5 Tips For Learning A Language

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:

Spanish dictionary pages up into the air (cut out)

how to learn a new language – source

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.

Practice Daily
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.

10 Tips For Learning Foreign Languages

With the priorities of the curriculum constantly evolving, the teaching of foreign languages traditionally places great demands on students, not least the limited amount of time available to them to develop a familiarity with the spoken and written aspects of their chosen language. Both the content and the duration of courses feature spoken and written practice, but there is always room for improvement.  There are several helpful habits that students can develop to assist them while learning foreign languages.

1.       Watch Internet Programming

Many national broadcasters put news and current affairs content onto the web and this can be viewed online. This helps develop familiarity with the spoken word and the pace of delivery. It also allows students to repeat sections of dialogue that they may have missed first time around.

2.       Find Native Speakers to Converse With

Social networking provides opportunities to meet up with native speakers of almost every language in the area. There is often a group that meets on a regular basis to chat in their own language.

3.       Strike up a Conversation

One great way of developing self-confidence is to initiate conversation with native speakers in a spontaneous manner, even in the street or on a plane. They will almost certainly be delighted to share a few words with you and to thank you for your efforts.

4.       Go to the Cinema

Foreign-language productions are more visible now than they were a few years ago. With European countries producing award-winning films there are an increasing number to choose from at the cinema. Check the cinema listings.

5.       Books and Digital Media

Now that an entire book can be compressed and added to a Kindle or similar device, it is a great way of reading effectively. A whole library of classics can be added and can be read anywhere.

6.       Always Carry a Dictionary

The reassurance of having a dictionary in your pocket just in case you need it will probably outweigh the number of times you actually pull it out. It is still a useful accessory that does not take up much room.

7.       Learning the Alphabet

Modern language studies are not just limited to languages that use a Latin script and students may need to recognise Arabic calligraphy, Chinese pictograms, and the letters of the Russian alphabet. Newspapers are best as they allow students to copy the letters in the margin.

8.       Learn to Cook

The best way to expand your food vocabulary – which can be vast for European languages – is to take up the culinary art and learn some recipes and the names of the ingredients.

9.       Buy a Notebook

Jotting down words is useful, and if the notebook is in Central European style the pages will be divided into small squares, which helps develop calligraphy if writing in another alphabet.

10.   Listen to Music

Pop music is a great way of learning languages colloquially, and can easily be added to your MP3’s music collection.

Written by Sam Luther, a copywriter and experienced blogger working with independent schools.