Tips And Tricks To Learn A New Language

Feeling up for a challenge? Try learning a new language. Though it’s no easy feat, knowing multiple languages can only enhance your life because there are endless benefits to it. 

From cognitive improvements to expanding your horizons, you can also utilize bilingualism to more effectively negotiate an increase in salary or communicate with international colleagues or business partners…because you are speaking their language!

Many people would love to learn a new language, but it’s no piece of cake. Between work, family, friends and responsibilities, it can feel like there’s no time to take on this daunting task. The good news is that there are ways to incorporate learning a new language into everyday life. These tips and tricks can help:

 

1. Light The Fire

The main part of taking on a new challenge is establishing the why, which will serve as your main motivation. Ask yourself: why do I want to learn a new language? Do I want to impress my fiancé’s parents? Am I looking to move to another country? Whatever the reason, it’s vital to find something that fuels your desire to learn. This way you’ll be driven to keep at it and not stop until you reach your goal.

Write down a list of reasons you’re choosing to learn a new language and the goals you want to accomplish by learning it. Put it somewhere visible and look at it regularly to remind yourself why you’re working so hard.

2. Leave Your Comfort Zone

This may be hardest part. Learning a new language means openly making mistakes in order to improve. It’s okay to mispronounce words, make sentence structure mistakes or use the wrong word! What actually matters is that you learn from those errors and make slow but steady progress. 

You may feel embarrassed speaking the language you’re learning with a native speaker, but chances are they will only want to help. Making  mistakes is just part of the journey to becoming multilingual.

3. Find An App

We’re lucky enough to live in the digital age, so we might as well capitalize on it. There are so many apps that can help you with grammar and vocabulary: Duolingo, Babbel, Rosetta Stone.  Some are free, others are not but may have a free trial period. Try a few to find the one that works best for you.

Apps are an effective way to learn languages and they provide opportunities for knowledge that didn’t exist before. It’s like having your own personal, on-demand tutor, any time, anywhere, and at a fraction of the cost!

4. Don’t Have Time? Make It

It’s easy to feel like there isn’t enough time in one day to do everything we’d like, let alone learn to speak in another tongue. But if you really want to commit to mastering another language, you have to make time. Wake up 15 minutes earlier, listen to podcasts on your lunch break or while driving to and from work, watch a film in the target language with English subtitles at night, go to a restaurant where staff will use that language and ask them for help!

There are so many ways you can find time to practice. The only thing that’s stopping you is you and your insecurities, so find time in your schedule to incorporate language study.

5. Establish A Routine

Consistency is key! Along with making time to learn, you should find a way to incorporate your new language into your daily routine. If you make learning a habit, it won’t feel like a burden.

You will also more easily build on what you learned as you won’t have forgotten it!  There are many scheduling guides and different routines you can test out. Over time, you’ll see if, say, once or three times a week works best for you.

6. Have Fun With It

Having fun is the most important part. Learning a new language doesn’t have to be a chore. In fact, finding a fun way to learn, one that you look forward to, will make all the difference when  choosing to practice or not. Find a partner who wants to learn the language too. Play games. Carry a pocket dictionary and look up words during the day. Read children’s books. There are lots of ideas out there! Immerse yourself by listening to some music or watching a TV show in the language you’re learning. If you can remove any roadblocks and manipulate your brain’s rewards center, it will start to connect pleasure with language learning.

7. Reward Yourself

Celebrate your success!  When you’ve learned your first 100 vocabulary words or first five verb conjugations go out to that specialty restaurant, or make a deposit on that trip you’re planning.  Giving yourself an end goal with levels to achieve will help fuel your progress.

Have any other tips on how you successfully learned a language?
Let us know at interthoughts@interecho.com.


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