Knowing how to learn well is not something that happens overnight. You can learn a language without having to spend hours a day, memorizing lines from textbooks. If your time is limited, following these 5 tips we have compiled for you will help you maximize your efforts and learn effectively.
Talking to people is one of the best ways to learn a language because it keeps the learning process relevant to you. You’re learning a language to be able to use it. The creative side is really being able to put the language that you’re learning into a more useful, general, everyday setting.
At the beginning, you’re going to encounter difficulties: maybe the pronunciation, maybe the grammar, the syntax. Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, try to tell a joke. The more often you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes and the more at ease you’ll be in new situations.
So you’re learning French? Do a French day! Listen to French radio, watch French films, cook French food, read a French newspaper and search for your newest vocabulary on google.fr. Don’t worry if you only understand a fraction of what’s going on. Put sticky notes with French terms on all of the objects in your house, have conversations with yourself and boss yourself around in French.
Different languages make different demands on your tongue, lips and throat. Pronunciation is just as much physical as it is mental. One way is to really look at someone while they’re saying words that use that sound, and then to try to imitate that sound as much as possible. If you can’t watch and imitate a native-speaker in person, watching foreign-language films and TV is a good learning substitute.
Learning a new language can seem a bit masochistic at times. You forget everything so quickly! You haven’t done anything for days! You were so proud of yourself for all you learned before, but now you don’t understand a word! That’s normal. It’s all part of the process. Don’t let it get you down! Kick, scream, moan… but don’t give up. Someday you’ll be giggling, chatting and cheering. A new language is a new world. Conquer it with pleasure.