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How to learn a foreign language quickly

Updated on May 24, 2010

Learning a foreign language is always challenging and depending on a couple of factors the daunting task might even seem impossible. For example, although some people have been given the talent to write inspiring pieces in their 2nd or even 3rd languages, they may get tongue tied when attempting to express basic needs in those languages.On the other hand, others can effortlessly converse and even structure speeches at the spot yet fail to write a structured paper without hitting a dozen errors. Some may find the process of switching between a couple of languages a harrowing experience.

The good news is that these are all normal symptoms when you are being exposed to a foreign language or attempting to express in one, unless you are one of the gifted minority that rapidly unravel the layers of a language in a competent manner. Therefore, I wrote this article to demonstrate very non-rule oriented rituals that could improve your communication, grammar and comprehending abilities. Other than devoting the time and effort, below are ways that could be built into your daily fun rituals. Some techniques may work better than others depending on your style of learning thus a lot of these techniques target different learning styles i.e. visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners.

  1. Change your Language Settings

    Change your Facebook, phone, browser and even computer settings to comply with the language you are attempting to learn. Do not get too wild, just play with your own personal devices. Your company shouldn't put up with your new hobbies. Being exposed to these devices constantly will expand your vocabulary rapidly. Works best with visual learners.
  2. The Bathroom, the Kitchen and the Superstore

    If you are fortunate enough, the language might be popular in your residence. Don't hesitate to read the directions found at the back of your shampoo or the ingredients found at the back of your Cereal. Things might not make any sense especially if you are still taking baby steps to fluency but with the combination of patience and googling, this technique won't only expand your vocabulary but will enhance your grammar and structuring abilities. Works best with visual learners.
  3. Reach for the Child within

    Don't jump to large books when attempting to learn a new language. Most importantly don't under estimate the abilities of a native child speaker, ages 10 -12 or even 6-8 may frustrate you if you are at the baby steps phase in learning the language. Don't hesitate to go for books ages 3-6 since books targeted towards this group are always visual and were designated to help kids learn reading. You can also find books that are accompanied with CD's to enhance your pronunciation and listening skills. Works best for both visual and auditory learners.
  4. Listen, Sing, Learn

    Best thing about this activity is that you could do this anywhere and anytime. All you need is a portable media player. Whether you are on the bus, waiting in a line, walking or even jogging, listening and singing songs in the foreign language will enhance your ability to speak and converse. You can print the lyrics or you could even download videos from YouTube. Works best for auditory learners.
  5. Register for Podcasts

    Registering for foreign podcasts will probably sound Gibberish at first but the constant exposure to the language will definitely strengthen both your speaking and listening skills almost immediately. Later on in the process, more words will start to make sense, then phrases and before you know it, you will find yourself comprehending complicated dialogues. Works best for auditory learners.
  6. Applications

    Whether you are a Windows or Apple fan, you will find open source software as well as a handful of free online applications that somehow teach a concept in foreign languages. Examples are translators, dictionaries and grammar applications. 


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