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Tips to learn a foreign language

May 20, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 12   Category: Others  Earning $1.00   Views: 1558

If you are enthusiastic about learning a new language then here are few tips for you.


Tips to learn a foreign language

With the shrinkage of world and expansion of globalization there is a need for people to learn new languages. In today’s rapidly evolving world where the communication technology has proliferated and business sector has boomed and dissolved the borders there is an urgent need for people to be able to communicate with each other. In old times scholars used to travel thousands of miles to different countries to learn the language. These days it is not required however people still do such travelling. With the increasing number of student exchange programs and interaction among people from different cultures and backgrounds it is absolute necessary to learn the foreign language. It is not difficult to learn a new language if the person is really determined to learn it. I have prepared a small list of tips which I used when I was learning German. I hope these tips will prove helpful to the readers and they will benefit from it.

1. Choose the language:

It is very important to decide on which language you want to learn. In my case it was German because I am living here and have to deal with this language in the day to day life. Find out your reason and chose the language accordingly. Business people can learn a language depending upon the country they do business with. Students can decide upon a language depending upon which country they have chosen for their higher studies. Some people learn languages so that they can get a good job. They should decide upon the language based on the employers demand. Some people learn language as a hobby. They can decide upon the language considering its usefulness and level of difficulty, as every language presents new and different challenges in front of us.

2. Motivation

Motivation is the key word. If you are really determined to learn the language you have chosen then there is no stopping to it. Do not let the difficulties and challenges break your heart. Think about the reason why you were at first place interested in learning this language and when you have your answer then I am sure you will go ahead with double enthusiasm.

3. Take responsibility of your own learning

Make a schedule and follow it. Try to take time out from your daily activities and set it aside for your language learning goal. Take responsibility of your learning and try to find out reading material, exercises, audio cassettes and books which can help you. Use every free time available for example one can play his/her language CD while driving to work or cooking or jogging. It is better to take out at least 10 minutes every day for learning than to do an intensive language class once a week.

4. Intensive listening and reading

Practice makes a man perfect. This is true and that is why we have to practice our language. Daily reading of articles, books and news help us to grasp the style of the language and develop a feeling for it. It also exposes us to new words and phrases and thus helps us in increasing our word power. Start with simple texts, books and children stories rather than straight away trying to read the work of a Nobel laureate. To develop an ear for the language it is suggested to listen to the programs broadcasted or to watch films or listen to the music. This will help us to understand the usage of the language and also the tone in which it should be used.

5. Pronunciation

It is very important to use the language and pronounce the words properly. Try to listen to the native language programs and watch films as it will give an idea about the pronunciation of the words. Sometimes there are two words which sound very similar but have completely different meanings. In such situations it becomes extremely important to say the word correctly to avoid any misunderstanding. Always try to improve your pronunciation because the better you can speak the better you will be understood.

6. Vocabulary and dictionary

To be able to use the language it is very important to know the words and their meanings used in that language. Extensive and intensive reading and listening exercises can help you improve your vocabulary. Always underline the new and difficult words, look them up in your dictionary and then once you know the meaning try to use the words and formulate your own sentences. A good dictionary always explains the meaning of the word and then provides sentence examples to understand the usage of the word.

7. Grammar

Do not let grammar scare you. Of course it is important to know grammar to understand the structure of the language and then to be able to use it but it is not absolutely necessary to remember all the rules to understand and use the language. Once you know how to arrange the right words in the right order then you should be understood even if the sentence is not grammatically correct. Extensive reading will help you develop a feel for the language and once you have the feeling and the vocabulary you can speak the language fluently without worrying about the grammar.

8. Library

To get a hold of the language learning tools like reading material, writing material, audio and video cassettes become a member of the library. Normally language books and materials are expensive. I remember when I paid 20 euros to get one book. I would advise to use a library as it is not expensive and also has a variety of learning material to choose from.

9. Set targets for yourself

It would be interesting to set targets or small goals for yourself. For example you can set time limits for yourself for reading a book or finishing an exercise. It would motivate you learn and practice more and increases your speed for comprehension and understanding.

10. Do not be disappointed by apparent lack of progress

Always keep a check on your progress but do not get disappointed by apparent lack of it. To learn something new always need time and perseverance. A new language presents many challenges that is why it is very important not to give up but to go on. If you feel your progress is very slow try to revise old lessons and see if they are easier now than before. If you find them easy then you have nothing to worry about because it is a signal that you are walking on the path of progress.

11. Practice and do not be afraid of making mistakes

To make mistakes is inevitable and there is no need to be afraid of making mistakes. Try to use the language at every opportunity you get. It is important to convey your message and not the correct use of all the right words in the right places. If you are really worried about getting misunderstood then always be ready with such sentences like “Pardon me, I am not good with this language but I am learning it” or “Please forgive me for my lack of knowledge of the language, I am still learning” and so on.

12. Join classes, conversation clubs or do activities in the language chosen

To do more practice, try to join language classes and conversation clubs. There you will get many chances to read, write, speak and use the language. Try to organize activities in the language you want to learn. For example you can organize a reading club or a cooking session.

13. Cultural background of the language

Try to find about the people and the culture of the country where the language is used. It would also be interesting to make trips to the native country and listen the native speakers speak the language. Tradition and culture speak a lot about the progress of the society and also the evolution of the language over time.

14. Make a native language friend

To speed up your learning process a little bit try to make a native language friend. If you are living in a place where the native speakers are not easy to find then try making pen pals. You can exercise your written language and also ask for corrections from your native speaker friend. This way you not only get to know people and about their culture but also improves your language skills.

15. Focus on your interests and Enjoy

It should be fun to learn a language. Focus on those things which are of your interest and try to organize these activities in the language you have chosen to learn. It is more fun in learning by doing. Do not over exert yourself and make things boring for you as it will ultimately lead to loss of interest. Try to indulge in activities which gives you pleasure. For example if you like to travel then plan a visit to the native country of the language or if you like to cook then try reading cooking books in that language and so on.

Never underestimate the power and pleasure of knowing another language. It opens gates of opportunities and breaks down barriers between cultures. Knowing the native language can cause a change in attitude of the people towards you and you will be more easily and warmly welcomed in the groups. The knowledge of a new language is an asset and worth a try.


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