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Best Ways to Learn a New Language

Updated on July 21, 2013
Languages
Languages

Learning and Understanding a New Language

For many people, learning a new language can be a lifelong struggle because they can't find a way to utilise the learning tools that are on offer, which makes learning a lot easier. There are many different learning methods and tools that can be used and incorporated on a daily basis.

Many people have their own methods and techniques, but below we have a look at some tools I have used in the past that have made learning a new language more easy and entertaining. A selection of these can be used based on the way that suits you and your learning preferences best.

Communication

One of the most effective ways to work on learning a new language is to talk to people and have a conversation. Finding someone to talk to in the language that you are trying to learn could be a key factor. Communication allows you to actively talk and listen, which is like on-the-job learning. If you are lucky the person you talk with may be able to correct you and give you some advice like a tutor or teacher.

I remember visiting a gift shop and was looking to buy something. A shop attendant saw me and came over to assist me. At the time I spoke to him in a foreign language, but when he realised that I also spoke English he immediately changed the conversation and started talking to me in English. He saw me as an opportunity to practise his English because he was learning English at the time. This is a great example of using people to your advantage for learning a new language.

Travelling to a Country

An excellent way to work on your communication skills is to visit and spend time in a country that speaks the language that you are trying to learn. This is another technique, which is considered like on-the-job learning because you are forced to speak and learn the language. If you manage to make friends or find company your learning experience will be more beneficial.

Computer Programs and Applications

The introduction of computer learning programs, smartphone applications and podcasts may prove to be very useful learning tools. They can be used at any time and have a lot of things on offer. A smartphone application or podcast can offer you learning away from home or on-the-go.

TV and Movies in Another Language

Watching TV or a movie can be a very entertaining method to build on your learning of a new language. The advantage you have is that you subconsciously learn whilst watching and you listen to words whilst reading subtitles. Finding a TV series or drama will help you better because you will be confronted with every day scenarios. The things you will see and learn would be more applicable to your life experiences.

Reading Books and Newspapers

Some people prefer to read books and newspapers in the language that they are learning because it allows you to visualize the word. Being able to see a word and read it helps you with the pronunciation and is another effective way to help you remember a word because you have seen it written. Whilst reading it is always advisable to have your dictionary with you because you can instantly look up a word and find out what it means.

Reading out loud may also give you that extra advantage, which will help you with your confidence of saying a word next time in conversation.

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Using a Language Dictionary

When learning a new language, a dictionary can be a very powerful tool. A dictionary allows you to translate and learn new words. I often prefer to spend hours reading a dictionary because it helps you learn new words and build on your vocabulary. As long as you have it close-by you can always refer to it and really put it to good use.

Writing things down

A great way to reinforce your learning is to have a book where you write things down. Writing words and sentences will help you remember them and you always have the opportunity to refer back to your notes. This has also proven to be a very effective tool whilst learning a new language.

Labelling

The method of labelling items around the house has helped me learn new words and remember them too. The beauty of it is that you can use temporary post-it note around the whole house and remove them once you have learned the word and become confident with it.

These are all very effective ways to help you learn a new language. These are all proven methods which has allowed me to strengthen and improve my learning abilities. You may choose the methods above that suit you best, but also don't be afraid to try other ones because they may help you in a way that you never anticipated.

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