Five practical tips for learning a foreign language
Learning a second language can open up a whole new realm of possibilities in both your personal and professional life. Billions of people around the world suddenly become accessible and the benefits to be gained from greater exposure to different peoples and cultures is immeasurable. Learning a language is one of the most worthwhile things you could do. The only snag is that it does take time, a lot of time. Knowledge of any tricks and tips that enable you to be a better, more efficient, learner are invaluable. Remember, each Atira shaped by Scape property is a melting pot of cultures, and most people will be more than happy to help you on your language journey.
1. Set yourself a goal
Without a clear goal, your learning process won’t be as efficient as it could be and you risk getting disheartened by a lack of defined progress. Goals can be anything. From something as trivial as watching a film without subtitles to something more substantial such as having a conversation with a foreign language speaking friend’s parents for the first time. The important thing is that it gives you a clear motivation.
This is a big one. Possibly the most important aspect of learning a language is immersing yourself within it. If you can’t physically locate yourself in a country where your target language is spoken, then bring the country to you. Change the default language on all your devices. Watch movies in your target language. Listen to their radio. Listen to their podcasts. Change the language of your video games. The mixture of entertainment and interaction that comes from playing video games in your target language is incredibly useful. Always think about how you can gain more exposure in your target language. Exposure is king.
Never give yourself a day off. This may sound daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Ten minutes of study every day for a week is better than two hours once every seven days. Small but consistent study periods helps the information stick as you revisit it often. Smaller bites of learning are much less intimidating. Who can’t find a spare ten minutes?
We’re in a golden age of technology – make the most of it. There’s no need to pay out for expensive language-learning software, even the most cursory Google search will provide you with numerous free study tools. Once you’ve got a basic level of comprehension from study websites, you can further utilise the web by chatting with native speakers from all over the world. Make a 21st-century pen-pal.
5. Be realistic
Realism is the key to success. If you start off with grandiose ideas of being fluent in six weeks, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment. Don’t believe the ridiculous claims of companies vying for your cash. It will take time. Give yourself a year of decent, focused study, as a minimum.
Language learning is hard, and sometimes no fun, but it is always rewarding. After an initial period of book-learning, embracing the tips set out in this article will help you to achieve the goal you set yourself. With another language at your disposal, you will grow as a person. You will experience new cultures and meet new people. The hardships you go through and the effort you put in will pale in significance to the rewards you reap from learning a new language. So, what are you waiting for?
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