Top Tips for Learning a Language (from a language graduate herself!)
As a language graduate and language lover myself, I know the challenges that learning a language can present. To help make things a little easier, I’ve come up with some tips that have helped and continue to help me improve my language skills.
1. Listen. You can listen to news reports on local radio stations. Find the lyrics to your favourite song and sing along!
2. Watch. You can watch films with subtitles- but never watch dubbed films! Local independent cinemas or universities often show foreign films. Watching a foreign film with subtitles in the target language is also a good idea. I’ve found that reading and listening at the same time is very beneficial.
3. Read. Spend time reading newspapers and magazines in the target language. This will not only improve your linguistic skills and develop your vocabulary but it will also give you an insight into the culture of the country or countries in which the native language is spoken.
4. Talk. Spend as much time as possible talking in your target language. Try to find a language partner who you can meet with on a regular basis or find a partner online and communicate via Skype.
5. Practice on the Go. As you are walking around or sitting on the bus, try to describe (in your head) what you can see. Be sure to check the vocabulary you didn’t know! You can also download podcasts to your MP3 player or phone to listen as you run or drive!
7. Be patient. Language learning can be frustrating at times and I know all too well the feeling of hitting a sort of ‘barrier’ but persevere and keep going! Get as much exposure to the language as possible and the brain will keep absorbing!