- 12 Awesome Tips for Learning a New Language
- Learn a new language or improve your skills with a free mobile app
- These are the benefits of learning a second language | World Economic Forum
Just a quick look will give you an idea of the variety of FluentU videos on offer:. FluentU really takes the grunt work out of learning languages, leaving you with nothing but engaging, effective and efficient learning. All you have to do is choose any video that strikes your fancy to get started! Each word in the interactive captions comes with a definition, audio, image, example sentences and more.
Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and easily review words and phrases from the video under Vocab. There are many easy and even fun ways to make the language a part of your regular life. First, make use of every moment you have to learn new words. Take flashcards with you, and study them during your train or bus commute but not while driving, please!
12 Awesome Tips for Learning a New Language
When you start to feel tired, switch from active learning to passive learning by doing what you would normally do in your native language in your target language. There are many online resources to access entertaining audio and video clips. The goal when you start is not to understand everything you hear but to familiarize yourself with the sounds of the language. The easiest way to gain real-life practice is to travel or study abroad. Although such situations can be uncomfortable, they provide enormous motivation to learn quickly.
But even without traveling abroad, you can immerse yourself in real-life situations that give you loads of language practice. Try these options:. Understanding a language is about more than understanding words on a page. As you begin to study a new language, take some time to learn about the culture of the people who speak that language.
Try to regularly test yourself in little ways. You can also play online games or take online tests.
Ask teachers or professionals who know the language what tests they recommend. Playing games is a great way to have fun while learning. Games take advantage of our natural competitiveness and can help us practice language skills even when we feel tired.
Finally, make friends who speak your target language or are interested in learning it. Real-life social events and conversations are what make language learning fun and worthwhile. Additionally, research also suggests that recall-based study methods are most effective. This means that actively trying to recall information is more effective than simply reviewing information; essentially, self-testing will help you more than re-reading your notes will.
The best way to start working on your memory is to build on the techniques that you already know work for you. For example, if associating a word with a picture is effective for you, then you should incorporate images into your vocabulary practice. For example, experiencing a strong emotion has been shown to sharply decrease the ability to memorize unrelated content. Stress and anxiety : Just like other strong emotions, stress and anxiety drastically reduce your ability to make new memories and recall information.
In fact, taking a short break every 30 minutes helps improve focus, and after 2 hours you should consider switching topics. Fatigue : The more tired you are, the less effective your memory is. Chronic sleep deprivation is particularly detrimental, so those late-night study sessions might actually do more harm than good! Multi-tasking is probably the the most common source of distraction. DO : Increase memorization by breaking information into small chunks and studying the chunks one at a time, and by using recall-based strategies like self-testing.
DO : Focus on protecting and improving your memorization skills, and build the memory techniques that work best for you into your study plan. The more vocabulary you know, the more quickly you can grow your language skills. The reason is simple: understanding more words directly translates into more input, producing more words means more output, and more output means more opportunity for feedback. Being able to produce words will help get your meaning across, even if what you say is not perfectly grammatical.
Of course, in order to become fully fluent in your new language, eventually you will need strong grammar skills. But once again, this is something that having a strong, well-developed vocabulary will help with. Since grammar dictates relationships between words and phrases, understanding those smaller components aka vocabulary will help improve your understanding of how those grammatical relationships work.
The library often has great options available for free! Soap operas are also great options especially if you like lots of drama!
Learn a new language or improve your skills with a free mobile app
To get you started, we recommend this site , which has a great list of podcasts for many different languages. Combine your senses : In many cases, you can combine types of input to help create a more learning environment: reading and listening to a text at the same time can help you improve your comprehension. For example, for TV shows and movies, turn on subtitles in the same language. Other options include:.
These are the benefits of learning a second language | World Economic Forum
Having a go-to program that you love will help keep you motivated. A key part of learning a new language involves training your ear. However, even beginning language learners can benefit from something called conversational shadowing. This helps you get used to the rhythm and patterns of the language, as well as learn to identify individual words and phrases from longer chunks of spoken language. Another great strategy involves holding practice conversations, where you create imaginary conversations and rehearse them multiple times.
Both of these strategies are great ways to help you learn and retain new vocabulary, and they also increase your language output in a low-stakes practice setting! Since expanding your vocabulary is so important, identifying new words is a big priority. Basically, you need to collect words: any time you encounter a new word, you want to capture it by recording it in some way.
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The easiest way to do this is in a small pocket notebook, but you could also put a note in your phone, send a text or email to yourself, or even record yourself saying it. The key point is to capture the word as quickly and easily as possible. This is the time when you find the correct spelling, write down the definition, maybe find an example, and so on.
To make this process as effective as possible, you also want to have some sort of system that helps you record and organize your word collection. If you like paper-based methods, then flashcards can be easily organized in index card boxes, though you might want to include some alphabetical divider tabs to help yourself stay organized. However, digital tools are particularly helpful with this kind of information, and there are tons of apps that can help you organize a large vocabulary collection. Finally, you also want to make sure to use your word collection!
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In any case, make sure that you incorporate review along with learning new words. Flashcards are one of the most common tools that language learners use. However, flashcards are not without problems. The following tips describe ways to use flashcards in a strategic and effective manner. The point behind this paradox is that you want to minimize the time and effort you put into the flashcard set-up process.
Similarly, you also want to minimize the volume of information you put on each flashcard. Flashcards should not be pages of notes in a smaller format, especially when using them for vocabulary. Instead, each card should have just enough information on it to test your memory. Another common flashcard issue is that they promote rote memorization, so that information is divorced from context. Only practicing vocabulary in rote drills may end up slowing you down when you need to actually use the words.
A great way to reduce this issue is to change the type of cues used on your flashcard: instead of written words, you might represent the meaning of new words with a picture— or for digital flashcards, you could even use audio files. She could make several different flashcards for this word:.
You can also combine these types to make different hybrid-style flashcards. Additionally, make sure to practice using both sides of the flashcards as cues. You can also avoid the pitfalls of rote memorization by making sure to practice using the words in context. For example, in addition to testing yourself with each card, follow that up by using the word in a sentence. Ultimately, flashcards are just a tool, albeit one that is ideally suited to vocabulary practice. And as with any kind of practice, the more time you put in, better your results will be: flashcards work best when used frequently and consistently.
If you want to get the most out of your flashcards, turn using them into a regular habit. Here are some tips to keep in mind:. Small sets, many reps : To improve memorization when practicing new words, create sets of 7 flashcards or less and practice each set several times before moving on to the next one.
Increase portability : Make sure you take full advantage of the portable nature of flashcards. Even if you use full-sized paper cards, you increase portability by being selective in the number you take with you.