Tips for Learning a Foreign Language

Lets read about some Crazylifegyan tips for Learning a Foreign Language.

1. Know Your Motivation.

Learning a Foreign Language

This might sound obvious, but if you don’t have a good reason to learn a language, you are less likely to stay motivated over the long-run. Wanting to impress English-speakers with your French is not a very good reason — wanting to get to know a French person in their own language is another matter entirely. No matter your reason, once you’ve decided on a language, it’s crucial to commit:

“OK, I want to learn this and I’m therefore going to do as much as I can in this language, with this language and for this language.”

2. Find A Partner.

Matthew learned several languages together with his twin brother Michael (they tackled their first foreign language, Greek, when they were only eight years old!). Matthew and Michael, or the Super Polyglot Bros., as I’d like to now refer to them, gained their superpowers from good-ol’ healthy sibling rivalry:

“We were very motivated, and we still are. We push each other to really go for it. So if he realizes that I’m doing more than he is, he’ll get a bit jealous and then try and outdo me (maybe because he’s my twin) — and the other way round.”

Even if you can’t get a sibling to join you on your language adventure, finding some kind of partner will push both of you to always try just a little bit harder and stay with it.

3. Talk To Yourself.

talk to yourself

When you have no one else to speak to, there’s nothing wrong with talking to yourself in a foreign language.

“It might sound really weird, but actually speaking to yourself in a language is a great way to practice if you’re not able to use it all the time.”

If you don’t know how to go about learning a new language, this can keep new words and phrases fresh in your mind. It also helps build up your confidence for the next time you speak with someone.

4. Keep It Relevant.

If you make conversation a goal from the beginning, you’re less likely to get lost in textbooks. Talking to people is one of the best ways to learn a language because it keeps the learning process relevant to you.

5. Have Fun With It.

Using your new language in any way is a creative act. The Super Polyglot Bros. practised their Greek by writing and recording songs. Think of some fun ways to practice your new language: make a radio play with a friend, draw a comic strip, write a poem or simply talk to whomever you can. If you can’t find a way to have fun with the new language, chances are you aren’t following step four!

6. Act Like A Child.

This is not to say you should throw a tantrum or get food in your hair when you go out to a restaurant — but try learning the way kids do. The idea that children are inherently better learners than adults is proving to be a myth. New research cannot find a direct link between age and the ability to learn. The key to learning as quickly as a child may be to simply take on certain childlike attitudes. For instance, lack of self-consciousness, a desire to play in the language and willingness to make mistakes.

We learn by making mistakes. As kids, we are expected to make mistakes, but as adults, mistakes become taboo. Think how an adult is more likely to say, “I can’t” rather than, “I haven’t learned that yet” (I can’t swim, I can’t drive, I can’t speak Spanish). To be seen failing (or merely struggling) is a social taboo that doesn’t burden children. When it comes to learning a language, admitting that you don’t know everything (and being okay with that) is the key to growth and freedom. Let go of your grown-up inhibitions!

7. Leave Your Comfort Zone.

leave your comfort for LEARNING A FOREIGN LANGUAGE

Willingness to make mistakes means being ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations. This can be scary, but it’s the only way to develop and improve. No matter how much you learn, you won’t ever speak a language without putting yourself out there: talk to strangers in the language, ask for directions, order food, try to tell a joke. The more often you do this, the bigger your comfort zone becomes and the more at ease you can be in new situations.

8. Listen.

Listen for Learning a Foreign Language

For Learning a Foreign Language, you must learn to listen before you can speak. Every language sounds strange the first time you hear it, but the more you expose yourself to it the more familiar it becomes, and the easier it is to speak it properly.

“We’re able to pronounce anything, it’s just we’re not used to doing it. For example, the rolled r doesn’t exist in my form of English. When I was learning Spanish there were words with the hard R in them, like perro and reunión. For me, the best way to go about mastering that is actually to hear it constantly, to listen to it and to kind of visualize or imagine how that is supposed to be pronounced because for every sound there is a specific part of the mouth or throat that we use in order to achieve that sound.”

9. Watch Others Talk.

Different languages make different demands on your tongue, lips and throat. Pronunciation is just as much physical as it is mental:

“One way — it might sound a bit strange — is to really look at someone while they’re saying words that use that sound, and then to try to imitate that sound as much as possible. Believe me, it might be difficult at the beginning, but you will master it. It’s something that is actually quite easily done; you just need to practice.”

If you can’t watch and imitate a native-speaker in person, watching foreign-language films and TV is a good learning substitute.

10. Dive In.

So you’ve made the pledge. How to proceed? Is there a proper way to go about language learning? Matthew recommends the 360° maximalist approach: no matter which learning tools you use, it’s crucial to practice your new language every single day and immerse yourself.

Remember, the best possible outcome of speaking a language is for people to speak back to you. Being able to have a simple conversation is a huge reward in itself.

Reaching milestones like that early on will make it easier to stay motivated and keep practising. And don’t worry, you won’t annoy people by speaking their language poorly. If you preface any interaction with, “I’m learning and I’d like to practice…” most people will be patient, encouraging and happy to oblige.