Learning a new language is probably the one activity that you will never regret. According to science, a study done showed that individuals proficient in two languages had better concentration than their single language speaking counterparts. To add to the advantages, there is also the fun aspect of immersing oneself in another culture through speech. However, learning a new language may not be as easy as it looks; in fact it will take a lot of dedication and motivation to see yourself through it. Here are some tips on learning a new language to help you on your journey:
Have a reason
Before investing time in learning a new language you should realize that you should have the motivation to dedicate time everyday towards the endeavor. This may be because you are traveling to a foreign land and require a taste of a foreign language; alternatively it could be that you have friends that are from a different culture and you would like to embrace their heritage. Whatever the reason may be, you should hold on to it through difficult times especially when you feel like giving up. This is going to be your lifeline when things start getting tough.
Use the right resources
There are a plethora of resources available in this day and age, however finding the right sources that is at your level (beginning to advanced) is crucial for you not to lose hope and also to see the process through. This is one of the most vital tips on learning a new language because people often get this critical step wrong. They either use sources that are incorrect or too overwhelming; conversely people tend to only choose sources that are below their capabilities which is an hindrance to their own growth. Here are the different types of sources you can use to spur your learning of a new language:
- Online learning
- Tutor or friend that speaks a foreign language
- Watching foreign movies with subtitles
Use the right learning style
People are different which essentially means their learning style would also vary greatly. Some people learn well at night while other prefer day learning. In addition, some people prefer techniques like visual learning which makes it easier to grasp difficult concepts. Here are some great tips on learning a new language using innovative learning styles:
- Make thumb cards of common sayings
- Use highlighters if you are using written sources
- Watch videos of people speaking the foreign language using expressions
- Use whiteboards for common expressions and greetings
Developing positive habits to sustain learning. In order to get good at something you need to constantly be working at it. However, the daily grind of your day may result in you often neglecting learning as part of your day. As much as scheduling your day may help with this, it is equally important for you to instinctively be motivated to do so. This is why it is important to develop positive habits. This should be at the top of you list of tips on learning a new language; since it serves as the enabling agent.
Practice cumulative learning so you don’t forget
The mind is complicated and so it is designed to prioritize that which is important. This is the very reason why cumulative learning is so important when you are trying to fully grasp difficult concepts. Think about the time you crammed study notes before an exam; you may have done well in that exam – but how long before your forgot everything? My guess is not very long. According to this post on Forbes, there are two essential ingredients to consolidate effective learning:
- Connecting new information with existing information
The science lies in neurons which store information in the brain. A neuron becomes excited when you think about the information stored in it; these neurons then grow dendrites (capable of receiving info) from axons (capable of sending info) from other neurons. Therefore the more you think about something, the more connections that associated neuron can make; thus making information about that topic more clear and understandable. There you have it! No more cramming before tests – you ain’t fooling anybody.
Don’t forget to be practical
The final step to learning a new language is to be practical. Don’t make learning a new language purely theoretical. Have fun with sharing and utilizing the new skills you learn. Greet people who speak the foreign language. Focus on tone and pronunciation. Try to embrace expression and hand gestures to further your understanding.
There you have it, 6 solids tips on learning a new language that will get you speaking in different tongues before you know it. Remember to always have fun; learning was never meant to be boring.