Learning languages has become the norm for modern people. Knowing several foreign languages significantly expands your opportunities in finding new acquaintances, in business, education, and many more areas. It is not surprising that in recent years private language schools, language learning services and the like have been gaining immense popularity. According to research, almost half of the people on the planet know more than one language, which speaks for itself. So what is stopping you from joining this group and discovering a new hobby? Find out in this guest post!
Of course, some people think that learning a language is boring, and some just feel like they can’t do it. Fortunately, there are many strategies for using teaching materials today that will make learning easier and more fun. By competently using new technologies, you will discover a completely new side of learning, one that is not shown at school or university. Here are some language learning strategies that you should definitely pay attention to.
1. Find Like-Minded People
As in many other areas of life, good company makes the process of learning a language much easier and faster. Whichever environment you are in, there are probably many people around you who want to practice and share learning experiences. Your only task is to find them.
The task becomes much easier if you are in school or university. Usually, in such institutions, meetings are regularly held in the format of a conversation club or just informal meetings for language learners. Sometimes you can even find native speakers there, which is an irreplaceable experience in the absence of practice. However, even if you are not a student, the Internet gives you access to the same meetings, in the form of virtual conferences. One way or another, everyone can find something of their own.
2. Use Original Tutorials
Thanks to the internet, you can access original study guides in the language you are interested in. This is a great opportunity to not only improve your knowledge of the language but also an opportunity to better understand the culture of the country.
You should definitely try platforms such as Coursera, which provides the ability to view courses from various universities around the world. If you want to delve deeper into the academic component, you should try the StuDocu service, where you can find abstracts, presentations, and study guides from many universities in the world.
3. Get To Know the Culture
The easiest way to learn a language – and a very fun way! – is to become familiar with the culture of the country you are learning. Just think about how you like to have fun in your free time and do the same again, only using a new language. Watch movies, listen to music, read books, magazines or articles and you will discover many new things.
In addition, this way you will hear or read the speech of native speakers, which is a definite plus. Listening to music in a foreign language helps to better memorize new words and grammatical constructions used. Films provide an opportunity not only to listen to live speeches but also to become familiar with etiquette, gestures, and accent.
If you find it difficult to perceive new material by ear, try connecting subtitles in films or reading the lyrics of the selected song. Back in 2009, a study in the Netherlands showed that subtitling significantly improved the memorization of things like pronunciation, terms, and dialects. Therefore, feel free to add “watching a movie” to your schedule and brag that you are watching films in the original language.
4. Use New Technologies
On the Internet, you can find dozens of great apps designed for language learners. In such applications, you can access a huge database of entertainment and educational content in a foreign language, study guides, games to memorize words, and news in the original language. All this makes an ordinary application on the phone a powerful tool for learning a new language, a tool that you probably find yourself using every day.
A good example of an app, of course, is uTalk! With over 140 languages on the app, you can start speaking in minutes and have fun doing it.
In addition to apps, it would be a good idea to translate through an automated internet service. Of course, machine translation technology is far from ideal, but large digital translators offer a huge database of words, phrases, and whole sentences. Also, some dictionaries define the word of interest, which is an even better way to build up your vocabulary.
In conclusion, even if you consider yourself one of those people who will not be able to learn a language, you should not despair. Try to turn learning from hard labor into a pleasure using creative strategies and you will see that in reality, everything is much easier. Creativity can make learning more flexible, faster, and more fun. Think about how to learn – and keep going – and you’ll definitely succeed.