BY PAMELA CURRIER
A lot of people think that learning a language has to be a difficult thing, or that you have to be immersed in the culture to really get to know the language. Actually, there are several other ways to learn a new language, and you don’t have to travel to a foreign country or spend several hours a day in study. Today, we are going to look at seven of the most innovative ways to learn a new language.
- Conversation Exchange – They say that the best way to learn a new language is to jump right in and start speaking with others. You can do this through a conversation exchange online. All you need to do is find someone who speaks the language that you want to learn, and who wants to learn your language. It might take a while to find the right language partner, but once you do, you will be able to learn that new language, and possibly make a new friend while you are at it.
- Learn New Words – Another trick to learning a new language is to find 1,000 common words in that language, and commit them to memory. Research shows that by doing this, you can understand up to 90% of the language. Of course, this is vocabulary only, and you don’t actually get to practice the words in conversation.
- Watch Movies – If you have avoided watching foreign films with subtitles, now is the time to stop avoiding and start watching. This is a great way to learn a language, because you will be able to read in English what the actors are saying in any language. Obviously, you will need to look for films that are made in the language that you wish to learn.
- Get New Tech – If you are going to study a new language online, you need a good, up-to-date computer that is going to let you use all of the functions of the language website. If yours doesn’t have all of the latest features, you can sell used laptop and use the money towards a new one that is going to make learning a lot easier. Your old laptop will be refurbished, and sold to someone who needs it but also can’t afford something brand new.
- Study before Bedtime – Research shows that when you study anything just before going to bed, you are going to be able to retain it better than if you study at other hours in the day. Information taken in before sleeping goes into the brain’s long-term memory storage, and you will remember things easier, and longer. This technique goes hand in hand with the next one we are going to discuss.
- Spaced Repetition – The more you do something, the more you are going to remember it. Using spaced repetition can help. Review words and phrases you have learned at spaced intervals of your choosing, such as one word a day, and then going over it again the next day. After a while, you will be able to remember the words and phrases for longer periods of time until you eventually have them totally committed to memory.
- Concentrate on Content – Rather than worrying about studying the language, concentrate on the content. If you are interested in the content, it is going to make learning the language a lot easier. Read online articles, watch videos, listen to podcasts, etc. that are created in the language that you wish to learn, and it won’t be long before you are able to understand everything that is being said, and be able to repeat it in that language.
Pamela Currier helps recent grads land the jobs of their dreams, she is a career coach and educator.