In the past blog posts I have been focusing mainly in the science behind learning which is important if we are serious about acquiring a new skill.
Today I thought I should give you a few practical tips that can help you optimise your experience at learning a new language.
1.- Create the habit of studying every day.
Three or four short intervals of five to ten minutes will guaranty better results and will prevent you from abandoning your language learning.
2.- Never go on a language spree.
This is closely related to number 1. Imagine you were unable to learn one day. The following day you try to cram two days activity in one, or worse you try to study one week's worth at the week-end.
Two things can easily happen with this practice:
First, your learning ability will stall.You will be unable to retain as much information as when you study in "little bites". Second, you will quickly be overwhelmed, and the probability of abandoning your journey is much higher.
3.- Practice makes perfect
Practice, practice, practice. I cannot stress it enough.
* Talk to yourself in your target language throughout the day ( I do it all the time,and no, I am not insane). Better still, find a language buddy with whom to practise.
* Make videos of yourself talking about different topics and upload them on Social Media.
* Record the new vocabulary you learned the night before, and listen to it in the morning either on your way to work or at lunch break.
Go back regularly to previous lessons and vocabulary. You will be surprised how many of these you did not remember.
Make it one of your daily activities to listen to something in your target language. Depending on the level you're at, it can be a song, a YouTube video, a film with subtitles and so on. This type of exercise allows you to get used to the different sounds and phonemes of your new language and it will help you improve your pronunciation as well.
6.- Get out of your comfort zone
When travelling do not be afraid to engage in conversations with the locals. They expect you to make some mistakes as they would make when expressing themselves in your tongue; but be reassured that they will be grateful you took your time to learn their language.
7.- Be open
Learn the way a child does it. Once again when abroad, listen to the conversations between the locals, the way they address each other, the expressions they use, the inflection of their voices, and try to mimic these.
I truly hope these 7 tips help you confidently sail away fast in your language learning journey. Most importantly remember to always have fun doing it.