You want to study abroad, take a trip around the United States or spend a summer surfing in Hawaii and to make the most of the experience. You have also decided to enroll in some classes to learn the language. While you’re in the classroom memorizing new words, you may think, “I’m never going to get this.” Trust me, I understand you. Learning a foreign language is not as easy as making a cup of coffee, but it is not impossible. In fact, we have four simple techniques that will help you learn the new language much faster.
Now, just as with anything worthwhile, learning a new language requires dedication. So remember: these techniques are not tricks or shortcuts. But they are effective. To find out how to learn a language, all you need to do is committing to apply them. We start?
Techniques for quickly learning a foreign language
1. Speak with real human beings
Since we spend all day using our electronic devices, we have the idea that everything can be taught, learned and practiced without interacting with anyone. Do you want to have a master? Take an online course Do you need a good recipe? Look it up in Google. Tried to find a way to learning a foreign language? Choose an application. It is true that the internet can help language learners enrich their vocabulary and feel more confident with their abilities, but unless you plan never to pronounce a word, forget it. You have to talk to native speakers (and as soon as possible!).
Well, before you go back on your trip abroad; do not worry. Talking to foreigners do not have to be scary or difficult. For example, try to find a language exchange partner in your city and chat while having a coffee. Or commit to an online course. If you want to combine a new and exciting experience with your language studies, go abroad to live with the language. Whatever you do, start before you think you’re “ready”. So if you want to know how to learn a language, here is the clue. Always remember languages are made to be spoken.
2. Are you learning a foreign language? Use new words as soon as possible
Many language students diligently write lists of new words in their notebooks and then do not use them in real life. Writing down new words is a great habit, but it is not enough on its own. As it is said, if you do not use it, it is lost! So the next time you hear an exotic word, do not limit yourself to writing it: make an effort to use it as soon as possible and in every way possible. Tell it, write it in a sentence, find its noun, verb or adjective, and ask questions about it to your native friends. This technique gives the new vocabulary a live context and stays in your mind faster!
3. How to learn a language? Make many questions
Do not behave in a coy compulsive way by taking notes in the back of the class: teachers love students who ask good questions! Do not know what to ask? Write a list of generic questions in the back of your notebook and use them during class. Remember, the best questions give you more information or clarify a doubt.
Some of the best ones for learning a foreign language are: «What is the noun/verb/adjective of that word? ».”Is that word used in formal or informal situations?” «Can you suggest some synonyms/antonyms? », or (if the language is spoken in several countries) «Does it have the same meaning in Chile/ Spain/ Honduras? ». If you have not enrolled in any language class, do not worry! Post your questions in a forum, search for them on Google or ask for help from your native friends.
4. Start with what you really need
Imagine that you just landed in Madrid, about to start your semester abroad and speak with real Spaniards. But you do not know how to learn a language. Think about what these conversations probably will be like. We are sure that you will not immerse yourself in a profound conversation about art or politics, right? To start your first days and weeks abroad, imagine the situations in which you will find yourself. For example, I’ve lost (topics: move around the city, public transport, places of interest in the city), I want to eat (topics: order food, go to the supermarket), I want to make friends (topics: ask personal questions, talk about family and friends). Once you have identified the vocabulary areas, focus your energies on them. This will make the experience much more fluid to learning a foreign language.