How To Learn a Foreign Language

How To Learn a Foreign Language

January 27, 2011  |  Language Tips

Learning a new language and want to know how to best tackle it? Nadas problemas, just follow the guidelines set up in this article to get going!
You see, there are a number of things to consider when learning a new language.

1. Establish The Purpose

Why are you learning this particular foreign language and not another one? Are you 100% absolutely sure that you are willing to invest the energy, money and most importantly the time that it takes to learn a new language. If no, please take some time to think things through. It is often easier to change track in the beginning.

2. Be structured

You are by no means obliged to enroll in a language course in able to learn a new language (even though that might be helpful), however it is important that you study in a structured and organized manner. Make sure you are always keen on observing the time that you have allocated to study. Don’t put it off! If you for instance would only study as little as 1 hour per day you would learn the basics of that language within a few weeks. The more time you invest the more you’ll be able to learn.

3. Don’t forget about pronunciation

You can’t claim to have mastered a language until you are speaking in a fashion that is understandable by native speakers of that language. Put some extra time to learn how to pronounce all the letters and make sure you verify that your pronunciation is indeed correct. Remember, you should put some extra energy into pronunciation in the beginning of your journey. Once you’ve grasped how letters and words are pronounced it is fairly easy to guess how a new similarly structured word ought to be pronounced.

4. Grammar is key

There are different theories on how to best learn a language but they all include someway or another the acquiring the internal logic of that language, otherwise knows as its rules of grammar. Studying directly and exclusively from a grammar book may not be the best way to achieve results. Instead make sure you have a solid textbook + a grammar book that is used as a way of reference and not as the primary literature.

5. Compile word lists

Whenever you learn a new word be sure to place it in your word list. The longer time you study the language the larger that list should become. Make sure you rehearse the list every now and then to make sure that you still remember the old words.

6. Track Progress
How can you know if you’re improving if you aren’t tracking your progress? Define explicit goals; when do you want o be able to communicate in that language, how many words do you wish to have learned before the end of the year and so forth. The beauty with goals is that it gives you a frame of reference, an ability to see where you’re doing fine and where there’s need of progress.

7. Immerse yourself into the language

Don’t limit yourself to textbooks. Immerse yourself into the world of that language, if you truly want to learn a new language you need to talk, walk and breath in that language!

About the author

ABDERISAK ADAM is an author, blog writer and a PhD candidate in the institution of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Chalmers University of Technology. He is also the owner and webmaster of www.study-habits.com, a website dedicated to the discussion of study techniques in the context of higher education. Adam is the author of a number of publications including 'The Study Guide PRO'. You can connect with him through Google+, Linkedin or by submitting a form.


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