Many people want to learn how to speak a new language, but this is almost never an easy task. Certain steps need to be taken and various tips must be taken into account in order to properly broach this venture. Here’s what you need to remember:
The Time Needed
You might want to learn a full language in just a few short months. Well, unless you’re moving to a foreign country and immersing yourself in the language, this goal of yours probably won’t happen. Instead, focus on goals that actually could come to fruition. For example, you might learn some basic Spanish vocabulary before your trip to Spain at the end of the year. Focus on basic conversation, travel topics and/or certain words relevant to your career.
Take a Class
Trying to teach yourself a language can be possible, but is quite challenging. You might be saying certain words incorrectly or not using the best learning strategies, and you may be entirely unaware that you’re doing that all the way into your fourth or fifth tense! Look for classes offered at local community colleges. Generally, the prices are fairly low, so affording it shouldn’t be a major burden. If you’re attending college now anyway, sign up for a class in your target language, and make sure that it’s offered at least four times a week.
Read Enjoyable Pieces
Reading material that you love is one of the best ways to learn a language. Let’s say that you really like to cook. Start reading articles, recipes and other written material in the target language about cooking. Since you enjoy the subject, you aren’t going to feel bored when you are reading through the material. Once you start to understand the language at a higher level, you can move onto more complex material. As a result, you’ll start to learn the language in a more natural fashion, and this is one of the best ways to learn.
If you don’t utilize the skills of a language on a regular basis, you’re almost certain to forget them. Don’t just practice this language when you go to class, especially if it’s infrequent. Instead, buy some home-learning material to supplement the professional lessons. Study everyday – even if only for 15 minutes,.You could make it a goal to learn one new phrase or sentence in the target language every day. If friends or family are working on learning the language too, you can certainly make it a joint effort.
Hire a Tutor
Sometimes, the specific problems you’re having with a language can’t be addressed in class. Everyone has different struggles and issues when it comes to language acquisition, and you want to have your specific problems addressed. If you hire a tutor, the two of you can work together to craft a plan that makes sense for you. They can also help drill material that you’re unlikely to review on your own and make sure that you’re implementing best practices.
Don’t forget that in order for your language to be meaningful, it needs to have some relevancy to your interests. Give yourself some context – if you’re a business major, take a business class for the language you’re learning or a buy a book specially written for businessmen and women. Then, never forget that no one claims that learning a language is easy. However, it doesn’t have to be a terrible battle either! These tips will help you to develop your skills, regardless of the language chosen!
Martin Bundy writes all about multicultural education. His recent work is a piece on the best International Business Schools.