To learn a new language has been a goal for many of us at some point in our life. You may have studied a second language in middle school or high school. But if you’re like most people, you didn’t take it seriously and you didn’t see the value in learning that language.
But now you’ve found a new reason to learn a language. Now it’s you deciding you’re ready. So let’s get right to it and check out some tips that will get you closer to learning your new target language.
Really commit to learning a new language
Far too many times, we tend to start new projects, and then after a while, we quit. This is also the case with new language learning. Many of us are very eager and excited in the first stages of learning a foreign language, but when things start to get complicated, we sort of give up.
While this advice might seem basic and something you already know, you’re reading it once again because you may not have followed it the first time. This is a crucial first step.
There has to be a reason that pushes you to keep studying the language even when you feel like giving up; a reason that drives you to become proficient. Once you find that purpose, your commitment to learning a second language won’t be a problem.
There is this belief that the more fun you have while studying, the more you’ll actually learn. Cinema can be a great way to learn a new language while also having a great time.
Even though many people consider movie-watching a passive activity and not much can be learnt, this isn’t necessarily true. Movies can be an excellent way for you to get familiar with the pronunciation of a new language as well as a source of new vocabulary.
Practice Lyrics in the Target Language
While we’re looking at fun activities through which you can learn a new language, why don’t we add karaoke singing to that list? Besides the apparent fact that karaoke can be a fun way to spend your time with your friends or family, singing lyrics in a foreign language can help you master that particular language.
While singing, you’ll learn the language in the way that it’s actually spoken. Music can be a great way to improve your pronunciation. Also, songs have many repetitive phrases that occur during the length of the song. By singing those phrases over and over, you’ll be able to remember many of them just like you can remember the lyrics of some of your favorite songs from ten years ago.
Reading books is a great way to improve your comprehension skills in your target language. While reading, you will get exposed to a large amount of vocabulary in a short period and will see the same word multiple times.
This will help your brain move these words into your long term memory. One other thing worth mentioning is that reading pushes you to learn words in context. Words have different meanings in different situations. Through reading, you’ll be exposed to those different settings and, in turn, you’ll learn to use words accordingly.
Use Pronunciation Dictionaries
Even when reaching fluency in a language, it’s still very hard to pass as a native speaker. The one thing that usually gives us away is our accent. While you may never sound exactly like a native speaker, that shouldn’t stop you from trying.
There are numerous ways through which you can improve your language pronunciation skills. One of them is by using pronunciation dictionaries early in your studies to ensure you are pronouncing words properly right from the start.
You can find a number of these tools online. They can be quite helpful when you don’t hear new words spoken. For example, when you find a new word in a book or newspaper. Google translate is obviously one of the most popular ones to use.
Enroll in a Language Course
Luckily, there are countless language courses available in almost every language imaginable. All aspiring language learners can benefit from having a person explain the rules, grammar, and vocabulary of a new language.
For instance, those who want to learn English can always choose to enroll in an ESL program. Being part of a language course creates a support system for language learners when they may feel lost or frustrated. It’s great to be able to reach out to your teacher for clarification on the more confusing topics of a particular language.
Watch Online Videos
Watching cat videos on YouTube or Facebook may not be the best use of our time. But there are productive ways to use these platforms for language learning.
YouTube can be a great resource to use for watching shows or even short clips in your target language. You can begin by using the subtitles and slowly progress to the point where you don’t need them anymore.
You can also find clips in your target language on topics that interest you. Like Manga, painting, arts and crafts, etc.
Traveling to a country whose language you’re learning is one of the most effective ways to master a foreign language. It’s better to have some knowledge of the language before going, but you’ll be surprised at how quickly your language skills progress when you are immersed in the language.
Your brain adapts very quickly when met with a new challenge. Having to spend all day communicating in a new language for the first time, and coming to the realization you can do this. Will give you more confidence than you can imagine. Once you get over your initial fear of having a conversation with a native speaker, you’ll be unstoppable!
There are hundreds, maybe even thousands of great hacks, methods and tips on how to learn a language. The biggest “secret” to learning a new language is to be consistent. You don’t have to be naturally gifted at languages to become fluent. But you do need to commit to following a study routine and to put in the time and effort.
The best advice we can give you is to create a study plan and stick with it. Good luck in your language learning journey!