Learning a new language can be tough. Fortunately, following these three tips will make your task a lot easier!
As a polyglot, one of my top tips for learning a new language is to set a goal. Beginning to study a new language is always exciting, but after the initial excitement starts to fade, it can be hard to stick with it. Ask yourself why do you want to learn that specific language? What do you want to get out of it? Be it to travel, or to be able to read primary sources for a research project, or to apply for a scholarship, or perhaps because you’ve just moved to a new country and you need to communicate in the local language. Motivation is key. Once you set a goal, you’re more likely to stick with your learning.
At which point comes tip number two: be consistent! Language learning can be tricky if you are inconsistent – of those 100 new words you learnt in a day when you felt particularly productive, your brain will only remember 15 or less a few days later, if you don’t practice every day! The solution? If you want to avoid this desperate learning roller coaster, try and spend some time each day on language learning. 15 minutes of practice every day could actually lead to better results than 3 hours a week!
Last but not least, one of the best methods to learn a new language is through a full immersion into the target language and culture. Studying grammar and vocabulary is fine, but try to expose yourself to the language you are learning as much as you can, including watching dramas, movies, reading books or magazines, and if you are lucky enough to live in a country where the language you are learning is the native language, try go out in a cafe or a supermarket, and listen to people’s conversations. Do not shut your brain down just because it isn’t your native language, or because you think your level of proficiency is still too low to interact with native speakers. There will always be one or two words your ear is able to catch, and this will build up your confidence for future usage!