Learning a new language can be incredibly rewarding, but more than a little bit challenging. It takes a great deal of time, effort and determination to get to grips with the many words and phrases. However, you will be fluent in no time with a little perseverance and practice. Read how you can successfully learn a new language.
Identify Your Learning Style
The wrong learning style could be the reason why you are struggling to learn a language. While some people might absorb the language through writing down words, others might learn best through repetition or by listening carefully to a native speaker. That’s why you should aim to identify if you are a visual, auditive or kinesthetic learner.
Select a few words from your desired language and read over them multiple times. If you manage to remember the words the next day, then you are a visual learner. If you forget the words, ask a loved one to read the words several times without looking at them. If they remain in your brain the next day, you are an auditive learner. If this tactic is unsuccessful, both write down and read the words, repeat them aloud and listen to them said by another person. You should also attempt to associate any feelings or emotions with the words. If you can remember the words the next day, then you are a kinesthetic learner.
While every language shares a similar alphabet, different countries may not pronounce the letters the same way as your mother tongue. It’s therefore important to turn to learning materials that offer audio recordings, as this can help to improve your pronunciation. For example, you can turn to language software, such as Duolingo or Rosetta Stone, to learn some helpful pronunciation tips that can aid the learning process.
Focus on Grammar
You must pay close attention to grammar if you want to learn a new language successfully, or you will be unable to communicate with native speakers. Review the language structure and consider the masculine, feminine and neutral. You will be able to successfully place together the words once you understand the language structure.
Set a Daily Goal
Ensure you stay on track by learning little bits of a language each day. It’s thought that learning 30 words or phrases each day will allow you to memorize 80% of a language within 90 days. We recommend starting with the most common words, as they will be easier to memorize. Also, write each word or phrase down a dozen times to ensure it remains in your mind.
Use Words in Different Sentences
Get to grips with a language by using the same words in different sentences. This will allow you to learn new phrases, while triggering your memory to recall words when you need them. Also, don’t forget to refresh your memory, even when you have been busy memorizing other words.
Perfect the Alphabet
If you are learning a language with a different alphabetical system, you must learn what the different letters look like and how to use them. One effective way to do so is by associating an image with a letter or sound, which will allow your brain to remember it. You may also need to start reading from right to left instead of left to right, which can be challenging alone.
Listen to the Language
Learn by watching movies or TV shows in your chosen language. Pause the movie or show to repeat the words out loud, so you can practice your oral skills. You could even listen to well-known songs in another language, which you can enjoy at home, in the car or at the gym.
Play an Audio Lesson
There is nothing stopping you from learning a new language on the way to work, as you can buy an audio lesson to perfect your skills. Try to repeat short segments until you have a good understanding. You can also regularly listen to the same course until you have absorbed an audio lesson.
The Shadow Method
Polyglots, people who understand multiple languages, often adopt the method of shadowing. The technique requires you to put on headphones, play a language, walk briskly in the great outdoors and repeat everything you hear aloud. This will prevent you from becoming obsessed by memorizing the language, as you will have to also focus on your body’s movements.
Read a Book in a Foreign Language
Challenge your knowledge by reading books in your chosen language. Start off by reading children’s books, so you can spot simple words with visual aids. You can then move onto more challenging books, newspapers or magazines as you start to understand a language. Eventually, it will become second nature to read a book in a different language.
Don’t be afraid to be a little creative when learning a new language, as it’s a great way to remember words and phrases. Write and record songs in a foreign language, so you can refer to the song if you need to remember a word or phrase. You could also write a poem, draw a comic strip or write a story.
Talk to Native Speakers
If possible, try to enjoy a conversation with a native speaker in your chosen language, who can help you learn different expressions, idioms and proverbs. They may also help you to overcome any challenges, and can iron out any bad habits you have developed when talking in a foreign language. Don’t be embarrassed about making mistakes, as they will appreciate you are taking the time to learn their mother tongue.
Practice Makes Perfect
Continual practice will ensure you master a language in your own time. It can take months, years or even decades to master a language successfully, and the best way to do so is by practicing as much as possible. Try to test your knowledge on a regular basis, watch movies and TV shows to understand pronunciation, sign up for a lesson or invest in language software. Commitment, time and perseverance will allow you to talk as fluently as a local.