Top 10 tips for Learning a New Language

So you’re ready to broaden your horizon and learn a new language!  With the right learning tools, becoming bi-lingual should be an easy lesson to learn.  With hard work and dedication, you are certain to be able to demonstrate your wonderful new skill in no time at all.

Let us help you along, with our top 10 tips to help you learn a new language in a really short time!

1.  Start from the beginning

Whatever your new language knowledge level is, start from scratch. Even if you started to learn the language at school or college before giving it up.  To learn your new language properly, you need to go right back to the beginning and start again.  Forget about the handful of words you already know and start the language from scratch.  This is a great way to iron out any possible bad pronunciations’ you may have picked up over time.

2.  Learn the basics first

To kick start your new language path, learning the basics first is a great place to start.  By starting on the most common phrases used in your new language before moving on to more complex sentences, you are giving yourself a head start in basic bi-lingual conversation.  Learn phrases like how to ask the time, ask for directions, how to order food and drink or how to say words like hello, goodbye, please and thank you. By doing so, you will have the ability to some degree, to have a basic conversation in no time at all.

3.  Get lots of material

There are a countless number of websites freely available on the Internet, full of lessons, guidance and advice for your new skill.  You could hire a professional Linguist to help you to learn your new language faster, or buy yourself a language book to learn from.  You might even choose to watch YouTube video’s for free online lessons, or you could do a combination of all of the above.  The more ways you have of teaching yourself your new language, the easier and quicker you will find it.

4.  Practice makes perfect

You cannot practice enough when learning your new language, so give yourself the ability to do so whenever possible.  Get an App for your phone and listen to it whenever you are out and about.  Have regular conversations with people who already speak the language. You could even go as far as to change the language in your phone to your chosen language – a sure way of you learning how to speak it quickly!  Watch films that you know well in the other language, which is a great way to remember the new language without even realising it!  Whatever you do, do lots of it as often as you can, to help you get used to using the language on a day to day basis.

5.  Learn with someone else

Language is obviously a verbal exchange between two or more people, so why not learn your new language with a friend?  This is a fantastic way of keeping you motivated whilst learning your language.  By talking to each other daily in your new language you will remember the phrases easier and far faster.  Supporting each other will ensure you don’t fall back and begin to lose motivation.   Talk on the phone daily with each other or video call each other to make it more fun!

6.  Small target

Keep your goals small to start with so that you don’t run the risk of overloading yourself.  Aim to learn either one small phrase or ten new words per day and make sure you have them perfect before moving on to a new set of words.  By making sure you constantly practice saying and recalling these new sets of words, you will ensure they are engrained into your memory.

7.   Write it down

Find new Pen-Pals to write to in your new language.  By writing regularly, you will get used to the way the words look and are spelled.  Our brains retain picture’s quicker and easier than words; so by writing in your new language regularly, you will be able to envision the words making them far easier to recall.

8.  Take your time

Don’t try to rush into your new skill too quickly.  By taking your time, you will ensure you are really soaking up the language and retaining it.  There are lots of resources available on the Internet, all promising that they will have you speaking your new language in as little as two weeks in some cases.  Whilst this is possible, it isn’t going to work for everyone.  By all means, give one of these resources a try, but do so at your own speed and don’t be disheartened if it takes you longer to learn that the stated time.  Everyone is different!

9.  Pictures make perfect

Surround yourself with pictures of everyday objects to constantly remind you of the new associated words.  Labelling your household objects with their written name is another great way of using visuals to help you to remember easier.  You could even use flash cards as a great picture learning aid.  By surrounding yourself with pictures, you will recall information so much faster.

10.  Don’t give up!

There will be times when you feel as though your learning has reached a kind of plateau; sort of standing still.  Don’t give up.  You just need to change your way of learning.  If we constantly read the words, our brains would eventually get a little bored of the same type of information.  Use a different method by itself for a while.  You could swap to an audio method for a week or two, before perhaps changing to a picture method.  Have verbal conversations for a while or even give yourself a strict couple of days break entirely and recharge your batteries.  Providing you don’t give up, you will be able to hold intelligent and correct conversations in your chosen new language in no time at all.  Be determined, practice as much as possible – and you will succeed!

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