Three Types for Studying Foreign Language with a Brain Injury

Here are three ideas for studying and learning a foreign language with a traumatic brain injury.  These are techniques which have helped me immensely in my personal life:  reading, listening, and movies (preferably ones originally produced in the foreign language).  It is important to include all three of these factors on some level in addition to practice speaking the language.

Reading can aid in learning grammar and spelling.  When you read material originally written in the language, it facilitates recognition of errors in your own writing because you have immersed yourself in works composed in the original language.  This can also provide you with a better grasp of context, cultural facets and idioms.  Listening is important not only for learning vocabulary, but also in improving your comprehension.  Listening to material created and produced by native speakers also exposes you to dialectal differences and cultural aspects.  You may learn about leaders in a region, the history of the area, and current issues.  Watching movies does include listening, but also includes a visual display of culture, dialect, and history.  With movies, just as with reading and listening, find films about subjects that interest you.  If you watch a movie that interests you, then you will be more engaged with the subject.  Anything that engages your interest will deepen your knowledge of a language.

In summary, if you are learning a language, try reading content regarding subjects you already enjoy in your target language.  This will prevent boredom and help you enjoy the learning process more!  If you are having fun, you will remember what you have read better.

With my TBI, I often feel as if I am just waiting for something – waiting for my next doctor’s appointment, waiting to return to work, waiting excitedly until I get to ride again, etc.  The Lord has a purpose and a plan for times of waiting.  This isn’t just about patience, but about contentment also.  I have written about contentment twice before (02/08/2021 and 03/08/2021), but there are other aspects.  I need to enjoy the time I have while I wait.  I do have things to do (like gardening, reading, deepening my knowledge of foreign languages, etc.).  Cooking has been another productive way to spend my time.  However, since I don’t have too many visitors right now with the pandemic, cooking can only go so far at this point – but I can always improve my skillset.  You can do this too, with activities that you enjoy.  I believe we are called to hone the abilities that the Lord gives us.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 (HCSB) states:

“Now concerning what comes from the Spirit: brothers, I do not want you to be unaware.  You know that when you were pagans, you used to be led off to the idols that could not speak.  Therefore I am informing you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus is cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit.

Now there are different gifts, but the same Spirit.  There are different ministries, but the same Lord.  And there are different activities, but the same God activates each gift in each person.  A demonstration of the Spirit is given to each person to produce what is beneficial:

to one is given a message of wisdom
through the Spirit,
to another, a message of knowledge
by the same Spirit,
to another, faith by the same Spirit,
to another, gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
to another, the performing of miracles,
to another, prophecy,
to another, distinguishing between spirits,
to another, different kinds of languages,
to another, interpretation of languages.

But one and the same Spirit is active in all these, distributing to each person as He wills.”

Each of us has been given different pastimes and gifts in which we are blessed – but it’s important that we take the time to hone these skills when it is possible.  If you happen to be good at something – do it to the best of your ability – the Lord may have plans for you to use that skill in the future – this includes skills that are necessary on the battlefield.  King David went from being a shepherd to leading conquests and building a kingdom for his son Solomon to preside over with wisdom. Today, warriors on the battlefield are needed to protect us during these treacherous times.  Those of us who are not serving though, can still work to become more adept in activities that interest us though – we never know how our knowledge will be used in the future.

Romans 12:3-20 (HCSB) provides us with a perspective on how we should use the abilities we are blessed with in a way that honors God:

For by the grace given to me, I tell everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he should think. Instead, think sensibly, as God has distributed a measure of faith to each one.  Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.  According to the grace given to us, we have different gifts:

If prophecy,
use it according to the standard of one’s faith;
if service, in service;
if teaching, in teaching;
if exhorting, in exhortation;
giving, with generosity;
leading, with diligence;
showing mercy, with cheerfulness.

Love must be without hypocrisy.  Detest evil; cling to what is good.  Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.  Do not lack diligence; be fervent in spirit; serve the Lord.  Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer.  Share with the saints in their needs; pursue hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.  Be in agreement with one another. Do not be proud; instead, associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own estimation.  Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Try to do what is honorable in everyone’s eyes.  If possible, on your part, live at peace with everyone. Friends, do not avenge yourselves; instead, leave room for His wrath. For it is written: Vengeance belongs to Me; I will repay, says the Lord.  But

If your enemy is hungry, feed him.
If he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
For in so doing
you will be heaping fiery coals on his head.”

Mercy and cheerfulness are important – it’s even more of a delight when I can improve hobbies I already enjoy.  Have a delightful day!

Please feel free to comment below or email me at contactbooksbymalinalli@gmail.com!  I look forward to hearing from you…

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