So you’ve decided to embark on the language learning journey, have you? Be prepared, you’ve got a long road ahead of you, but with the right amount of passion and dedication, it will be a worthwhile one. If you’re new to language learning, you may need a few tips on where to start. Have no fear, some rules to live by for language learners is here.
Do Your Research
In order to learn a language, you need to figure out where your learning materials will come from. Materials vary greatly from language to language, so it’s important to do your research. Google online practices, video lessons, and podcasts for your language and check out articles written about that language on this site for more specific recommendations.
There are also sites that are valuable for learners of a variety of languages. 101 Languages gives language basics, including vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation and links to TV, radio, and news sites in that language so you can get practice using real-life material, Digital Dialects hosts online exercises perfect for testing how your language learning has been going, and LRNGO provides platform for language exchange, where you can connect with users in your own backyard or anywhere in the world and learn from one another for free. You can also do some research on personal tutors or classes near you.
Now that you have your resources all in a row, it’s time to start committing your time to your studies. Make a schedule and dedicate a select amount of time each day or every other day to study and practice. Don’t save all of your learning for once or twice a week, as you need consistent practice in order for your learning to stick.
Practice, it Makes Perfect
You can’t get all of you knowledge from a textbook, you have to branch out and use your newfound language abilities in the real world. Use worksheets and online exercises to practice on your own, try following along with podcasts or movies to see how much you comprehend, and find a conversation and writing partner so that you can get human feedback on your progress.
As you go through the practicing process, don’t be afraid to mess up now and then, or occasionally, or often. Mistakes happen, and they are an integral part of the learning process. Don’t be embarrassed, you’re learning and if you keep on trying with your best effort, then people will understand. When you make mistakes, you learn, so embrace them instead of cringing at them.
With these tips in mind, you are on your way to the rewarding journey of learning a language. Keep your head up high and remind yourself of why this is important to you, so even through the rough patches, you’ll succeed.
Photo Credit: MC Quin