8 Top Tips for Learning a New Language ...

There are all kinds of reasons why you may need some tips for learning a new language. Perhaps you are moving to another country for work or personal reasons, have a foreign partner, or simply wish to learn a language for the intellectual challenge. Plus language skills can give you an advantage in the workplace. Whatever your reasons, here are some handy tips for learning a new language …

1. Persistence

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One of the most useful tips for learning a new language is that you must persist in trying to improve your knowledge. Read, speak and listen to the language as often as you can. Try listening to TV or radio on the internet - it doesn't matter if you don't understand everything, but you will start to get used to the sound of the language.

2. Visit

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Also try to visit a country where your chosen language is spoken. A longer trip will give you the chance to speak and hear the language regularly. This isn't always practical though, but even a short visit will allow you to try out what you've learnt, and start to increase your confidence in speaking.

3. Regular

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If you really want to make progress in language learning, you must practice regularly. It's not going to be very effective if you just pick up a book once in a while, as the chances are that you'll soon forget what you've learned. Try to fit in a short period of study every day.

4. Media

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The media is a great resource for language learning, as the terminology used is very up-to-date. Your local library may carry a selection of foreign-language newspapers and magazines. You can also make use of newspaper websites, and watch foreign-language TV programmes online.

5. Conversation

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If you want to acquire a spoken knowledge of a language, then conversation with a native speaker really is essential. Don't worry about making mistakes! So try to find a language partner, or look for conversation classes. If you can't find anyone in your local area, then you could always locate someone online, and chat to them via Skype.

6. Long-Term

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By far and away the best method of learning a language is immersion. This means spending an extended period in the country, so that you have to speak the language with native speakers every day, and get a lot of practice. If you can take this route, you will find that your knowledge improves at a much faster rate.

7. Method

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Different methods of language learning work for different people, so it helps to identify the most effective style of learning for you. Some like the phonetic method, where you learn the sounds of the words. This doesn't work for me, as I need to know what the word looks like to remember it.

8. Relax

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My final tip is to be relaxed about language learning! Most people are very self-conscious about making mistakes, and are embarrassed if they are corrected. Well, that's how you learn! And yes, we all make really embarrassing mistakes at some point. Don't worry about it - just laugh!

Learning a language is a great way to exercise your brain, and is a skill that everyone from children to great-grandparents can acquire. Language skills look good on your resume, and open up access to foreign culture. Even if you're just going on vacation, it's courteous and practical to learn some basic vocabulary and phrases. What is the language that you would most like to learn, and what's stopping you?

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