Learning a new language can be tough work. As you’ve probably discovered, it requires a steady mix of dedication, perseverance and quite frankly a whole lot of time to learn the rudiments and understand the subtle nuances. But that’s not to say it’s no fun. Done rightly and through a properly laid down framework, it is a thoroughly enriching experience. Add this to the many rewards (both empirical and financially) that come with learning a new language, and you get a clear picture of why it is entirely worth the effort. If you’re looking to make your efforts more fun and rewarding than it is stressful, then here are some language learning strategies you should consider.
Be ready to connect with a native speaker or an available equivalent
Practice makes perfect, and how do you regularly practice a language you’re not yet good at, connecting with a pro. Pro in this sense could be a native speaker or someone who’s good at speaking the language. You can find a colleague or friend who’s good at the language or connect with foreign speakers via Skype. Aside from accelerating your language learning process, practicing in real life with a fluent speaker is fun, rewarding and most certainly guaranteed to up your motivation to learn the new language. Beats staring all day at a computer screen or browsing through pages of a language-learning book for sure.
You’ll be needing a lot of language learning tools
Thanks to advancements in tech, language learning tools, the likes of dictionaries, spelling apps, and pronunciation games, are now as ubiquitous as languages themselves. Now it’s up to you to cram in as many as is convenient into your smartphone or PC (careful not to overwhelm yourself with ineffective tools though). Having an always on-hand portable dictionary helps you figure out the right words just in time to keep a conversation flowing. Disruptions in discussions while you’re learning slug up your learning curve. More so in combination with other tools like word games, dictionaries help build up your vocabulary. Commit to browsing through them during your free time, and before you know it, you’re learning 10- 20 words per day!
Start from the essential and more important things
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of learning a new language and in so doing aim to grasp the rather complicated words and sentences. Everyone wants to learn fast, and that’s understandable. However, if it’s the effective and efficient way you seek, then you’re better off learning the simple nitty gritty first before approaching the more complex aspects of a language. Start with mastering the greeting words, numbers, all alphabets, two-letter words, three letter and slowly but steadily work your way up towards conquering the language. Remember if the foundation is shaky, the integrity of the superseding structure is compromised
Finally, work on your pronunciation
Contrary to what you might have heard pronunciations matter. A lot. If you’re going to ever flaunt yourself as a true speaker of a language, you must pronounce its words just like native speakers do. The key to learning to pronounce right (as is with most other aspects of learning a language) is practice. Granted, you’re not going to get it right the first time (or the second time, or even the third time) however it is crucial that you try consistently to get it right with every pronunciation. Continue this way and before you know it you’re sounding like a good ol’ native speaker yourself.
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