Mastering another language is not easy, and there is no magic formula to help you become fluent overnight. It takes a lot of practise, but you can improve your ability to use a new language if you follow these tips.
1.) Be Consistent
You can’t improve in another language just by studying for a couple of hours here and there. You have to make learning the language a priority in your life. That means listening to, speaking, writing in, and reading in the language as often as you can over an extended period of time.
2.) Be Realistic
Avoid thinking that you’re going to be able to use the new language like a native speaker by studying for six months. You’re going to definitely be conversational, but you’re not going to be perfect. Set realistic goals for yourself, such as passing a proficiency level exam in the next several months, not the next several days. Also, don’t try to memorise 25 words a day. Try to learn 10 a week and really USE them in your conversations and writings. This all will prevent you from being discouraged and giving up.
3.) Listen to the Radio
Turn on the radio in your car if you happen to live, where the language is spoken in the media. Try to listen for several minutes every day. Can you understand at least the basics of what is being talked about on the news or in a song? Keep trying. You’ll be able to understand more each day.
4.) Listen to News Stories
Many websites offer a video or an audio version of a written news story. Listen to the news first. See how much you understand. Then use the transcript of the story to find out what words you missed. You can also do this on your smartphone. Many apps offer news stories to language learners at different levels so that you can practise every day.
5.) Read What Interests You
Read a news story or a book that interests you. Avoid thinking that you can’t. Pick a short news story written for learners of that language in a simplified format. Read a children’s book that looks funny. It doesn’t matter what you read, but you should read something that you will find interesting so that you will want to keep reading to learn more.
6.) Talk to Yourself
Even if you can’t talk with a native speaker every day, talk out loud to yourself. Also, think in the language you’re learning at least several minutes a day. Try using new vocabulary that you heard on the radio or on an app or podcast you listened to.
7.) Record Yourself
Use your smartphone, your computer, or some other way to record yourself speaking in the other language. You can send a message to a friend, who speaks that language using the voice record feature in many apps and web messaging programs. Make a voice memo for yourself, and listen to it to check your pronunciation and grammar. However you have to do it, speak, and record yourself. It is a good way to practise speaking.
8.) Write as Much as You Can
Send an email to someone in the language, even if it’s you. Send someone a text or instant message using the language you’re learning. Get a pen and paper and write down what you did yesterday. Make it a point to use the vocabulary you’re learning while you read and listen to the language.
9.) Practice with Others
Learning a language alone can be difficult. It is best to spend at least some time practising with others, as you can do in our beginner’s English course. You’re able to talk and listen to other learners as well as native speakers to improve your ability to use the language.
10.) Stay Positive
Learning a language is difficult. Even when it seems like you’re not making progress, you are. As long as you’re trying to learn, you are learning.
Interested in Learning English as a Foreign Language?Read about our beginners course here