Beginner Tips for Learning a Second or Foreign Language

Knowing more than one language is very useful for many reasons. Maybe you love traveling to different parts of the world, or maybe your job requires you to know another language. Either way, being able to converse with people from all around the world is a valuable skill that can greatly improve your personal or professional life. While learning new languages can be fun and very rewarding, it can also be very difficult. However, there are ways to make learning a new language much easier. Here are some helpful beginner tips for learning a second or foreign language:

Know Why You’re Learning the Language

Having a good reason to learn a new language is a great place to start. Chances are, if you have a good reason, you’ll stay motivated. Maybe you would like to get to know someone using a different language, or knowing a second language would help with a promotion at work–whatever it is, make sure you know why you’re learning the language.

Get a Partner

Having a partner to hold you accountable to learning a new language is important.  Plus, learning a new language by yourself can be a little dull at times. When you have a partner, it’s easier to stay on track and make consistent progress. 

Try Talking to Yourself

You don’t always have someone to speak to, and that’s fine. Instead, try talking to yourself to work on conversational skills. Talking to yourself can keep words and phrases fresh in your mind. It can give you a chance to nail down your accent, as well as boost your confidence.

Try It Out

In order to stay motivated to learning a new language, it’s important that the learning process itself is relevant. If you simply read textbooks all day, chances are you’re not getting as much time to actually apply what you’ve learned. The same goes with learning a new language. If you’re learning a new language to be able to use it, then go out there and use it. Strike some simple conversations with others who know the language; they may even be able to give you some pointers!

Have Fun

It is important to have fun when learning a new language.  Find a way that makes using that language fun for you.  Try writing a poem or drawing a comic strip, or if you’re feeling a little braver, find a stranger and start up a conversation.  Just remember to have fun!

Be a Child

This means learn like a child. Children are better learners than adults because of certain traits, such as a lack of self-consciousness, and the willingness to make mistakes. As an adult learning a new language, it is important to be able to be okay with making mistakes. Being okay with making mistakes is going to give you the freedom to learn a new language.

Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Making mistakes means that you may get a little embarrassed. While learning a new language can be embarrassing, if you want to learn the language, you won’t be able to avoid being embarrassed. So it’s best to get over the fear of saying words incorrectly around native speakers. That’s how you learn!

Listen Before You Speak

Expose and familiarize yourself to a new language simply by listening to it.  After you have developed an ear for the language, it’ll be a lot easier to start speaking it.

Watch the Talkers

To get yourself warmed up to a different language, watch and imitate a native speaker pronouncing words, either in person or on television.

Just Dive In, Already!

No matter how you decide to learn the language, the most important tip to remember is to just dive in. Practice the new language every single day.  Learn a new phrase, and try to use it as many times as you can throughout the day.  Put what you’re learning into practice.

It’s easy to lose motivation when learning a new language; after all, learning a new language isn’t easy! That’s why it’s important to remind yourself why you’re learning the language, and practice, practice, practice!

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