Learning a new language can be challenging and frustrating. However, understanding and using it is a rewarding and enriching skill which everyone should try to acquire in their lifetime. But there are some instances when people fail to get the basic grasp of a language even after years of learning.
So, is there a way which you can use to learn a new language fast? Well, outlined below are 10 easy practical steps which have proved to be efficient.
1. Set Your Goals
The first and most vital step of learning a new language faster is by setting the goals you want to attain. The well-outlined and detailed goals should indicate what you plan to learn and for how long. Write them down and indicate how you will commit to them. During the learning phase, make sure that you continuously challenge yourself so that you can get the most out of it. Note: the goals should be specific and short-term. Long-term goals can be overwhelming and demotivating. So, make sure to break your language-learning objectives into tiny bits that are achievable weekly or monthly.
2. Learn the Keywords Words
Keywords are considered as the “right” words which you should first know. All languages have thousands of terms but only a few of them are used for basic communication. If you can learn 100 new words, then you are more than 50 percent fluent regardless of the language. So, start by focusing on the keywords first in order to enhance the amount of information which you can understand within a short period of time.
3. Use Smart Studying Techniques
To avoid cramming terms, carefully learn and understand your words. For instance, you can create electronic flashcards which can store in your smartphone and use them whenever you want. There are also programs such as Make Words Stick which provide effective guides on learning new languages efficiently. Besides that, try to guess the meaning of a word before you can use a flashcard. Lastly, make it a habit of translating a word to its English equivalent before using it.
4. Use Gestures
Generally, gestures encourage you to vocalize and visualize new words. This helps you to understand things such as when or how to use the words. Besides that, gestures are important in improving your memorization. The brain normally stores information better when physical actions are used during the learning process. For instance, if you want to learn about water and glasses, try to use the terminologies that involve drinking of water. Got it?
5. Learn the History and Culture Associated with that Language
Learning a new language is more than knowing and understanding when and how to use the words. It’s also essential to learn about the history and culture that is associated with people who use it. Knowing their religious beliefs, staple food, history, customs, and current events will propel your understanding to a whole new level. According to research reports, people usually learn a new language faster when they understand the culture and history of the natives.
6. Use the New Language Everyday
One of the principles of learning a new language fast is by using it every day. Although it may be difficult for a beginner, it’s important to make the new language part of your normal life. Try to incorporate it in every moment of your life. You can even create flashcards which you can use when you are out with friends, commuting, etc. Besides that, you can also listen to radio broadcasts, stream music, or watch TV shows in the said language. The main goal of this step is to ensure that you implement a platform that allows you to familiarize with the new language. Note: familiarizing yourself with the target language helps to enhance fluency. Being fluent provides you with the ability to express yourself in an easy and articulate manner without straining.
7. Search for a Language Partner
As much as personal exposure is important, the only way to perfect your vocabulary is by finding a language partner. Learning a new language can only be faster and better if you practice it with someone else. This will help you to easily become a master and your fluency will soon match that of a native speaker. Additionally, getting a language partner offers you an opportunity to exchange resources as well as other helpful tips. You will be able to set goals and hold each other accountable.
8. Do a Personal Test
Doing a personal test helps you to assess yourself and determine the level of your progress. It’s also a source of motivation which you can use to learn faster. Technology has made it easier to do personal tests since there are multiple practice tests for hundreds of languages online. For instance, the ACTFL OPI test is one of the most popular language-learning assessment tests that’s used globally to test the functional speaking ability of an individual. Note that there are specific standardized tools for certain languages which can still be found online.
9. Learn From Your Mistakes
Learning a new language isn’t very easy. There are some words or catchphrases which you are bound to get wrong from time to time. However, this is the period where you have to leave your pride or ego aside and learn from your mistakes. There are no judgments or perfection and you have to be fearless. Making those silly mistakes provides you with the opportunity relearn and then grow. While you are still in the process of learning a new language, resist from rating your fluency as failure or success. You are simply learning to become better.
10. Simply Have Fun!
We always tend to be serious when learning new things. But there’s no better way of understanding a new language other than simply being yourself and having fun. Make sure that you focus on learning new words that relate to your interests, hobbies, or professional field. Make jokes, write posts on social media, and hold real-life conversations in that language. Make it worthwhile yet still fun.