but I'm one of only a few students in my honors spanish 3 class to get A's. I pick up topics in Spanish like nothing. I pay very little attention in class and study the morning before tests and get A's. However I'm like a special ed student in my honors Alg.2 class. I'm always ****ing the teacher off because I take forever to pick up on concepts.</p>

<p>both math and languages are easy for me.
i speak english, spanish, german and some danish.</p>

<p>i think as long as you are interested in what you are learning you will succeed at it.</p>