As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the appeal of learning a new language is clear. Whether for business or pleasure, the ability to communicate on an international level can bring many benefits. If you want to learn a language but aren't sure where to start, we have just the thing for you. We take a look at some top language learning tips that can help you on your journey. To help you on your learning journey, let's take a look at some top tips and advice for language learning.
If you want to find out how long it takes to learn a language, we also look at how long your journey might take and how difficult it might be. As well as looking at why learning a language can be beneficial, we also look at some of the most common ones to learn. Whether you are new to this type of learning or want to improve your efforts, you are sure to find some useful information.
Learning a foreign language through real conversations
The important reason is that language is something that has to be processed and not learned by heart. I'm not a linguistics professor, but in my experience, staring at and memorizing a word 100 times in a book or with flashcards just isn't the same as being forced to use a word only two or three times in a conversation.
If there's a secret or hack to learning a foreign language, it's this: hours upon hours of awkward and exhausting conversation with people who know the language better than you do. One hour of conversation with corrections and a dictionary for reference is as good as five hours in a classroom and 10 hours with your own language course.
So, for example, if I look up the verb for complain and use it in a sentence with a new friend, I will probably always associate that word with that specific interaction and conversation I had with her. Why math is so unpopular?
There are a few reasons for this. The first is motivation. I don't care how cool your study guide is, you will be much more invested and motivated to communicate with a live person in front of you than with a book or audio program on your computer.
I believe the reason for this is that our minds give more priority to memories that involve actual human and social experiences, memories to which emotions are attached.
While I can go by the same word 20 times with flashcards, and while I may get it right, I haven't really practiced implementing it. It means nothing to me, so it's less likely to stick with me.
Why are languages so hard?
If you have children of your own, you probably remember their first swear word. They probably said it once in a moment of frustration, but their squishy little brains sucked it up and spit it out again.
Here's how their brains work. Children's brains are designed to learn new things, especially languages.
We are always told that learning a language as a child is much easier than learning as an adult. And while this is largely true, it doesn't have to stop you from learning a new language.
The main difference between a child's brain and an adult's brain is the amount of information we can absorb. Children are sponges.
The brain goes through periods of reorganization in childhood as new skills become hardwired into our neural networks.
As adults, we cannot change the way our brains work. We can't make our brains become more receptive. But we can combat some of the other barriers that keep us from learning a new language.
At six months, for example, the brain stops recognizing words that are not our native language. This helps us to filter out background noise and chatter.
Children go through these reorganization phases until their late teens. However, the main window for learning grammar is from preschool to about age 6. Fortunately, the vocabulary window never closes completely. How to get better at school?
Follow your interests
I'm a big fan of blogs, but I also find them the perfect learning tool because they're usually written in a very colloquial way. I mean, this isn't always the case, of course, but for the most part bloggers tend to write the way they speak, so you don't have to worry about picking up weird terms that are only used in writing.
Even if you're totally excited about this new language learning journey you've started, learning it will eventually feel like a chore.
My best advice is to find ways to integrate your studies with things that already interest you.
For me, reading is. More specifically – and it's totally fair if you make fun of me for this – I like reading blogs in other languages.
Movies are also a really good tool, especially if you can also find subtitles in the language you're learning. Subtitles annoyingly don't always match exactly what is being said, but it will still get your brain listening and reading in the same language.
Music is another way to hear things in your new language. Personally, I'm so bad at understanding text, even in English, so this one doesn't really work for me, but I have friends who swear by learning languages from local artists, so I guess it's a thing.
Even playing podcasts in the background while you do chores or go for a walk will improve your language skills tremendously, and you'll find you pick up more and more words as you listen.
Games, of course, are also a great way to learn a new language! Many computer programs for language learning include games. I'm super competitive and when I play any game I can be hooked for hours – hours well spent if it means learning a language!
Podcasts were also a game changer for me. Podcasts offer much more natural conversations than language courses, and even if you barely understand what the podcasters are talking about at first, podcasts are a great way to develop an ear for a new language. Which language learning app is the best?
Pick a word of the day
Choose one or two new words every morning to incorporate into your daily life. Incorporating new vocabulary into your daily life will help you remember these words and learn to use them in real life situations. This is much less overwhelming than trying to remember several different words at once.
Practice every day
Try to practice every day, whether it's reading a foreign language newspaper every morning or listening to music in your chosen language while you work. If you are learning using an app like Duolingo or Lingodeer, you can also receive notifications at the same time every day reminding you to practice! While a common misconception is that we don't have time to learn languages during the day, it is always possible to find time! Making language learning a habit is the perfect way to progress quickly.
Choose your language wisely
Some languages are easier to learn than others simply because of the language learning resources available to you in your neighborhood, city, country or online. Learning a language with easily accessible resources can save you time and money and help you make your studies more varied, interactive, and practical.
This can help you find your best strategy for practicing the language as often as possible with native speakers, and can determine how practical the language is in your life. Critical to your success in language learning is your personal motivation. It is highly recommended to learn a language you want to learn, whether for personal or professional reasons.
Once again, the more a language can help improve your life, the more motivated you will be to learn it. The more motivated you are to learn it, the easier, more fun and faster it will be to learn the language. Choose a language that brings you fulfillment.
The best ways to learn a new language
Watch a movie
If you don't know the language to turn off the subtitles, keep a list of new vocabulary words you hear and what they mean. Look it up later. Come on, looking up words is fun! For those people who want to take advantage of one of the best ways to learn a language from the comfort of their own home, watch a foreign movie in another language – without subtitles if you can!
Not only is this one of the best ways to learn a foreign language, but you will also get a better feel for the culture of that language! If you feel ready and want to take your language learning to the next level, commit to going to the theater and watching a foreign movie in public!
Why do elementary school students learn languages so well?
You'll help each other learn, your writing skills in a foreign language will increase tenfold, and you may even have someone to visit abroad if you're willing to use those skills!
Edit each other's letters keep what you both originally wrote so you can see the correct format and spelling.
Remember pen pals? Just because you're an adult now doesn't mean you can't participate! Find an international pen pal and expertise and language skills.
Make new friends
You can talk casually with your friends in cafes, bars, and restaurants and slowly build a foundation for the language you want to learn. The great thing about making friends who already speak the language or are about to learn it with you is that you can practice freely without feeling embarrassed or on the spot!
If there is a community of people in your city who speak the language you want to learn, start attending events! Friendship is one of the best ways to learn a foreign language, and the easiest way to become familiar with slang, intonation, and mannerisms.
You need passion
First, you have to really want to learn another language. And secondly, you have to be excited about learning the language you choose to learn. For example, you may be eager to learn a Romance language, while the thought of learning a Slavic language makes you cringe, or vice versa.
When learning a new language, make this your new mantra: I will do anything to learn this language. What was the difference between my attempt to learn French and my attempt to learn Italian? The main difference was passion. I was passionate about learning Italian and couldn't have cared less about learning French which I now regret, but live and learn.
Learning a new language requires a lot of hard work. This is why, to be successful, you need to have a passion for speaking a foreign language.
The internet is your best source of information about informal language and the way people really speak and write that doesn't follow the grammatical rules you learn from books. There is an amazing range of language learning opportunities online, not just from websites and podcasts.
I can't stress enough the importance of using real, authentic language! Don't rely only on books, as they contain constructed sentences that are not from real life. The Internet may be your only opportunity to learn an authentic language and see the true culture of the countries where it is spoken, especially if you have never had the chance to visit those countries before.
Languages build opportunities
Education is the cornerstone of a successful career, a fulfilling life and a good social climate. Languages form opportunities – the name of our education blog already gives away the topic – learning to communicate!