Language has a great impact on everyone’s life as it is the essence of communication and helps express our feelings and put our thoughts into words. Every region of this world has a language through which they communicate with each other, and then there are some Lingua Francas.
A Lingua Franca is a universal or trade language through which people who belong to different regions communicate. The importance of language cannot be overlooked, as it is the only thing through which we can understand one another in an increasingly connected world.
The ability to convey your thoughts in multiple languages is becoming important as the world is turning into a global village. Learning foreign languages does not only look good on paper; it also helps you communicate and adapt to new people from all over the world.
Language has always been a barrier between different civilizations, so learning new languages helps you stay ahead in future endeavors, be it personal or professional. Strong communication skills are an asset that provides growth, success, and ultimate prosperity.
So, if you’re looking to sharpen your skills or learn foreign languages, here are some tips for you;
1. Set Your Goals
You can’t learn anything new without setting your goals, so if you’re thinking of learning a new language, you have to set a concrete goal for yourself. The initial enthusiasm that comes with learning new things usually fades away with time, so it’s essential to keep a set of goals to remind you why you’re trying to learn in the first place.
Anyone can cram some words, but that’s not what learning a foreign language is about; it’s about communication. You have to understand the things you are learning as that will make it easier for you to remember all your lessons.
Foreign languages can be pretty tough if you have spent most of your life in your comfort zone and don’t challenge yourself enough. You will learn new words, phrases, grammar, and the right pronunciation; it’s bound to get frustrating at some point, and it may look easy to give up.
Therefore, set achievable goals for yourself. When you make a goal, suddenly, an idea materializes into something concrete that you have to achieve. Moreover, when you achieve one goal, it motivates you to continue learning and achieve the next step.
Here is how you should do it:
- Choose the language you want to learn. Some people already have a language in mind, but others don’t. If you are one of those people, give this articlea read to decide the best language to learn in 2021.
- Set small and achievable goals; e.g., set a goal that you will learn to speak and write the alphabet of the foreign language in 2 weeks. The next goal could be to learn to read and write one-syllable words, and so on.
- Reward yourself after you achieve your goal, as it will motivate you to achieve the next one.
2. Consistency is The Key
We all have tried learning a new skill or starting a new project only to end up procrastinating and leaving it as it is; that’s why consistency is the key. You have to stick to your goals if you want to accomplish them.
When you first start learning a foreign language, you are excited, and learning seems like a piece of cake. However, as the excitement and novelty wears off, and the language starts to get harder, you may find yourself getting bored or frustrated.
Therefore, consistency is key to continuation. Set a regular time for yourself to learn the language. Whether it’s three times a week or 4, consistently following the schedule will keep you on the learning path.
Here are a few tips to remain consistent:
- Practice the language regularly. If you skip a few days, you may end up leaving it altogether.
- Don’t end up focusing on one aspect of a new language; if you’re having trouble with vocabulary, then practice your accent instead.
- Keep a note of your strengths and weaknesses. Do you struggle with remembering words or grammar?
I think we have established the importance of communication, but here’s why it’s even more important when you’re learning a new language. Ever wonder how babies easily pick up words from their parents and start speaking the same language? That’s because parents communicate with their babies in their native language from an early age. It’s easier to learn a foreign language when you hear it in your everyday life.
Hence, the best way to learn a foreign language is to start communicating in that language. For example, if you are traveling to Spain for work, you will need to learn enough Spanish to help you convey your messages and talk to the locals.
To do so, start talking in Spanish in your everyday life. When you go to the coffee shop, think to yourself, how will I ask for a coffee in Spanish? Similarly, learn other simple everyday phrases, such as where is the bus station? Where is the grocery store, where can I find a carpet cleaning service near me? Etc.
Ask a family member or friend to help you out; try communicating with them in the new foreign language, so it’s easier for you to remember and become good at it. It’s normal to freeze up or be afraid to make any mistakes when you’re first starting, but that’s how people learn.
If you can’t find a study partner to help you out, there are several apps you can download on your phone and speak to an AI to sharpen your skills. Try thinking in the new language you’re trying to learn as it’s easier to form thoughts in your head rather than talking.
4. Implement Your Lessons in Practical Life
We have discussed the importance of communication, but learning a foreign language will require more than just using certain phrases in your daily life. Travel around the world if you have the means and put those skills out to actual use. Nothing helps you practice more than conversing with a native speaker.
However, most of us can’t afford the luxury to travel to different parts of the world, but that can’t stop us from learning the language of our choice. You can try keeping a journal for any new foreign language you’re trying to learn. Any new skill will require lots of practice before you can master it, so implementing your daily lessons can help you a lot.
Writing in a new language can help improve your skills as well. You can improve your language by writing small stories, an about me essay, or even messages to your friends to help you learn the language more efficiently.
5. Value Fluency over Accuracy
All of us are prone to mistakes, and if you think people master the art of cooking or a new language overnight, then you’re mistaken. Sharpening your skills takes a lot of practice. You can expect a lot of setbacks when learning a new language, but accuracy is not the most important thing. Native speakers of a language make mistakes all the time; therefore, fluency is the way to go.
If you’re in a foreign place and don’t know if you’re using the right word for something, just be confident and say the nearest word. With the right accent and fluency, no one would be able to point out the difference. Therefore, it’s highly essential to go with the flow and don’t be hesitant to make mistakes.
Takeaway – Persistence is the Key to Learning a New Language
Learning foreign languages might seem like a nerdy thing to you, but it’s a skill that’s never going to waste. Some of the most popular languages today are years old and have only helped us get further in life. It’s never too late to start learning Mandarin or Spanish because it will open up a whole new world of possibilities for you.
Being multilingual not only helps you communicate with the rest of the world better, but it also attracts a lot of business prospects for you, so it’s always going to go in your favor, and the tips mentioned above will give you a jump start.
Myrah Abrar is a computer science graduate with a passion for web development and digital marketing. She writes blog articles for Carpet Cleaning Stevenage