Maybe you need to learn a language because you’re going to teach in a new community or travel, but the demand for effort is putting you off. One of the best ways to learn a new language fast is to expose yourself to it.
Whether it is plain conversing with your neighbor or dining at a French restaurant, you can make learning fun and interesting. The bottom line is even if you don’t spend full time in language learning, you can still pick up and learn to speak a new lingo if you really want to.
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Start with the Basic
Just the thought of learning a new language can be overwhelming. But it makes a lot of sense when you incorporate goals into it. Why would you like to learn, what are your plans to achieve it, and how much time and effort are you willing to spend on such a goal?
Here are a few guidelines to keep you on track:
1) Lay specific objectives and concentrate on measurable results.
You want to learn a new language but you don’t want to force yourself into studying too much to the extent that you’re losing balance. For instance, you want to study 10 basic words and then how to use them in sentences. This way, it is commensurate how far your brain can adapt rather than collecting 20 words and sentences that you find difficult to manage.
2) Challenge yourself just enough so as not to lose the excitement.
More often than not, pushing your limits can be distressing. The result? You get tired and miss the goal. While goal-setting sets your focus to work harder, forcing yourself into something too difficult is a different story.
For example, setting the 10 basic words that you have learned using into sentences inspires you to try more. The more you try and associate new words, the more you learn how to compose and speak longer sentences. In no time, you become adept at speaking the new language.
3) Go for short-term goals.
When you think of a target on a short-term span, it sounds achievable, available, and within every means. Therefore it helps you pick out what you want to achieve for today, within the week, this month, or the next 2 months.
Since a short-term goal is easier to accomplish, you are free to break down all of your plans into smaller details and with the way you want them. The smaller goals for each week or month let you create a harmonious momentum. It builds confidence that keeps you motivated and on track.
The Best Ways to Learn a New Language Fast
1) Begin Learning the Right Words
Learning a language “from scratch” sounds overwhelming. Imagine the vast amount of words you need to familiarize yourself with. Do you know of someone who quit studying a new language before even getting familiar with it? Well, there are a lot of them and the reason is they get confused with the many words.
So which words are the right ones then? The answer is those that are used a lot:
- How are you?
- What is your name?
- My name is ________.
- Thank you.
- What time is it?
- Excuse me.
- I am sorry.
- I speak a little of your language.
- Can you please repeat that?
- I need help.
- Where is this located?
- How can I get there?
Wow! See? There are a lot of common words that are normally used in daily life. Learning and practicing these words and phrases first will help you get a feel of the language you want to master. You’ll be able to create new sentences and phrases with the help of these base terms.
2) Converse with Students and Parents
If you have students speaking in their native tongue, create a conversation and even take notes on the words they commonly use. The way they say it, their expression, and the context can be interesting enough for you to do to same.
To speak French, for instance, you need to understand the melody of the French language. In mimicking students who speak French, there are high chances that you can filter French words through them. As you listen to someone speak French, you also are translating what you hear. This is how communication and understanding generally stand when it comes to learning a new tongue.
The more you try to build correspondence and create messages both offline and online, the more there is speaking in the connection. All these open opportunities to compose your own speech. The moment you feel belonged, you will thrive to learn and eventually speak the language with confidence.
3) Expose Yourself to Foreign Friends
Can you learn a new language from a friend? Of course! Having a native speaker to talk to is a big bonus if you want to learn a language. When you’re with friends who speak their native tongue you can pay attention, listen, respond, ask, and express freely.
Try jotting down words, say them repeatedly, and practice speaking with your friends. Every one of you can even exchange notes and write them on each other’s notebooks. Enjoy messaging each other or exchange video messages in your target language. The more you write and speak each other’s language, the faster it will become second nature to you.
One key to finding foreign friends is that you need to be connecting with people you enjoy company with. You know what your standards in friends are, so use those conditions to meet the people you’ll like in your target language.
4) Watch a Movie or TV Shows
Movies are engaging. Other than the story that captures your whole attention is the privilege of improving language comprehension. Since watching movies is a mentally soothing activity, it becomes easier to learn the actual vocabulary and sounds of the language.
Listening to speech exchanges has a special way of connecting words with body language. Watch your favorite film with subtitles. As you go along, the facial expressions and gestures support the verbal message that provides a focus of attention.
Although you’ll have to address a big aspect of grammar, watching those movies will have you familiar with the language you want to learn. Foreign movies with English subtitles allow you to tune in to the language a bit. You will be able to grasp interesting phrases while glancing at the subtitles to know what it means.
Just make sure to pick a film you love with a plot that you can follow. Finding actors and actresses you love surely will have you enjoying the film. When you soak yourself into the movie, there will build a strong determination to learn the language and somehow connect yourself with the story and your favorite characters.
5) Listen to Foreign Language Radio Programs
The more time you spend listening to your target language, the more you increase your exposure to the new tongue. Choose a radio program you enjoy. Hearing the accent regularly will make you feel more comfortable recognizing and mimicking common sounds. Even commercials can be fun to follow through.
After the program, you should have a bunch of new terms and context learned. You will most likely be left with a strong desire to keep listening and following. Of course, you will not mind the hours of study and practice just to immerse yourself in your target language. It can even influence you the yearn to meet the people who speak it, join their causes, volunteer, and connect.
One way to enjoy a radio program is the network or station’s anchor or host with an attractive voice. Not only you’ll learn but the attractive voice will keep you looking forward to another day. The outcome is it adds a spark of interest to your learning. Believe me, you’ll love any foreign AM/FM radio programs simply because of their hosts’ captivating voices!
6) Read Books with Foreign Language
Reading is the best way to start learning a new language. Even though the new terms you encounter sound difficult, it helps you relate to the culture of the language you are focused on. As it turns out, you develop the skills to understand through the impact of their meaning, the action, or the setting that each of the terms or phrases denotes.
Reading books, magazines, or newspapers with some foreign terms also makes you more comfortable with grammatical rules. Just like reading in English or your own native language, it trains you to practice the language in your mind and in the long run enables you to express your own thoughts, and finally use it in your own speech.
let’s say you have read a great book in English. The fact that you already know the whole story will help you extensively to pick up context clues and learn new vocabulary and grammatical constructions. For example, if you’ve already read the popular The Seven Husbands, it might have a Spanish or Mandarin version that you want to try reading.
7) Practice Sentences Every Day
Just like learning dance steps, only in practicing the new language that learning follows. It can be a few words here now and then. Of course, you don’t have to make it a burden every day but simply incorporate “practice time” into your system.
Play a game during a coffee break, flick a foreign dictionary, review your notes, run through some flashcards, or read a magazine. I know of teachers who listen to a podcast during their lunch break. Some also create a short story using descriptive words.
Your environment is full of action words. When you practice a new word, sentence, or phrase regularly, you also build associations with your environment. It becomes a habit to learn as much as you can every time you have the time. Did you know that 15 minutes a day is enough for you to be able to speak straight sentences in a month?
Lesser words mean quality exercise. Since lesser is more, practicing sentences every day becomes easier. That’s a lot better than rehearsing 20 phrases in a weekend. What do you think?
8) Integrate Action Words into Your Activities
What is interesting here is that you easily can remember new terms. Why? Because it is connected to your daily routine. If you’re able to integrate language learning into your meals, chores, work, and hobbies; instead of trying to set aside “extra” time for it, studying a new language becomes more normal and easy.
For example, greet yourself in the new language as soon as you wake up. Instruct yourself, talk to yourself, and merge the words into the things you do. Appreciate the day using the new language. You can even talk to everyone at home in a new tongue. Who knows, they will find it fun and join you in learning the language. This way, remembering makes it easy and you bring fun and excitement to the table every day.
9) Try Researching Online
Speaking of online research, there is a fabulous opportunity to find and learn a new language for free. You can research strategies and methods that are typically used while speaking. Techniques like self-reinforcement help learners gain better control over their emotions, attributes, and motivations related to language learning.
At least you’ll be getting a lot of information about the language you want to learn. Videos are highly accessible. Find the advice in distinguishing the sounds. It’s much easier to learn a few words contextually than from memorizing words only. The more you find words within the context, the more you can expound it, the more that it’s easier to remember.
10) Get Online Courses
Pursue a crash course, or any course you find suitable. Some say it’s not actually necessary, but if you dig deeper, language courses are opportunities. If you live in a big city, there’s a good chance that there are different choices and classes you can choose from. Do you like it online? The better.
Babbel, Mondly, FluentU, Duolingo, are among the best online language courses you’ll find online. I recommend that you check each of these or you can do search the web for more courses you like.
To Sum It Up
Integrating language learning into your daily life is like immersing yourself in the culture. You want to learn a new language so make it a part of your life. Don’t be afraid to try any of the best ways to learn a new language fast.
You’re not alone. There are thousands of people who dreamed of learning a new language and they have done this at one stage or another. So you too can make it. Expose yourself to every possibility, try new words now and then, practice speaking, and build your confidence.
It’s a great feeling to realize you are already speaking to native speakers. You may not perfect it but the sense that you can understand and relate to them means you are successful!