While there are millions of pieces of advice on learning a new language easily, most people give up on it when their time comes. This is understandable because learning a new language requires a significant investment of time and a certain self-imposed discipline. It is like acquiring a new skill altogether – it will feel VERY empowering when you master it but needs a lot of commitment and resilience while in the learning phase. 

A Reader’s Digest article quoted that more than 30 million people attempted to learn a new language in 2020, in the US alone. In this article, we will take you through fail-proof 7 ways to trick your brain into learning a new language easily. But before we delve into the actionable 7 steps, let’s address a core question you might already have ringing in your head as you read the words – ‘learning a new language’!

How should one choose a language to learn?

There are no right and wrong answers, you can learn any language that you’re fascinated with. A lot of people have different reasons for wanting to learn a language. If you want to learn a language that’s most widely spoken, Mandarin it is. 

If you want to learn a language that’s close to English and is easy to learn French, Spanish, Swedish, etc. are your best bet. And if you want to learn a lesser popular language purely for the fun of it or to understand a culture better, Slavic Languages like Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, etc, and other south-east Asian and west Asian languages could be your pick. Remember that having fun is a great goal to have while learning a language, above everything else!

Also read: French or Spanish: Which Foreign Language Should You Learn?

Regardless of your choice, these 7 actionable and effective tips will help you trick your brain into learning a new language easily:

1. Set SMART goals

SMART goals are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound. While learning a new language, it is important to set goals that don’t deter you from moving forward. Reward yourself for achieving the smallest of the goals, for example, finishing an online free language quiz with 100% marks. Also, set time-bound goals to ensure you plan for them and stay dedicated, for example, learning 50 new idioms in French, in 5 days, is a small yet specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goal. 

2. Listening is the key

You must first expose your mind to a language without deliberately trying to learn it, says Steve Kauffman, co-founder of the online learning language tool LingQ. More than half of your learning time should be devoted to listening to the language you intend to learn. Podcasts are a great way of using listening as a practice to learn a new language. There is a tonne of free podcasts and YouTube videos that you can utilize. Here is one such example – News In Slow German, it is designed for all levels from beginner to advanced. 

3. Consume content in the language you want to learn

It is said that people who watch movies in foreign languages with subtitles can learn those languages much more easily. While immersing yourself in entertainment, you will not find picking up new words, pronunciation, and phrases as difficult and you’d be more likely to remember and use them in context.

Fun fact: Bussu is a language that had just 3 speakers in 2005. Read more here.

4. Practice every day

Don’t wait for a language exam to put your learnings to use. Think of words and phrases in the language you are learning whenever writing in English. Think of how it would be written in the language you are learning, you could even try replacing common words while talking. Say Hola next time instead of Hello if you’re learning Spanish. Let the world be guessing! 

Also read: 100 Basic Spanish Words and Phrases for Beginner-Level Spanish Learners

5. Collaborate with native speakers & learners

Engage with people who are native speakers of the language you are trying to learn. Forums like Linguaholic and My Language Exchange are great for a start. There are over 3 million members from more than 133 countries at My Language Exchange. They host approximately 115 languages, so you can pick any language you want to learn!

7 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Learning A New Language

6. Make language learning fun

Adding an element of fun can take you far in any learning journey, and, language learning is no exception. Get chatty with native speakers, travel to the country to which the language belongs, join learning pods or take part in competitions, do whatever it takes to make the process fun for you.

Also Read: 7 Reasons to Learn Spanish as Your Second Language

Fun fact: It’s said that learning a third language is often easier than learning a second language. 

7. Create and stick to a schedule that doesn’t burn you out

Lastly, having a routine is pivotal to learning a new language. Regardless of your choice of language, having a routine is critical for you to achieve proficiency in it. Instead of burdening yourself with something very ambitious as a daily routine, try to work with simpler routines first. For example, setting aside 30 minutes for 4 days a week will yield better results than aiming for 2 hours on only Sundays. You will be much more likely to stick around with an easy-to-follow, short routine than anything that is over 60 minutes in a session.

7 Ways to Trick Your Brain Into Learning A New LanguageFun fact: A person who knows and is able to use multiple languages is known as a polyglot.

Lastly, you can always seek professional help to take your language learning journey to another level. A private tutor can not only bring language expertise but also the benefits of enforced routine and systematic feedback. Above all, a private language tutor will work with you to come up with a customized learning schedule and curriculum that no free app or website can do!

At Talentnook, hundreds of students have benefitted from private tutors specialized in teaching Spanish, French, etc to English speakers. Visit Talentnook.com and connect with hundreds of private tutors, request demo lessons, or join study pods. There’s so much you can do, just register to discover a whole new world of learning!

Home Schooling Author Pragya