Learning languages is not an easy task in itself, however, the learning process can be much more dynamic, effective and even fun if certain useful habits and good practices are acquired.
Being able to speak in different languages is a tool that opens countless doors for us in the social and professional sphere. Not only can we communicate better during trips and talk with people from different corners of the world, but also nurture our CV, expand our job opportunities and differentiate ourselves in terms of our training from other applicants for the same job. Learning languages is part of our cultural baggage, since expanding the borders of language also allows us to expand the limits of our world.
When facing a new language, you have to be, mainly, very well predisposed. In addition, incorporating certain customs, exercises and procedures will allow us to be more successful in learning and reach our personal goals faster.
Next, we share 10 tips and advice to answer one of the most popular questions in the world: How to learn languages?
Motivation is key to any learning process. Therefore, when embarking on the study of a language, it is necessary to be very clear about the reason for learning the chosen language.
Having a clear motivation will allow us to set a defined goal and not stop until we achieve it.
Once you have made the decision to learn a language, it is essential to fully immerse yourself in the language you are going to study, to soak up it. No matter how we do it, what really matters is that every day we dedicate at least half an hour to putting into practice what we are learning. Whether it is talking to yourself, writing an email, listening to music or watching a series without subtitles; which tool we choose is indistinct, what counts is putting our knowledge to the test.
Each language has an average of between 50 and 100 basic words to master the language. These more “common” terms usually constitute up to 50% of the everyday communications of their speakers.
Therefore, to make significant progress at the beginning of the learning process and establish a solid foundation on which to build knowledge, it is enough to start by incorporating these basic words, their meanings and their different uses.
Talking is the best way to practice what you have learned. Experts say that one hour of conversation with speakers of the language we are learning is equivalent to 5 hours taking classes.
Why is a casual activity so important? Talking is a more complex process than it seems, since it involves exercising your listening and understanding skills, assembling a mental response and finally expressing it orally. Language learning is a process, not rote learning; therefore, conversation is the best way to practice it.
Currently, there are many applications language learning. These apps work as portable dictionaries and translators that allow you to answer doubts instantly, in addition to practicing through exercises, games and audio-visual courses. Some of the most famous are Duolingo, Wibbu, Babbel, and HiNative.
In our daily life – even more so in these “home office” times- we constantly talk to ourselves; so why not do it in another language?
Talking to oneself in another language allows us to take advantage of any moment to practice the language and also to set those new concepts that we are gradually learning. If there is a will, there are no excuses; any time is a good time to continue learning languages.
As we saw in the previous points, language learning is not an activity linked only to the classroom or to study manuals, but it can also be a lot of fun. Some good ideas to practice are: doing karaoke with songs that we like in the language in question, watching series or movies with subtitles in the original language, discovering some curious facts of the language we are studying or reading a novel written in that language.
Of course, everything is easier and more fun if we do it together with a friend. Therefore, learning languages in pairs will facilitate the task of staying motivated, pushing each other to achieve our goals and –mainly- practicing everything we have learned together.
Children have a lot to teach us adults. Imitating certain attitudes of the little ones allows us to have a better predisposition to incorporate a new language.
Children allow themselves to learn by playing, they are not so afraid of making mistakes or looking ridiculous and they are not ashamed to admit that they do not yet know or have not learned something. Therefore, putting aside the filters imposed by adulthood will allow us to learn in a more fun way and without suffering the ghost of fear of failure.
Before being protagonists, learning a language invites us to be attentive spectators. Listening to and observing others speaking a language allows us to become familiar with the sounds and words, incorporate the way in which the different combinations of letters are pronounced, and finally, imitate the speakers to communicate better.