Learning a new language? These are the 5 must know tips & tools to accelerate your learning.
Whether it’s for work, travel or even to start a new life, learning a new language is a challenging but exciting goal. Being able to communicate with people in their native tongue has the ability to open a whole new world. It is not an easy goal, it takes time and effort, but with these five tips, you’ll find yourself speaking a new language in no time.
1. Know your ‘why’
Being mindful of why you are learning the language is fundamental. Knowing your “why” allows you to adjust your learning style to focus on what you need. Perhaps you are interested in the language to be able to converse with locals on holiday. In that case, the core of your learning should be the conversational aspects of the language. Rather than learning the formal business vocabulary, or putting all of your energy into the grammar rules. Having a focused plan of why you are learning also helps stay motivated. Whenever you feel yourself slipping out of practicing, just remind yourself of your “why.”
2. Language learning apps
The traditional way of signing up for classes a couple of times a week is still a great option, but let’s be honest who has time for that? You can bypass the physical class and use language learning apps like Duolingo, and Babbel. They are set up like most traditional language courses. Teaching the verbs, grammar, and vocabulary in lessons carefully designed to build onto each other. Learning with an app lets you determine the pace of your course, and you can practice anywhere and at any time. Making it easier to fit learning into a busy schedule or if you want a more intensive pace.
If moving to a country that speaks the language you are learning isn’t on your agenda, you can create a “mock immersion” within your daily life. Switch the settings on your phone, computer, and other devices to the language (don’t forget to make a note of how to switch it back, just in case). Along with reading books and watching movies in the language. If you live in an international city find out where the people who speak this language hangout and go there to listen to them speak, focus on their pronunciation and try to mimic them. When you feel ready try to speak with them. Surrounding yourself with the language will help keep you motivated and help your mind identify with the language faster.
4. Post-it takeover
Label everything in your house with its translation. This might drive whoever you live with a little crazy, but it’s a great way to learn vocabulary. Seeing the words on a daily basis will fixate them in your mind. You can even take labeling to the next level by putting the verbs that associate with the object. For example, if you label a door, you could put the sentences “Shut the door, and open the door” to help remember the context sentences that go with the vocabulary.
The goal of learning is language is to be able to use it, which means you have to be able to speak it. Find a language exchange partner to practice with. Meeting someone once a week can make you feel comfortable speaking in the language. If you can’t find someone to speak with in person, there are a ton of sites online that offer language exchange partners via Skype or FaceTime. If you’re not comfortable talking with a complete stranger, you can even talk to yourself in the language. It might be a little weird at first, but verbalizing the words and forming the sentences out loud rather than keeping them in your head is crucial.