As the new year is almost upon us, you may want to improve or pick up a new skill and what better skill to have than speaking a foreign language?
We know that learning a foreign language can seem like a stressful task; however, all you need are the right tools, habits and attitude. Here are 5 tips to make your language-learning journey easier:
Set language goals. Having specific goals can help us determine the best way to achieve success. Ask yourself questions like:
“Why am I learning this language?”
“What do I want to achieve?”
“By when do I want to achieve this?”
Asking these questions can help you stay on track and achieve your goal of having a basic conversation with a stranger, for example. When planning your language-learning journey, you should set some short- medium- and long-term goals which will help to keep you motivated and on the path to your desired level of fluency.
Practise speaking. Sometimes when just starting out, you may feel intimidated to speak in front of others; however, a crucial part of language learning is being able to communicate effectively. Speaking with natives is an excellent way to improve your language skills. In addition, speaking to yourself, practicing vocabulary out loud and recording yourself speaking can help you to gain confidence and improve your oral proficiency, as well as your listening abilities.
Consume media in foreign languages. Consuming media in foreign languages, whether it be music, books, videos, TV shows or movies is an integral part of language learning. By consuming various media, you are able to gather a vast amount of information about a language and culture such as understanding and picking up on various accents, gestures, and cultural references, which all contribute to successful communication and functioning in a language and culture.
Take a class or work with a tutor. There are many ways to learn a language. Some people prefer to try and learn by themselves and others may prefer to learn from someone. Taking a language course and working with a tutor is an excellent method and is highly recommended. A tutor is able to guide and work with you in achieving your desired goals and fluency. The tutor is also readily available to answer any questions or assist with something you may not understand, which may not always be the case when learning on your own. Working with a tutor is also an excellent way to improve your oral proficiency as they are able to take the time to assess where you may need some help, as well as correct and encourage you along the way.
Be patient with yourself. Language learning never ends and every day you learn something new. The key to successful language acquisition is to be patient with yourself and to keep going. When you feel dejected or as if you are not making any progress, ask yourself this question: “Do I know every word and its meaning in my mother tongue?” Chances are you may not and so you must give yourself grace. Remember that Rome was not built in a day, however, its lasting beauty is splendid.
As Charlemagne once said, “To have another language is to possess another soul.” Speaking a foreign language can open so many doors and opportunities and there is a whole other world to explore and bask in.
We at RMC are ready to help you start or continue this exciting and rewarding journey. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and let us know in the comments below if you have learned a language and what practice was most beneficial for you.