Learning a foreign language is exciting. It is like going through a door into another universe. You are learning and taking note of something that has an even greater meaning somewhere else in the world, and your hope will be to unlock a little bit of that meaning by learning the language of that place.
If you go away to another country and can’t speak the language of said place, it is all fine. You will end up getting by because you can use your hands and other forms of language, but engaging in learning to speak properly in a vocabulary other than your own is really a massive advantage.
1. Be ready to write things down
A great way to make sure you are always on top of learning is to keep a notebook handy. This can be for all sorts of reasons, but best of all this will help you document what you know, what you forget and what you may need a little more help with.
If you need to create a properly formatted citation for a resource you want to reference at a later time, check out Cite It In for how to do that. The amount of times you will be out in a city or outside of your learning environment and something will pop into your mind that you realize you do not quite know well enough. With a pad and pen to hand, that is fine. Jot these thoughts down and come back to them a little later. Simple.
2. If you do not use it, you will lose it
The trick with this is to have yourself integrate the learning of a new thing – in this case, a new language – into your daily life so that you are using this to complement your learning in a class or at home. Extensive lessons from Duolingo can help keep your language skills fresh and in your mind – just choose your plan, so you can access it at any time.
Give yourself a quick test on how fast you are able to type in your new language by timing your speed at Easy Word Count. It is not use saving learning for merely the few hours a week you have dedicated to it, you need it to be muscle memory and quick off the tongue, and the best way to do this is to include it whenever you can.
3. Near, far, wherever you are
Taking on another language to learn is tough, though. If you are doing so from the comfort of another country, it can often be difficult to keep going or learn the lingo quickly. The best way, after all, is to learn with yourself ingrained in the culture to pick up on every part of the language.
If it gets a little too overwhelming, remember that you are always able to get expert help at Boom Essays or from the Ph.D. educated members of UKWritings. Learning the language in that same country can still throw up its own little problems – namely, finding the ability and the time to take stock and take in all of the thoughts and processes around learning the language.
When in doubt, though, you can always call on the experts at Australian Help to give you a hand with making sure you are understanding and writing things down properly. It is a tough thing to do. It can seem manic and frantic and hard work. When you move to another country, language is one of many new things.
4. Change some settings
Bring the language you are learning into smaller, text-based parts of your life. Phones and laptop screens are a massive part of people’s lives now. But if you are one of these people, you can allow yourself a little bit more language help by spending some time with these electronics in your chosen language’s mode.
This will help you become familiar with that language and practice reading it too. When we are learning to speak English as youngsters, reading is a primary method of practice. And learning a foreign language when you are older should follow a similar path.
5. Find a way to fit it into your life
Take advantage of time when you can multitask. You could, for example, spend two hours a day commuting to work. Maybe you don’t, maybe you only spend 20 minutes doing so.
But, even in just 10 minutes a day, Busuu can help you get an understanding of a new language. Either way, there is time you are wasting merely getting yourself to your job.
Use this time to put headphones in and listen to tapes, audio book and clips of your chosen language to revise and perfect your skills.You can even take your language learning on the go with HelloTalk, which puts you in touch with native speakers, making it easier to learn directly.
We spend so much time in our day doing one thing when we could actually be filling our time with a few. Cleaning and cooking? Pop on a tutorial on your laptop and double up the time perfectly.
The less time you spend consciously learning, the more knowledge you will end up remembering. You need this information going into your long-term memory, so learning this subconsciously is best.
Go ahead, give some of these tips a try. And watch them transform your learning experience.