Everyone who wants to learn a new language asks a question: is it possible to learn a foreign language on his own. The starting point is to set up the goals. First of all, think about why you want to learn a foreign language – you study it at school or university, you want to move to another country or travel all around the world, being able to talk with the native speakers, you want to train your brain skills, or just watch movies in other languages.
If you have the answer to this question, you can create your training plan according to your needs and focus on the necessary aspects. Another thing you should remember is daily training which will allow you to develop the language skill as a habit. It’s like doing sports – the result comes with regularity. That is why self-discipline is very important.
There are a lot of benefits of learning a foreign language. Some of them are obvious, about some of them you probably didn’t hear.
- Travelling doesn’t have to be limited to a week in a hotel and selfies in your phone. If you know a foreign language your trip can completely change. First of all, it’s convenient to talk to someone at the airport, in the hotel or cafe, ask the directions and have a chat with the sellers in the stores. Secondly, it will give you more freedom, allow you to meet new people and make friends, and discover new not so popular locations which will make your journey much more interesting and adventurous.
- It’s obvious that knowledge of foreign languages provides significant advantages for employers in many areas. If you want to work in a multinational corporation, then you are much more likely to get a good position if you speak at least one foreign language.
- Not all books are translated into your mother tongue. Not to mention that many books are worth reading in the original. The same can be said about the movies and TV shows. Most of them are much more interesting when you watch them in the language that real people speak there.
- Meeting new people. If you learn foreign languages using different social platforms or just practicing with the native speakers using Skype, you can really make friends.
- Improve memory skills and prevent brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Most people probably don’t know about this benefit of learning a second language. But the study found that bilingual people delay certain types of dementia by 4-5 years.
There are different ways of how you can learn new languages fast and effectively. Let’s look closer into some of them:
- You can hire a teacher or attend language courses. This way you don’t have to build up the training plan by yourself, because it’s not that easy and you may choose the wrong direction. Your teacher can advise you what books and materials you need to purchase. Moreover, you will constantly communicate with the person who speaks the language you want to learn, which means that he or she can always correct your mistakes and answer the questions you may have during your study.
- If you don’t have time or finances to hire a tutor, or you don’t want to purchase a full course, but just to refresh your knowledge of the language, then you can use language learning apps on your mobile device. There are a lot of them available both for iOS and Android devices. They feature different ways of studying and monetization models. Some of the apps are paid with a one-time purchase while the other offer various subscription plans. For example, Encore language learning app from Gurmentor offers different lesson plans based on your skills. Also, you can also make your own playlist for learning and immersing yourself in a target language during everyday activities.
- Watch movies and read books in foreign languages. Find the movies with the familiar plots but make notes if you don’t have some words or phrases. You can always look them up in the dictionary. Use the subtitles until you feel like you understand most words without them. In the book stores you can buy adaptive literature according to the level of your knowledge of the language.
- The best way to learn a foreign language is by immersion. If you can travel to a country where people speak your target language, promise yourself not to be shy and speak this language. Try to explore the places that are not marked as popular for common tourists. If you are friendly, no one will blame you for mistakes in speech.
- Stickers with new words. This method will be great for remembering new words and phrases, which are commonly used in everyday life. The best it works with the nouns. For example, write the word “refrigerator” and leave it on the refrigerator, “table” on the table and so on. By seeing signed things every day, your brain will automatically remember them. With the learning process, you can change the stickers, write longer phrases and sentences on them. It’s a great way to train and expand your vocabulary.
- Follow language learning YouTube channels and watch relevant videos, as well as listen to podcasts. Nowadays, there are a lot of videos and podcasts that can help you in studying languages. For example, if you are going to work and don’t have an opportunity to read anything, just take your headphones and listen to videos or podcasts and try to understand their meaning. With time, your brain will get used to foreign speech and you will understand more and more from what you hear.
These are the most useful tips on how to study new languages. Just remember one main rule – the more you try, the biggest results you get! If you study regularly at least 30 minutes a day, in 2 month you will be able to speak on simple general topics so you don’t need to worry about your skills if you come to your target country.