Learning a new language is a great choice. It could help you both in your personal and professional life. Learning a new language opens up a whole new world to you, and makes it easier to interact with so many more people. However, it can be difficult and require a lot of your time. So, use these tips for learning a new language:
1. Set goals.
Start by setting your learning goals. Think of short-term, medium-term, and long-term goals that you want to achieve. This can help you feel more motivated. It can also help you feel more confident using the language that you chose to learn. Your short-term goal could be to learn the most common vocabulary. Your medium-term goal could be passing the exam, while the long-term goal is to have a meaningful conversation with a native speaker.
2. Consider your motivation.
You aren’t likely to stay motivated enough to learn a language in the long run if you don’t have a good reason to do it. So consider your motivation. Could this new knowledge help in your career? Could it improve your social life or increase your self-esteem? Find what motivates you and think of even more reasons why you’ll benefit from this experience.
3. Start with common words.
Learning the 800 to 1000 most common, root words, is a great start. Native speakers know around 15,000 to 20,000 families of words which include the root word as well as its variants. To be able to follow movie dialogues you need to know around 3,000 root words. To read a newspaper or a novel, you would need to know roughly 8,000 words. Start with common words and keep going from there.
4. Try different methods.
What way of learning works best for you? Sure, you could take classes, but there are also courses, apps, and websites, and many of them are free. Try different methods and see what works best for you. You could start by using some of the best free apps to learn a new language.
5. Practice speaking.
Recognizing, understanding, and producing the right sounds is the key to learning a new language. You probably don’t feel confident enough to speak with native speakers, but make sure to practice speaking. You can do this by recording yourself while speaking, practicing the vocabulary aloud, or talking to yourself. It might feel weird at first, but this is one of the most important tips for learning a new language, so practice talking.
6. Talk to a native speaker.
You might be afraid of making mistakes and your skills not being at the desired level, but talk to a native speaker anyway. This could help you improve your skills. It can also help you understand what a natural-sounding conversation would be like. Talking to a native speaker can even help you pick up their accent. You don’t have to be in the same country to connect and talk, so find native speakers online and ask them to help you learn.
7. Watch movies and listen to music.
To learn all the ways people use this language, the gestures, colloquial language, cultural references, expressions, and phrases, consume the media in that language. Watch movies and listen to music in the language that you are trying to learn. You can also read the news, and even try reading books at one point when you know enough words.
8. Understand the culture.
Learn more about the culture that the language is coming from. This will help you connect and communicate with native speakers but not just that. It will give you some context, and you’ll understand the culture that the language has evolved from. Understanding the cultural context that goes with the language is an important part of learning it and one of the tips for learning a new language.
9. Consider traveling.
Obviously, spending some time at the place where this language is used will significantly help you improve your language skills. So, consider traveling there. Immerse yourself in your language’s culture and communicate with local people. You’ll surely pick up a new vocabulary and some new phrases if you travel to the place where this language is used.
10. Listen to people talk.
Every language sounds odd when you first hear it. However, it becomes more familiar the more you keep exposing yourself to it. It might be too soon to communicate with a native speaker, but you can always listen to native speakers while they talk to each other. It doesn’t matter that you don’t understand everything, the important thing is that hearing this language becomes natural to you, and you’ll soon start identifying some of the words that you hear.