Learning a new language is one of the most enriching and rewarding experiences. It opens up a whole world of possibilities. Making new friends and getting additional job opportunities are some of its best perks. There’s also the chance to learn more about a different culture, its people, their practices and add to your knowledge. Another advantage is that language study improves overall learning ability, communication skills and capacity to focus.
For all these reasons and more, learning a language is very exciting and nearly all learners start with great enthusiasm. Yet most of us leave the language midway or may have completed the course, but can’t have a basic conversation in the language.
So how can you make sure that you remember what you learn and are able to use your learning? Here are some tried and tested ways to help you master any language.
1. Start with common words
Most languages have a number of words that are used often. Focusing on just these words, in the beginning, builds the foundation for your learning and makes it easier. This is far more effective than spending the first weeks learning many new words. Some of these may be of no use initially. Trying to grow your vocabulary early on will only confuse you. Instead, focus on the most popular words.
Also Read: The Best Way to Learn French Effectively
2. Immerse yourself in the language
Besides the formal learning through books and lessons, a great way to quickly pick up any language is to surround yourself with learning activities and learn without really thinking about it. This is most easily done by listening. So listen to music, podcasts, discussions or interviews in the new language.
Moreover, immerse yourself in other ways. Like switching your cell phone or social media to the new language. Movies and shows with subtitles are another great way to learn. All of these help by emphasizing absorption over memorizing. And they work wonders.
3. Find a language buddy
This is one of the best methods and involves casually speaking to someone in the new language. This person could be another person from your course, a friend who is a native speaker or even someone from one of the online language exchanges. Whoever your partner is, converse with them only in the new language.
Find things that interest you both so you can talk about them – like movies or sports. You could even do some role play and talk through real-life situations like shopping, getting on the metro or going to a restaurant. Either way, fix a schedule with your buddy and stick to it to see a great improvement in your oral language skills.
4. First, get comfortable, then get it right.
Focus on fluency rather than accuracy. Fluency is the ability to produce the language with ease. Accuracy is being grammatically correct and producing correct sentences. They are both important when you’re learning a language, but initially, it is better to focus on being able to produce the language easily, smoothly and in a flow. There may be a few grammatical errors in your delivery, but overall, your message should be understood and you should have communicated. Once you are able to use the language with lesser effort, then, focus on the grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and other technicalities.
5. Follow social media personalities
Learning a language is a lot of hard work. That’s why it’s so important to make it enjoyable and fun. One great way to do this is by using social media. Find and follow people who speak the language and you’ll have a steady supply of fresh and interesting content to go through every day. You’ll learn by reading, writing and watching videos, in a casual, easy-going and relaxed way.
Now that you know there are fun and interesting ways to learn a language, are you ready to get started?
Oftentimes, starting to learn a language by yourself can be cumbersome. Therefore, we recommend hiring a language tutor to get your basics strong. A language tutor can guide you through immensely through the initial stages of learning, help you develop a steady study routine and help you navigate through the difficulties of early learning in a more streamlined way. Find a language tutor here.