Being successful in language learning depends on a variety of factors, from frequent practice among native speakers to immersion to memorization. There is no one technique, no one magic bullet, that will unlock the success of learning a new language. It takes dedication, patience, perseverance and hard work – there’s no getting around that.
Here are some top tips for learning a language successfully.
It’s always best to have motivation in learning a particular language. Maybe you want to someday secure a join in the United Nations, or perhaps you want to spend your retirement traveling Europe. Maybe you want to follow your mother’s footsteps, who knew four languages. Whatever your reason, you need inspiration. That will spur you on to keep going, despite the challenges that arise.
Just like getting fit is much easier with a walking or gym partner, learning a new language will be easier with a pal. You can both lean on each other for support, and motivate the other to do well. Find a sibling, friend, family member – whoever it is, get on the same page and get going!
Speak Out Loud
It may sound silly, but practice speaking out loud to yourself when studying or practicing. This will give you a good idea of how the language should sound aloud – not just in your head. It’s a great way to practice conversational language, even when you have no one to bounce your ideas off of.
Learning from a book or flash cards has its place – these are great ways to memorize verb conjugations and the like. However, that should only be a small part of your language learning, as this can very quickly start to feel like work. The key to retaining any new language is to have fun with it. Otherwise, you’ll quickly get bored and frustrated.
Leave Your Comfort Zone
Willingness to make mistakes: this is what sets the mediocre apart from the great. You have to push the envelope and get out of your comfort zone sometimes. You should be ready to put yourself in potentially embarrassing situations, make mistakes, and then learn from them. Everyone encounters a difficulty or two when learning something new. Putting yourself out there is the only way you’ll truly learn from real-world mistakes.
Dive Right In
Once you’ve committed to learning a new language, it’s time to just dive in and get going. Sign up for effective online programs like BRIC Language Systems. Talk to native speakers, immerse yourself in the culture, and learn by doing! These are all great ways to learn a new language successfully, whether that’s Mandarin Chinese, Spanish or Brazilian Portuguese.