Monday, April 22, 2013

Argh! I Give Up! New Language Learning Tips

To learn and not to do is really not to learn....
To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know. (Photo credit: planeta)
by Mike Babineau

1. Have a goal

First and foremost make sure that you understand why you want to learn this language.

Is it because of a future trip? Is it because you want to make conversation with foreign friends? Is it for work?

Define your goal as much as you can, for example To be able to have basic conversations on my next year's trip to Mexico.

2. Different people, different styles

No two persons are the same. Some people can hit the books and study for 4 hours straight, some people can't and that's fine. Understand your learning style. Have a quick 15 minutes to study? Use it, in the end it all adds up. It's the amount of steps that counts for making it to your goal. Also keep in mind that a slow learner isn't necessarily a poor learner.

3. Less is more; learn only what you need

Unless you're at an advanced level, don't bother learning tenses or words you will never or almost never have to use. Picture yourself having a conversation in this new language you're studying, are you talking about sports? About business? Those groups of words are the ones you should be focusing on first. Why waste your time learning vocabulary related to politics if your purpose is to be able to communicate with a local bushman on your next jungle expedition?

4. It's not always going to be easy

Resistance isn't always a bad thing; it means that you're broadening your knowledge. Don't be afraid to venture into territory that you're less comfortable with. Whether it is with the pronunciation, with the grammar or with the tenses. Think of it like this, a bodybuilder would never gain muscle mass if he would only train with weights he is comfortable with. A soccer player who has great shooting skills would never improve his game if he wouldn't also practice his defensive skills.

5. Monitor your progress

Start a progress log, this will be helpful when you get frustrated and feel like you're not making any headway. It will help you visually see how much you have really learned. Keep your logs simple, write down the date and entries such as: learned 10 new words, can finally sing along to my favorite song, completed page 34 of my workbook and so on.

6. Make it fun, stay motivated

Let's be honest with ourselves, if we're doing something that's boring we have a hard time keeping our motivation up. Watch a movie with subtitles. Read a magazine of your interest then look up the words that you don't understand. Listen to a song while reading its lyrics. Love to cook? Look online for authentic recipes written in their native language, translate them, have fun with your learning.

7. And finally, practice

No matter at what level you're at, practicing is the key to reaching fluency. Don't be afraid to make mistakes, mistakes are how we learn and improve. The more you practice, the faster you will improve.

Learning Spanish? Check out my Facebook page.

Article Source:!-I-Give-Up!-New-Language-Learning-Tips&id=7628038

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