You’ve decided to learn a new language. Congratulations!
Maybe you’ve bought a coursebook, booked online lessons, or downloaded a few apps. However, when you sit down to begin, it overwhelms you.
Yes, the tools you’ve selected are supposed to help you figure out this language, but you’re feeling lost and wondering whether or not you’ll learn a language the right way. You start to study but nothing seems to stick and thus wondering whether you’ll succeed in the whole language learning thing.
Well, language learning as a whole can be terrifying. I mean, there’s that feeling that you’re learning the entire language. As the result, you get afraid and convince yourself that this isn’t possible. That’s where you go wrong. You can learn a new language.
Here are a few tips you can use to learn a language successfully.
- Understand Your Motivation
Take time and understand why you need to learn the new language. And yes, don’t come up with a superficial reason. Instead, sit down and understand the motivating reasons. While at it, it’s good to know that there’s wrong or not right.
Therefore, it doesn’t matter what other people perceive as a good or bad reason for this. If this is enough for you to learn the language, then go ahead and learn the language.
Some people will learn the language for work. Maybe there’s a promotion in the offing or there’s an entirely new job in the company.
Understanding the reasons why you want to study a new language gives you the necessary motivation to complete the lessons.
- Learn The Right Things
Yes, you know why you want to learn a new language. But it’s important to be specific and have an end date in mind. For instance, “I want to learn and speak English fluently” is not a good motive on its own. For instance, what does fluent mean? When is the deadline for accomplishing this?
Some of the best learning goals include, “I want to hold a twenty minutes’ conversation in English or any other target language in three months.” Therefore, your goal must have something specific that you intend to achieve within a stipulated timeframe.
- Understand the Anatomy of Language
All languages share a similar basic structure. Knowing this structure helps you in the learning journey.
For instance, each language can be broken down into three theoretical skills. These include:
These theoretical skills vary from one language to the other. For instance, mandarin grammar is much easier than Russian grammar. However, vocabulary and pronunciation is an entirely different story.
Further, there are four practical areas in any language. These are;
Understanding (listening, reading) is much easier than creating (writing, speaking) any language. The amount of time to dedicate to each practice area depends on the language and your personal goals.
Learning a new language is among life’s most misunderstood challenges. However, the experience can be very rewarding. Remember, a new language is a gatekeeper to new places, people, experience, and knowledge. It is a passport to a country that no one knew existed.