It is said that not even a fifth of Americans know how to speak a second language. That’s quite surprising, given that bilingualism has a host of benefits. Even being able to fumble along a foreign dialect gives you an edge over someone who can’t speak it at all.
Learning to speak a foreign language can increase your chances of getting hired for a job. It can also help get you on the good side of its native speakers. Then, there’s the belief that bilingualism helps the brain develop and may even protect from memory loss.
There are tricks, tips, and apps for making language learning easier. For example, if you’re traveling to Japan sometime soon, using the best app for learning Japanese can help give you a more immersive experience.
That’s not even half of it, though. Read on for some fresh ideas on how to learn a new language.
Effective Ways for Learning a New Language
With the following tips in mind, you should find learning a second language a lot less challenging.
1. Join a Community
If there are native speakers of the language you want to learn in your city, try to participate in events set by their community. One of the best ways to learn a new language is to make friends with those who speak it. These people know the ins and outs of the language, including the mannerisms, intonations, expressions, and slang.
As such, outside of an actual teacher, they are really the best people to learn from. And because you have a connection with these individuals, you won’t feel self-conscious practicing with them. In fact, you might create a great learning opportunity for both parties.
2. Watch a Film
Watching a film in a foreign language is a great way to learn the language from the comforts of home. You can first start watching films with subtitles on and then gradually turn that setting off to test yourself.
You might be watching from a box, but in that box are scenes and acts that embody a country’s culture. Because of this, it also allows you to have an immersive learning experience.
3. Use the Internet
The internet is home to solutions to many of life’s problems, including language-learning challenges. From reading articles and online brochures to seeking Google’s and YouTube’s help, there is no shortage of means to help you accomplish your foreign language education goals.
A simple web-browser search can be enough to provide info on foreign language classes held at your local college. And if that isn’t available, the internet will certainly have other learning outlets to offer.
As much as this method might work for others, it’s not something everyone can be on board with. That’s because each of us has varying levels of comprehension and intellect, which can only take us so far in foreign language learning.
Nevertheless, progress can still be achieved through self-learning. Depending on the target language, memorization, Google Translate, or writing sentences you want to learn to speak can be an effective learning strategy to an extent.
However, if you truly want to become fluent in the said language, you’ll need an actual person to listen to you and keep you in check. That’s why it’s important to have a learning partner, or better yet, a teacher.
5. Get a Teacher
A teacher can be a native-speaking friend or an actual teacher of the language. Needless to say, the latter might be the better option. That’s because he or she can give you a strong grammatical foundation in the language, which allows you to progress smoothly across more advanced lessons.
Contrary to what some learners might believe, the early part of your journey is when a teacher is most beneficial. Like in every learning journey, fluency comes down to mastery of the basics, which are best instilled in you by an actual instructor.
6. Learn at Your Own Pace
While setting goals is important, make sure you don’t set them unrealistically. Everybody learns differently. Being impassioned early on may help others reach target-language fluency faster, but it might be the reason some burnout and give up on their language goals earlier.
Pay attention to your needs. Do you feel like you’re stuck in a rut and want to take a break? Perhaps, that’ll be the trick to help you learn a new language better in the long run.
Learning a New Language Should Be Fun!
There is no point in learning a new language if it’s a constant struggle for you. Remember that a venture like this should be fun and enriching. Therefore, once you’ve exhausted all options to learn effectively and still can’t find happiness in your journey, don’t feel bad about quitting. Then again, there’s close to zero chance of that happening when you apply the tips mentioned earlier.