Trigger words

I want to try out this idea of trigger words as a key to learning a language. To learn a language, like English for example, you have to master the phrases. You have to be able to use phrases correctly. You have to use phrases almost instinctively.

Why do you need phrases? Because with ready made natural phrases your language will become idiomatically correct, accurate, logical (logical according to the logic of the language), consistent and clear. Those are exactly the things you want to achieve when writing and speaking the language.

So how does one master the phrases? You have to notice them when you read and listen. How do you do that? Trigger words are key.

I have written this text quickly before going to bed. (Tonight was  my wife’s birthday so I took her out to dinner. We came home and had the birthday cake that I bought at a French pastry shop. I had a glass of Glenlivet Scotch in a brandy snifter and snuck away to the computer to make an entry in my blog).

Having written the blog I will now go back and bold all trigger words. If learners read this text and see the bold trigger words, they should try to pick out the phrases that are triggered by these trigger words. If they are members of The Linguist they should import this text into The Linguist and then save those trigger words that they want to understand better. They should then look at the example sentences that are created in Words I am Learning. They should observe all the phrases they find in these sentences.

You cannot just read a list of phrases because you will not remember them. You have to learn to notice phrases when you read and listen to the language. You have to notice them in different contexts. You have to try to use them. Once you have used them and feel comfortable with them, then they become reliable tools that you can use in expressing yourself in another language.

Maybe this idea will not work but it is something that I want to try out. Remember the trigger words are there to trigger your awareness of phrases. If they are saved when reading texts in The Linguist they will trigger lots of example sentences. The logic of the language is learned by seeing the words work in context. Learners make many of their mistakes with easy words that they understand but cannot use properly.

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