There’s no getting around the fact that learning a language can be tricky. After all, there’s a lot involved – from vocabulary, to grammar, to pronunciation – and knowing where to start is sometimes the hardest part. However, there are a variety of techniques and tricks that can make learning a new tongue quicker and easier. To help you on your way to fluency, we’ve highlighted a few of the best.
Signing up to a language school is perhaps the best place to start. It might sound obvious, but studying a new language on a regular basis with skilled teachers on hand will help to ease the learning curve. Most modern language schools now use a variety of techniques to ensure that learners quickly reach a level of competence in speaking, reading, listening and writing. For example, Spanish Connection encourages pupils to become an active part of the learning process, using carefully selected learning materials to suit students of all abilities.
Attending a class also offers a great opportunity to meet other people who are interested in the same language as you. While reading from a vocabulary book at home can work for some people, it can be extremely time-consuming and with no one to motivate you but yourself, you’re at risk of losing interest. Learning in a group can be far more enjoyable.
If you want to advance quickly, it’s also important that you practice what you have learned outside of the classroom. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to memorise 30 words and phrases every day, starting with the most common words and building up to more complicated phrases.
One way to make your homework more enjoyable is to download a language app to your smartphone. This can help you get to grips with basic phrases and pronunciation when you’re on the move. In addition, rather than using standard textbooks, try reading magazines or newspapers in topic areas that interest you.
Memorising words and phrases is half the battle when it comes to learning a language. To help give your memory a little boost, practice writing words several times in different sentences and repeating them out loud. Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t be tempted to move on to new words before you have mastered the old ones. Puting notes up around your home and attaching them to different objects will also help to keep words fresh in your memory.
Surround yourself with the language
Surrounding yourself with as much of the language as possible can help to make learning seem like less of a chore too. For example, try watching a film in the language you’re learning without subtitles, or changing the language settings on your social media accounts. This will help you to pick up phrases as you go about your day to day routine.
You may also want to consider downloading audiobooks, podcasts or songs and listening to them on your commute to work, when you’re washing the dishes or during your morning jog. Don’t forget to speak the words yourself once you have heard them to make sure you have a complete comprehension.