It is always good to know a foreign language. It can help you communicate with the people of that particular country, it can broaden your job prospectus and, it can give you exposure to a new culture.
However, learning a new language isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time and effort to become fluent in a particular language, especially if you haven’t been raised with it. However, due to technology we are exposed to a large number of resources to help us with the task. Nowadays, there a lot of workbooks, audio books, podcasts and language experts available to guide us if we wish to learn a new language. Here a few tips that could help you in your journey of learning a foreign language.
- Choose your motivation
Before you start learning the language of your choice, you must keep a few things in mind. Firstly, you must decide why you want to learn that language. Do you want to visit that country? Do you want to add it your CV? Deciding your motivation behind learning a language is important as it will be the thing that will keep you from giving up.
It is also important to decide if you want to learn how to speak that language or write it (or both). This small activity will give you clarity and ease when you actually begin studying the language.
- Choose your learning method
Another thing to keep in mind before you starts learning a new language is your method. You need to ask yourself a few questions to help you with this. What resources will you use? Will you be more comfortable with flashcards or workbooks? Do you want to learn it all by yourself or are you going to need a teacher? Mapping out your learning process will eliminate any sort of confusion that you might have faced when understanding a new language. You will never be overwhelmed due to the innumerable resources and studying methods this exercise.
- Immerse yourself in the language
Once you begin the learning process, you must completely immerse yourself in the language. If you are learning how to speak the language, you could watch movies; listen to songs or podcasts in the language for pronunciation. To make it easier, you could watch movies dubbed in the language or watch those whose context you can recognize. In sort, refrain from using subtitles as it can distract you from the pronunciations.
If you are learning how to write, you could try reading newspapers, magazines, and other books and try to replicate the characters. In other words, you have to completely erase the other languages from your brain and focus on this one. Exercises like this could make the process fun and less like a chore.
- Practice makes perfect
As I’ve mentioned before, learning a foreign language is no easy task. You will have to allocate many hours every day to achieve fluency and accuracy. You could learn the basics of a language in a month but, without practice, you will not be able to recollect everything that you had previously learned. Every day, you must set a goal of spending at least 3 to 4 hours practicing the language. A good way of practicing pronunciation is by sitting in front of a mirror and slowly speaking. While doing this, pay attention to the way your mouth moves when you speak the word. You could also practice common phrases and greetings by saying them to your friends and family.
- Go out and explore
In order to build your confidence in the language, you should visit the country where the chosen language is spoken. Speak to the natives and ask them for potential improvements. If it is not possible for you to visit the country, you may visit an ethnic restaurant or area and converse with the people present over there. You could also converse with someone in the language you just learned over the internet. Don’t be embarrassed if you make a mistake. Making mistakes is the only way you will build confidence. In those situations just ask them what the correct word would be. They would be glad that someone else is eager to learn their language.
This is just one of the ways you could learn a foreign language. There are many other ways you could do it but, none of them will be simple. No matter what method you choose, if you want to achieve perfection, you will have to commit. If you ever feel like quitting, you must remember why you started to learn the language in the first place. It will help you to gear up and concentrate on getting the result you wanted.