What do you think is the best way to achieve fluency in a second language?
Note: This question is for people who learned a second language later in life, NOT as a young child!
I learned Cebuano and Tagalog from when I was 19 until now by talking to native speakers. You just ask them what words mean and how the grammar works and then you speak in that language when you can. It also helps if you know someone that's a native speaker of English, but is also fluent in the language you are learning.
Immerse yourself in culture of the language you want to learn. IF you can live there. If you want to speak french go to Canada or France, if you want to learn Spanish (go to Mexico, Spain, other Latin American countries). You will develop an ear for it. Practice everyday, so it can become normal!!!!
The best way to achieve fluency in a second language is to go to that country and mingle with the locals or people that speak the language. For example if I want to learn the Spanish language, I will go to Spain for a month or so and mix with the Spanish people. Take note of what they say and ask them what it means. If you want to polish your English the best place to learn is England. For me, I learnt the English language in my own country(Philippines) when I was at school. Nowadays you can learn other languages from the internet or from a language school. It is easy to learn another language if the interest and commitment on your part is there. I learnt the Spoken Kuwaiti Arabic language when I worked in Kuwait years ago. I did it by taking notes from what my ex-employers said and also the children. Then asked for the meanings from my ex-employers as they speak English well. That was how I learnt their language. Within three months I was talking to them in Arabic. I can't write Arabic but I can speak it. I can write it the way I pronounce it. I have written a hub about it, if you are interested. In fact it is the hub that gets the most views. It is possible to be fluent in a second language.
Chinese is my 2nd language. My mother tongue is English. And I hated Malay because I was forced to learn in school.
Best way to learn is to mix and hang out with the 2nd language people. You will learn faster that way
I know a few people might think this is a crazy idea but i became fluent in my second language by drinking in a pub where they only spoke the language. My second language is Irish and i always wanted to speak it fluently. So i drank in a pub where they only spoke Irish and i think the main thing that helps is gaining the confidence to actually engage in a conversation to practice what you've learned and from my experience, alcohol gives you a lot of confidence! haha Hope this helps
I'm not an alcoholic by the way.
Your answer is my favorite so far. That's my biggest problem: confidence. I know the language (Spanish) fairly well, but when I get an opportunity to speak it, it's like I freeze up. Taking a couple shots first would help. Haha. Thanks for the tip!
Your welcome Katherine. Bueno suerte amigo. (my Spanish isn't great)
Having command on a foreign language takes a lot long time .Basically you should first learn the grammar . If you get a command on the grammar you hold mastery on half on the language .Then the secondary part is to learn the vocabulary . As well as keep a dictionary with yourself , because whenever you stumble on a word and do not know the meaning of it , it creates more difficulties on the way to learn the subject . Dictionary will help you a lot to learn the new subject .
I agree with most of these answers that immersion really is key to achieving fluency. But before you immerse yourself you need a basic understanding of vocabulary and grammar. When possible, visit the country of your language choice. If that's not possible, hang around as many native Spanish (or whatever language) speakers as possible. Have "intercambios" where you spend half your time together speaking English and the other Spanish. Then, in your spare time, immerse yourself in books, movies (always watch with Spanish subtitles or language on), set your phone to Spanish, read Spanish websites -- immerse yourself as much as possible. You can even carry around a small notebook and every time you learn a new word or phrase, write it down to help it stick in your memory.
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