Tips For Learning A New Language

linguisticsLearning a new language is both challenging and extremely rewarding.  There’s nothing better than traveling to a country and being able to converse with the native residents in their own language.  Not to mention being able to read signs, menus, and other written texts is extremely helpful!

But how does one go about learning a new language in this fast paced and busy world?  We barely have time to relax let alone learn an entire language.  Thankfully there are some language learning programs out there that can give you a classroom experience right in your own home!  You can even learn at your own pace, and take it on the go with you.  There are a few top programs out there such as the Rocket Languages series and the Rosetta Stone series which is always quite popular.  However, the Rocket Languages series seems to give you a bit more bang for your buck, as this review states.

However, once you decide on a program, what can you do to help improve your learning ability?  There are definitely a few things that you can do in order to speed up learning and improve retention of what you’ve studied.

Do A Little Every Day

Consistency is key when learning a new language, so set aside time each day to learn.  Even if you can only do 15-20 minutes one day, it’s better than nothing!  Plus, doing it every day will keep your momentum going.  Skipping a day leads to skipping two days which leads to skipping a lot of days.  And then all of a sudden your language learning software is sitting collecting dust!

Start a calendar and aim to check off every day!  Putting the calendar on your wall will keep it front and center in your mind, giving you the motivation to keep going.

Watch Movies In The Language

This is easier if you’re learning a more popular language, however if you can find movies in the language that you’re learning then go get them!  When I was learning Spanish I would watch all the Spanish movies I could get my hands on.  It got me used to hearing the language spoken, and soon I was able to pick up phrases and understand what they were talking about.  You can turn on English subtitles or turn them off if you want to make it more immersive and challenging.

Read Magazines In The Language

Another method of practice and immersion that’s fun is to get magazines in the language of your choice.  Once you’ve got the basics down you will find that it’s pretty easy to read!  It also helps reinforce what you’ve learned.  When I was learning Spanish I would get People Magazine in Spanish and would read it here and there.  I found it to be fun and incredibly rewarding because I was actually USING the language!  I also got a few books in Spanish such as The Alchemist.  It was challenging but I found that it really helped in terms of grammar and remembering vocabulary.

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