Learning another language is an extremely challenging task for most people. It is estimated that less than five percent of people who voluntarily choose to learn another language end up with a moderate level of fluency after a few years of trying. An even smaller percentage of these people end up feeling proficient in that language.These facts make it extremely discouraging for those that truly want to be able to speak a new language, and certainly many people give up before they take their first class just because they believe it’s so unlikely that they’ll succeed.That’s very unfortunate, especially considering most people don’t know some very simple and utterly helpful tips that can help them to succeed. Without the solid foundation for learning another language that will be discussed in this article, you’ll be destined to fail. However, if you go into this task armed with the knowledge that can help you to create the right mind-set, you’ll be much more effective in your studies.
Know How to Motivate Yourself
Why do you want to learn this foreign language? Do you want to travel to a foreign country, or perhaps even live there for a few months out of every year? Certainly, that would be a great reason to learn the language as you may have difficulty with the most basic tasks if you can’t read and speak that country’s language. Perhaps instead you have married someone who is from another country, and you want to be able to communicate in that language, or maybe you wish to volunteer in another country and need to speak the language in order to help. All of these are great reasons to learn the language and using the power of positive visualisation, you should be able to motivate yourself when you’re struggling to sit down and learn.
However, if you go into this without having a good reason, you’re not likely to stick with it. Even if you’re just learning because you want to broaden your general knowledge of the world, you should still try to find something noble in your pursuit. Even if others view this passion as being vain, you should try to find within yourself some reason that makes this a worthwhile goal. You need to be able to come back to that thought whenever you are discouraged, and visualise yourself once you are able to speak that language. Ask yourself how speaking this language will allow you to help others, or how it will enrich your own life. This is a crucial step that is usually missed.
Do it With a Friend
Almost nothing would ever be accomplished without having partnerships and friendships. Having someone with you can be a powerful motivating force. For one, it will generally prevent you from giving up because you don’t want others to view you as a failure. Secondly, this partner can provide you with the day-to-day motivation to do the work that’s necessary to succeed in your pursuit. You can bring competitive aspects into the learning practice which will also help to motivate you. In addition, your friend is likely to be better at some aspects of this than you are, and you will also have your own strengths. This will help the both of you to learn since you will be able to learn from each other, and not just your instructor or your books. Whether you’re learning a language or getting into shape, the value of a partner simply can’t be understated.
Practice Makes Perfect
Throughout this pursuit, you’re likely to get caught up in textbooks that can make the subject dry and boring. This will not help you to reach your goal, but will discourage and confuse you. What you really need is a way to at least attempt to communicate in this language while you’re learning. This will give you the chance to actually apply what you’re learning, which is going to do a lot to help you to memorise words, phrases, and grammatical concepts. For example, in corsi di lingua inglese, instructors will work with students on actual conversations, pushing students outside of their comfort zone so that they can actually begin to understand the concepts. You’ll want to attend live or online classes so that you have opportunities to speak the language and hear it spoken dynamically. If you have any friends that speak the language, try to have conversations with them. Be sure to allow them to correct you, and do your part by accepting their corrections without being offended. In time, you will begin to memorise what you’re being taught.
There’s no way around it; hard work is the only way to learn something as complex as another language. You have to commit early on to work hard at this every single day. If you have a question, ask someone and write down the answer. If you can’t understand a particular rule, don’t give up, but continue to work at it until you do understand. In addition, this will require that you spend as much time as possible working on your language skills. Some recommend spending at least twenty minutes a day while others recommend an hour. Everyone agrees, however, that practicing each and every day is necessary. The more time you can devote to practicing, the better, but be careful not to burn yourself out.
Write Things Down
One of the best ways to memorise anything is to write it down. When in a classroom, experts agree that retention of the material dramatically increases if you write the information down. Most likely, you won’t ever review those notes again, but the act of writing the information down sends it down into your mind, making it a lot harder to forget. There are many reasons for this, so don’t ignore this crucial opportunity, and start the habit as early as possible. To keep yourself on track, it may also help you to keep a journal so that you can record your progress.