Best Yet Simple Techniques For Learning A New Language
So finally we are talking business. In this article we shall take an in depth look at the various techniques that you can employ while learning a new language. Whatever methods you had seen earlier for improving the focus and concentration will play a part here as well.
This article will be divided into three broad sections. The first one will deal with methods and techniques that will come handy when you are in preliminary process of learning a new language. The second part will contain methods that can be adopted at the next stage, which is when you wish to practice the new language. The third is simply a compilation of general tips and pointers when it comes to learning a new language. So without further ado, let us get down to it.
Getting the basics right
In this section we shall look at some of the preliminary steps that you should get right before you begin the actual process of learning at full steam. Subsequently we have mentioned some techniques that are relevant in the basic stage.
Know your style
It is highly imperative that you should have a clear understanding of what kind of learning suits you the best. For instance some people can learn more efficiently from reading and re-reading the same part again and again, while some others respond better to audio inputs. For such kind of people, using recorded conversations and lessons are the best way of learning. Yet there are some others who can pick up any concept of language if they are given a visual demonstration. Hence, analyze and figure out what works best for you and proceed based on that.
Learn the right words the right way
Always make it a point to learn the pronunciation of a word correctly when you learn that word. This is an area where people commonly make mistakes when picking up a new language. When you are a beginner, the urge to learn as many new words a day as possible will be the prime object and in course of this the importance of the correct pronunciation is sometimes overlooked. This can be easily avoided by exercising a bit of diligence in this aspect right from the beginning.
Grammar is any language is an aspect as important as the pronunciation. And as is the case with pronunciation, this is an area that is overlooked by beginners. In some languages, such as German, the right grammar can make a whale of a difference to the idea being conveyed. When you learn a sentence or a string of phrases, make sure that you get the structure and formation right in accordance with the principles of grammar.
Set targets for yourself in terms of the number of new words to be learnt every day. For example, fix a target of 30 a day and make sure that you pick up at least 30 new words from the language. And the job does not end there, you will have to sit and memorize the words in the manner that works for you the best. For example, by writing down a few times, saying it aloud in front of the mirror, or making short sentences employing the new words.
Practicing alphabet in new languages that do not employ the Roman script, such as Chinese or Thai, is an extremely important and integral part of the learning process. You will have to be continually practicing the alphabets in order to get the hang of them. Many techniques can be employed here such as using audio and visual means, learning by relating the alphabets to concepts to retain them in your mind, animations etc. If a particular area is exceedingly difficult, you could even employ the method of association.
Practicing the language
Once you have learned the basics, the next step is to practice the language on a daily basis. The importance of regular practice can be underlined by the fact that it is infinitely easier to unlearn and forget a language in the absence of practice.
Listening to the language is the best way of retaining and practicing it. There are many ways by which you can do this. You can listen to recordings of conversations in the language, make use of audio books, watch television programmes and movies in the language, watch news etc. But it has to be kept in mind that mere listening will not do; you have to speak along with what you are hearing and repeat it.
Read in the language
Reading books in the language that appeal to you is another excellent method of improving your grasp over the language. For instance if you prefer fiction, you could start with simple books that have been written in that genre. The advantage is that, you grasp the language better when the subject matter is interesting rather than boring textbook material. You could expand your ambit gradually to newspapers, magazines etc.
Speak with natives
Experts maintain that, in spite of all the advancements in learning techniques, the best method of gaining command over a language is to converse with the native speakers. This way you get a first hand perspective of how that language is actually spoken in real world situations, rather than concocted conversations in text books. You can also pick up proverbs and expressions when you converse with natives.
Interact in the language daily
Make it a point to interact in the language every day. For this you have many options. You could hold conversations with native speakers of the language, as mentioned in the earlier part, or even do silly stuff such as speaking back to the television. Lose your inhibitions in practicing the language, because you have to realize the simple fact that mistakes are inevitable and cannot be completely avoided. If you have a friend coming with you to the classes, resolve to converse with him only in the foreign language.
Practice in public
Practice public speaking in the foreign language. If you go for formal classes, you will have umpteen opportunities to do so in the form of impromptu debates and speeches. This is important due to the fact that public speaking brings out the best and worst in you in terms of the language.
Some tips and pointers
Pick a language that you are genuinely interested in, and not one because you want to learn it to simply better your career opportunities.
Utilize all the extra time you get to practice, such as while you are jogging or driving.
Start watching movies in that language. It is one of the most effective methods of learning a new language.
Read a lot of interesting books in that language such as works from the humor, fiction and adventure genre.
Just as movies and books, music also plays the role of an important learning aid.
Do not be shy. To learn anything new, you have to ditch your reservations and inhibitions.