Learn a New Language

Edited by estrella sacragon, Olivia, Anonymous, Rebecca M. and 4 others

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Deciding to learn a new language at any age can be challenging, but that doesn't mean that it is impossible. While it's undeniable that English is the universal language, the fact is, learning another language will enhance your competitive advantage in every area of life. It's also not that difficult to learn a new language. With a good amount of effort, time, practice, and patience, many people pick up additional languages at various stages in life. Some people pick up the skill to assist in career advancement, when taking language proficiency tests. Others are more interested in it for romantic reasons, and some just want to be able to speak another language when they go on holiday.

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If you have been wanting to learn a second language but aren't sure quite how to begin, the tips contained in this article will help you take the next step and begin learning successfully. Best of all, once you learn a new language, the linguistics and different thought patterns other languages present will continue to enrich your life year after year.

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Create Language Learning Goals

Create a set of smaller goals that can help you maintain motivation. For example, "Become fluent in Spanish" is a great goal, however, it can also lead to discouragement, since it a) may take a very long time and b) can be more difficult to measure. Setting smaller goals can also help you stay motivated. Over time, especially as you try to pick up new language skills, you may find yourself slowing down and not feeling as committed as you were when you started. Setting and sticking to manageable goals that can be accomplished in a shorter time period can help keep you motivated, as you will be able to see your progress. Try to set smaller, more manageable goals that will help you attain fluency, such as:

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  1. 1
    Learn five new words each week, as well as how to correctly use these words in a sentence.
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  2. 2
    Read an advertisement.
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  3. 3
    Translate a newspaper article.
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  4. 4
    Read a children's book.
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  5. 5
    Introduce yourself to a new person who speaks the language.
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  6. 6
    Gradually work up to 10, then 20, and eventually 100 words in your new language.
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  7. 7
    Write and speak those 100 words until you master them.
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  8. 8
    Then focus on how to speak them properly, using good grammar,
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You'll see - it's amazing what you can do with just 100 words of a foreign language!

Study Your New Language

  1. 1
    Converse with people who speak your new language.
    There is no better way to quickly learn a language than by speaking it with native speakers. This will help you to grasp the subtleties and innuendos of the spoken language, which may not be as apparent in written lessons.
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  2. 2
    Study with other people.
    Studying the language with other people, such as a sibling, friends, or even people you don't know yet in a classroom setting or club can help keep you motivated. Learning the language with a partner or even in a small group can allow you to get quick feedback on your listening and speaking skills, and many people may be further motivated by the feeling of competition that can develop when you are learning with others.
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  3. 3
    See if you can find audio books in your new language.
    The benefit of an Audiobook is that you can read what is being spoken, giving you an understanding of both reading and speaking. This can significantly boost your ability to learn a new language.
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  4. 4
    Supplement your learning.
    TV shows, music, movies, podcasts, newspapers, books, meetups, pen pals...There are many opportunities widely and freely available for most languages. Listening to music, the news, music, podcasts, and watching TV shows and movies in your chosen language gives you a great opportunity to hear the language as it's spoken by native speakers. This is especially important if you are not able to practice the language with native speakers where you live. Reading books, newspapers, or other texts in the language will help give you a better sense of how the language is structured, as well as help you learn new words and phrases.
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Use the Language Whenever You Can

  1. 1
    Give it your time.
    This is because and Learning a language takes time.
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  2. 2
    Set aside hours at least a few days per week, if not more.
    Spend this time studying and immersing yourself in the language.
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  3. 3
    If you're taking a class, it won't be enough to attend the class and then forget about the language until the next meeting.
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  4. 4
    If you are studying on your own, opening a study book to read a lesson once or twice a week won't be enough either.
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  5. 5
    In order to truly progress, you will need to find a way to use the language as often as you can �" every day, if possible.
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  6. 6
    Practicing speaking the language, either to yourself, your family, your friends, an acquaintance, or a pen pal.
    This will be valuable to you as you develop your skills and abilities.
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  7. 7
    Set aside 10-15 minutes each day in which you are focused solely on your language learning.
    This is better than a one-hour long study session one time per week.
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Visit or Move to Where Your Language is Spoken

This can be difficult, but if you have the means, the best method of learning is total immersion in a community where your chosen language is spoken. While there are many factors you should take into consideration when deciding to permanently relocate, a visit, at a minimum, will give you the best opportunity to practice your new skill with many different native speakers. While travel or relocation may provide you the best opportunity to practice and develop your language skills, the other tips above, and many others as well, can still be used and combined to provide you with a valuable learning experience.

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Additional Tips

  • Get yourself a pocket dictionary. Better yet, get one on your smartphone. If you find that you can't, then make a list of five to ten words each week. Learn to write and speak them, and carry it with you everywhere you go. This way you will never be without your new language, and can practice anywhere.
  • There are many other steps you can take as you begin to learn a new language or improve your skills in a language that you are already learning �" we have listed a the most helpful, but as you consider your study program you may find others that also work for you. Have any of the tips listed in this article worked for you as you have developed skills in a new language? Please let us know if they have, or if you have any questions, in the comments section below!

See other tutorials on languages: Use Question Words in English, Form a Yes or No Question in English From a Statement, Know When to Use the English Indefinite Articles a or an, English Grammar: Properly Use Present Progressive Tense, Say Basic Greetings in Arabic, Form Verbal Sentences in Arabic, Use Definite, Indefinite and Zero Articles in Spanish, Use Future Tense in Spanish, and Use Personal Pronouns in Spanish.

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Categories : Language

Recent edits by: Train Wreck, Lynn, Eng

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