If you’re interested in learning a foreign language, we’ve compiled some of the best tips for getting started and staying motivated. We cover everything from which language to focus on and what materials are best for beginners to how you can find opportunities to practice your new skills. And if you’re looking for an extra little bit of help, don’t forget that there is now the potential to find a tutor online!
No matter what your goal is – whether it’s talking with friends or traveling abroad – this post will have something helpful for everyone.
The most important thing is that you begin learning a foreign language.
Once you have a goal in mind (whether it’s speaking with friends or visiting another country), you should start taking your language skills seriously. That means choosing something that is interesting to you and makes sense for your life.
If it does, then remember, nothing else matters if you can’t speak the language! (Also, we should warn you that this post will mostly focus on the languages spoken in Western Europe and North America.)
Learning a new language can be a bit intimidating, even if you have a great reason for doing it! We hope that this post will give you some helpful tips and ideas for what you should do next (and that we can give some credit where credit is due).
So without further ado, let’s get started! Here are 7 steps for new learners:
1. Talk to people
As you start learning a new language, it will be helpful to ask a lot of questions. Why? Because when you can’t understand what someone is saying, this probably means they are having difficulty understanding you! And when that happens, the best thing you can do is step back and ask them how they are doing.
And then listen to what they have to say. It isn’t necessary for you – or anyone – to hear every word spoken, but if after a conversation you feel like there’s something important that needs clarification or a new way of looking at things, it might be good to ask your instructor (or another native speaker) about it. After all, you can’t learn without talking to other people.
You can even ask your teacher or friends to speak slowly if you aren’t used to understanding very much in your new language right away. It’s often helpful if you can speak with them in the language that they are most comfortable with.
2. Watch foreign films and television
Why? Because this will give you a better understanding of how your language sounds when it’s spoken by natives. Plus, you can see whether certain words are used more often than others, which will help you to understand new vocabulary.
3. Read foreign books (or even comics)
Why? Because reading gives you the chance to build confidence in your language skills. Plus, it’s great practice for writing!
4. Study your target language on the internet
Why? Because you can watch videos of native speakers talking about everyday topics and you can also find many instructional websites for new learners that will help you to improve!
5. Organize and memorize new vocabulary
Why? Because a lot of the time, when we learn new vocabulary, we think about how it sounds in our language. This is a good thing – because it’s mostly dictated by how it sounds. But what if there were easier ways to memorize new words?
6. Use your own words
Why? Because it’s always more fun than knowing those boring translations!
7. Learn how to pronounce new words correctly
Why? Because it’s always good to be aware of how the sounds in a language are pronounced. You’ll get much further if you can pronounce both simple and complicated words correctly.
Remember, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at learning a foreign language!